Thankful

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we wanted to share with you our Top 5 List of things we’re thankful for these days. (Not necessarily in order of our gratitude.)

#5. Family!

The big news is we are pregnant!

 

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We are expecting a baby boy in late March.  From the 20 week ultrasound, mom and baby look healthy.

Grace and Rayna continue to bring joy to our lives.  Our family traveled to Cape Town in late September to attend a WorldVenture conference. While it interrupted school for Grace and Nick, it became a refreshing break from the hundred little things that had been wearing on each of us. After the conference, we stayed a few more days to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. Both of us grew up on the beach (San Diego and Port Townsend), so it filled us up, seeing our daughters play in the sand and waves.

Finally, our parents are visiting! We are excited to host Krystal’s mom in December, and Nick’s mom in March.

#4. Church!

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Grace and Rayna in Sunday School

In October, we were invited by several friends to attend a young Kinyarwanda church called Gospel Community Church. This church understands the Gospel, has sound theology, and is excited for outreach, evangelism, and missions. Krystal has begun attending a cell group on Tuesday nights (while Nick keeps an eye on the girls). This is a church where we feel fed, and we believe this church will play a strategic role in the future of discipleship in Rwanda. It is a joy to be part of a healthy church!

#3. Ministry!

We are so thankful for the meaningful work God has us in and the people we serve.

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CLIR Students

I (Nick) successfully finished a term teaching Systematic Theology, and then a term teaching Teaching and Educational Ministries at New Creation Ministries. Some of my students have far reaching influence in Rwanda, and are now better equipped to teach the truth of God’s word.

Krystal has a new title at Iranzi: Mentor to Midwives. She continues her work at the prenatal outreach clinic, and has taken a more intentional step toward observing and coaching the Rwandan staff.

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Krystal teaching a group of midwives about labor support

#2. Matching Grant!

Our hearts fill with gratitude knowing that, for the second year in a row, a donor has offered to match all new sponsorships of pastors in our Pastoral Training School (PTS) made by December 31! After the pastors pay their $80 annual school tuition, there remains about $1800 per student to fund their education and discipleship. While that is only $150 per month, with 35 pastors expected to begin in January, that is more than we can bear alone.   This matching grant makes it easier for new sponsors to give.

If you are interested in more information, a brochure is linked below. And the sponsorship link below that. Every dollar helps! Krystal and I are so excited about this, we have already committed to sponsor a portion of a pastor’s training.

Pastoral Sponsorship Information

Pastoral Sponsorship Donation

#1. YOU!

We’ve often quoted Philippians 1:3-5 to you: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”   And it is true. We are thankful for each of you who has given your time, prayers, and finances, to see the gospel, the Good News of the Kingdom of God, spread throughout Rwanda. You are PARTNERS with us, we are yoked together. We rise or fall together, but by God’s grace, we are rising, and we hearing God’s name glorified in the nations. Krystal and I are so thankful for you and we couldn’t be here or do what we do without you.img_5189

There you have it, our top 5 things we are thankful for this year. What are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments below.

One Year in!

ONE YEAR!  It is hard to believe, but we have been serving the Lord in Rwanda for one year, as of January 21. We are filled with such joy and gratitude that God has chosen us for this purpose, that he connected us with each of you to send us and partner with us in His work in Rwanda, that he saw us through tough times, and that we have seen signs of thriving.

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January 2016

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January 2017, 5th birthday party for Peace

Iranzi Clinic Training

Krystal is participating in staff training at the Iranzi (God knows me) Clinic for three weeks this month. This clinic aims to serve as the birthing center for the poor women in nearby Nyabasindu, where Krystal has served at pre- and post-natal clinics on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These women now have a safe place to give birth!

img_5925One story from the training: Iranzi Clinic has a policy that patients will be discharged home 8-12 hours after delivery and will have a home visit the following day. (This is part of the philosophy of midwifery.) If they haven’t paid, they will not be held captive at the clinic until they pay, a common practice at hospitals and clinics here in Rwanda where a patient can be held for weeks or months adding to a debt that they already cannot pay. As our new team discussed that we will not be holding captive moms who cannot pay, most of the Rwandans began to protest! “But if they don’t pay, they shouldn’t leave! If they don’t pay before they go, they will never pay and they will go home and tell their friends to come to this clinic because they can receive free care.” The new staff feared that they would lose their jobs because the business would fail if people were discharged without paying.

dsc_0371Something that is very different about Iranzi is the that it practices care within the context of relationship. All of the women who come to the clinic for delivery will be part of a midwifery/nurse team. They will have been seen several times prenatally at Nyabasindu’s outreach clinic before they deliver. Each midwife and nurse that is apart of their team will know them, their social situation, their birth history and will have been praying with them along the way. This is a completely revolutionary way of practicing maternal/baby care in Rwanda!

