Help Support our Rwanda Mission Study Team!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I’m very excited to share with you that I have been accepted to attend a mission study trip on March 11-23, 2019. We will be exploring “Reconciliation Work in Rwanda: Healing the Trauma of the Genocide”. I’ll be traveling with my pastor and with an elder from my churches’ partner church, St.Andrew’s UP Church, as well as other church leaders from around the country.

In 100 days (between April and July 1994) nearly 1 million persons identified as Tutsi were murdered in Rwanda. What are the roots of this genocide? How was the Church complicit? How did the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (EPR), our Rwandan partner, respond in the immediate aftermath of the genocide? What is the level of conflict and trauma that continues to exist today? What reconciliation programs is EPR engaged in implementing today? These are some of the questions our mission coworkers and EPR partners will address during the March 2019 Rwanda Travel Study Seminar. The answers are riveting, and they provide insight into addressing conflict globally- whether American inter-racial conflict, South Sudanese inter-tribal conflict or Myanmar state clashes.

The experience of American Presbyterians will be enriched by a delegation of participants from the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan who will share in community about their context and the relevance of the Rwandan experience to South Sudan.

I am writing today to ask you for your support. Firstly, I need your prayers. Pray for safe travels, open hearts, and the movement of God’s Holy Spirit. You’re invited to join us at a commissioning service at my church located at 73 Hiland Ave, Emsworth 15202 on Sunday, March 3 at 9:30. We’ll be praying for mission workers around the world, especially those we will be meeting with on our trip, as well as praying a prayer of commissioning for our team specifically.

You can also give us your email address and we will make sure you get updates about the trip from the church.

I’m also asking you to help support this trip financially. The conference costs $1895/person, plus airfare (the airfare will be an additional $900-1500). That covers our in-country travel, all of our meals and boarding, etc for the entire trip. I will be taking on a large portion of the financial burden myself because I believe strongly in the value of this trip. But I’m also asking those who are unable to participate by attending to help contribute to this project financially. Every dollar helps!  You can make your tax deductible contributions payable to Emsworth UPC and write the word Rwanda on the memo line. You can mail your donations in to the church or make them through the church’s online giving site. I have to send my final payment in by January 30th.

I can’t wait to come home and share with all of you everything that I’ve learned and experienced on this trip! I know that I’ll come back changed for the better by the insights I have gained. In advance, thank you for any and all help that you can give!

Your brother in Christ,

Tom Smart

To sign up for email updates, please go to:

To make online donations, please go to and click on “online giving”. Make sure to put “TOM SMART: Rwanda 2019” in the notes section to ensure the funds go to the right account.

To mail donations, please make sure to make checks out to “Emsworth UP Church” and write “Tom Smart: Rwanda 2019” in the memo section of the check and send to:

Emsworth UP Church

73 Hiland Ave

Emsworth, PA 15202

You can also put checks in the offering at church on Sunday morning. Please make sure to write “Tom Smart: Rwanda 2019” in the memo section of the check or write it on the envelope and make the check out to the church.