28 Dec

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 in turn, 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 that attracted about 100 missionaries from Rwanda, Burundi and Congo.   

Over the years, the center served as a place of relaxation, re-storation and renewal for drained missionaries from Rwanda, Burundi and Congo. Coincidentally, when I showed up during this tour, I found a small group of salesmen who distribute imported products in the three neighboring countries.     

Like the old spreaders of the word of God, this crew of worn-out traders turned to the center for relaxation, restoration and renewal. Different teams, different eras, same motive.