God’s Great Love and Patience

Grace and God’s Love

Through my daughter, Grace, God teaches me about his steadfast love and patience for me, and my own immaturity. Recently, I cut a slice of peach for Grace. When I noticed she was eating around the skin, I cut the skin off of the next two pieces she got. I tried to take the first piece to skin it, but she got defensive. “NO! It mine!” She squeezed the peach slice tight in her little fist.  I had over half the peach left, but she didn’t see that. She saw that I was taking the peach out of her hand.

We read in Romans 8:28 and 32, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose… He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

Grace at 23 months

Grace at 23 months

Yet we do not trust him enough to offer him our peach when he asks. Do we not know that it will come back better, or if not that he has something better in store for us? He does not need our peach, per se, but wants us to give it up before we can receive a blessing.

What We Teach

As we’ve met with many of you, I’ve shared that my work will be giving these pastors “vocational training”: New Testament, Old Testament, Church History, and Theology. But there is more. In the next few months, we’ll have classes on spiritual warfare, false teaching, and Sunday school, but also raising children (especially important considering the number of Rwandan parents who were themselves genocide orphans). Check out the school calendar here.

The challenge we face is to teach the truth of the Bible applied to the context of Rwandan life. We aren’t teaching American Christianity, or American culture. But we let the truth of the Word challenge Rwandan cultural understanding and practice. Our purpose in being in Rwanda is to help the Church there function as the Body of Christ.

Latest from Rwanda

We have mentioned before that our group is building more classrooms to make room for our new Bachelor’s degree program. My friends recently posted about the progress.

“At this point, it looks like we have enough funding to finish the plumbing, electric, septic, walls, and roof. This is huge progress! What remains? We need to finish off the rooms by plastering walls, installing electrical fixtures, coating the floors, putting glass in the windows, and building a ramp for second-story wheelchair access.”

Construction site mid-April.

Construction site mid-April.  Work has continued.

If you’re interested in contributing, go to www.worldventure.com, and donate to account 6402905, Pastoral Training Center Construction.

How to help: Lots of Ways!

God continues to amaze and humble us by the specific ways he calls people to partner with us in ministry. When we meet with people, we specifically ask them to pray about being a partner through:

  1. Prayer
  2. Finances (Occasional or Monthly gifts)
  3. Referring us to others (friends, family, coworkers, pastors) who might want to hear about this ministry
  4. Hosting a dessert for a group of friends
  5. General help and encouragement.

Take a moment.  Pray over this list.  Is God leading you to partner with us in one of these areas?  If so, let us know.

Over 250 of you receive our emails.  We are blessed that this ministry that God has placed on our hearts, He has also placed on your hearts. We are blessed to have each of you.  Our prayer is that God will bless Rwanda through our work, yours and ours.

Survey: About this blog

Are we doing a good job communicating with you? I have a 3-minute survey I’d like you to fill out. Click here.

Blessings,

Nick and Krystal

PS. I will preach at Oak Bay Baptist Church in two weeks.  Pray for me as I prepare a message, and join me there on June 22, at 10:45.  Here’s the address:

1314 Oak Bay Road
Port Hadlock, WA 98339

God at Work

God’s Work in Our Lives

Our pastor, Jim Rosenquist of Calvary Community Church in Port Townsend, is preaching powerfully out of Jeremiah!  Jeremiah was a prophet for 40 years from the time of Josiah until the exile.  What is fascinating was that as Josiah was initiating reforms, Jeremiah preached against the apparently devout, those going to the temple, saying that they worship with their lips, while doing personal and social evil (Jeremiah 7).  Ultimately, Jeremiah’s people were exiled to Babylon, and his sorrow is recorded in Lamentations.

Jeremiah Icon copyright St. Isaac's Skete

Jeremiah
Icon copyright St. Isaac’s Skete

Let revival begin at the house of God!  Be involved in doing justice in the world, but don’t rely on external restrain of evil to bring about revival.  Only the Holy Spirit changing people’s hearts can bring true reform.  In this vein, I (Nick) have been convicted to pray for OUR nation.  May believers seek him, be changed in his presence, and bring that good news of transformation to the world, beginning in our churches, then our cities.

God’s Work Through Our Lives

God has blessed me (Nick) in my discipleship work.  I have finished reading through Matthew, Acts, Galatians, and 1 & 2 Peter with the two young adults.  Now we are reading through Revelation.  Pray for us that God would transform our lives as we study his word.

Work at the hospital has been tough but good.  Once again, it is hard going from an area of nursing in which I (Krystal) was fluent (medical-surgical) to a new specialty (labor and delivery), and being aware of how much I still have to learn.  God is giving me grace as I develop friends at the hospital and good working relationships with my supervisors.

God’s Work in Rwanda

Pastoral Training School Graduation 2013

Pastoral Training School Graduation 2013

New Creation Ministries was proud to have 26 graduates from our pastoral training program in December.  On January 27, they began teaching a new cohort of 38 pastors.  It is more than usual, but it was difficult to weed any of these out.  Pray both them and their teachers.  Gary Scheer commented, “We know from their entrance applications that many of them do not know the Gospel.  Pray that all might come to know Christ as Savior genuinely during this term.”

