24 Dec

When I left Karongi, I headed to Nyamasheke. The latter was the 21st sub-destination of the 30 Districts Expedition. At this point, the long ride was taking a toll on my body. The fatigue compelled me to take a couple of days off. There was no better place to rest than the paradise known as Kumbya Retreat Center.

The history of Kumbya Retreat Center dates back to 1935 when the Alliance of Protestant Missions in Rwanda and Burundi was formed. A year later, a conference dubbed East African Revival took place in Rwanda.

The dream that ultimately gave birth to Kumbya Retreat Center was conceived in 1941. One year later, missionary Hazel Adamson and his Kibogora-based colleague saw Gako Island while paddling their dugout canoe. They fell in love with the island and submitted a formal application to the government, which inturn, granted them permission to work on their project. However, the acquisition of Gako Island was reversed in 1943 when Luella Brown of the Friends Mission convinced her fellow missionaries that Kumbya Peninsula was a better location.

Finally, their newly constructed center was launched in 1944. Two years later, the facility hosted the first edition of the Kumbya Convention, which attracted about 100 missionaries from Rwanda, Burundi and former Zaire.

Over the years, the center served as a place of relaxation, restoration and renewal for drained missionaries. Fast-forward to 2023, my drained self ran to the center during my extensive mission to spread the gospel of exploration.