Hurst experiences renewal through reconciliation ministry
by Barbara DuPuy, Hurst Christian Church
In December 2013, Pastor Mechak Rwumbuguza and Mr. Love Safari first met with the church board at Hurst to share Pastor Mechak’s calling to start a church in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Pastor Mechak shared his vision of how they are a harvest of the seeds that early Disciple Missionaries planted in the Congo many years ago. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19
The board voted unanimously to enter into a ministry partnership in January 2014. Two years later, January 31, 2016, in a joint worship service the celebration went far beyond a two-year anniversary. Representatives from the Trinity-Brazos Area presented Pastor Mechak and Pastor Amani Sebaziga their commissioning certificates. Rev. Alan Lobaugh made this presentation in addition to sharing a letter from the New and Transforming Church Committee. The Disciples of Christ Mission Church has been approved for affiliation with the Disciples of Christ.
The majority of the Mission Church members are immigrants and refugees from the Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. Many of the members have been in the U.S. for 8-10 years, living in numerous states. The founding of the Disciples of Christ Mission Church provided an opportunity to worship in the cultural traditions of their home country in their native language. Many members also joined as members of Hurst Christian Church, and several have been elected as elders and deacons.
Rev. John Bowers, interim pastor of Hurst Christian Church, spoke of the significant witness the Mission church has provided to himself, Hurst Christian Church, pastors and churches throughout the Trinity Brazos Area: “You are teaching me what you really mean by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ; it is embodied by you as a community of faith. As I see people of the Tutsi and Hutu communities gather together, you are a proclamation of love that knows no bounds.”
Having experienced the negativity and despair of considering selling the church property, HCC is seeing hope and the joy of renewal through this reconciliation ministry. Mission church partners are partners in every sense – from sharing the cost of building maintenance and utilities to working side-by-side to clean and maintain the facility.