Moving, Awesome, Crazy News

Wives’ Program
One of my Rwandan colleagues, Joseph Muyombano, and his wife recently finished an 8-day intensive training for the wives of pastors in our Pastoral Training School. We had 42 wives with 18 of their children come to learn about church history, studying scripture, and developing ministry skills. In the course of the training, one woman broke down crying as she understood that God loves women and has used them to fulfill his purposes.

We train these women to be co-laborers with their their pastor husbands. Picture from 2011.

We train these women to be co-laborers with their their husbands.  Picture from 2011.

thermometerPartnership Development News
We rejoice that since our last blog, we now have 16 more families praying for us, and we increased our support by about 8%!  We are blessed and encouraged by this provision.

Crazy Testimony
If we didn’t trust the source, we wouldn’t believe this next story! My friend Tim tells this crazy testimony of a Rwandan Pastor. (Long, but worth the read.)

“Let me quickly introduce you to one of the guys that we teach in our Pastoral Training School… Edward is a third-year student in our Pastoral Training School. He’s in his mid-50s. As a child, although his parents had been baptized into the Catholic faith, they never attended church. In fact, despite the family’s poverty, his father maintained a room at their home in the village where every month he sacrificed a goat and offered libations (beer) to the ancestors. His father died when Edward was 14 years old – never knowing that it wasn’t the ancestors who feasted on the meat and beer but his own hungry children who snuck in and consumed his offerings when he wasn’t looking!

“As a young adult, Edward went off to join the military. Upon enlistment, he was told that he must first be baptized (strange, huh?). So, he went to a nearby Adventist church, which quickly baptized him three days later so he could return and serve in the army. He continued in the army through the 1994 genocide. After leaving the army, he married, and his wife gave birth to a son. But, within a short time, Edward was arrested and imprisoned… for the next 15 years.

“While in prison, Edward was asked to serve as a pastor. Why…? Because he had been baptized! As a prisoner, Edward served as a pastor – not knowing what he was doing or anything about Jesus! When he was released in 2009, he went home to find that someone else was living in his house and that his wife had moved elsewhere with his son and had taken another husband. So, he pressed ahead in making a life for himself – as a pastor. A church denomination asked him to lead a local congregation. Why? Because he had experience as a pastor in prison! Edward describes this season of his life as “the blind leading the blind” – still not knowing Jesus.

At the Pastoral Training School, pastors learn the true Gospel and learn to preach from the Bible.

At the Pastoral Training School, pastors learn the true Gospel and learn to preach from the Bible.

“In 2012, as a pastor, Edward’s church sent him for training in our Pastoral Training School. In the first class of the first term of the first year, Edward studied a course called “The True Gospel.” His eyes were opened, and for the first time in his life he came to understand the Gospel. (I’ll never forget praying with him in my office, as he gave his life to Christ.) Now in his third year, Edward is a sweet-spirited pastor who is developing strong roots in the Gospel. A few weeks ago, during a day of prayer at our school, Edward reflected, “I often wonder why the Lord allowed me to be a pastor in prison or even afterwards when I had no idea what I was doing. But, I think the reason was so that I would end up here at this school, where I have come to accept Jesus as my Savior.”

“Thanks for praying with us as we work with guys like Edward.”

We agree with Tim. Thank you for your partnership in this ministry. Your involvement is changing lives.