“The Magnificent Seven”

By May 19th, 2014

Family & Friends,

In case it’s not on your calendar the 9th annual “Kwita Izina” is June 21, 2014.  Celebrities gather in northern Rwanda to name the 12 new gorillas in the Virunga mountains.  These silverbacks are famous since Diane Fosey wrote Gorillas in the Mist.  This week in Kigali the famous ceremony was pushed into the shadows by the much more exciting naming of the “Magnificent Seven”.  They are better than celebrities, they are missionaries.  Multnomah’s Kigali Konnect team of seven has arrived to minister in Rwanda.

The first evening, the MC invited 60 college students supported by Africa New Life.  He said, “You will have the honor of naming the ‘Magnificent Seven’.”  Each of the Multnomah students stepped forward and one of the students from the audience gave a name.  Austin Davis was named “Shema” which means “vigorous, strong, confident”.  Austin looked confident as he took his new moniker, said, “Me Shema” and the crowd roared.  Rachel Pinon was named “Karabo”.  It sounded like a Kung Fu movie, but we learned it meant “Flower”.  Rachel looked beautiful and primped a petal as she accepted it.  Shannon Wilson was named “Teta” which means “lovely and cared for”.  She gave a lovely shy smile that said, “I can work with that name.”  Heidi Birch was named “Keza” which means “beautiful”.  She turned two shades of red and one more shade of beautiful as she accepted her new first name.

Willie Pate was named “Ganza” (not Gonzo) which means “much blessed by God”.  He strummed his guitar and said ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow’.  Bethany Logerstedt stepped forward with her trademark infectious big smile.  A student called out “Mutesi” and the crowd shouted, “Amen”.  Mutesi means “happiness, full of joy”.  The last two were given one name.  Roger Trautmann and G are in their 60’s.  Maybe, early 60’s, but probably not.  Their name: “Umusaza” not to be confused with “Umusazi” (crazy).  It’s something like “old guys who have gathered some wisdom on the way.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, Shema, Karabo, Teta, Keza, Ganza, Mutesi and Umusaza, The Magnificent Seven!



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