The first of January can feel like the starting line of a race. Hands and feet in ready position and eyes set on the road ahead, we see the year to come. Whether it’s resolutions, moving to a new city, or starting a Bible study, we all begin the year on that starting line. Yet many of us forget that it’s not a solo race. Instead, it’s a relay.
In Christ, we are never alone in running the race set before us. We are surrounded by the impact of past generations and encouraged by fellow believers. It is a team effort, something that the Muragwa family in Rwanda has seen firsthand over the years.
Lycee de Nyanza
The Muragwa family founded Lycee de Nyanza in 2005. Although Joseph is the current director, his parents were the founders. They were also the ones to graciously pass the baton to him in 2018 to run the school.
Joseph has run the race well since he took over its operations, yet he knew there was more. As student enrollment began to stall and teacher retention dropped, he needed support. The school began partnering with Edify in 2020. “It was a blessing when I learned about Edify. It was through Edify trainings that God showed me what I was missing. I used to think leadership was all about dictatorship, but I don’t see it that way now. Edify taught me how to create relationships with those I lead.”
Over the following months, Joseph developed into a servant leader, leading just over 1,800 students. Before each day’s lesson, he would assemble a staff huddle for morning devotions and prayer. By uniting the staff and providing a space to open up, Joseph began to see transformation. He felt as if he had passed them the baton, just as his parents did with him, and the school began to flourish.
The Coin Per Student Project
The teaching staff began to host weekly worship times for the student body to read the Word of God and pray, alongside brainstorming community outreach projects. Thus, the “Coin Per Student Project” was born, and it seemed as if the next part of the relay was taking off.
Each student involved agreed to bring one coin (100 francs) per term for a specific need they saw within the community. Any leftover funds were then recycled to improve the school for future students. Within the first year of the project, the students gathered together to help a genocide survivor who had lost all of her children. As they surrounded her with support and prayer, they also gave her a small donation of the funds collected. For many students, it was their first time offering such a gift and an experience they’d never forget.
The Next Generation
Lycee de Nyanza will continue the Coin Per Student Project, with each student and staff eager to see who they can impact next. As they do, it’s an endearing reminder to look back on how it all began. Whether it was Joseph’s parents passing him the baton or Joseph passing it to his teaching staff, we know that the students of Lycee de Nyanza will never be the same. Join us in praying that they may run the race well, passing the baton to the next generation.