Hi Friends and Family!
Sorry, it’s been so long since my last update. A lot’s been happening here, so rather than trying to put it all in one update, I’m going to try to write three updates over the next several weeks, one for each month of this year so far.
In my last update, I shared about getting to stay with Pastor Nicodeme and his family and the wonderful hospitality they showed me. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to stay with more of our Friends pastors, and their families. I am incredibly grateful for how each family welcomed me into their home and for all the things I learned with each of them.
In January, I had the opportunity to stay with Pastor Simparinka and his family in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. He and his family are such gentle, peaceful people, and I felt such peace in being with them. During my time with him, I had the opportunity to meet many of our Friends pastors in Kigali to hear about how God has changed their lives through Discipling for Development (D4D), a whole life discipleship model that’s taking off in the Friends churches in East Africa. D4D emphasizes that God cares about every part of our lives. He cares about our relationship with him, our relationships with others, our relationship with the environment/things we have, and our relationship with ourselves. (Think of “relationship with ourselves” as our view of ourselves and how we take care of ourselves). Recently, I’ve been taking a look at my own life and praying and thinking about what I need to bring under Jesus’s lordship in each of those areas. What about you? What parts of these areas is Jesus calling you to follow him deeper in?
The following week I stayed with Pastor Jean Paul and his family who also live in Kigali. He and his family are incredibly funny. In the space of a week, we had developed a whole host of inside jokes that we were still laughing about when I saw them a month later. I had such joy in being with them! During that week I also had the chance to teach a few religion classes at Kagarama Secondary School. (Secondary schools are grades 7-12). I was so honored to be asked to teach. The lesson I was asked to teach most often was on Christian Commitment. Here’s the Cliff Notes version. Jesus has shown us so much love in all that he’s done for us, and our motivation in all that we do for him should be from love for him and others. It was certainly a reminder to me to check my motives and make sure I’m not just going through the motions.
Here’s a lesson plan for another class I taught at Kagarama Secondary School. I really enjoyed helping the students step into the story and imagine that they were these people hearing this news for the first time. All in all, it’s been a blessing to stay with these families and to meet all the people I got to during that time. I look forward to getting to know more of our pastors, their families, and many others during the rest of my time in Rwanda.
As always, dear friends and family, I am so grateful for how you have partnered and continue to partner with me in my work here. I’m already looking at the logistics for my return to the U.S. this summer, and I’m so excited to share with many of you in person about what God’s doing in Rwanda and about what might be next. It’s hard to believe my on-the-field training is ending in four months. I’m thankful for all that God’s done here in the circles I’m part of, and I’m looking forward to what he has next, both while I’m here in Rwanda and afterward.