Final Day in Rwanda – 10/18/12

Final Day – 10/18/12

Pastor Jean picked us up at 10:00am and we went shopping at a little craft village. It was a typical tourist shopping area where everybody has the same things and they ask you for 3 times as much money as the items are worth. Everybody asks a different price for the same item and they take us as fools by asking us to give them way too much money for everything. I wound up buying a little painted soap stone box for my office and a couple purses for Marissa and Shalyn. I saw nothing that I wanted to buy for Tom or any of the grandkids. It was all a bunch of carvings and stuff that I see at every craft market.

On the way to lunch Pastor Jean mentioned again that 7 pastors have expressed interest in joining him in prison ministry, but he stresses the need to get the proper documents so these pastors will be able to join him. Of course that is part of what we spoke about on the radio, the need to get papers due to the changed laws, so these pastors shouldn’t be surprised to hear that we don’t have proper paperwork and access to the prisons yet. Perhaps they can all work together to expedite the process.

We had lunch at Fantastic Restaurant again and then went back to the hotel to chill, rest, journal and prepare for our trip home.

Radio 105.1FM Rwanda – 10/17/12

Radio 105.1FM Rwanda – 10/17/12

This morning the motel staff decided to start playing their radio at about 5:00am. I had my ear plugs in and could still hear it. I managed to go back to sleep but Don didn’t. He was up before me. We left the motel at 6:30am in order to be to the radio station by 7:00am. We left much earlier than we needed to but since time is never much of a concern here (as with most warm climate countries) we wanted to be sure we weren’t late so we arrived 30 minutes early.

We were greeted by Rama and welcomed into the studio at about 7:00 and we got started right away with the radio show. We were interviewed about PFC and they translated our conversation to the audience in Swahili. Amazing Grace Christian Radio reaches 5 countries and a few million people. They gave us opportunity to talk about PFC, and why we are here. They then asked questions of Don and me and we both took turns sharing about how we minister overseas, how we train the nationals, our ministry model and how and why we each got involved with prison ministry. We gave the listeners contact information and encouraged them to get involved in prison ministry.

After we left the studio we went for coffee and within an hour pastor Jean had already received 3 calls from other pastors that want to help him to minister to inmates. Praise the Lord!

By the next day when we went to lunch Jean had received calls from 7 pastors that want to become involved and ring volunteers.

Don and I hung out at the hotel while Pastor Jean went home to sleep and rest. I studied the scriptures and prepared a message on the use I the law in evangelism which I shared that night at the 6:00pm service at The Love of Jesus Christ Church.

Divine Appointment

Immigration Bureau – 10/16/12

Today we are going to the Directorate Bureau of Immigration and Emigration to get the necessary application and permits to be able to become established as a recognized organization in Rwanda. This will not only allow us to minister here but will also allow Jean to be recognized as the director of a legitimate prison ministry.

We met with Jackson In the government office and after listening to what we way to do he said we need to go got he RGB to register as a religious organization. He said they would also want to know what we will be providing to the inmates on an ongoing basis and what we will do for the inmates after their release.

We went to the RGB and met with a woman there. She had other religious organization documents on her deal and it appeared that her job is to work with religious organizations to help them get registered. She gave us the website where we could find the documents necessary and the information we need to understand the laws pertaining to our ministry in Rwanda. We will review these documents after we return home. We will not be pursuing this any further during this trip. It will require discussion as an IGL team and perhaps the PFC board to determine our direction from here.

After leaving the government offices Don and I returned to our hotel to regroup and gather our thoughts. We both felt somewhat discouraged for several reasons.
1. The door had just been closed.
2. We felt that much of this could have been done before we came.
3. We have 3 more days here with no plan or agenda (we had intended to visit prisons these three days).

Went to get a map (we had to go to the national tourism office to get a map) and then we went to lunch at Fantastic Restaurant (where we ate last week for our first meal). It’s good but not fantastic.

Jean walked us over to the shopping mall (tower) after lunch. We weren’t sure why he suggested we go there, we thought maybe he just assumed we would like to go see it. We walked through the mall and looked at a lot OC overpriced items. This is a mall/business tower on the hill where many international people live and work. This is the only part of town (or te country for that matter) where we see other Muzungu (white men). I decided I wanted to go into one store to look for a fanny pack because I was tired of carrying my big camera bag with me everywhere. We didn’t find any fanny packs but we met Pastor Gregg Schoof, a local American missionary pastor who has been living here for 9 years and site a Christian radio station in Kigali that broadcasts to 5 countries in central Africa. He asked about our ministry and questioned us about our theology and our opinions of Joyce Meyer and Rick Warren. He proceeded to tell us that they both come here and that Rick Warren lied about his association with Illuminati and another organization. After a rather short conversation he invited us to his radio station to do the morning show the following day. We had to check our schedule since we had been asked to visit a village where ex-prisoners were living side by side with their victims and were reconciling. We also were asked to preach at Pastor Jean’s church in the evening.

