I’m so sorry that it’s been almost two months since you’ve heard from me. A lot happened during the first month, and things kind of got away from me. But I’m so excited to share some of what’s happened with all of you! Thank you so much for partnering with me and going with me in this way. I couldn’t have done it without you all.
Here’s the overview. My time here started with two main events during my first month, Kumbaya and a Future Missionary Training Trip, before settling into something of a typical rhythm.
So, first Kumbya. This is an annual conference where missionaries from all over Rwanda gather for rest and retreat. It has been going on for decades and is cherished by the missionaries here. I was very grateful to be a part of it and to get to meet so many people throughout the week and hear their stories. The teaching that week was on the Psalms, and halfway through the week we were given the opportunity to write our own psalm. So, I took my guitar to a secluded place, started a voice memo on my phone and just started playing. It was refreshing to write about the different emotions swirling inside of me and process it with Jesus. If you’ve never tried to write a psalm before, I certainly recommend giving it a try, whether yours looks like a song or a poem or maybe something else entirely. Pictured here is the Kumbya Lake View, From The Friends Cabin
Next, the Future Missionary Training Trip. It was such a joy to see people I knew and to meet people I hadn’t before. It was also such an honor to meet so many of the Rwandan pastors that the Carpenters have worked with for so long. For the trip, we spent one week in Kigali and one week in Musanze. Our time consisted of home stays with Rwandans the Carpenters know well, a training for Friends pastors, and D4D training along with hearing stories of how God is using D4D to transform people’s lives. Discipling For Development (D4D) is a whole life discipleship program that’s really taking off in the Friends churches here. It begins with letting God restore every relationship of our lives: our relationship with him, others, the environment and our resources, and how we view ourselves. One woman shared about how in going through D4D, God had restored her marriage and empowered her to create a better life for her family as he taught her how to better steward what he had given her. It was a powerful testimony, and I can’t do it justice in such limited space!
The Executive Council, Their Wives, The D4D Team, And The Team From The U.S.
After the team left, I began Kinyarwanda lessons with one of the workers at the Carpenters’ house, who has been such an incredible help. He is so patient with me as we build off what he’s taught me day-by-day. Also, shortly after the team left, I was able to move into a house with some other guys and have enjoyed some sweet times of fellowship with them. For the next few months, my primary focus will be on learning as much Kinyarwanda as I can and on going on two Luke 10 Exploration Trips. Pictured on the right, is my first attempt at transcribing Kinyarwanda into IPA.
Here are some ways you can be praying for me this month.
1. By the time you get this, I will be on a Luke 10 Exploration Trip in Tanzania. Luke 10 Exploration Trips are part of EFM’s discernment process about where God wants EFM to start new fields. Please pray for God’s leading as we listen to him, humility for each of us on the team to serve each other and those we meet, and for God’s wisdom in overcoming unexpected difficulties
2. Pray for wisdom in what to learn as I work on Kinyarwanda. Pray that I might learn it well enough to be conversational in it so that I might be helpful to Brad and Chelsea in the work that they’re doing and so that I might be able to connect with Rwandans in a deeper way as I talk with them in their language.
I know this has been a long update, but there’s just so much to tell. Thank you again for how you’ve partnered with me. Also, I would love to hear from you, whether by email or messaging me on WhatsApp or Signal.
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