By: Heidi Shoemaker, Columbia Union Visitor & Adventist Review, courtesy Adventist Review

Most people are probably familiar with the war between the Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda in the early ’90s, in which more than 800,000 people lost their lives. “It is one of the greatest genocides in modern history anywhere in the world,” reminded Winston Baldwin, senior pastor of the Centerville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Dayton, Ohio, United States.

Baldwin shared this background information in reference to members who attend the African Refugee church plant in Dayton. “Many in the group have never lived in a setting like the one they are experiencing [in the US], because many of them have spent 20 years in refugee camps, living only in tents,” he said. “They had many challenges in their native countries and are just beginning to adjust to many of the different challenges living in a first-world country.”

Most of the refugees come from Rwanda, with some from Burundi and Congo. The majority do not yet know English but are making efforts to learn.

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