Evangelist Rick Warren, founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., recently called upon the spiritual and political leaders of Rwanda, a country he has helped greatly with humanitarian efforts, to lead through serving God.
At a prayer breakfast at Kigali Serena Hotel on Sunday, March 18, Warren spoke to Rwanda's spiritual leaders along with several government officials, including Prime Minister Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi. He called the African nation, which he has visited over 10 times, his "other home," AllAfrica.com reported.
For many years, Warren has made trips to the poverty-stricken African country, where 200,000 people have HIV and 800,000 children are orphaned, according to 2008 statistics reported by ABC News.
Warren's long-term PEACE Program is a development program aimed at promoting reconciliation, equipping servant leaders, assisting the poor, caring for the sick and educating the next generation. His pastor-programs in the country are helping to train Rwanda's spiritual leaders, and in his latest visit to the African nation, he called upon leaders to be available to the needs of others, act in an exemplary fashion, and strengthen other people's faith through helping them think big.
"Rwanda is now a model for Africa and in the next 10 years, it will be a model for the rest of the world. This country is also blessed with an uncommon leader who is full of integrity," the evangelical pastor said.
As part of the PEACE Plan, Warren is also a member of President Kagame's Presidential Advisory Council.
At the prayer breakfast, Prime Minister Habumuremyi expressed gratitude to Warren, whom he called his close friend, and urged Rwanda's emerging leaders to give themselves as servants to God so that they can contribute to the well-being of the community.
"We should indeed be servants to the people we lead and develop our nation if we are to become a model country like Rick Warren said," Habumuremyi agreed.
Theoneste Safari, a member of Rwanda's Parliament, added about Warren: "He has always been an inspiration and if we practice his message, our nation will continue to develop and influence many others positively."