Continue to pray for Krystal as she interacts with many strong personalities all day. This has been exhausting emotionally and physically. Meanwhile, she isn’t getting as much time with our girls, or any time to study Kinyarwanda, or time to exercise, or much time for devotions. Important things and activities that feed her soul are on hold for these intense training weeks.

Pray also that we can establish a reasonable new normal after the training.

Language Helper

Philemon got another job! After working with us for 11 months, our language helper let us know that he was hired into a ministry position discipling Sunday school teachers. It is an answer to prayer for him and for us as we prayed for his future in ministry.

img_3769Now, we need another helper, part time. We have several leads, but we need wisdom choosing a new helper. Even as we begin more ministry, we need to keep studying the language or else it will slip away from us.

Matching Funds

Through our GoFundMe account along with email and Facebook campaigns to raise awareness, we received $11,400 in matching funds! Praise God for bringing in so many to partner with us, and praise God for the anonymous matching donor who shared of his abundance. This funding allows poor, rural pastors to receive training at our Pastoral Training School.  If you would like to sponsor any of them, here’s the link.

ncm-pts-2016Keep praying for these pastors.  Many struggle as we undo years of false doctrine and help them to study the Bible for truth.

Family

img_5928Girls keep growing up!

img_5841Rayna is walking on her own and has been cutting molars! She loves to drink amata (milk) out of a straw cup like her big sister. Crazy girl loves to smile, wave and blow kisses; she LOVES being tickled. Saturday, she even said, “Hi. Da.”

img_5761Grace loves school, visiting our neighbors, and coloring with Mom. One year ago, she was terrified of trampolines and swings. Now, our brave girl jumps from a chair to her swing. She’s going FAST on her balance bike. If we could find a safe, flat road, we’d start teaching her to ride a pedal bike (unfortunately for her and us this is the land of a thousand hills and driving here is chaotic to say the least).

Thank you for your continued prayers for us and for Rwanda.

Krystal’s Clinical

This has been a month of opportunity for me…

Language

If you ask anyone learning a new language, a huge part of your success relies on your ability to practice. In Rwanda, almost everyone speaks Kinyarwanda but in Kigali, the city we live in, many people are also able to speak English and expect that anyone with white skin will only speak English or French. Often, when I try to struggle through practicing with them they slightly offendedly ask me to speak English. Ouch.

Additionally, because I have a baby and 4 year old, much of my interaction with Rwandans have been limited:

  • Conversations with workers
  • Going to the market, where there is chaos and I become protective
  • Driving (don’t even get me started on driving here)
  • Church, a 4-hour service with no Sunday school or children’s program so I am often the defacto Sunday school teacher because after about an hour in a half (when the worship songs end) all the kids in the service follow me outside to play games, color and read.

Unfortunately, many of these encounters have been frustrating up to now, and didn’t provide much room to practice, making it difficult for me to connect with Rwandans and grow in my compassion and love for them, or in my ability to speak Kinyarwanda.

When we first arrived in Rwanda, I followed the expectation not to jump right into ministry in an effort to spend dedicated time learning language. These last eight months have been great and I feel extremely blessed that I have had an opportunity to learn more language than most expats here. However, I was really struggling with finding ways to practice language.   I decided to try volunteering at a clinic in a very poor part of Kigali both to maintain my nursing skills and license and also to practice language speaking. What an unbelievable blessing for me this has been!

Nyabasindu Clinic: Prenatal

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Nyabasindu Town within Kigali

The clinic meets twice a week in a large tent with benches, which serves as a church plant on Sundays is twice a week.

On Tuesdays, anywhere between 30-60 pregnant mommas arrive for prenatal checks and teaching. I have the privilege of working with an amazing missionary midwife and several Rwandan midwives and volunteers.   The women come for a prenatal check, something that they otherwise would not receive or would receive on a very limited basis.

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Pregnant mommas waiting to be seen.  The “intenge” fabric hanging creates two exam rooms.

One of the first moms we saw that day was 37 weeks pregnant, had a 2 year old at home, and was living with her mom; the father of the baby had left her after she got pregnant. She didn’t have a job, and when asked what she was eating, she couldn’t remember if she had last eaten the morning before or the day before that. To top it off, she was without the government-sponsored health insurance. While insurance isn’t very expensive, about $5 a year, the poorest can’t afford it. Without it a pregnant woman would either be turned away or end up owing the clinic or hospital $25-$250, based on stories I’ve heard; that’s obviously more than she would ever be able to pay back. This particular momma seemed so hopeless. The clinic was able to provide the funds needed for her to get health insurance before her delivery.

Our following mommas included patients with HIV and painful scaring effects of medication on her body, first time mommas who were eager to hold their little ones in their arms and a momma that had a huge abdominal tumor that displaced her uterus.

Postpartum

On Thursday, I have the blessing of participating in a postpartum clinic where I get to weigh babies, do an initial assessment on them. These momma’s receive teaching on anything from the importance of breastfeeding (It is common for moms to give their babies cow milk mixed with water), safety from outdoor cooking fires, and family planning among other things. During this clinic I am exposed to so much culture. Several of the mommas still take their babies to Abafundu (traditional healers) for things like fevers and rashes, but also concern that someone has cursed their baby. One little girl had a large glob of tar knotted on the center of her forehead because her mom had taken her to the Umufundu (traditional healer) because she was concerned about the soft spot on her baby’s head, a normal and necessary part of baby physiology. The mother had spent 7,000 Rwandan Francs on the traditional healer, more than the cost of a year of health insurance.

We had another very sick child come that had eight areas of scaring on her abdomen and back where an Umufundu had cut three lines and rubbed “medicine” into the cuts. The baby was 4 weeks old when it happened. Traditional healers are also known to dig out teeth from babies who have swollen gums. With cases such as these we are able to do major teaching with parents about what is normal, when to get medical help and why taking a child to the Umufundu can be dangerous. Almost all of these women consider themselves Christians but you can see how ingrained the culture of superstitions and traditional religion is.

Click here for more stories.

Reaping Blessings

img_3961I feel extremely honored and blessed to be able to participate in this ministry here. It has been such a blessing to sit with desperate moms and meet a very physical need for them as well as their emotional and spiritual needs. While many of these cases are hard and painful, I feel blessed to be able to work alongside this team doing the ministry and be present with and use my gifts for these women. These encounters have helped me to have much more compassion for and connection with Rwandans.

Additionally, it is dramatically improving my language, since most of those women cannot speak English. Because I have started to go regularly I have begun to build relationships with them and remember their names and situations. I can tell them I have been praying for them and they feel comfortable correcting my Kinyarwanda.

I had to laugh during the last prenatal clinic because I kept adding an extra couple letters to blood pressure (umuvutuko w’amaraso). Soon every woman in the tent knew I struggled with that phrase and would get a huge grin on their face right before I was going to say it to see if they would have an opportunity to correct me. It became a fun joke that brought joy to the long hot day. While I have a long way to go with language, I have also received many complements from the translators at the clinic. This little encouragement has brought me new confidence and drive to learn and improve. Apparently, they are impressed with my knowledge and pronunciation, even if our language tutor does still continually correct me.

Nick’s Travels

Please pray for me this week.  Nick is traveling out of the country for a Theological Educators Conference Saturday night through Saturday night (Oct 15-22).  Pray that Nick makes great connections with his peers and that he comes home with good ways to improve the ministry here.  Pray for our girls to stay healthy; many of their friends and our visitors have been sick.

Family Victory

We are overjoyed to note that we have successfully moved Rayna to her own room, and she has slept trough the night for two nights now.  Pray that that continues, especially while Nick is on his trip.

Business

We are preparing to send an end of year letter.  Take a moment to make sure we have your new mailing address.  Click the “update” link on the email I sent you.

Also, consider this ministry for any year end giving you are planning.  Better yet, commit to supporting this ministry regularly by signing up for monthly giving, or annual giving.  Click here.

Feeling Blessed this Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Pirate GraceEvery night I tuck Grace into bed, we pray, “God help us get to Rwanda soon!” As we work hard doing our part in this place, we feel abundantly blessed because we see God answering that prayer. He is providing for us. He is preparing us. He brings the right people into our lives to help us in perfect ways.

Gratitude for Our Partners

We are so grateful that you are partners with us in this ministry to Rwanda. We hit a milestone on Sunday! We have reached 70% toward our monthly expenses! Thanks to those who are giving; thanks for those who are praying! God is opening doors.

Favor and Opportunities for Krystal

Most of my (Krystal) colleagues and supervisors at my hospital have heard that I will be moving to Rwanda for 10 years (or more) to contribute my skills as a nurse there. Even still, they paid for me to attend an important conference in Seattle. The speaker was a Certified Nurse Midwife who spoke on The Latest Interventions for Childbirth Challenges. I came home from the conference enthusiastic about all of the information I gained that will help me in my practice as a labor and delivery nurse in Rwanda.

Another God-Ordained Set Up for Krystal

Every month my hospital sets up a one-hour case review where doctors, nurses and neonatal practitioners get together and discuss a challenging case we have had. Last month, the topic was about HIV/AIDS in pregnancy. Talk about a practical topic for OB practice in Africa.

This month, I heard the topic was going to be on neonatal resuscitation, another relevant topic, so I attended. I was thrilled to discover the speaker was a doctor who works for an educational program called Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics to teach neonatal resuscitation techniques in resource-limited areas of the world, including Rwanda!

HBB Training 2012 Rwanda

Every year the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one million babies die from an inability to breathe immediately after delivery. The doctor teaching the course showed a picture of a good sized beautifully developed African baby who immediately after delivery was limp, gray and not crying. He said that because the baby was limp and not crying the midwife and nurses believed that the baby was stillborn so it was wrapped in blankets and taken away for burial without any form of resuscitation. All of us in the room gasped at the thought. One out of 10 babies are born needing some help to start breathing.  From my previous experiences, I knew his stories about newborns not being resuscitated after delivery were not unusual in the developing world.

Neonate Simulator

This doctor explained that his job is to take neonate simulators (little black baby dolls to practice CPR on), bags and masks and learner workbooks and instructional flip charts into developing countries and train doctors, midwives, nurses, community birth attendants and health volunteers how to help babies breathe after delivery.

At the end of the class he said that he was open to having people volunteer to travel with him to different developing countries and help him do training (several nurses did volunteer to travel with him but only if they could go to Rwanda to see meJ). After the class I told him I would love to work with him in Rwanda. I explained that I would be moving there long term and would eventually know the language. Excitedly he asked me if I would be willing to come to a short course he was teaching with a group of healthcare providers at the University of Washington and become a Master Trainer. He said that he would equip me with several neonate simulators and training kits so that I could teach healthcare workers everywhere I went in Rwanda!

Helping Babies Breathe Action PlanLately, I have been struck that in healthcare, in resource-limited areas like Rwanda, a little can make a huge difference and save numerous lives. Here in the US, we have people at every delivery with the knowledge of when and how to stimulate a baby or otherwise help a baby breathe. We take for granted that it is a normal practice for us. In many places in the world babies are born without someone with this knowledge.   I am so excited that I will be equipped to help teach others Helping Babies Breathe.

Exactly Where God Wants Us

Stock image of a newborn baby

Stock image of a newborn baby

God has given us several experiences that confirm the work he is doing in and through us while still in the US.  I (Krystal) love working in labor and delivery nursing, and I am learning lots.  In the last two months, I have assisted in about 20 vaginal births, 10 c-sections, and 5 urgent c-sections.  I even got to “catch a baby!”

While HIPAA laws prevent me from posting pictures and giving details, I can say that I asked the nurse orienting me, “Is it always this intense, or does God just want me to get a good orientation?” She said, “You are getting a very good orientation.”

Meanwhile, I (Nick) also had a validating experience.  In my last blog, I mentioned my current personal study using Experiencing God.  Using Romans 3:11 (“There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.) and John 6:44 (Jesus: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them.”), Blackaby concludes that if people express interest in God, God is drawing them.  God has shown you that he is at work, which is his invitation for you to join him in what he is doing.

We had a chance to share the story of our call to Rwanda with a friend and his family.  A few days later, that friend and his girlfriend asked me to read through the New Testament with them, to help them understand it better. Right now, my primary responsibility is my “full-time job” of partnership development, but God knew that I have a need to teach, to disciple, to point people toward Christ, and to build them up.  This opportunity is a gift from God to me!

