When God sent two life-long friends to deliver an unanticipated message close to seven years ago, a new-found door of transformation and joy opened up for me. I thought I had figured out my retirement plans following a fulfilling career as an educational leader, but God was orchestrating something else. After many years as a successful educational leader in Canada, I was called to serve with The Wellspring Foundation for Education in Rwanda; a country continuing to transform following the tragedy of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
Although this call to lead was unexpected, I placed my faith in God and acted with conviction to listen and to obey. For over six years, I have now volunteered and consulted with Wellspring. I have a passion for serving with and supporting educators in Rwanda. I had never imagined this challenge and experience for myself. I never dreamed that I would be learning and leading in Rwanda. A beautiful country with courageous people. A country that suffered so much during the Genocide.
This invitation to serve in Rwanda has brought about tremendous discovery, learning, and abundant joy as I have visited and interacted with my colleagues at The Wellspring Foundation for Education. This includes the administrators, teachers, parents of the schools we serve in Rwanda, and above all, the resilient and faithful Rwandan people individually and as a whole. I have come to understand that God works in many unexpected ways. Our responsibility is to step out in faith.
About a year ago, I felt it was time to share my Rwanda experience with more people. It has taken me a while, but I have finally found the time to write my first book Learning and Leading in the Land of a Thousand Hills.
The book describes how this unexpected leadership journey has brought about tremendous discovery as I have interacted with the resilient and faithful Rwandan people. By taking this step of faith and responding to God’s call, I have learned so much. And I have grown as a servant leader, educator, mentor and writer.
There are several reasons why I wrote the book, but two stand out. One is the opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and thanks for the mission of serving in Rwanda with The Wellspring Foundation for Education. Wellspring is an organization committed to seeing thousands of lives changed through the provision of quality education. I am so thankful I can contribute a small part to their work. I also want to urge people of all ages to listen to God’s call and to serve and contribute to helping transform individuals, communities and countries. To look beyond one’s self and “pay it forward.” All of us should heed and listen to God’s call. At fifty-seven years old, although initially reluctant to take up the call, I thankfully did. My service in Rwanda for Wellspring has led to tremendous transformation and joy in my life. If it happened to me, it could also happen to you.
On September 30, 2019, Learning and Leading in the Land of a Thousand Hills will be published. It will be available for purchase in eBook format, and paperback and proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to Wellspring to continue its outstanding work in Rwanda. I encourage you to consider purchasing the book. I hope that the book will inspire and help you to decide to venture out of your comfort zone and faithfully respond when God unexpectedly calls you to lead.
This book is gracefully penned and candidly written. It demonstrates Claudio’s response to God’s call through his service with the Wellspring Foundation for Education. Claudio has contributed to God’s restorative work in Rwanda using his knowledge, skills and experience. Claudio realized that in giving he received back, in filling others, he also was filled, in transforming leaders, his leadership also changed. This book is captivating, inspiring and resourceful. I’ve enjoyed every bit of its content from the beginning to the end.
Phocas Ngendahayo – Executive Director of the Abundant Leadership Institute in Kigali Rwanda