Saturday, May 29, 2010
The Team and our airport welcoming committee.
Dear Ministry Partners,
Last night was the first official IRM Ministry Team dinner. IRM hosted the U.S. IRM Team and the Rwandan IRM Team that will be working together. Pastors from the Foursquare Church, Chaplins from Prison Fellowship, men and women interpreters, 19 in all.
I shared my appreciation for each one and my heart for the ministry God has led IRM to do here. As we minister together I know we will become fast friends.
Today was our first day of ministry, we went to Rilima Prison.
At first light we saw the enemy try and derail our plans. We were to leave at 9 to go to the prison and it was discovered that today was "Clean-up Rwanda" day. On one Sat. a month Rwandans are required to do clean-up around their homes and town until noon. If you are caught traveling or doing anything else - you will be arrested and taken to jail. Roadblocks are everywhere and the only other thing you can do is stay inside your house.
Alfred, the IRM Operations Supervisor, who was in Kenya for work was to arrive at 9 a.m. today but because of a strike by Kenya Air, all of their flights were delayed.
The enemy has been attacking heavily but God's control and provision and blessing has been evident as Alfred was able to procure a seat on another airline, to arrive at 12:30 but when he was delayed at the Kigali Airport the day was getting so late that I made the decision to go with those present and have Blessing interpret for me as she had done on a previous trip.
As we drove out of town Blessings phone rang, Alfred was just a couple of minutes behind us, asking us to wait for him to catch up.
I am not sure, but I think I have set a record today, every time the enemy attacked to get us focused on the circumstances I found myself saying...."Jesus I give you praise for who you are and that you ARE the one in control here. I give you praise because I KNOW that we are going to see you do GREAT things today. I give you praise, I give you praise, I give you praise...........".
And for a fact, we did see him do great things. From finding great favor with a Deputy Warden, I had met on a previous trip who asked to pray for and with all of us, (this was a first !!) before entering the prison to seeing God add to the Lamb's Book of life.....3,000!!!!!
I cannot keep back the tears, even now, as I "Thank" God for allowing us to see the Holy Spirit at work.
It is 11p.m. and the team has long since retired so I best be off to bed.
So, as I said we are seeing God's care, provision and blessing in a HUGE way.
Your continued prayers are SO needed.
for the team
Thursday, May 27, 2010
We have arrived safe and sound with only a small change in our flight plan. Due to the strike of the airline employees in France we need to stay out of their air space, we had a change in our flight plan adding about 45 min. to our Belgium to Kigali flight. Imagine my delight and surprise at meeting a friend, Joyce Pepos, a former teammate, and her husband in the Belgium airport.
God has been gracious to us in our “seating”, giving me a bulkhead seat so I could elevate my legs but on the last leg from Belgium He provided 2 additional seats next to me so Tanya and I both shared and were both able to lay flat across them and sleep or rest for a couple hours so my hip is almost pain free. Team leader, Roger, had 4 seats so he also got to lay flat to sleep.
I am so thankful for God’s hand on my health as I traveled. I have had absolutely no pain on the right side of my head. Thank you for those of you who were praying concerning the issues I had been having with that.
We arrived at Kigali Airport about 8pm and all of our luggage arrived with no problems going through customs. We were welcomed by Blessing Mupenzi (Alfred, the IRM supervisor is in Kenya until Sat.morning), Pastor Peter, the translator for the prison pastors training and Alex, a friend of Alfred’s.
I cannot tell you how happy we all were to see their smiling faces.
So, as you can see we have much to praise Jesus for already.
Our rooms at Moucecore Center were ready for us and we are looking forward to a good nights sleep tonight.
Thank you for your continued prayers,
for the Team
Monday, May 24, 2010
May 26 has finally arrived......Rwanda, here we come...
Tomorrow the 2010 IRM Team Rwanda meets at PDX at 5:30am for the beginning of our eagerly anticipated trip.
So many plans, so many decisions, so very many suitcases filled with your donated supplies.
Every team member is as excited as I am to see what God will do on this trip.
Our Team Leader has booked an excellent travel route and the shortest, I might add, that I have ever been on. Portland, New York, Belgium, Kigali (Rwanda). And no 5 ,7 or 12 hour layovers - YEA!!
The 1,000's of Bibles and Discipleship Booklets you so graciously donated funds for are waiting for distribution upon our arrival.
Thank you for being a God who goes before us and lives within us.
That means whatever we may face we have nothing to fear
and everything to hope for in you.
I ask for peace to calm our hearts,
wisdom to guide our steps, and your hand holding ours all the way.
We trust what you will do and where you will take us with you. Amen.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take. Prov. 3:5-6
WE appreciate your continued prayers,
for the Team
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Let me introduce you to one of IRM's local ministry partners from New Life Church.
Victoria & Arlene
Thanks to Victoria's father, James, for taking this photo last Sunday at church.
Victoria has such a huge passion for helping IRM put God's written Word into the hands of the Rwandan people. Frequently on Sundays this young girl, with her bright smile, finds me at church to place another zip lock baggie filled with money into my hands. She then informs me that she has sold some of her handmade bookmarks, had a yard sale or done some other task to raise more money for Bibles. Sometimes it is a family effort for Victoria as her sister, Elizabeth, also helps.
