Jean’s Ministry Journey
My name is Jean Baptiste Kwizera, and the following is Jean’s ministry journey with the Lord. I am a Rwandan of 47 years old who was born in Uganda and raised in a small community in the eastern part of the RDC- Congo. However, I am now living in Kigali-Rwanda, my most loved home country. I am a pastor of a local church new church that is struggling to be officially registered, married to Tchabu Lelengi Liliane and father of five children.
Early Life and Conversion
My mother and father were both Roman Catholic Christians. So, it was our custom every Sunday morning that my mother would go to the first service for parents, and we children went to the second service that was for students. The third service was for the youth. Though I followed every step to be a “good” Christian and did my best to be a “good” person, I was hopeless, fearful, and lived a life without a purpose. There was an emptiness inside me, and I also felt superficial in my Christianity.
Evil spirits tortured me at least once every week. However, no one else knew about it except my young brother and me as we shared a bedroom. I feared to tell my parents about the evil spirits, so I decided to keep silent. I lived that hopeless and fearful life for almost a year.
Jean’s Ministry Journey: Christ Came Into My Life
One afternoon on my way from school, I met a young man that I never met before. He introduced me to Jesus Christ in July 1991. For the first time in my life, I realized that I was not a Christian. The essence of his message was: God created man to have fellowship with him, but man broke that close relationship with God and chose to go his own way. Fellowship with God was broken, but God continued to love us. He said, “the wages of sin is death [Romans 6:23],” and someone had to pay the penalty for me. God loved me and sent his Son, Jesus, to die for me. He said, “If you want to become a Christian,… we’ll pray and ask Jesus to come into your life.” I remember looking to my colleague standing next to me, and he said, “I want to be saved.” I said, “I want to, too.” We walked down the road and prayed the sinner’s prayer. I asked Christ to come into my life.
Jean’s Ministry Journey: Calling to Ministry
We were the first fruits to our new evangelist in the area, so he suggested to teach us how to pray. We had three days together, and he taught us to pray with our own words. He taught us how to share what we had discovered (forgiveness of sin through faith in Jesus Christ, eternal life with God, and the authority we have in the name of Jesus).
We evangelized with him and the youth responded to the gospel. We decided to have a meeting every Thursday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm in a classroom. It came to happen that in two months the group had an attendance of over 300 people. Our brother evangelist left us and went back to his home town, which was 470 km from where we were. How can two secondary school students and new Christians of only two months of salvation experience lead a church of other new Christians? By God’s grace, a married couple helped us as our representative.
One night, the evil spirits came, as usual. This time, I took authority in Jesus name. I opened the door and walked around our house three times, commanding the evil spirits to go and never come back. After that prayer, the evil spirits never came back. I was delivered. There was a revival movement that was increasing. In 1994, my brother and I had planted three other churches.
Jean’s Ministry Journey: Move to Rwanda and Struggles
After the Rwandan genocide of the Tutsi in 1994, my family decided to leave the RDC- Congo and move to Rwanda. We settled in the eastern province of the country. The conditions of life were hard. Things were upside down after the war, and I moved from the east region to join my cousin. He had a business in the capital city of Kigali. I came to a point where I doubted my experience of being saved because I found myself in a new community of unbelievers. Also, the Christian survivors of the war were doubtful about the loving God who would allow over one million innocent people to be killed. Unprepared to face that kind of situation, I no longer shared my faith for almost three years. Thank God that He restored me.
Jean’s Ministry Journey to Ministry Training and Ordination
After I joined the church community again in 2000, I started to share my testimony and the gospel with others. I was interested in everything related to the Christian faith on the internet and other places in the area. I attended many short pieces of training on different aspects of the ministry. The only formal biblical training I had was with Moore theological college in partnership with AEE. May of 2019, I completed level 2 of the Primary Theological Certificate.
In 2009 I received ordination as a pastor. From that time, I served as a full-time minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Miracle Center Church until 2017. Called to start a new church, I presently work with Morning Star Rwanda. My biggest joy is merely telling people about what Christ did for me, teaching other Christians to do the same, and helping them to mature in the Christian faith as we wait for our Hope to come.
Jean’s Ministry Journey to Study at Christian Leaders Institute
After the new law in 2018 on governing faith-based organizations, every pastor must possess a bachelor degree in theology or Biblical studies. I was in trouble. After many attempts to find an accredited college offering Biblical education that fits my financial position, I remembered that in 2012, I once landed on the Christian Leaders Institute on the internet. I had tried to join but failed to start classes. Thank God for CLI. I know that now, this is the right place for me. I have a firm conviction that I will never regret joining this blessed institution. Our faithful God will always sustain and lead every one whose heart is ready to serve the Kingdom.
Learn about ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance.