Good: Some Praises!
Family is fine. Krystal and I have made room in our busy schedule for dates. The kids are healthy (since Luke recovered form Malaria). Grace is reading “Fancy Nancy.” Rayna is using the potty chair…most of the time. Luke is eating solids and has slept through the night three times this week.
Work and ministry is rewarding. I was able to preach a sermon to my church on 1 John 2:28-3:10. I have finished teaching Old Testament Theology (now to grade papers and finals…). I have been enjoying many aspects of my new administrative responsibilities, including interacting with donors and interviewing potential students for our 2019 cohort at CLIR.
Bad: Not really bad, but in need of prayer
Krystal is 10 days away from teaching her first university level course, on Self-Leadership. She knows the message, but she lacks experience in the classroom, so she is nervous. Pray for her.
Pray that we get the right students for CLIR in 2019.
Ugly: Some Significant Stressors
While life is full and good, there are three really important areas in which the “rules” are changing in Rwanda, and we have to adapt. Our coworker Laura explained it very clearly; with her permission, here are her observations.
We need your prayers as we try to figure out these new rules and how to adjust accordingly. Would you pray with us?
The Rwandan Church
At the end of September, a pastor named Gitwaza announced that he is the greatest prophet in all of Rwanda and Africa. (This article highlights what he said and also gives some interesting insight into the confusion over prophecy that is so prevalent here.) He is the epitome of the bad theology that we are fighting against. He prophesies over those who give him their money and property and claims that they will receive healing, wealth, cars, education, etc. The government issued an official response decrying such statements, challenging church leaders to teach sound doctrine and warning people about such churches. There is concern that all churches will be seen in the same light as churches like Gitwaza’s and that there will be repercussions for all of us.
Pray that the Church would know and love Scripture. Pray that the Church would speak up against false teaching and self-serving leadership, so the government doesn’t have to intervene. Pray that this incident would not lead to further regulations.
At the end of August, a new law was passed stating that preachers must have either a college degree in religious studies or any college degree plus a certificate in religious studies from a “recognized institution.” The problem is that they haven’t said which institutions qualify as “recognized” or what the process is for being “recognized.” In visiting offices to get more information, we’re hearing lots of personal opinions, but little in the way of concrete requirements. It is crucial for New Creation Ministries to qualify as a recognized institution, but we do not know what (if any) changes they might require us to make.
Pray that we would connect with government officials who can bring authoritative clarity about these regulations. Pray that our interactions with them would be favorable. Pray that any necessary changes would be possible and would not require us to compromise our core values.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
This summer, new income tax laws went into effect. NGOs like WorldVenture Rwanda (our missionary team’s legal entity in Rwanda) are particularly affected. We are having to make significant changes to our entire financial system/process, which has big implications for the way we live life and do ministry here in Rwanda.
Pray that we would find wise legal counsel to help us understand and think through our options. Pray that this would not result in an undue financial burden at the end of this year or moving forward.
In the midst of these three situations, we are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and powerless. Pray that our team would trust the Lord’s sovereign hand to guide and provide all that we need, just as he has always done.