I’ve often said, “God equipped you yesterday for your ministry today, and what you experience today trains you for tomorrow.”  Ministry doesn’t wait until we reach Rwanda, but is happening NOW!  And I’m sharpening skills that will help me in Rwanda.

A Few Links

I shared these on Facebook earlier this week, but I wanted to include them here, too.

This is a colleague, Dan Janzen, teaching his first class in Kinyarwanda.  He spent a year focused on learning the language, and then he got a chance to teach our fourth year students for three days, two hours each day!  He spent the better part of four months preparing his 60 page manuscript.  It is tough work, but good work.  This is what I have to look forward to.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151947058413571

This next link is a church service in Rwanda.  Unlike some countries that simply take western hymn, praises and songs and translate them, Rwanda seems to have quite a body of indigenously written Christian worship songs.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151796749113402

Grace

Grace was a Butterfly for Halloween.  Her favorite treat was popcorn from the Rose movie theater in down town Port Townsend

Grace was a butterfly for Halloween. Her favorite treat was popcorn from the Rose movie theater in down town Port Townsend

We are amazed at how much she is learning and how much she knows.  She understands so much and her vocabulary is growing daily.  She learned how to kick (“tk”) a ball today!  Her favorite book right now is The Story of David.  She says, “baa” when she sees the sheep, says, “bye” when David leaves his father, and even pretends to swing her slingshot at Goliath.  Best of all, she laughs (“ah, ah, ah”) when Goliath laughs at David.  She has also learned to say, “No,” and shakes her head no, even when she means yes.  Keep praying for us as parents.

Partnership Development in Washington

We love sharing our story with people, and enjoy reconnecting with our Washington friends.  Pray that we continue to make the most of our time here.

Blessings,

Nick and Krystal

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Krystal’s Story

Since returning from Gahini, I (Krystal) have spent the last week and a half in the Theater (Operating Room) at Central University Hospital of Kigali (CHK).  The son-in-law of a NCM staff member is an anesthesiologist at CHK and offered to let me do part of my internship there.   Dr. Bona, the anesthesiologist, was able to spend six months in Canada on an anesthesiologist exchange program which made him the perfect contact for me (i.e. he speaks English, understands Western medicine and has a high standard of care).   His time in Canada made him realize how much Rwandan health care needs to be improved and has given him a desire to teach other doctors and nurses about patient safety, patient care and pain control (all things that are unusual in medical care here in Rwanda).

Dr. Bona was given a copy of my resume prior to my arrival and saw that I was both a nurse and working towards a Leadership degree.   He talked to the Director of Nursing about letting me teach OR nurses about “Leadership in the OR”and patient care.  She decided that whoever attended my seminars would be given a Continuing Education Certificate which validated my seminars and made them very desirable for staff to attend (any type of education is a big deal for Rwandans).

Krystal with the OR nurse director, Gene (Left), and Dr. Bona (Right)

Thus, for the next several days I spent every morning teaching a 45 minute seminar on patient care, discharge criteria from the post anesthetic recovery room, vital signs and common perioperative complications.  There were between 15 and 25 nurses that attended everyday while Dr. Bona translated my English to French and added in whatever he thought was necessary.

Krystal teaching on “Discharge Criteria for the PACU.” Wait, a patient should be able to breathe before we send them home?

While language made it difficult to build relationships and the OR is not my specialty in nursing, I was thrilled that I was able to offer some expertise and do some helpful teaching for the nurses.  Some of these nurses have never been taught about nursing interventions for things like hypotension (low blood pressure) or hemorrhaging (bleeding) or respiratory arrest so some of my teaching was new for them.  Additionally, this opportunity also reminded me how much I enjoy teaching.

The faithful class of nurses. After the last day of classes, many of them finally came up and spoke English! Where were you five days ago?

At the of the seminar, Dr. Bona told me that he is trying to help CHK gain some type of accreditation by implementing a World Health Organization (WHO) protocol of a surgical safety checklist.  What amazes me is that this protocol is an international standard that includes such things as verifying that you have the right patient and surgical site prior to surgery and giving prophylactic antibiotics within 60 minutes of surgery -these are all things we do in the USA and Canada to EVERY patient without even thinking about it but here they are hardly ever done.  Can you imagine, having a metal plate drilled onto your femur in Africa without any prophylactic antibiotics? I asked Dr. Bona if I could do anything to help him implement the safety checklist and he was excited to have me create a draft of the checklist and help with aspects of his presentation! I am excited that even in this short internship in a country where I don’t speak two of the main languages I have been blessed by being given an opportunity to help make a change that will save lives.

