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

On the Road

Urgent Prayer RequestImageThe three-year-old daughter of one of our coworkers in Rwanda is in the hospital with brain trauma.  A heavy metal box fell on Selah’s head while their family was relocating from one house to another.  She has two skull fractures and spinal fluid leaking from her ear (which could lead to meningitis).  Since her injury, she is no longer on a ventilator, but is on pain medication.  On Sunday, she was stabilized enough to evacuate her to a specialized facility in South Africa.  Our prayer for her is that there is no long term injury to her eye and her brain, that the spinal fluid leak heals without surgery, and that apparent nerve damage to her face would heal.   Follow her story here: http://prayerwall.worldventure.com/lance-and-tiffany-ferguson/ 

Her story reminds us first, that kids get injured, no matter where in the world you live.  Second, in Rwanda, there are some resources, but we will need people praying to God on our behalf, seeking his protection.  Finally, we are thankful to have a sending organization that knows how to mobilize prayers and provides medical evacuation for emergencies.

Mileposts in lifeImageKrystal graduated from Denver Seminary.  Many of you honored us by coming to the ceremony.  Special thanks to Shari, Krystal’s mom, who came from Washington to visit. Thank you!

ImageI successfully completed the Bolder Boulder, a 10K run in Boulder, CO.  I was fighting illness the week before, but was able to run about 5.5 mph, or an 11 minute mile.  Special thanks to my running partner, Rick Herzer, who kept me training these last 5 months.  His other friend, Nick, who recently moved to Colorado Springs from Washington, also ran the race.

Image

Grace has gone from “cruising” to actually walking up to 20 steps at a time.  She is thriving on her two nap a day schedule and sleeping through the night.  She continues to be a joy to us. She points at things and says, “Oooo.”  She stares at people in public.  She loves playing chase and tickling.  And our favorite, she dances anytime music plays, especially “Elmo’s Got the Moves.”  Check out her moves at the BolderBoulder.  Grace has the moves!

Lessons on the Road

Both Krystal and I feel quite confident and competent in many ways.  She is a skilled nurse and nurse leader at her hospital.  She has been an A student at Denver Seminary.  I like to think that I do well at teaching, preaching and discipling.  I was an A- student at seminary.  And I am a great barista at Starbucks.  While life was hard at times, in many ways we were in our sweet spot in Denver; we had opportunities to practice the gifts God gave us.

Over the next three years, we are going through a “construction zone.”  First, we are leaving Denver for Port Townsend, WA.  Second, Krystal is looking for a nursing job in Labor and Delivery, a newer field of nursing for her.  Third, I’m trying to transfer to a Washington Starbucks, but don’t have anything secure yet.  Fourth, partnership development requires skills and abilities we don’t really have. Fifth, we are leaving Washington in November 2014 for Rwanda where we will spend a significant amount of our energy learning to speak and live in a new way.

All this to say, the path ahead will be really bumpy and hard at times, but it leads to the place God wants us.  Please pray for us along the way.

Going Away Party

In case you didn’t hear, we are having a get-together to say good-bye to Denver.  All are invited.  Open house format.  Meat and fixings are provided.  Bring a side to share and your own drink of choice.

Saturday, June 8 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

The Blomberg House
7850 S Race St
 Centennial, CO 80122

If you haven’t rsvp’ed elsewhere, please reply to this email if you plan to come.

Partnership Development

We are at the 6-month mark with WorldVenture for PD and the goal is to be between 15-25%.  If you have pledged to give monthly, or you would like to join our monthly support team, please take a moment to sign up right now: https://www.worldventure.com/donate. If you want to commit, but can’t begin giving right away, select the payment option “mail a check.”  (You can adjust this later.)  If you can begin giving right away, that money goes toward our outgoing expenses.

Our many thanks to those who have given and those who continue to give: finances, prayers, help, and encouragement.  We have been blessed beyond what we expected as we shared our story and listened to each of yours.

Blessings,

Nick and Krystal

Good News and Bad News

Thanks for following our adventures, friends and family.  In the last six months, Krystal and I have had several significant life events we wanted to share with you.

Good News:

Krystal doing our monthly “count up” to baby!

We discovered in October that there would soon be three Pirolos living in our house.  Yes, Krystal is pregnant with a baby girl, due June 27.  We had hoped that God would bless us with a little one at this season of our lives and feel extremely fortunate that God allowed us to get pregnant.  Krystal just entered her third trimester, and we are both excited to meet our baby girl face-to-face.

We are keeping her name secret until she is born, but she does have a name.  When people insist on knowing the name, we tell them “Jezebel Delilah Pirolo.”  If you are confused, each name is that of a Bible character.  Look each up on Wikipedia.

As second item of good news, I am officially a Denver Seminary graduate!  While I was finished with my classes when I returned from Rwanda, I had not applied to graduate, so my graduation date was December 31, 2012.  The graduation ceremony is in about a month.  Anyone who cares to come is invited: Saturday, May 12, 10-11:30 AM, Southeast Christian Church, 9650 Jordan Rd., Parker, CO US 80134.  Reception to follow.  Email me if you want more information.  I’d seriously love for any and all of you to attend.

