Hello, Everyone! August 5, 2013
This has been a busy month of much travel and variety. July marked 6 months of being here in Rwanda. The time has certainly gone quickly, and I have been blessed immensely.
At the beginning of the month, I again travelled back to the capital to visit all families of sponsored children. This often provides opportunities to serve and witness with the children and their families. On this visit as I was in a home, another person visiting asked the father “Baraka,” who was reading his Bible at the time, “Baraka, are you a Muslim?” The father then replied, “I was until Laura convinced me to be a Christian.” What I found most intriguing from his statement is that I have had very minimal opportunity to verbally witness to this man. In fact other than sharing the Jesus film with his family and “Wordless Books” with his children, I still lack the language skills to smoothly communicate the Gospel with him. However, I was excited that my interaction with his family has caused him to search out Christianity. On this same visit, the eldest son informed me that he needed a Bible as he has accepted Christ and is preparing to be baptized at a local church he now attends. I was thrilled to get him a Bible!
The next stop was a four-day trip to a very remote area where I had coordinated with a local pastor to visit four local parishes showing the Jesus film and speaking as well. As some of these churches are located in areas accessible only by foot, they were extremely receptive. For two of the days, in order to reach our destination, I hired a local man to carry the generator on his head while the rest of us hiked several miles through the mountains to arrive at the churches. One can’t complain about hiking for miles to reach a destination when a man in front of you is carrying a 100 pound generator on his head making the same trek! At each location several hundred were waiting to view this gospel presentation. The final night we showed the film outside near the town center where the entire community could participate. Several hours before we were scheduled to show the film, children were already gathered waiting to hear about Jesus. At each church several made statements of accepting and desiring to follow Christ, and at each parish local leaders are there to help these new believers grow in their faith.
My last trip of the month was to Uganda where I volunteered in a small children’s home. This home has been started through local Ugandan Christians who saw a need and are pooling resources to try to help some children. As they have no outside support, the children were lacking in basic necessities, and upon my arrival 4 of 30 children had malaria. Through Love Alive gifts we were able to supply each of the children with sheets, a blanket and a mosquito net to curb the rampant transaction of malaria prevalent in that region. Each day we shared Bible stories together, played and simply tried to show these orphaned children that they are loved and valued.
As many know, I also contracted malaria while at the children’s home in Uganda (prior to hanging the mosquito nets!), but I am doing very well. There are now effective medications available that greatly decrease the symptoms. Thank you for those of you who were praying for my health.
As another month begins, I am looking forward to the ministry opportunities awaiting and to see how God will work!
Thank you as always for your prayers, thoughts and gifts!
May God bless you abundantly!
Beth Ann Swallows
Amazing stories Laura! Praising God with you and praying for good health and protection.
A million thanks for posting this inioomatfrn.
Good to know of how God is using you to impact ppl in all sorts of ways.many blessings to you Laura