I appreciate so very much each person who uses their gifting and talents to make up IRM's Ministry Partner home team.
Final preparations are going well and things are getting marked off my "make sure you don't forget" list. Suitcases have been weighed and re-weighed, at 48.5 - 49 lbs., to make sure they are within the airline 50 lb. weight limit.
Your continued prayers are appreciated. Please go to the web site .... www.newlifeirm.org .... and down load our itinerary as a prayer guide.
8 days and counting..........
Saturday, May 15, 2010
What an amazing thing that God would allow us to see Him do such great things in Rwanda. Already for this trip, we have seen God speak into the hearts of the government officials that IRM would find favor with them and we would be allowed to implement the Pastors Training Program and Women's Conference for the prisoners. I am so very thankful for the government officials and wardens who have been so gracious and kind toward our efforts.
Although the economy here is not very good, people have heard me speak about the wonderful people of Rwanda and they have seen pictures of the prisoners and villagers with such joy and celebration at having been given a Bible. Because the Holy Spirit has touched the hearts of my ministry partners, you have provided the funds for 1,000's of Bibles and Discipleship Booklets for us to distribute on this trip.
A big "Thank You" to Pastor Deo the Executive Director of Prison Fellowship Rwanda for all he and his staff have done to help IRM carry out the ministry God has laid before us. He have been a huge blessing to IRM and I am so very thankful for his friendship.
Just think.....in a few days I will leave America for my second home....Rwanda, it will be my 7th trip and many of the people there are like family for me. I am excited to see them all again especially the women at Pastor Deo's Center.
It's so very hard to believe that these beautiful friends are dying of HIV/AIDS !!!
That none would be lost,
Friday, May 14, 2010
The days are passing so quickly as I work on final preparations for the trip.
The beauty of the country is dwarfed by the beauty of the people.
This will be my 7 trip to Rwanda and I am no longer surprised by the broad smiles midst such a sea of poverty. They have been through so much and have so little. Yet as one orphan, who knows Jesus as his Savior, responded to my question about his constant smile "I refuse to allow satan to steal from me what God has put in my heart".
Such wisdom from that man !!!
Although this first IRM Team is small, God has knit together such a powerful group of men and women, all willing to allow the Holy Spirit to stretch and equip them. It makes me smile as I hear questions followed by "I've never done this before" because I am saying....
the same thing.
The logistics of taking my own team are really something and I am thankful for all the IRM team partners that contribute to accomplishing every detail.
What a pleasure to have a team where everyone is willing to share unfamiliar responsibilities, serving each other while we serve the people of Rwanda.
I am so thankful for God's design and direction in ALL of this. I stand in awe of everything He is doing with IRM and in my life.
I am continually giving HIM praise.
Not only are we busy preparing to go but our Rwandan team is busy preparing for our arrival. The Core Team had their final preparation meeting yesterday. Almost daily I internet chat with Alfred, the IRM Operations Supervisor, about all he is doing on his side of the ocean, to ready things for this first IRM team ministry trip.
We appreciate your continued prayers and support.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
BRUSSELS – Hundreds of flights between Europe and were either delayed or canceled on Saturday due to the spreading cloud of volcanic ash stretching across much of the northern Atlantic, the European flight control agency said.
Flights had to be rerouted north over Greenland or south over Spain to avoid the 1,200-miles (2,000-kilometer)-long cloud stretching from Iceland to northern Spain, Eurocontrol said. This will increase flying times by about an hour in either direction.
"We assume that basically most of the trans-Atlantic flights will have to be rerouted on Saturday," Eurocontrol spokeswoman Kyla Evans said. "We expect substantial delays because of that."
Approximately 600 airliners make the oceanic crossing every day. Around 40 percent will be rerouted southward and the rest will skirt Iceland from the north.
Please continue to hold us and our travel plans up in prayer. Every member of the Team appreciates your continued and faithful prayer covering.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Prov.3:5 & 6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
for the Team
Thursday, May 6, 2010
No ocean can hold it back.
No river can overtake it.
No whirlwind can go faster.
No army can defeat it.
No law can stop it.
No distance can slow it.
No disease can cripple it.
Prayer is America's hope. Thursday, May 6 is the 59th Annual Observance of the National Day of Prayer. Join with millions of people around the world in prayer for America. We invite you to be part of interceding for our nation, leaders, communities and families. One prayer, one heart at a time, we can change our nation!
The LORD is Good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him... Nahum 1:7 NIV
Sunday, May 2, 2010
While there, I met with the Team that is accompanying me to Rwanda and handed off pieces of luggage filled with supplies you have so generously donated. Scarves, ties and re-usable purchased and hand made shopping bags. It is an exciting thing to see women use their sewing talent to bless other women, half way around the world. One group from Klamath Falls made and hemmed over 140 cotton scarves and women from New Life Church in Canby made and decorated more that 40 beautiful shopping bags.
In busy places and quiet places -
God knows you by name,
sees your heart,
understands your needs,
and keeps on taking care of you.
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
Isaiah 43:1 NKJV