Nick’s Story

So Krystal posted in a cool, creative pdf about her week in Gahini.  I hope you had a chance to check it out.  I haven’t posted about my week away from her.  I got to spend some time in the dorms at the Pastoral Training School at New Creation Ministries.  My roommate, Jonny, is an intern from Moody teaching ESL to the pastors in the PTS in the afternoon and helping at another night class for community members.  I stayed in the dorms, ate with the pastors, and interviewed a few with the help of my translator, Silas.  To my loss, that was my time to “live with Rwandans,” and I forgot that it was one of my goals to “live among them,” to fully enter in.

Eating dinner with the Pastoral Training School pastors and Jonny. Can you guess which one is Jonny?

Silas, my translator, and Theogene, a graduate of NCM’s PTS

Since then I have had three major assignments.  First, I have been interviewing various people connected with NCM to learn about the church of Rwanda, leadership structure of the church here, and understanding of Christianity and Christian life. I’ve finished 14 interviews, but have about 10 more to go.  Preliminary results show that the pastors who participate in NCM’s training greatly appreciate the formative nature of the classes.  I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this later.

Second, I have been leading a Bible study on the book of Galatians for three Rwanda staff members.  It is definitely a learning experience all around.  I’ve actually studied Galatians quite in depth, translating it from Greek to English and examining most of the major elements involved.  But my “students” are mostly graduates from Bible College with degrees in theology.  Instead of being unidirectional, from me to them, it is truly a meeting of the minds.  The added benefit to them is that they get to practice English by listening to me and each other, and forming and delivering arguments in English.  English is becoming more and more important in Rwanda, especially since President Kagame required all education be done in English.  For that reason, NCM’s new university program, CLIR, will be in English, and these teachers are excited hone their skills in English.

Galatians Bible Study: Jean Bosco, Gaudiose, Joseph, and Nick

Third, I have had the opportunity to travel with Gary to visit two pastors in their churches in the area called Changugu, aka the middle of nowhere.  Far to the southwest, almost on the border of Burundi, on the other side of the African Continental divide.  After six hours of driving, we arrived to the first church on Saturday afternoon, so they held a special Saturday service for us.  They fed us, and then began to clear their living room of other furniture.  I was curious, but I soon found out that they were making room for the two beds they borrowed from their neighbors for us to use.  I had been prepared for anything, including sharing a single bed with Gary, but that the pastor went out of his way to borrow two beds….

They got us a second bed! Usually mosquito nets drape over the bed, but here they put them on the walls to prevent pieces of the new mud walls from falling on us while we slept.

The next morning we ate breakfast: sardines, potatoes, cow stomach, beans and rice.   (I don’t have many pictures of food because Rwandans are VERY private about meals.  They close the doors and windows, and eat in relative quiet.)

Later Gary said, “Nick was able to use one of the worst longdrops [out-houses] I’ve ever seen, and was able to stomach stomach for breakfast.  He’ll be a great fit here.”  We went on an walk to the place where the first European entered Rwanda: A German in 1901!  Then we rushed off to another church, 3 kilometers away.  Thirty minutes later, we arrived.  Andrew S. is right, “close” is a relative term.  I’ll make a special post next time about Rwandan church services.

Krystal and I are traveling with the Sheers, Finleys and Bennetts out to Changugu again from this weekend through next.  Apparently, there is an annual retreat on Lake Kivu for all Christian missionaries in Rwanda.  This year over 130 people will be there.  While there, Krystal will get to go on two pastoral visit with Gary and me.  We will also get to know many of these other missionaries and ask them about their call and ministry to Rwanda.  For Krystal, especially, it will be a great chance to network with other medical missionaries.  Thanks for your prayers on her behalf.  This week has been especially profitable for her as she considers her skills and the type of ministry that Rwanda needs.

Please pray for us as we get to know the team better, visit pastors, and network.

The team here seems to like us, and we love them, too.  The current ministry, training pastors, is highly valued by the pastors themselves.  The future ministry, a Bible college, is also something I would greatly enjoy doing.  Rwanda is starting to look like a good fit.