Kingdom Diversity

From Rwanda: The Power of God

Blessed are those who consider the poor!    --Psalm 41: 1    Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow  put into small copper coins.  And he said, “Truly, I tell you this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Blessed are those who consider the poor!    --Psalm 41: 1

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow  put into small copper coins.  And he said, “Truly, I tell you this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

I had a special privilege of witnessing the power of God’s Word in Psalm 41: 1 and Luke 21: 1-4 on Saturday and Sunday at COTA Church of Gikomero.  Our brothers and sisters, living in severe poverty, are giving out of their poverty to rebuild their new church which fell down.  

Saturday we saw the new strong foundation.  Pastor Alfred shared he is giving the funds received for his greatly needed motorbike to the construction of Gikomero’s new church.  Sunday a collection was received for the rebuilding of the new church.  A member brought forward a bag of vegetables, this was all they had to offer.  These were sold and funds used for the church.  One of our Interpreters was so moved by the love for Christ church, he promised to donate five 50 lb. bags of cement.  The congregation was thrilled with this precious gift!  

God desires us to love others as He loves us with a love we do not deserve!  Pastor Alfred and our brothers and sisters of Gikomero are loving others well!  They are sacrificing all they have for the sake of the gospel through the reconstruction of their new church and sharing the gospel within their community.  I am challenged to be more attentive and eager in seeking God’s will as He speaks to my heart in regard to making sacrifices to further His kingdom.

God gave me a beautiful gift on Tuesday as we toured the Shyogwe Diocese projects.  As we entered the Mother’s Union Vocational Sewing Class, I heard a young girl call my name as she jumped out of her seat and ran into my arms.  I looked into her face, and saw Belise, our Compassion child!  We sat together holding hands during the team’s visit.  My heart was overflowing with love for Belise and praise to God for this wonderful, wonderful surprise!  What a blessing it was to tell her I would visit with her on Thursday at the Compassion Project!  Claudine, director of the Mother’s Union, told me Belise is a very good student and will graduate in October.  I am very proud of Belise and grateful to the Mother’s Union for educating the young girls with the skill of sewing.  The Diocese’s desire is to have the opportunity to give each girl a sewing machine at the time of their Graduation, so they are able to work at home and help provide an income.  Currently the funds for these sewing machines aren’t available.  I pray the funds will become available.  As our brothers and sisters say, “God will provide.”

- Teresa Kincaid

Rwanda Blog: On the Ground, Ready to Go

After 12 hours across the ocean on a very large plane, we touched down in the small Middle Eastern country of Qatar. Felt like 135 degrees on the tarmac, and it was immediately clear, we weren’t in Kansas.
Our eyes met travelers from Arabic, Asian, African and probably a hundred other nations. Beautiful people, all made by God. But very different from a stroll through North Hills. 

And we weren’t there yet.

Several hours more, and our eyes finally met the bright-faced, mild-mannered people of our host nation. Getting our passports checked, the Team began butchering and blundering some basic Kinyarwanda vocab. That produced some smiles from the otherwise stoic passport screening officials. 

Then finally, familiar faces! Eugenie. Celestine. Claudine. And many more familiar faces appeared, eager to greet us and welcome us. We sat down in the room where we’ll share meals this week, and enjoyed fresh crepes, fresh fruit and hot tea while the mellow sun sank beyond the rolling hills outside the window. 

As I type, most of the Team is playing Bananagrams in the dark because power is out. Something that happens almost nightly. We’re tired but looking forward to what’s ahead.

And what’s ahead is more faces of people made by God, loved by God. We will lock eyes with old friends and new friends in Gikomero tomorrow. We will sing, maybe dance and definitely seek the Lord with them in worship Sunday. And the week will continue from there.

Our aim is to pray with people. Sounds thoroughly unproductive in some ways. And yet, the point of our journey, the point of being linked with these folks is relationship. And there aren’t many more things that link you closer than praying with someone. So, our hope is to pray. To pray a lot.

Pray with the Shyogwe diocesan staff. With Pastor Alfred, who is Gikomero’s new pastor, and his family. With the mothers of the Healthy Mums Project. With the Health Center staff and patients. And hopefully with some families of the church. 

And the Lord only knows what will happen as he hears and answers these prayers we pray with our brothers and sisters. But hopefully we will walk away closer to them, and them to us. 

We’re on our way. Pray for us!

-Eric Bolash