Alexis Ruhumuriza / Dean Wagner - Executive Director & Pastor / Board Member
Congo Peace & Bellevue First Presbyterian Church / Congo Peace
Alexis and Dean will discuss the following:
1. The DR Congo is a vast county full of amazing resources - yet the average person lives a life of abject poverty, intense uncertainty and chronic conflict amidst this land of awesome opportunities.
2. Powerful forces in the country find it is to their benefit to foster on-going conflict between tribes and peoples to facilitate resource hoarding and power development.
3. Congo Peace – believing capitalism and entrepreneurship are keys to change and prosperity - is working to break the cycle of poverty and conflict through the development of ethical leaders with an entrepreneurial mind set, critical thinking skills, concern for others and the courage that it will take to transform their community.
4. Congo Peace has seen the success of this model at Ashesi University (Ghana) and in Rwanda since the 1994 Genocide.
About the Speaker
Alexis Ruhumuriza was born in South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and moved to Rwanda when barely a teen. As a teenager, Alexis founded a Christian school for children in Kigali, Rwanda – Rwanda Faith Academy.
While there, he connected with an American mission team from Bellevue Presbyterian Church (Bel Pres) in Bellevue, WA. He also met his wife Chantal. Through his American connections, he and his family relocated to Washington state. He became a pastor at Bel Pres/New Hope Revival - a worshipping community of East African people. Since that time, Pastor Alexis has also founded Agape in Home Care and Congo Peace.
Alexis and Chantal have four beautiful children. He is a committed Christian who believes that with God all things are possible. Pastor Alexis is known for his engaging smile and his joyous exclamation “Hallelujah!”
Dean Wagner is a retired health care leader and Air Force Officer who has resided in Bellevue since 1990.
He is in active leadership roles for various US and African and based not-for-profits.
Dean was born in a small rural village in Nebraska to a mercantile and farming family. After serving his Active Duty Commitment as an Airforce Officer he moved to Bellevue to pursue a civilian career while continuing to serve in the Air Force Reserve.
Hobbies include: travel, wood working, hiking, x-country skiing, kayaking, motorcycling, reading history, and exploring world cultures. Dean is married, with one Son and two grandchildren.