National Prayer Breakfast for Scotland

2019: Reconcilliation

The 2019 National Prayer Breakfast for Scotland will return to Prestonfield House in the heart of Edinburgh, on Wednesday 12th June, with the theme of Reconcilliation. Booking is now available, but with limited spaces – please book early to avoid disappointment.

Introducing Lesley Bilinda

Lesley Bilinda was ordained deacon in 2013 and is currently vicar at St Andrew’s, Fulham Fields in London.

It was through trauma that Mrs Bilinda’s faith became what it is today. During the Rwandan genocide 25 years ago her husband, a Rwandan, was murdered. She was on holiday at the time and was not able to return to the country, where many family and friends had also been attacked, and her house looted by soldiers.

“I clung on to faith for a good long time after that, and God provided such a stability through the trauma,” she says. “But over the years it really challenged my faith, to the point where I was wondering: how could God let that happen, and is there really a God at all? I think in the long term, it has grounded me and strengthened me in my faith.”

Lesley grew up in the town of Montrose and was educated at Aberdeen University; Lesley said that “The time I spent at university really opened my eyes to what was going on in the world as I met so many people from different backgrounds and cultures”. A trained nurse and midwife, Mrs Bilinda had been working with Tearfund in Rwanda and went on to join All Nations’ College, where she lectured in pastoral studies, while training as a counsellor. She has also worked for the Tutu Foundation in London, serving communities in need of mediation and reconciliation.

Lesley has since set up a charity called “The Charles Bilinda Memorial Trust” and its purpose is to assist in the education of the Rwandan people. She has also written two books about her experience of living in Rwanda and also losing her husband in the genocide.