I know Blair wrote SO much already… but thought I’d conclude his update by filling you in on a couple other things that have been going on over the last couple of weeks… hard to believe another couple of weeks has gone by already! Time is going WAY too fast here!
We are all ready and set to head to Rwanda tomorrow! We will leave Nyahururu town around 2 tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon (our time) and then board a coach bus in Nakuru (due west of here) at 5:00 pm… from there the 17 of us will begin our 25 (ish) hour express bus ride to Kigali, Rwanda. We did find out we do get a dinner stop in Kampala, the capital of Uganda… at 3:00am in the morning!!! Not sure if I’ll feel much like eating “dinner” then, but I’m SURE I’ll … no WE’LL need the “rest” stop by then! Should be interesting… and stretching to be sure! 😀
We are very excited though, to be heading out. During the silent retreat with the Pastors yesterday, I was led to a passage of scripture that deals with fear… of course, like anyone, I do have “fears”… but what I realized in those moments was that I have no fears at all in regards to this trip. At home before I even got to Africa, when we mentioned going to Rwanda this year, we got various reactions because of their fairly recent history of civil war and genocide. We’ve been assured though that it is very safe now… safe as anywhere else really… so we are trusting that to be true. I really did feel the greatest sense of comfort and peace about this trip… though there are so many unknowns… God has shown me over the past two and a half months that His presence is so real… through provision, protection and just a comfort in all situations that has led me to feel know that He will meet us and He really is with us all the time… especially in every situation when we might feel unsafe or uncomfortable… and we know as He already has so many times already… will give us His extra measure of perseverance, strength, courage and patience when we are faced with discomforts and inconveniences.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” it says in 1st John 4:18, and God is perfect love! We are just filled with excitement and anticipation… and Jesus’ peace and the fullness of His joy as we wait one more night for this adventure!!
God’s timing for the retreat yesterday could not have been more perfect (of course!!) Funny, when God laid on my heart to share the practice of a day of silent retreat… I had in mind this group of local Pastors that Wachira has brought together. The fact that God gave us an opportunity to participate and lead two other groups over the previous month was an added blessing I never saw coming… but such a blessing they have been as well. But yesterday, as this group of Pastors and their wives gathered at the retreat center, there was a sense of anticipation for what God would have in store for us all. And it would seem, by the “reports” and sharing that happened at the end of the day, that God met each and every person in unexpected and significant ways. None of this group had done anything like this before, but came away seeing such value in this time spent away from busyness and the work of ministry to simply stop and make time to focus on God and to listen to Him and for His guidance and direction… that all would like to make this a regular practice in their own lives and many would like to now introduce it to others… ministry leaders and partners here, elders in their churches, various groups and members of their local congregations!
I am so thankful to see how God worked in and through this whole ministry of introducing spiritual disciplines here. To know that He had a plan and purpose far greater than I even asked for or imagined has just been so awesome to experience and has been a privilege to be a part of. Thank you again to all who partnered with us to pray for these retreats and for guidance and encouragement… for sharing scriptures and experience. This one ministry alone has made the whole time here worthwhile! I wish I could share every story that came out of yesterday… time and space does not allow… but be assured that our prayers for this day were answered many times over and will continue to be… that’s the best part! I just LOVE how God takes what little we have to give Him and multiplies it so generously and in ways we don’t even imagine! God is so, SO good! It makes me so excited for what He has in store for us next… !!!
And speaking of “next”… it’s getting late! Boy, it’s 9:00 already! Here that is getting late as the sun sets before 7:00… and we get up fairly early here… the animals are still making sure of that!
Tomorrow, all but 7 (the Rwandese orphans) of the PACE young people are at home for mid-term break, our “regular” church service will not happen this week and there is no time for us to travel to a church in town and get back to town to our “bus” at 2:00… so we decided to have church here at “our” home tomorrow morning. Roger has graciously agreed to lead the service… it will be a blessing and a nice break for Blair and I just to “attend” in the morning!… and John Mathenge the PACE head teacher, will be our preacher! He is going to bring the 7 young people from PACE and Dorris and Esther, our two American missionary neighbors will be joining us to. Oh and our other neighbor, Ben Mburu, the dentist who has a clinic at PACE, will join us to… he has become a frequent guest and a good friend! We are looking forward to a good morning!
We are thinking we may not have access to internet in Rwanda, and if we do, probably not too much time to use it… so we probably won’t be able to write much, if at all while we are serving there. We do humbly ask for prayer for this trip though… in a few ways…
Of course for safety as we travel and serve there… and for the health of each of the 17 of us Kenyans, Canadians and our American friend and co-laborer!
Please also pray for the provision of funds for a few of the Pastors who have committed to the trip, their bags are packed, their bus tickets are purchased… but they are still trusting God for funds… we are praying over the next 24 hours… in order that the mission can be realized in it’s fullness as it has been planned.
As well, please pray for the Pastor’s wives who will be “home alone”… to take care of all responsibilities of home, children and ministry while their husbands serve away for the week and a bit…
Please also pray for the Lord’s guidance in the actual ministry we will serve in there. Thus far there hasn’t been a lot of concrete direction… all we know is that we will be leading seminars regarding leadership development for groups of men, women, youth workers and children and children’s workers… I am to help in leading with the women’s groups and with the children… along with Blair and Irungu (our good friend!). Roger will be acting as an interpreter I’m sure fairly constantly throughout the trip. Blair and I have a few resources that we are bringing along that may help in the roles we’ve been asked to serve in… and we are trusting and praying that God will continue to meet and prepare us for what ever He calls us to do. Much is up in the air, so to speak… but it’s the Kenyan way… and so far, God has been faithful to provide ALL we need, despite our feelings of not “knowing all” in advance an feeling like we are “prepared.” We are realizing this is how God is showing us it really is Him working through us… it’s not us!! 😀
And please pray for our Rwandan brothers and sisters. For the leaders and Pastors we will be serving alongside, for their churches and communities we will be visiting and working in. Please pray to that the three of us (along with the Kenyans leaders who are spearheading this ministry) will continually have God’s wisdom, discernment, depth of understanding… that we see the country, it’s people and it’s real issues (not just what’s on the surface) through God’s eyes and perspective… truly through the eyes of our hearts…
Thank you again for all of your prayers, encouragement and support!! We look forward to writing again soon to share how God is working and moving abundantly through His people here in Africa!
May you know the love, peace, joy and rest of Jesus in this day!
In Christ’s love and in His service,
Sheryl, Blair and Roger