Prayer: Krystal’s Ankle
She broke it on December 28, and while she can walk without crutches, she needs an ankle brace and it still troubles her. Please pray for healing so that she can exercise again.
Praise: Our Baby Boy Is Healthy
We had you pray about Luke’s neck. He is 100% better. He has grown out of newborn clothes, and is sleeping more at night, much to our delight. His sisters LOVE him.
Prayer: Teammates Leaving the Field
Over the Summer, we will drop (temporarily) from a team of 10 with over 60 years of experience in Rwanda to a team of 4 with only 8 years of experience. The Brubakers are transitioning to ministry in the US. The Bennetts are staying the Summer in the US to help their college age girls acclimate to life in the US. And the Janzens needed to return to the US for medical reasons. Pray for smooth transitions, and joyful acclimation, and restorative healing.
Pray also for the four of us who remain. We are assuming extra responsibility and roles of authority which remind us daily of our inadequacy. Pray that we will indeed use these reminders turn to God for strength and wisdom.
Praise: Our Parents Came to Visit
We had a wonderful time with Krystal’s mom in December/January and with Nick’s mom in March/April. Our daughters loved seeing them, and getting so many presents from the US through them. Nick’s mom loved getting to hold baby Luke.
Prayer: Nick is Running CLIR
When Dan Janzen left, Nick was appointed as “Interim Director of the Christian Leadership Institute of Rwanda.” That’s right, Nick is running (temporarily), the gears of the University. In many ways, it is a well oiled machine, with great leaders and great teachers already in place. However, there is scheduling, student meetings, board meetings, policy revision, and decisions to be made. Pray for wisdom, strength, and grace to lead well.
Praise: God Provides What We Need, When We Need
Dan’s emergency meant that the schedule needed adjusting and someone needed to teach in CLIR this term. With amazing wisdom and flexibility from the team, we were able to create a revised schedule. Nick was able to step-in and teach Teaching and Educational Ministries to this new cohort. So far the class is going great.
Prayer: Church Closures in Rwanda Continue
Beginning in March, the Rwandan government began enforcing laws against unregistered, unsafe, noisy and (my word) unprofessional churches. Churches have been closed for using buildings not up to code, not enough bathrooms, no soundproofing, not enough paved parking, and other requirements. There have not been any official updates since my last email; 714 churches (and 1 mosque) closed out of about 1450 churches in Kigali. However, ministry colleagues report that over 6000 churches have been closed country wide. Many of the pastors we teach, and all of our bi-vocational Rwandan teachers, have had their churches closed. Sunday worship service has been closed for about half of Rwanda, including our own church!
We miss the sweet worship together with these dear people. We have been blessed by the faithful and passionate preaching of the gospel we heard there, and the heart of discipleship among the elders. But we, too, are without a place to meet because the school hall in which we were meeting has been declared unacceptable. Pray that wise and godly pastors would reimagine how to be shepherds to their sheep, and that bad pastors would indeed be rooted out.
Along with the closures, there is talk of creating a requirement that churches must have a pastor with a theological degree. At this point it is unclear how much education will be necessary, but this might create a great influx of pastors eager for a degree, but not eager for education or discipleship. The government is becoming “hands on” with religious institutions, and there might be other regulations that impact NCM more directly. There is opportunity and risk in the future. Pray for wisdom and grace.
Prayer: English Teacher Needed
We have a significant need for 2019. We need someone to teach English (ESL) to our rural pastors in the PTS, and teach a college level reading, research and writing course. This person must have a masters degree or higher (in any subject). This person also should be adaptable to new situations, able to work well on a team, and spiritually mature. We are interested in discipling Rwandans, and we do that as a priority in the context of higher education. Does this sound like you or someone you love or someone you want to see deported? Come work with us for 2 years or more!
Thank you again for your prayers