Over the last three weeks (and through the end of this one), Krystal, Grace and I have been preparing for the fire. Again and again, our trainers and coaches tell us that it will be hard but do-able; God who has called us will equip us. Adapting our lives to the language and culture of Rwanda will be a “fiery trial.” As we shared some of our insights with some of our Rwanda team (Gary and Laurie Scheer, 35 year veteran missionaries in Rwanda), Gary reminded us, “All this training is good, but it won’t keep you from going through culture shock. No matter what, you will go through it. This training will help you know when you are going through it and that it is normal.”It is an important refining process. God is burning down our house, not to be cruel, but to help us test to see what is fireproof.
For His Sake.
In Psalm 23, we read “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want… He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” I always thought it strange that God’s motives for guiding us includes his own reputation. As I consider the refining process, I read words of Isaiah 48:10-11: “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” May God’s reputation, his fame, in Rwanda be increased! Even if that means our affliction.
Grace traded her pacifiers for a Build-a-Bear dragon (from How to Train Your Dragon), named Toofis (Toothless). Our close friends, Jason and Amy Mitchel gave us this idea. We put the pacies inside while it was being stuffed. Now she can feel them, but can’t suck them. The first night was terrible, but every night since has been a bit better. During our time at MTI, Grace has been in a preschool class where she has been learning parallel topics to what we have been learning. One of these shared topics was “Paradox” or a Pair-of-ducks. In it there is a nice looking rubber duck that we call the “yay duck” and an ugly dirty duck called the “yuck duck.” Becoming missionaries has many paradoxes, including feelings surrounding leaving. There are “yay ducks” or good things that we look forward to and “yuck ducks” or aspects of this life change that will be difficult, challenging and sad.
Lately Grace has been sharing that she wants to go back to her home in “Port Townsend, Washington.” She tells me that she misses her Grammie, Shamira (Grammie’s dog), and her cousin Hayden. I love that MTI has given us a tool to talk about these sad parts of moving to Rwanda. Grace and I have begun talking about these as “yuck ducks,” the parts of moving that are sad and hard. While there will be positives, too, we have been encouraged to mourn with her as she recognizes these losses. While this transition has not and will not be easy for Grace, I am grateful that we have been given good tools to walk Grace through the process. Please remember to pray for her as she experiences these “yuck ducks.”
News from Rwanda
Our field mentors, Gary and Laurie Scheer have returned to the US for emergency medical tests. They have an appointment with a top-notch surgeon on May 6 to read Laurie’s MRI and make arrangements for surgery. Pray with us for a quick healing for her.
Fortunately, Gary was able to identify a leader at New Creation Ministries whom he could trust with leadership of the Pastoral Training School: Joseph Muyombano, our pastor to the pastors. Pray for him as he takes the reins.
Please consider making a financial commitment. We are looking for about 25 more people or families or churches to commit to give regularly toward the work in Rwanda. We are grateful for all who are involved, but we cannot go until we are 100% funded. Blessings, Nick, Krystal and Grace