Dear Friends, Family & Prayer Warriors,
I write, hoping this New Year is off to a wonderful start for each of you. Here this year has taken off at a rapid pace with so many exciting things happening, I’m not sure if I can condense them all into one update, but I will certainly do my best.
When I returned to Rwanda in mid-November, as most of you know, I immediately hit a few set-backs with visa issues. Added to that, all but one of the planned Vacation Bible Schools had been cancelled. However, God opened up several doors, and we still had children’s programs in 7 different churches in Uganda and Rwanda. I was blessed to have my sister come visit for two weeks, we worked together with leaders from local churches to hold 1 and 2-day children’s programs in both countries. In several areas we combined these children’s outreaches with Christmas parties, where, with your help we were able to bless hundreds and hundreds of little lives with clothing, toiletries, small toys and meals. Each and every child was presented with the story of Christmas and the message of Jesus.
As soon as the Christmas season ended, the work began to make sure each of our sponsored students was enrolled and received their school supplies and uniforms as the school year is just beginning here now. At this moment we have 130 students enrolled. Many of these children would simply not have the opportunity to go to school without your prayers and gifts. This year, because of contributions to share Bibles here in Rwanda, we were also able to give each child in 2 of our schools a Bible (70 children). Each of these children is from a different home, meaning that we were able to get a Bible in 70 homes.
To share an idea of how much joy a Bible brings here, I’ll share this story. As I was leaving one school, two teachers approached me and asked if I had any more Bibles. I was now approaching the road, but yes, I had a few Bibles remaining and gladly shared. Some women passing by saw this exchange and were quickly willing to prove their ability to read to gain a Bible. The first 2 women were very joyful and thankful, but the third woman literally took her new Bible and shouted, sang, danced and skipped her way down the road and out of sight. I tried to get photos or video, but she was too fast. She jumped into the air, praising God, fell onto her face in praise and then would rise again, leaping into a great dance. Anyone else in the streets that day, knew this woman had received a Bible.
One final praise that I will share concerns the street children, that many of you know have been a special burden on my heart, but as of yet, I have been limited in what I can legally do for them. While I will write a longer blog of details later, for the moment, the praise is that we have been able to take 3 boys off the streets, putting them in a Christian boarding school where they have beds, daily meals, safety, good guidance and education. I have visited each of them and they are happy and reportedly studying eagerly. You are a big part of that, and I thank you.
In closing, I beg you for your prayers. While the past two months back in Africa have had many praiseworthy moments and have been fruitful, the Enemy is every working, and there have been many battles. I was reminded in recent reading that we are not battling flesh and blood but spiritual battles. I covet your prayers as the power of the Holy Spirit is truly our only defense.
For specific matters of prayer:
1. This month I will pursue registering Love Alive as an International NGO and pursue my 2 year visa. As I have a 3-month visa and have been busy in many ministry activities until now, next week I will be working on this process.
2. I will also be relocating to a more central area of the country. While I had come to this region to help in a remote area, our work seems to be expanding in a variety of regions. Being centrally located will avail me the opportunity to travel to oversee projects and sponsorship students more easily than from this remote location, where travel is more difficult.
3. That God will continue to open doors of service, and grant His grace, love and strength to continue as He directs.
May God bless each of you in the service of Christ.