GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES AND officials, and local community leaders paid tribute to the life and work of a missionary leader who was killed by armed raiders.
Alphonse Rwiririza, the national director of Youth With A Mission died after being shot twice when robbers broke into his home in the early hours of December 2. His wife and four young sons, in another part of the house, escaped uninjured.
Several hundred mourners attended the funeral service at YWAM’s Hopeland center, near Jinja, where Rwiririza was leading the development of a major training initiative. Among those who honored the murdered missionary was local member of Parliament. Mr David Migereko spoke of Rwiririza as a personal friend.
Rwiririza’s last act of service, hours before his death, was to lead a communion service for YWAM staff at the center, said the mission’s East Africa regional director, John Kisamwa. Later that night, after the robbers attacked his home, Rwiririza came face to face with the men when they entered the building.
"Alphonse was then heard to say, `If I am to die, then I will die in Jesus’," said Kisamwa. "Then they shot him once through the wrist and then again through the heart, killing him instantly." After searching the house, the attackers escaped with some cash and electrical goods.
At Jinja, Rwiririza – who was also a member of YWAM’s Global Leadership Team – was overseeing the development of a multifaceted training center. Among the programs there are courses for new missionaries, AIDS education and vocational training for orphans.
Prior to taking on the national leadership of YWAM’s work in Uganda, Rwiririza was the director of the mission’s work in Soroti, in the north of the country, where teams helped with the resettlement of several thousand people who had lost their homes during Uganda’s civil war.
Iain Muir, YWAM’s field director for sub-Saharan Africa, remembered Rwiririza as "a true missionary" who "had influenced leading people in his nation". He added: "He was a man of great intellect, and had a keen insight into the problems facing African nations."
5 thoughts on “Alphonse Rwiririza”
Moving beyond the hindrances in our walk with God
By Alphonse Rwiririza
The last ten years working with YWAM Africa, particularly in Uganda, have been a great challenge as we try to contextualize the mission into our local setting and yet maintain and uphold the international principles of operation and values. Yet God is consistent in His character. He is never too early nor too late and never makes a mistake. He has been with us all through.
We have experienced both the event of birth and the process of growth where the former goes with the initial excitement and wonderful beginning, while the latter involves our choice which leads to formation of character.?As we move into our destiny in God, I have identified four hindrances:
1. Materialism. We have found ourselves working for God instead of working with Him. We have looked for material benefits rather than creating with him. If we obey wholeheartedly, He is limitless.
2. Fear. This is manifested in various forms. By nature we are traditional and religious. There is fear to change although life is never static but dynamic. Growth involves change, which requires responsibility and commitment to keep moving. For example, we have a fear of technology. We are in an information age where we are talking of e-mail in a place where there is no electricity or telephone. You could be asked what sort of animal “e-mail” is! However, there is hope as the new generation is moving with the trends.
3. Unbelief. Faith cannot be generalized. It is personal. If your mindset is dependent on history, it can never be easy to move forward. The Lord leads us with the power of the Holy Spirit. We should not be discouraged or compromise. Let’s look beyond the now.
4. Fantasy versus reality. We are to be what God made us to be and move toward His intentions. However much one may speak a “good accent” in a particular language, he or she is still the same. The beauty is unity, which is formed when we move toward it–that is, we meet in the middle. It does not come just by prayer, but by conscious choice.
Does anyone have a picture of Alphonse that you could upload?
Thanks so much.
G Stephen Goode
From the YWAM International YWAM Relief and Development magazine ” the Catalyst” – January – March 1998
We have lost a wonderful friend and an outstanding leader. The National Director of YWAM Uganda was shot and killed by armed robbers on 2nd December 1997. His wife Anne and their four children were physically unharmed in the attack.
Alphonse had been leading the development of a major training and missions centre near Jinja, Lake Victoria. Previously he had led an integrated development project in Soroti in the North East of the country. This involved the resettlement of about 5,000 people who had lost their lands during the civil war, and included the construction of schools and clinics, and the provision of clean water, as well and evangelism and church planting. He was a man of great intellect and had a keen insight into the problems facing African nations. He was a true missionary and had influenced leading people in his nation.
Several hundred mourners attended the funeral service including a number of Christian ministers and representatives of the local community. Iain Muir, Field Director for YWAM in Sub-Sahara, represented the international leadership of the mission. There was a spirit of faith and thankfulness for a life lived fully for God. The Member of Parliament for the area, Daubi Migereko, spoke of Alphonse as a personal friend, telling how they had worked together for the good of that region of Uganda.
A local government official also spoke of the work done by Alphonse and YWAM. A leader of the local community paid tribute, speaking of the “son” he felt he had lost, and relating some history of the work of YWAM in the area from the early days. All three of them asked that the work of YWAM should continue.
Alphonse’s body was laid to rest at the YWAM centre near Jinja, overlooking Lake Victoria. We thanks God for the memory of a faithful servant of Christ and a dear brother in the Lord.
I worked with alphonse in ywam nairobi. And i remember as a cheerfull, friendly and sincere friend. So sorry not to have known him more and more as hevreturned to uganda. Pray his wife and 4 sons will receive gods grace and love!
Yes all good and great things about our late Dad but where is the love??