This really is a special update. Many have already seen on the news that I was arrested and deported from Rwanda, so I need to tell clearly what happened in order to show that I did not break any laws in Rwanda.
The months of July through September were really uneventful. We were simply packing the house and getting ready to move to Uganda; we were also working on the songbook for Rwanda. But then on October 7, I wanted to hold a press conference to say goodbye and update everyone on the radio court case and tell about our church being closed illegally. Yes, this belongs in the next letter, but it is too important to wait.
We rented a room to have the press conference, but police showed up early and forced the owner to close the doors and not allow us to enter. Journalists began arriving, and everyone was standing around outside wondering what to do. I began to tell them that we could not have the conference and immediately got arrested for having an outdoor meeting—literally within 90 seconds! They planned in advance to shut down free speech.
My 16-year-old son Timothy was arrested with me as an “accomplice” to the crime but was later sent home. At the police station, the police obviously realized that no court would convict me of such a ludicrous charge, so they deported me instead. In Rwanda, Immigration can deport anyone at any time for anything. If someone sneezes wrong, they can be deported!
The real crime in all this was committed by the Rwandan police. They shut down free speech, interfered in private-property agreements, made false statements, and abused their power. As I said in my press statement, I did not come to Rwanda to get involved in politics. I only came to preach the Gospel, but Rwanda decided to fight us even though we have never attacked them.
So, we are now safe in Uganda. I was sent to the USA; however, the ticket I got from RwandAir was no good, and I got stranded in Dubai. I was able to buy a ticket to Uganda, and then Angela and the kids came up a few days later. At the border, we just hugged on each other for a while!
Obviously, it was very stressful, but we are all doing well now and getting settled into our house. Thank you all so much for your prayers and support.
In His service,
Gregg, Angela, Caleb, Hannah, Timothy, Virginia, Micah, and Zachery Schoof