Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 - A New Year

Lord, as a New Year begins
We come to you and ask for your blessing
We pray that you would give us joy to fill our days
And peace to fill our hearts and love to fill our lives.
Thank you for the plans you have for us in the New Year.

My heart was grateful as I saw God pour out His blessings on all He called and equipped me to do.

Thanking God for you, IRM partners, and praying your new year is blessed in every way.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jesus is the reason for the season

Merry Christmas
A New Year filled
with God's peace and blessings
The JOY of Christmas is JESUS

Jesus Christ is....
The message of all that God has to say to us
The fullness of all that God has to give us
The essence of all that God wants us to be.

Jesus, the word of God incarnated
image of God revealed
fullness of God imparted
glory of God reflected
grace of God extended
power of God demonstrated
The heart of God expressed
love of God manifested
salvation of God provided



International Reconciliation Ministries

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Merry Christmas

"Unto you this day a child is born
which is
Christ the Lord"

Font size
Jesus is the Gift
Jesus is the Gift that perfectly fits the size of every heart and it is with His love that all celebration starts. We rejoice in Him as we remember His birth and thank God for sending His only Son to earth. His life led from a manger to a cross on a hill
where He faithfully followed His Father's perfect will. He freely laid down everything so that we could live, and there is no greater treasure anyone could give. Like a scarlet ribbon His love wrapped around the cross and He offered it to us all at the greatest cost. So each time that we give we remember what He's done and honor the
perfect Gift - God's one and only Son.

by Holley Gerth

The "Bible Set" gifts you gave to Rwandan prisoners and villagers brought smiles, tears then singing and dancing.


Because of your financial gifts the
Sept.- Oct., 09 mission trip resulted in

God providing IRM ministry opportunities

  • 2 churches
  • 3 HIV/AIDS groups
  • 2 Reconciliation Villages
  • 8 Prison visits
  • 1 Rehabilitation Center for Rebels from the Congo
  • Distributed 2,000 Gospel Tracts
  • Distributed Partner donated scarves (800) & ties (400)
  • Distributed 2,680 Partner donated Bible & Discipleship Booklet sets
  • $1,000 Peace Basket Special Fundraiser for HIV/AIDS womens project
  • The IRM "Core Team" was established

God gave the “Harvest”:
  • 114 - Recommitments to Christ
  • 187 - Prisoners confessed their crimes (hidden sin)
  • 2,100 - Forgive You Enemies or Yourself Decisions
  • 10,276 - Salvation Decisions

I can only say --
"I praise you God for your faithfulness and for allowing us to see you work"

"Thank You" Ministry Partners
God is using your continued prayers and financial support to bless the people of Rwanda


Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks

"Thank You" to the gracious pastors who allowed me to share in their churches and for your prayers while I traveled safely to and in the Klamath Falls, Oregon area. I am so very thankful for partners who pray and support me and the ministry of IRM.

For me, Thanks-giving is not a day but a frame of mind. I am especially reminded of God's goodness in my everyday events and as I see the photos of the recent trip to Rwanda where the faithfulness of God was so evident every day.

Sharing a gospel tract and scarf with this village woman.

In America I get caught up in the pace of daily affairs but in the slower pace of Rwanda the way God orchestrates each day is more obvious. It is a thrilling thing to see Him provide opportunities that stretch and use me, all the while equipping me to do tasks I am untrained to do. At one point in the trip I told God that I needed new words for which to praise Him for what I was seeing Him do. Words like awesome, great, mighty, majestic and spectacular just cannot express what I felt in my heart as I witnessed God work.

The "Core Team", that IRM established in Rwanda on the last trip, had their first meeting this last week in preparation for the 2010 trip. The team is made up of Pastor Deo - Prison Fellowship, Pastor Roger - Foursquare Missionary, Pastor Peter, Pastor Isaiah and Alfred - IRM Operations Supervisor, I am also on the team but function from America. All of us have a unified vision for future ministry within the prisons of Rwanda. They currently are working on a Training Manual for pastors who find themselves in prison.