Dad and Mom at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

In February, my parents came out to Denver to visit us for the first time ever.  I hadn’t seen them since the previous May, and our visits always seemed too short.  They were celebrating their 12th anniversary on the 29th, and I insisted that they come to visit me.  We got to show them the sights: Scum of the Earth Church, Garden of the Gods, Focus on the Family’s visitor center, the Denver Mint, and even the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and WorldVenture’s home office because Dad was feeling adventurous.  While that schedule sounds packed, mostly we sat and talked.

For Krystal and me, it was a rare chance to simply be with my parents instead of feeling continually rushed from one event to another.  The feeling was mutual, it seems, because my Dad later told my Mom that it was the most fun he had had in a very long time.

Bad News:

I received the news on Tuesday, March 13 at 5:46 AM.  I was about to bike to work when my phone rang.  Seeing it was my sister-in-law, Sara, and realizing that she was a time zone away, calling me at 4:46, I knew immediately that the news was bad.  I answered it and she announced that she had terrible news.  My father, my namesake, our recent visitor, had passed away.  He had a cold that became pneumonia.  He went down for a nap on Monday, passed into a coma, and never woke up, finally passing away on Tuesday morning.

Krystal and I rushed back to Vancouver, Washington to be with family.  The service was held that Saturday at his church.  After the pastor gave a brief sermon on salvation by grace through faith, he invited people in the congregation to come to the faith that my Dad had.  (After the service, two people talked to the pastor about salvation!)  Then each of his children gave a formal eulogy, followed by a time for people to share thoughts and stories.

What amazed me about the formal and informal eulogies was how consistent my father was.  He was a quiet man, but his actions spoke volumes.  Wherever he lived, he became deeply involved in church: attending men’s meetings and Bible studies, and praying for the church leaders and missionaries.

While my Dad was a teacher, and knew how to speak to audiences of any size, he was never one to seek the limelight.  Instead, he knew how to be steady support for the people he loved and respected.

As part of the memorial service, Darlene Bocek (my sister), Jonathan Pirolo (one of my brothers), and I created a powerpoint with pictures and music.  There was no easy way to transfer it to Youtube, but one version is here.  Also, Darlene has a guestbook related to his obituary.  We would ask all who knew him to sign it before it closes.

When my parents came out to visit in February we went to Garden of the Gods, a beautiful area with red rocks, green trees, and blue skies.  It would be a bit of a hike on paved paths, so my Dad borrowed a wheelchair from the visitor center for my Mom.  Mom walked for most of the time, but for the uphills, she welcomed the rest.  Now, my Mom isn’t heavy, but pushing her up the hills at the park was hard work!  Dad, noticing my lagging strength, put his hand on my back and added his strength to my own, making my labor light.  What a perfect metaphor for my Dad’s life of support ministry!  It is also a picture of how my Eternal Father is also my helper.

Paul Pirolo

I am going to miss Dad greatly.  I already do.  I miss his singing.  I’ll never have him to consult on childrearing.  He will never sing “My cup is full and running over” with my children.  I miss his laugh, and his eagerness to share a joke.  I miss his thoughtful Bible questions, and the discussions that followed.  I worry that the mantle of his ministry of prayer and support will fall to the ground and that I am not faithful enough to take it up.

On the practical side, Mom is living as a widow.  The logistics of life, most of which my Dad managed for them, have now fallen on my Mom’s shoulders.  My brother, David, who lives closest to her, has stepped in and taken a lion’s share of the load of helping Mom.  Pray for them both to have wisdom and grace.

Coming Soon:

We received news from WorldVenture: they accepted our applications and have invited us to interview to be Long Term Missionaries to Rwanda.  Our interview date is this Monday, April 30, 2012.  In many ways, we have a lot in our favor, and they have a lot of good reasons to invite us to be part of the team.  We each will have Masters degrees.  We have both experience and education relating to intercultural ministry, and experience in Rwanda.  Finally, the current team in Rwanda asked us to come back!

On the other hand, this is not just a “rubber stamp” process.  We are two people with strong convictions and personalities.  While we have not taken any new school loans in the last three years, we have more school debt than they like to see.  Additionally, both parties need to make sure that we truly are a good fit for both WorldVenture and Rwanda.  Are our theological differences ones we can live with?  Will both Krystal and I be able to thrive in this context with this organization?

Our hope is to return soon to Rwanda.

This is the final piece in a serious interview that will set the direction of our lives for a significant amount of time.  Because Kinyarwanda, the language of Rwanda, is so difficult to learn well, they ask that families make a ten-year commitment to the field.  While we will come home on “home assignment” once or twice in that time, they accept us, and we accept the appointment, we will be making Rwanda our home, and the country in which our children grow up.

Pray for us as we interview.  We need discernment, and they need discernment.  We wouldn’t have gone this far if we didn’t already feel like it is what God wants, but we also want to make room for him to speak if he has other plans.

As I mentioned, I walk in graduation next month.  Krystal will be finished in December of this year.  This summer is my last as a youth pastor at the Korean Church of North Denver.  After that, I will focus my ministry energy on “support discovery” through WorldVenture. We are excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as our time in Denver comes to an end.

Prayer Points:

  • Safe and healthy pregnancy and birth
  • Grace and wisdom as we grieve and make decisions related to Dad’s death
  • Discernment for our interview at WorldVenture
  • Perseverance to “finish well” in Denver

Thank you all for your kind words and frequent prayers.

Love,

Nick and Krystal