In Rwanda, In Iowa, In Prayer, In the Mail

Latest in Rwanda

It’s cool to know that we are joining a ministry that adapts to the changing needs in Rwanda. While I’ve told most of you about our Pastoral Training School, our ministry saw a need for an additional program. Starting in January, we will begin offering a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Leadership.

Pray that God will bring the right 20-35 students into the school. Often, Rwandans wait until the last minute to submit their applications for these things, but applications are already starting to arrive. We are also excited to learn that the program is drawing leaders from the church, government, and non-profit sectors.

Our building is mostly finished!

Our building is mostly finished!

Iowa Adventure

When we lived in Colorado, our first impression of Iowans was how genuinely kind they are, and we were not disappointed upon visiting the state. We spent 13 days, presented in three cities at two Sunday school classes, one church service, one youth group, one regional prayer meeting, one group of seniors, two Bible studies, one special missions gathering, and four individual meetings.

In all our meetings, we asked folks to pray and ask God to show them how He wants them to be involved. We have 36 families who expressed interest in this ministry. Pray for us as we follow up with these families over the next few days.

It seemed too pretentious to pose for a picture while presenting in Iowa, so here are pictures of Grace playing instead:

We aren't really cat people, but somehow, Grace decided, in August, that she would be a black cat for Halloween.  And she stuck with the idea.  Props to Krystal for the homemade ears.  Too cute!

We aren’t really cat people, but somehow, Grace decided, in August, that she would be a black cat for Halloween. And she stuck with the idea. Props to Krystal for the homemade ears. Too cute!

Iowa has some amazing play grounds, but this one had climbing equipment shaped like 6 different animals, 4 of which were deadly African animals (snake, hippo, croc, elephant).

Iowa has some amazing play grounds, but this one had climbing equipment shaped like 6 different animals, 4 of which were deadly African animals (snake, hippo, croc, elephant). “Grace, go play with the frog.”

We were blessed to visit and stay with friends with kids Grace’s age. She was a trooper, traveling and adapting well. We are blessed! Unfortunately, potty training took a step backward…

20141023_17082620141026_200621

On Prayer

One of my hang-ups with prayer has been how it works with God’s sovereignty. If God has a decided plan, what difference do my prayers make? However, according to Andrew Murray, “In reality, the immutability of God’s counsel is ever still in perfect harmony with His liberty to do whatsoever He will.” What is more, He “keeps Himself free to give every human prayer its place in His government of the world.”

Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers.

Snail Mail

We are sending out a special physical letter for Christmas. We’d love to send you one! If you want to be on the list, send me an email with your physical address.

Iowa, Here We Come!

We’ve had several bits of good news recently.

This biggest news for us this month is our trip to Iowa, October 22-November 4. We will share with several Bible study groups, churches, and individuals. We also have open time slots for individual meetings, and we have “open meetings” planned, too.

Our trip from Bettendorf back to Des Moines via Marion on Oct 30.

Our trip from Bettendorf back to Des Moines via Marion on Oct 30.

Here is where you can help. If you know folks who live near Des Moines or the Quad Cities, let us know and let them know. If they have any interest at all in missions or Africa, maybe they can make it to one of our meetings. I promise great dessert options will be available. If they would rather, we love meeting one on one with people, too.

A lot of people worry about being pressured to give. Let them know that we only ask people to pray about how God wants them to partner with us. We really are low pressure. So, don’t be afraid to refer your friends!  We love sharing the story of what God is doing!

  • Come to the Village Inn in Bettendorf (on State St.) on Monday October 27 at 6:30 PM.
  • Come to the Strutzenberg home Sunday November 2 or Monday November 3.  The exact time to be determined.  Call or text me for up to the minute updates on this.
  • Or call or text me for a one on one appointment: 303-564-7189.

Partnering with Canada

Our Fellowship International profile

Our Fellowship International profile

Another bit of good news came in the form of international cooperation. Our organization, WorldVenture, has partnered with a Canadian organization, Fellowship International. This partnership allows Canadians to make tax-deductible donations to our ministry. If this is you, we have a link on the right (Donate, eh?).

