From Refugee to Online Missionary
Adventist Refugees in Rwanda
Approximately 60,000 Congolese Seventh-day Adventists are living in five UNHCR refugee camps in Rwanda. They are restricted to the camps, live on 24 cents per day, and education is provided through 9th grade. Without jobs, they cannot leave the camps. Without higher education, they cannot get jobs.
Impact Hope—one of our partners—screens young refugees in partnership with ADRA Rwanda, and provides tuition for the most committed to attend Adventist boarding schools in Rwanda. However, the students face significant challenges in finding jobs once they graduate. The Rwandan economy is in transition from subsistence farming to high-tech and knowledge-based service industries, and competition for available jobs is high.
Center for Online Evangelism
We train online missionaries to use the internet effectively, and also provide services to churches, schools, and ministries in developing their online outreach efforts.
We have received multiple requests for training and assistance from Unions, Conferences and Missions in Africa. However, we have had to turn these requests down because we do not have enough trained team members.
We also need trained team members to provide digital marketing services to Adventist churches, schools and ministries in North America.
The Opportunity—Training Refugees to Become Online Missionaries
We discovered that by combining the needs of the refugees with the needs of COE, we had an innovative solution available—train the former refugees to be online missionaries and hire the best to work in our organization.
- Students will learn real-world skills needed in a knowledge-based, service-oriented economy.
- Graduates will be able to work at competitive wages in a mission-oriented environment.
- Adventist entities in North America will have access to more affordable digital marketing services.
- Unions, Conferences, and Missions in Africa will be able to access a pool of trained online missionaries, and the Gospel will advance more quickly throughout the continent as these former refugees apply their training to this vast mission field.
As of June 2019, 14 students are enrolled in our program. They are taking related courses at the Adventist University of Central Africa, and have been improving their English skills through an online course and online conversations with COE volunteers.