Kagenza Sakufi Rumongi

  • Major: International Relations
  • Grad Year: December 2017
  • Hometown: Kigali-Rwanda

During my studies at Calvin, I learned that God has a lot to say about political science and international relations.

What was your interaction with professors like in the political science department?

During my time at Calvin, I really wanted to hear from God about my calling and especially about His perspective on political science and international relations. My professors in the political science department were very much the instruments that God used to speak to me.

They were always open to meeting with me and having conversations about the things I was learning or the questions I had; whether it was an impromptu walk-in or during class, my professors were patient and available. I valued the fact that they were all very knowledgeable in their fields and they referred me to many important resources that I still use today.

What was something unexpected you discovered about the political science or international relations discipline?

There were many revelations I had during my readings/classes in political science/IR and it was so refreshing that the Bible was such an integral book to read alongside political science/IR coursework!

What’s one thing you would want to tell someone starting their journey at Calvin?

Have a positive attitude towards your studies and life in general (Philippians 4:13). There is so much to be thankful for. Your attitude will determine your altitude. The opportunity to study at Calvin is a very precious opportunity that not many people get to have, so be thankful, humble yourself and learn, and seize all your opportunities at Calvin. One suggestion: prayerfully write out your goals/vision for your time at Calvin, and watch God do amazing things during your time there!

How has your faith grown at Calvin?

My wife and I left our fairly good jobs in Rwanda to come to the US for studies; it was a challenging season in our lives. The first day we arrived in the US, we found out she was pregnant! It was a blessed season that required us to stretch our faith and believe God for provision, for guidance, and for the grace to be successful in our plans. At Calvin in particular, balancing school work and family life was a challenge that also required me to stretch my faith. I am thankful for people like Mr. Stanley, my supervisor in the library cleaning crew. He inspired me through his diligence at work and his personal faith, and modeled for me what being a person of faith is all about. I also learned to consistently set aside time during my day to go and be with God alone – to talk and hear from Him. I also learned that where God leads, he provides. I never lacked anything during my time at Calvin, me and my family always had the provision we needed at all times, and God filled us with joy even though circumstances at times were very stretching. All in all, Calvin helped me mature as a believer. I saw the hand of God, I experienced miraculous intervention from God – even in giving me the ability to excel in my studies, and I learnt a lot about the faithfulness and love of God.

What part of Calvin’s mission resonates with you, and why?

The link between thinking deeply, acting justly and living wholeheartedly as Christs agents of renewal in the world is what inspired me greatly to attend Calvin. It is also one thing that helped me have the right attitude towards my experience at Calvin, because I was convinced that Calvin College was serious about equipping me to be Christs ‘co-worker’ in the world, therefore I had to be faithful during my time there. Calvin is serious about preparing students for God’s work and I will always be grateful for that focus and faithfulness to God.

What is your favorite space on campus, and why?

Without a doubt, the prayer rooms at the Calvin Chapel. I spent many precious moments there. Before my daughter was born, I would frequent those rooms praying for her safe delivery, praying for her destiny, and praying for my wife. When she was born, I took her there and gave thanks to God, it was a special moment for me; when she learned to walk, that was one of her favorite play areas, especially because of the many stairs! Before my exams or during difficult times, I would go there and spend time in prayer. I just loved the quiet space. I thank God for that space!

Did you receive any scholarships or financial aid at Calvin? 

Yes I did! I would not have managed to attend Calvin without scholarships. I thank God for all the generous individuals and families who faithfully give to Calvin to support students through college. I also thank God for the staff in the financial aid office; they were always kind and respectful to me.