In August 2022, a team of four future missionaries and one short-term missionary went on a Training Trip in Rwanda where they joined EFM missionaries Brad and Chelsea Carpenter! This trip took place from August 5-20! Below our testimonies from the future missionaries about their time in Rwanda!
“Our trip to Rwanda was amazing. All the mission trips I’ve been on have had one mindset. ‘We are here to help you’. But learning about D4D taught me that missionaries should be coming to a foreign country with a mindset of ‘We are here to teach you how to help yourself’. It was amazing seeing first hand stories of how people’s lives were completely changed through D4D and that Brad and Chelsea’s work is not yet done in Rwanda. They are working fervently to teach D4D to everyone. Even equipping other Rwandan pastors to go out and teach D4D in other countries.
Being with Brad and Chelsea, taught what the realities of being a missionary are. They were very open about their stories and their hesitations about going to a foreign country. But their stories have encouraged me, and taught me that it’s normal to be hesitant or even afraid, but at the end of the day, being a missionary is about putting your life in Gods hands and saying ‘Here I am, Send me’. ”
“This trip allowed missions to go from a theory in my head to something I have experienced. It was especially encouraging to see the commitment of the Carpenters and other leaders in the Rwandan Friends Church to the Lord. I was amazed by the impact of D4D and how it is spreading and effecting so many people in Rwanda. It is apparent that the Friends church of Rwanda is alive and on fire for Christ.”
“I learned so much about Rwandan culture and what missions looks like in Central Africa. I got to meet many Friends pastors from all over Rwanda and hear their teachings and exciting plans moving forward as a church, including sending their own first missionaries. It was very exciting and encouraging to see the unity among the Friends pastors of Rwanda and their passion to serve the Lord with their whole life. They taught about whole life discipleship methods they have been using and the different ways it has produced fruit. We heard several powerful testimonies of lives and communities being transformed through Jesus and whole life discipleship.
I also learned more about my own calling to missions. Before this trip, I could only imagine what being a missionary would look like. Even though I have been on several missions trips and met many missionaries, serving full time on the mission field was a mystery to me. But in Rwanda I learned about whole life discipleship, which involves four different types of relationships, which are all broken through sin: relationship with God, self, others, and God’s creation. These relationships can only be healed through Jesus. This method of discipleship gave me a small taste of how I could actually serve as a missionary. We also learned about Business as Mission and that gave me another idea of realistic, actual things I can do.
Brad and Chelsea Carpenter, who have been missionaries in Rwanda for about 17 years, taught me a lot about life as a missionary. It was very encouraging to see their family’s commitment to the Lord, and how much of a blessing it is to have a spouse and family that will support you and work with you. They also helped us understand that life as a missionary is not easy. I experienced firsthand how exhausting it can be, but how rewarding it is to participate in God’s plan for His Kingdom.”
“The future missionary trip to Rwanda was very helpful to my discernment and learning about my call to missionary service. I learned a lot from Brad and Chelsea, the missionaries in Rwanda, how difficult life overseas as a missionary is especially as a family and I got to see the reality of a life laid down overseas and learn how hard that can be. However, I also learned that it is worth it. I got to count the cost and still am encouraged by this trip to continue to count the cost as I am now home, of going as a missionary overseas. The Lord has shown me in the trial, sacrifice, and discomfort that going as a missionary is worth it. I’ve learned that it’s not that I should want to go, it’s that I can’t NOT go!
Among the Friends churches in Rwanda, I saw the joy of the Lord clearly. I saw eagerness among church leaders to learn more and be open to being sent as missionaries and learn more about sending others from their churches as well. I was encouraged to be zealous after the Lord and his mission and desire for his people and for the nations. I was filled with joy from the singing and dancing as my brothers and sisters in Rwanda praised Jesus with all their strength, might, and soul and sought after him before anything else!”
We hope the stories of these young people encourage you as they encouraged us!