He Always Taught with Love
Tributes to our dear friend Rene are summed up well with the following evaluation from one of his church-planting students in Burkina Faso: “You were so practical and so patient in teaching us. You taught us with so much love.”
This man of much love and laughter will not only be deeply missed by his family, close friends and colleagues, but the whole mission’s world will find that with his passing there is an irreplaceable void. He was one of the greats and a leader with influence in countless organizations in the sphere of African missions. He trained thousands of church planters and local leaders in countless countries as he traveled throughout Arabic speaking North Africa, all the countries of Francophone Africa and beyond. However, Rene’s doctorate degree, his many accomplishments in missions and his great energy belie his true greatness: his humility, abiding love and concern for others, his joyful personality and laughter, his deep faith and commitment to God, and his devotion to his family.
Pioneers in the Field of Oral Communication
For those of us who knew Rene through the ministry of Scriptures in Use (SIU), it was his passion for storytelling, dialogue, dance, song and especially drama that knitted us together for these twenty-two years. It was during the first workshop we held in Dakar, Senegal, in the spring of 1999, that Rene took on the mantle of training others in the SIU Bridges methodology. He discovered, for the very first time, his gift of storytelling. Not only could he memorize long passages, but he was also engaging, dramatic and effective as he told Scripture stories. From that first workshop, Rene and Faustine became pioneers in the field of Oral Communication with a great catalytic influence throughout West Africa. They had tremendous vision for the “least of these”: the nomadic people, the poor and rejected, the Pygmies of his home country of Central African Republic and so many others. “You taught us with so much love.” This same comment can be made all over French Africa as Rene gave his life to teaching others with love.
A True Humble Servant of God
Upon hearing of Rene’s sudden passing, our SIU Lead Trainers & Missionaries began reminiscing about Rene:
“Rene was such a gem. He was the most hard-working brother I have known.”
“Rene introduced SIU, Storytelling & the Oral Arts to many indigenous men and women of peace around the world. Rene’s words and vote of confidence in SIU’s equipping and training approach helped open up new relationships in new regions & countries.”
“Rene has been a friend of mine for over 20 years and we frequently met at conferences each year. He helped me gain access to new people and new opportunities.”
“A true humble servant of God, collaborating and sharing his love of Christ with others and helping to advance the Kingdom of God in dark places.”
“Rene is with Jesus! Where he so longed to be as he talked about the Light of Christ, Jesus’s love and his eternal Kingdom.”
Words cannot fully describe the impact Rene had on everyone he met during his time on earth, but they help us remember him as we look forward to seeing and greeting Rene again with King Jesus in the eternal Kingdom of God!
Please consider a donation as a memorial gift to Rene’s family through a special fund that has been setup up by Partners International:
We invite you to post a tribute to Rene by replying below.
Hopefully, this post encouraged you. Thank you for staying connected with Scriptures in Use, our partners and the Lord’s work in oral cultures around the world. Please feel free to ask or leave any questions or comments to this post. We look forward to hearing from you!