God’s Timing and Big News

We have some wonderful news to share: We are pregnant! We knew from the start that Grace would not be an only child, and she has confirmed it so many times by being such a social kid. We are excited to meet Baby Pirolo #2 around November 11. Scan 15Krystal and the baby are healthy. At seventeen weeks pregnant, Krystal’s main symptom is fatigue, especially difficult for a night nurse who never gets a normal night’s sleep. She is very pleased to be mostly over the morning sickness. We say this is God’s timing because we were hoping a pregnancy wouldn’t complicate our travel plans. Now we have several more areas to consider. Do we deliver in Rwanda or the US? Would it be easier to travel with a newborn and 3 year-old, or pregnant with a 3 year-old? When does Krystal quit her nursing job? When will the last bit of financial support come in to allow us to leave? Pray for wisdom!

Party Time! calendar.jpgIn this next phase of partnership development, we are asking people to host an “event” for us. Choose a time and place where you can invite a few friends over to hear about Rwanda. So far this month, we have two barbeques, one snack-time, and one dessert and cheese party, and about sixteen new families who will hear about the work in Rwanda. Pray with us for these events.  Pray with us for more hosts, more events, and more new partners so we can get to Rwanda this summer. Maybe you are the answer to that prayer.

Going Places On June 17, we travel to Portland, leave Grace with family, and fly to Denver for a whirlwind trip. Denver friends, if you haven’t heard our story about why us, why Rwanda, this might be your last chance for years. In early July, we go to Bend, Oregon for the Pirolo Family Reunion. Finally, we still have dear friends in California who haven’t heard our story. Depending on finances and work schedule, we may still get a chance to visit them before we leave for Rwanda.

Meanwhile in Rwanda IMG_2375Our Bachelor’s level program in Christian Leadership (CLIR) finished their first quarter. The students were motivated and returned for the next quarter of courses, May 25-June 17. They will study Christian Family Life, Introduction to the Old Testament, and Greek. IMG_2377In the Pastoral Training School (June 1-19), our fourth year students will study New Testament 4, Missions, and Counseling. I feel excited, knowing that I will be present for their graduation in December! Pray with us for these pastors and church leaders to be transformed by God as they study His word and how it informs the way we live and operate as the Body of Christ.

Preparing for the Fire

God has called us to uproot from the US and transplant to Rwanda.

God has called us to uproot from the US and transplant to Rwanda.

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.

Family News

Grace is washing Toofis after its

Grace is washing Toofis after its “birth.”

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.

Grace is learning to embrace the pair-o'ducks.

Grace is learning to embrace the pair-o’ducks.

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

Gary and Laurie Scheer, 35 year veteran missionaries to Rwanda

Gary and Laurie Scheer, 35 year veteran missionaries to 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.

Joseph Muyombano and his family

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

Challenge Accepted

Challenge Accepted

This meme has produced some funny variations.

This meme has produced some funny variations.

Iceberg Challenge Accepted

Iceberg Challenge Accepted

I love that this meme encourages taking on the impossible.

Is it possible to get to Rwanda by July? Challenge Accepted!

Why July? It is possible financially. Based on average rates of giving, all we need is five or six new families or churches each month between now and July to commit to giving.

However, we know that it will be a stretch. First of all, life will only get busier as we do this final countdown. We are going to a four-week training in Colorado at the end of this month, and a week-long family reunion in Oregon in July. Also, many of the folks we haven’t presented to yet have busy schedules that are hard to get time with. Others live far enough away that it takes a great deal of effort to get together. We are praying that God, who has kept these doors shut until now will now begin opening them.

Jesus Challenge Accepted

Jesus Challenge Accepted

On our own, we would never succeed. God has called us to Rwanda, and we need to get there soon! Pray with us for open doors!

Pirolo Shaped Hole

We love the Renewal Conference! While we were in Colorado for two weeks, we had time to pray with some prayer warriors. We worshipped and studied and celebrated with 40-year veteran missionaries and newbies like us. We also got to see many of our Denver friends, and preach a few sermons.

Gary, Megan, Barbara, and Melissa Bennett, our Rwandan Colleagues

Gary, Megan, Barbara, and Melissa Bennett, our Rwandan Colleagues

One of the highlights was having dinner with some of our Rwanda colleagues (on home assignment), the Bennetts. They were so excited to hear “July.” “We have been praying for you every Thursday [at our team meeting]. It is like our team has a hole where you are supposed to be. We are so excited that you are almost there.”

Your Prayers

By emails and addresses, over 400 people have partnered with us in one way or another. Our prayer is that God would make it real to you that you are having an impact on the work being done in Rwanda. Truly, God uses your prayers to help us as we work toward Rwanda. Listen to Paul from 1 Corinthians 1:8-11:

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

This past few years as appointees to Rwanda doing partnership development has been taxing. Like many other missionaries before us, we feel called and cannot wait to get to Rwanda and do the things that we feel gifted in and called to do. It has been hard living in this time between what we used to do and what we know God has called us to do. We have had months where we have shared with numerous people and had little response but then we have also had months where we have met with few and had great response.

We feel like we have gone through a crucible in trying to get to Rwanda. While we are so eager to get there, once we get there the struggle doesn’t end. For us this ordeal of partnership development and personal development for Rwanda has been long and trying but in it we have been confirmed in our calling and strengthened in our faith. Thank you for your prayers that God is answering.

Big Meetings

First Baptist Church of Port Townsend

First Baptist Church of Port Townsend

This Sunday, March 15, we will speak to First Baptist in Port Townsend. They have given us the whole service to share about our call and our future ministry in Rwanda. As a church, and as individuals, they are considering partnering with us. We feel blessed by God every time we share our story. Our hope is that First Baptist would see how their church could make a big impact in Rwanda. Pray for us as we prepare for this time.

Pray for us also as we call, set appointments, present and connect with others. We hope to present to ten other families by the end of this month.

Check out our Scum of the Earth Sermon

Fruit of a Foundation

Thank you to all who prayed for us in Denver.

Giant Leap!

We are in Denver for two weeks for our Pre Departure Training this week and Renewal Conference next week.  It has been so refreshing to be with colleagues who can acknowledge from experience the struggles that we have faced, and prepare us for those we will face in the first few years of ministry.

Our PDT team, with our International Ministry Directors

Our PDT team, with our International Ministry Directors

There are five couples at this conference and all of us are called to East Africa allowing us to get presentations that are more specialized for our field.

We seem to have quite a bit of down time in the afternoons and evenings.  Call us to hang out, Denver People!  3-0-3-5-6-4-7-1-8-9

Please pray for us.  Nick preaches at the Korean Church of North Denver this Sunday, January 25.  On January 30, we have a dessert get-together at the Blomberg’s house.  Call us or check out our FB page for info.  Finally, Nick preaches again on Sunday February 1 at Scum of the Earth Church, both in the morning and the evening.