Rwanda Ministry Impact
I wanted to begin this post with some amazing statistics from Rwanda, specifically about the current class of pastors at New Creation Ministries, where I will be working in two years.
Currently 53 pastors are being trained (1st and 3rd year students in the 4 year Pastoral Training School).
Fifty of them responded to a survey yielding the following statistics:
- 8099 members in their churches (average = 162 per student)
- 677 baptisms (average = 14 per student)
- 17 churches being planted (average = 1 church plant for every 3 students)
- They are passing on their training to 560 other leaders (average = 11 leaders being discipled by each student)
- 251 small groups with 3056 people in those groups (average = 12 people per group)
It is amazing to see how much of an impact each pastor has!
Reflections on a New Year
In some ways, January 1 is an arbitrary date, but it is as good as any to reflect on the events of the past year and plan for the future. Over the last twelve months, I lost a father, gained a daughter, walked in graduation, celebrated five years with my bride, took up a new ministry position, and resigned from another. Additionally, Krystal worked a ton, built a baby, and finished her final project for her masters. There it is: 2012 summarized in about 40 words.
Looking ahead, 2013 promises to be eventful, chaotic, amazing,… Krystal has one more class before graduation in May: church history. Because it is an online course, she has 1800+ pages of reading. She will continue working at Littleton Hospital, but now will only work two nights each week. Thankfully, she will keep her benefits. (Thanks to all who prayed for this!) I will continue to work at Starbucks part time for the foreseeable future. Unless God moves us otherwise, we will leave Colorado for Port Townsend, Washington in May.
We also plan to lose our “baby weight” by starting a “couch to 5K.” We hope to run a 10K some time in the Fall.
Possibly the most consuming aspect of 2013 will be our preparation for Rwanda. Krystal and I have been using January to begin, in earnest, “partnership development.” We are contacting our friends in Denver to talk about Rwanda face-to-face. On one hand, our goal is to give everyone we know an opportunity to participate in the work that God is doing in Rwanda, and to challenge everyone to invest their time, talent, and treasure in the eternal. Randy Alcorn said, “You can’t take it with you, but you can send it ahead of you.”
On the other hand, our goal is to reach 25% of our monthly support by May. To achieve that goal, my mentors estimate that I will have to make 80 phone calls, to get 20 appointments, and to partner with 9 families, EVERY MONTH! Not to mention meeting with churches. Pray for us that we stay connected to God and trust him for our motivation, joy and courage to boldly present the work He has called us to.
In addition to meeting with potential partners in ministry, we have homework and spiritual growth assignments, too: Think Before You Look, by Daniel Henderson; Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster; From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, by Ruth Tucker; Creating Understanding, by Donald Smith; and The Art of Crossing Cultures, by Craig Storti. These will be due over the next 12 months. Good reading, but with a cute baby to play with, it will take a lot of self-discipline. Pray for us.
Finally, please be in prayer for our colleagues, Gary and Laurie Scheer. (Gary is the missionary I met with that first invited us to Rwanda.) They are back in the US on home assignment. They have a busy schedule for next month connecting with people and churches. Pray for fruitful times of ministry, and also restful down times. Pray for their health in this hectic time.
Thanks for your partnership!
Last Sunday, we had a chance to speak at the annual mission Sunday for the Korean Church of North Denver. I gave a short sermon on the sending of Saul and Barnabas as missionaries (Acts 13:1-3). Here is the link, if you are interested: http://www.kcnd.com/xe/KCND_Board_sermons/8451