Transformation is “a discovery that takes place when one’s eyes are opened by a truth, experience or inner reflection” (Ntamushobora, 2015, p. 71). I call this discovery a eureka.

Eureka through the Truth: When we encounter a new truth, it opens our inner eyes to a reality that we previously ignored, neglected or simply did not know about. The truth changes our old assumptions. We become free, and we adopt a new perspective that is different from the old one. That is transformation. This is the reason why teaching is the number one need for the church in Africa and elsewhere. The Word of God, which is the truth, changes the old perspective wrapped in wrong assumptions, traditions, beliefs and values. It then changes the thoughts of the hearers and challenges them to adopt a new perspective: they begin to think like Christ.

When my late mum was struggling with the death of my dad, who died despite the sacrifice of a big bull to the ancestors, she met missionaries who taught her the truth that Christ is the only mediator between man and God. That truth changed her old perspective. She decided to put her faith in Jesus and surrendered her life to Him. She became a new creation with new values, new beliefs and new assumptions. That was transformation.

Eureka through a new experience: An African proverb says, “He who has not travelled thinks that his mother is the best cook.” People who like traveling, whether for mission trips or vacation, have opportunities to compare their experience before the trip with their new experiences in the host country. As a community-oriented person, when I lived in the USA, I noticed that Americans are not as emotionally attached to an organization as they are to an individual. They want to connect with “Faustin and Salome” instead of being first connected to TLAfrica, Inc. This new experience has transformed the way I communicate to American friends and partners.

Eureka through inner reflection: I like retreating at Kigufi in Rwanda because this Catholic Guest House is located at the shore of lake Kivu. Every morning when I sit at the shore of lake Kivu for my devotions, I encounter new revelations because of new reflections. When I read a portion of the Bible, I reflect on it and reflect on it again. I spend an hour or more on one verse. The result has always been new discoveries from the verse, even for verses that were familiar to me. This is why I advise prayer to go along with the reading of the Word of God. It is wonderful when prayer flows out of new revelations resulting from inner reflection, especially when one is convinced that the inner reflection is prompted by the Holy Spirit.

As you teach or learn, always ask yourself, “Am I gaining new truths, new experiences or is the teaching provoking my inner reflection?”

These are three ways of transformation. Without these moments of eureka, teaching and learning would be a banking knowledge without affecting our life.

May the Spirit of the Living God bring to our minds and hearts new “eurekas” that make us disciples with the mind of Christ!


Written by Dr. Faustin Ntamushabora

Excerpt from 2015