Hi! Once again it has been a while since we have written. Thank you for your continued partnership with us through prayer and finances! We look forward to getting back into a more regular rhythm of keeping you updated. A lot has happened since we wrote last. We had a great trip to Colorado. The Lord gave us some special time with a couple of the churches who partner with us in ministry. We praise God for his help and blessing in so many ways!
This update includes several things:
1. An update about the Future Missionaries Retreat we had at the end of May.
2. News about a trip Brad is going on with EFM leaders and future missionaries.
3. Our plans to return to Rwanda at the end of July.
4. An update on our family.
5. Some specific things to pray about with us.
|1. Thank You for Praying for the Future Missionaries Retreat|
It was a special time with the Lord and some of his children from Evangelical Friends Churches all over the U.S. We had 15 people come who are sensing that God might be leading them towards becoming missionaries. We also had 18 former or current missionaries/mission leaders who came as mentors, to join the future missionaries in their journey of discernment. During the retreat we had times of:
- Worship through singing.
- Teaching and discussion about various topics related to missions.
- One-on-one times for future missionaries to meet with a mentor/mentor couple.
- Solitude for each one to sit and reflect with God about what he/she was learning.
- Small group discussions to share and encourage one another.
- Fellowship around wonderful meals together.
- Free time for informal conversations.
We do not know all that the Lord is doing or will do through that time of retreat together, but we expect him to continue the good work that he is doing in each one who was there. It was a joy to be able to be a part of that time in this next phase of God sending out missionaries from among the Evangelical Friends Churches of North America. And we pray that each one and many others will have eyes to see the Lord, ears to hear his call and hearts and bodies to respond in obedience to serve in missionaries.
|2. A Trip With Future Missionaries|
From June 30th through July 13th, Brad will be a part of a trip to visit the Evangelical Friends in Aguascalientes, Mexico. He will be traveling with Matt Macy, Edwin & Maria Giron (former EFM missionaries to Aguascalientes), and seven individuals who are sensing that God might be calling them to join him as missionaries. This trip will include times of worshiping and encouraging the believers there, doing ministry with them, as well as a lot of time for learning and discussion as a team with Mexican Friends Church leaders. We are trusting that God will bless this trip, make the team a blessing and that he will also be speaking into each future missionary’s heart and mind, giving direction and affirming his plan for them.
|3. Our Plan to Return to Rwanda|
When we came to the U.S. at the end of May 2020, we planned to be here for three months. For various reasons we have had to extend our time here five different times! COVID-19 certainly impacted our schedule in all of this! Also, Brad’s back and neck issues were a big issue, too. While he is not completely healed, he is much better. Thank you for praying with us about this! We were also exhausted and needed a break from culture and ministry so that the Lord could restore and renew us. He did that, too! He made us lie down on green pastures, led us beside still waters, and restored our souls (Psalm 23).
We now plan to return to Rwanda at the end of July. COVID-19 cases are increasing quite a lot right now in Rwanda. So, we are praying for the Lord to give relief and healing in Rwanda and worldwide. We are also praying that God would draw people to himself through these difficult times!
|4. An Update on Our Family|
At the time of writing, several of us are dealing with sniffles and sore throats, but in general we have been doing well. We have been doing a lot of list-making, sorting, packing, shopping, visiting people, and running errands to prepare for our move back to Rwanda (the list feels overwhelmingly long!) We are going to miss our family and friends here so much, but we also are eager to be in our Rwandan home. The kids feel this way too, and we are trying to remind each other that it’s normal and right to feel several emotions at the same time, like grief and eagerness, stress and peace, fear and joy.
|5. Please Pray With Us|
- That God would protect and take care of us while we are away from each other during the Mexico trip.
- That God would help us get everything done that needs to be done, and that we would trust him in the midst of the chaos.
- That God would heal Rwandans of COVID-19 and that case numbers would go down quickly so that they and we can get back to normal. Also, He would take care of us even when things aren’t normal yet, and that we would still be obedient and trusting.
Thank you so much!
Brad & Chelsea
Sarai, Gideon, and Ian