Construction on Christian Leadership Institute of Rwanda (CLIR)

Construction on Christian Leadership Institute of Rwanda (CLIR)

Construction on the new classrooms and library for CLIR is underway.  Pray that the work would continue smoothly and that the funding would continue to be provided.

Appeal for Referrals

It's a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life

When we talk with people about how they can partner with us we always mention referrals.  To quote Clarence the Angel from It’s A Wonderful Life, “No one is poor who has friends.”  We’ve mentioned quite a few prayer requests today, and here is one more: Pray about those you know.  Who needs to know about God’s work in Rwanda?  Let us know.

Blessings,

Nick and Krystal Pirolo

Working Together with God

Check it out for personal or group reflection

Check it out for personal or group reflection

One of the ways I know God is speaking to me is when a particular idea gets continually repeated in various ways until I can’t ignore it anymore.  Last month, I spoke about how God brought many of you into our financial partnership team, and God confirmed to us that He is the Lord of the Harvest.  As I’ve been reading Celebration of Discipline and working through the Bible study “Experiencing God,” God has drummed into my head that He is at work in Rwanda and He is calling my family to participate in his work there.  Moreover, He is at work in America, drawing people to become involved in Rwanda; that is the important work God has for us right now.  The key learning for me is that God is inviting me to do this work with Him.  In what way is God inviting you to participate in what he is doing?

In Rwanda

The Second Year pastors are finishing one of their “quarters” learning about Counseling, Missions, English, and the Kingdom of God: God’s rule and reign right now.  Luke 17:21, “The Kingdom of God is in your midst.”  Most of them will go home in the next few days and teach what they have learned to their churches over the next nine weeks.  Pray for them as they take what they have learned and pass it on.  (2 Tim 2:2)

Computer rendering of the expanded classrooms.  These new rooms will facilitate our Bachelors level classes.

Computer rendering of the expanded classrooms. These new rooms will facilitate our Bachelors level classes.

New Creation Ministries is building new classrooms and a library in preparation for their Bachelor’s level program.  Pray for the building permits; pray for funding (half of the $400,000 has already come in); pray for timing (Gary Bennett, the “general contractor” for the project, returns to the US on home assignment next July; the goal is to finish before he leaves).

Meet the Team

God has formed quite the team to work together in Rwanda with New Creation Ministries and WorldVenture.  Over the next few months, I’m going to introduce you to some of them.  Our team leader is Gary Scheer.  He and his wife, Laurie, have served in Rwanda over 30 years.  If you have heard our story about how we ended up in Rwanda, Scheer is the guy who spoke in my class; and he and Laurie hosted us during our vision trip/practicum. (If you didn’t hear our story, ask me.)

Gary and Laurie Scheer

Gary and Laurie Scheer

Gary is one of the most inquisitive minds I’ve ever met.  He is always reading, frequently studying different topics from science to psychology to theology.  He introduced me to Clive Cussler novels, for when I just need mind candy.  In addition to teaching at the Pastoral Training School, he functions as the chief administrator for NCM and as the Rwanda Field Leader for WorldVenture.  He loves trail running, biking, and bird watching.

Laurie is his better half.  She is humorous, sarcastic, and hospitable.  She teaches the pastors English. She is a great cook and because of her yummy food we actually gained weight in Rwanda rather than losing it. In the 9 weeks we were there she was a mentor for Krystal.  She enjoys skyping with her children and grandchildren.

They are on their last term before retirement, so Krystal and I want to get to Rwanda ASAP to have more time with them.

Jobs

Back here in America, Krystal is loving her job as a Labor and Delivery nurse.  She’s had a few emotionally draining days, but she is learning a lot and feels blessed to have this opportunity.  Pray for her as she gains this valuable experience.

I am also loving my job as a barista, but won’t for much longer.  After reflection, discussion, and prayer, we decided that it was time for me to quit Starbucks.  There were a couple of factors, but the biggest two were that Krystal’s health benefits begin October 1 and we needed to make time for us to work on partnership development.  It was an enjoyable and important 3 months at Sequim Starbucks and I’m glad I did it.  Pray for me that I would make the most of these 30 extra hours.

Grace

Our daughter just turned 15 months and is starting to grow up.  She is expressing her desire to see “Elmo,” probably the clearest word she says.  She wants to read books from the moment she wakes up to long after bed time.  She has thrown a tantrum or two when we stop reading to her and try to put her to sleep.  As always, pray that we would know how best to raise her in this time.

Contact Info

Some of you got an email that connected you here, others clicked on the Facebook post.  Would you take a moment either to update your contact info or subscribe to the emails?  We like knowing where to send thank you cards and how to reach you by phone.  And Facebook links get buried so quickly.  Click here to start receiving the emails.  If you already receive emails from us, click on the link on the bottom of your email that says “update subscription preferences.”

Thank you for your partnership with us, for keeping informed and praying for us.  Please let us know how God is blessing you and how we can be praying for you.

Blessings,

Nick and Krystal and Grace Pirolo