Finances

We are officially at 45% and unofficially at 62%. Krystal and I rejoice to see how far God has brought us, but we also realize that we have about 1/3 of the way yet to go! We are praying that God opens doors for appointments, and that we get a stellar group of folks partnering with us in amazing ways.

Grace News

Grace is 2 years and 3 months old.  Loving the long locks, but praying every day for inner beauty to blossom.

Grace is 2 years and 3 months old. Loving the long locks, but praying every day for inner beauty to blossom.

Our little Grace continues to grow. We are actively potty training, and we have more dry diapers and princess underwear than wet ones when we go to the potty! She enjoys books, play-doh and coloring. She has fallen in love with jigsaw puzzles, and can do 24-piece puzzles all by herself. She has an excellent memory, and is our little parrot. She enjoys dancing and hopping. This week, she caught a frog all by herself for the first time. Even more, she has started praying for people. We are both so blessed to have her.

Pray for the Pastors

Shepherds of the flock of God must watch out for the wolves.

Shepherds of the flock of God must watch out for the wolves.

Over these next few weeks, the first year pastors are learning “Church 2” and about false teaching. Pray for both teachers and students.

Thank you all for your prayers.

Learning to Pray

About one year ago, I began Experiencing God, a Bible study that trains Christians to become aware of what God is doing and to participate with him. While it was a 12-week study, it was cheesecake: too rich to eat in one sitting.

Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was a writer, teacher and pastor in South Africa.

Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was a writer, teacher and pastor in South Africa.

Moving forward, God has convicted me of my need to become a man of prayer. From various sources, I have been pointed to Andrew Murray, and I decided to begin with With Christ in the School of Prayer. Murray simply takes and studies everything Christ says about prayer, but through this study, I have been challenged every time I’ve read. One such time,

If no answer comes, we are not to sit down in the sloth that calls itself resignation and suppose that it is not God’s will to give an answer. No; there must be something in the prayer that is not as God would have it, childlike and believing; we must seek for grace to pray so that the answer may come. It is far easier to the flesh to submit without the answer than to yield itself to be searched and purified by the Spirit, until it has learnt to pray the prayer of faith.

Between Experiencing God and With Christ in the School of Prayer, I am learning how God invites us to participate with him through powerful and effective prayer.

With Christ in the School of Prayer is a $.99 download from Amazon, and I encourage you to read it with me.  Or get his complete works for just $2 more!

Trip to Iowa

We are going as a family on a Partnership Development trip to Iowa! Why? Because we love Iowans! More specifically, we have several friends in Iowa whom we love and enjoy, and these friends are helping us build our partnership network by letting us speak at their Bible studies and churches. We will be there for about two weeks (October 22 – November 4), but we want to pack that time with one-on-one meetings, too. Do you know someone in Iowa who might be interested in this ministry in Rwanda? Give them the opportunity to learn more! Let us know.   I’ll post the times and locations of our group meetings before we leave so you can join us physically or in prayer.

The Iowa State Fair is known for its deep fried anything and everything.

The Iowa State Fair is known for its deep fried anything and everything.

We are also planning to visit Seattle/Tacoma soon. Pray that doors open up for ministry there.

Pray for us

They call where we are “The Land In-Between.” We want to be in Rwanda, but we are here. We have begun saying goodbye to folks here, but we haven’t left yet. We want to move forward with life, but cannot because forward is Rwanda.

Speaking of Rwanda

Rwandans sorting coffee

Pray for the third year pastors these weeks as they learn about the Old Testament and raising children. We have a sharp and creative teacher named Mukakalisa Gaudiose who works with our pastor students to develop a ministry for children in their churches; she will teach the class on raising children. We see it clearly in America: our culture does not mirror the Bible when it comes to raising children. Every culture faces this same issue in light of God’s Word. Our goal as disciples is to become like Christ. Our goal as missionaries is to participate with God, to become tools in his hands as he forms these pastors into Christ-likeness. Thanks for all you are doing to help us get there.