We returned to our room and after a time of prayer for direction we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to share about PFC on the radio show.

Satan thought he was pulling a good one by keeping us out of the prisons and then God said “I’ll just put them on the radio, then, in front of 5,000,000 people I will have them speak of all that I am doing”.

WHAT AN AWESOME GOD

That evening we went to church with Jean and Patrick #1 at a small church a few km from our hotel. The pastor of this church is Pastor Jean’s spiritual advisor. It was heart-felt worship service but I had a hard time worshipping in song (as often happens overseas when I can’t understand the language that is sung to a different type of music). They were also dancing around and clapping in a way that I was wondering about their doctrine. Ultimately what it did accentuate how easily people can be led astray from truth or biblical worship when they envelope themselves with false doctrine or tradition or culture without looking at the validity and accuracy of what they are doing.

Don shared his “But One Day” message which was very well received and then Pastor Jean exhorted everyone on to live out their faith and to go out to do the Lord’s work without getting caught up about the money. He pointed out that we left our families and came here. We did what we had to do to get here. We raised the money and came all the way to Africa. What will you do?

The African people often see us as rich Americans and they look to us for resources. They do what we all tend to do – we say “they can do that because…”. Perhaps because “they have money”, or “they have the natural ability”, or “they have the resources”, or “they know all the right people”. It’s a lame human excuse for not doing something that we can or ought to do.

Lord, forgive me for my doubt, my discouragement, my selfishness, my bitterness, my pride, my judgementalism, my evil heart. Thank you that you have given me a new heart, if I will only call upon you in my time of need. I call upon you now. Cleanse me, make me whole. I praise you for your mighty works. All glory to you, Lord.

Church and Rest 10/14/12

10/14/12 – Church and rest

Pastor Willy showed up with his son at the restaurant where we were eating breakfast this morning at about 8:45am. We left for Pastor Willy’s church a little after 9:00 and arrived there about 9:30am. A few choirs sang and then Pastor Willy called for a couple women to come forward with their little children to be dedicated to the Lord. Pastor asked Don and I to come up and say a prayer of dedication. I passed the mike to Don and he led the prayer and dedication. Don then shared his message “But One Day” and then I shared a 20 minute synopsis of 2 Timothy, citing that it was Paul’s last letter and it was written to his “son” in Christ. I shared that, as Paul’s last letter we should consider of utmost importance as his final words to his son and we should consider it a model of what we should teach and model to our children.

After church we returned to the hotel for rest and reflection. We have been running hard since we arrived in Burundi and we are taking the Lord’s Day to honor the Sabbath.

Pastor Willy and his wife, Angel, brought us some gifts this evening – They gave us both coffee and tea from Burundi. We also shared some gifts with them – beanie babies, pens, a notebook portfolio, a bunch of ties, a loaf of fresh w bread and a cash gift. We all prayed together for our ministries, families, and travels. We will one day meet again.

Our Glorification – His Glory

“Those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified”.
Rom 8:30

“To come to Thee is to come home from exile, to come to land out of the raging storm, To come to rest after long labour, to come to the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes.” C.H. Spurgeon

Many people have a misunderstanding of the family of God. Too often I hear people say that we are all God’s children. This is fundamentally an scripturally untrue. We are all creatures created by God but only those who place their trust in Christ are God’s children. Jesus said that “unless one be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven”. Jn 3:3. He doesn’t merely say that we cannot enter heaven but he actually says that we cannot see the kingdom of heaven. If we have been born again, we Will seek the things that are above (Col 3:1-2). The old has passed away and the new has come (2 Cor 5:17). He has placed a new desire in our hearts (Lk 5:39).

What God made us to desire, and therefore what we do desire if we admit it, is exactly what He promises to those who follow Jesus Christ: a resurrected life in a resurrected body, with the resurrected Christ on a resurrected Earth. Our desires correspond precisely to God’s plans. It’s not that we want something, so we engage in wishful thinking that what we want exists. It’s the opposite – the reason we want it is precisely because God has planned for it to exist. Resurrected people living in a resurrected universe isn’t our idea its God’s.

Our conversions do not mark the consummation of our redemption; rather, the Lord will be glorified most fully in us only when He has brought us into our own glorification. Although we grow in our ability to reflect God’s glory over the course of our lives, the remaining presence of sin keeps us from shining forth His light in its full beauty. One day, however, the Lord will glorify us, removing even the presence of sin from our bodies. At that point, God will bring us into a full state of glorification in order that we might give glory back to Him.

What is your hearts desire?