Monthly Archives: June2014

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All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16

Imagine pastoring a church having never received Bible training. This is common for many pastors in Rwanda, and this is why Pastor Greg English, Al Burrus and David Buiten traveled across the world from their church, Palmcroft Baptist Church in Phoenix, AZ.  Building a desire within hearts for a deep and increased love for God’s Word was their passion.

IMG_0464After a one-day delay, little sleep, and lost luggage containing some of their teaching materials, Pastor Greg began the conference with a a big smile and his gift of humor, sharing the importance of caffeine in church fellowship. After they warmed up to him, he got into more serious business – salvation in Jesus.

“I’ve learned never to make an assumption by action or words that someone is a believer in Christ,” he said to more than 200 pastors and ministry workers. “We can look really good, but that does not make someone a Christian.” He then peeled the layers explaining that leading a church begins with your own personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

They then gave them “Essentials Bible Study Keys” which were translated in Kinyarwanda for their studies throughout the week. They all cheered!

Al, David and Pastor Greg peeled the layers of the 66 books and 40 authors of the Bible revealing the person of Jesus Christ over the next five days, dissecting it verse by verse, covering topics like grace vs. works, evangelism, and more. It concluded with a ceremony where bishops received a Kinyarwanda Study Bible and all left with a certificate and tie or scarf wrapped with a Bible verse in which they learned during their studies.

IMG_0509ERM and those who attended thank Palmcroft Baptist Church and Pastor Greg, Al and David to provide training in God’s word. Please continue to pray for the fruit to multiply into the churches, communities and country in which they serve.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 

1 Corinthians 13:13

Jumping in the back of the truck in Kayonza and loading in the vehicles, the team from Kings High School were ready! As they traversed the hills, they eagerly greeted all the children with their new Kinyarwanda word “muraho” and gave them empty water bottles. The children laughed and chased after the bottles as their new visitors continued up to the village of Rugendabari.

So why were they here? A last minute miracle before Kings left Seattle. God provided the funds for them to give to the local church to build a floor and provide Bibles, which led to them to stay in Rugendabari for a longer time. They came to build a foundation of a church. But they weren’t only here to build with rocks… they came to build relationships in the love of Jesus.

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And they did. They fell in love with these people they had never met, showering them with attention. They held their little hands, played Duck-Duck-Goose, shot them into the air like a rocket, ran through the forest of banana trees with them, visited their homes and prayed for them.

IMG_0714IMG_0719Laughter filled the air. The people cheered as they saw their little ones running around the circle, chasing after the muzungus. Amidst the hardships of life this village faces, Jesus brought them joy through these faithful servants.

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Before leaving they held a church service, and Kings High School’s Bible teacher Deri Kispert shared a message. King’s students shared personal testimonies, one sharing a dark time where Jesus met her, saving her from taking her own life. Another shared the power of healing he experienced in Jesus. After calling people to Jesus Christ, many were saved!

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The sick were prayed for…

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and children received prayer as they walked through an arch made by the hands of laborers working together, unified in the Holy Spirit.

IMG_1023IMG_1048It’s amazing to see how God used these youth to build deep bonds between people whom they’ve never met. There wasn’t one dry eye as they watched the children jump on the vehicles, wave good-bye, and chase after them. It was evident God was outpouring in all present a deep love for Him and one another. Love – it truly is the greatest.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. Isaiah 61:1

IMG_2222Binding up the broken-hearted – the root word for binding also means bandage.  We often bandage the exterior wounds in our society, but neglect the interior that is desperately sick. By digging to find the root causes of these wounds, we discover broken hearts in need of healing. And this is what we see in Rwanda. Failing grades, poverty and other issues are merely symptoms of deep trauma that has not been healed.

The emotions run deep. People in the stadium screamed and some were taken to the hospital during the 20th Commemoration of the Genocide against Tutsi. Nineteen year olds, who were still in their mother’s womb in 1994, were born with post traumatic stress disorder (PSD). The trauma, although 20 years ago, is still like yesterday to many.

“The younger self becomes locked in time. They have no idea that the trauma was 20 years ago,” said Cathy Thorpe MA, a trained LifeSpan Integration Therapist who travels worldwide to train therapists in trauma therapy.

IMG_2208Due to the need in Rwanda, Cathy came to teach trauma therapy for the first time to non-professionals. She came with a team including Corky Morse and John and Robin Vendelin. Nearly fifty came to this 2-day training, including pastors and various ministry workers, to learn effective techniques. They had hands-on training, counseling each other in small groups utilizing the tools presented.

Tears were shed, but laughter came as the group bonded in a unique way as they shared intimate details about traumas that still weigh heavy on their hearts.

Trauma therapy takes hard work, a compassionate heart, and sacrifice to comfort those who have endured much loss and suffering. We are thankful to the Lord Jesus for sending Cathy, Corky, John and Robin to Rwanda to “bandage” broken hearts.