The main focus of IRM will remain the same - Evangelism and providing Bibles but training these pastors is so very important, teaching them to evangelize and to encourage the other christian prisoners in their walk with Jesus. I feel that teaching them how to be fishers of men is a very good goal for IRM.

I will be speaking at my home church for all three services this weekend and I have one presentation next Friday. If you are interested in having me speak or do a presentation for your church or organization please contact me.

I am continuing to collect much needed scarves and ties for the 2010 trip.

May I ask for your consideration - If you have a person that you need a Christmas gift for and you are unsure what to buy for them or they already have "everything", please consider buying Bibles in their name for the people of Rwanda. It would be a meaningful gift that would help our brothers and sisters in Christ grow in their Christian walk.

Have a wonderful holiday season.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Off to Southern Oregon

Musanze Reconciliation Village,
Always such joy at receiving a Bible

Dear Ministry Partners,
Greeting in the name of our wonderful Savior.
I leave this morning to travel to Klamath Falls in Southern Oregon. I will visit
family and I have scheduled 4 churches to speak in. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would give me the right words to convey what He is doing in Rwanda and the need there.
The road reports say it is snowing in the mountains so I would appreciate your prayers for safe travel as I go and then return on Nov.16. I will be working on my "Afterglow" letter from the Sept./Oct. trip and you should receive it before too long.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Reminders of a very busy schedule......

Ministry Partners,

As I work on putting together a new Power Point Presentation I find it lots of fun as I enter photos and remember the events of that day.

On the day I spoke at the Rehabilitation Center for rebels from the Congo forests in Northern Rwanda I was still struggling with a very sore throat. Alfred's voice stayed strong and powerful as he interpreted for me and for many speakers from the Norwegian Church League who were without a translator. They had contributed to the building of homes at the Reconciliation Village and with the water projects there.

It appears we were more tired than we realized as David documented this without our knowledge.......

A very amusing sight when you know that the 25 mile trip back to Kigali took +2 & 1/2 hours due to the numerous and very large potholes. "Thank You" to our excellent driver, Gregory, from Prison Fellowship.
We must have been very tired, indeed !!!!

Next month the IRM 5 member Rwanda "Core Team" will began monthly meetings to discuss training materials for the prison pastors and other plans for the 2010 trip. The team is comprised of:

  • Pastor Deo - Prison Fellowship, Director
  • Pastor Roger Brubeck - Foursquare Missionary
  • Pastor Peter Noikumana - local Rwandan
  • Pastor Isaiah M. Seyeze - local Rwandan
  • Alfred Mupenzi - IRM Operations Supervisor
  • Arlene Tatum - Founder & Director of IRM
Please pray for these dedicated men and myself as we seek God's leading and direction from the Holy Spirit in every detail and plan.

Did you notice the red squeeze bottle of American ketchup. It was nice to have a familiar taste from home for our "chips". Rwandan ketchup is served in most restaurants and is similar to jelled red water.

Well, back to work on the P.P.P. as I would like to have it done by next Friday when I leave to go to Southern Oregon to speak in some churches.

That none would be lost,


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Arriving home.....

Dear Ministry Partners,

We arrived safe and sound in Portland on Thursday after a very long +10 hour flight from Amsterdam. Greeting us at the airport were David's friend Suzanne and a number of additional friends from our Singles group.

Today, Sunday, David and I briefly shared some personal insights and observations of the trip with our Singles group.

As I work through jet-lag and unpack some of the gifts I received from "family" friends and ministry partners, each one reminds me of the powerful days of ministry and how very blessed I am. I offer "Praise" for each reminder of God's goodness and faithfulness.

  • A beautiful wooden bead bracelet from Alfred & Blessing
  • A gold bead Rwandan necklace & African fabric from a friend
  • An exquisite gold embroidered, blue native dress from Prison Fellowship Rwanda
  • From a warden, a 9 pcs. beaded spear set & banana leaf slippers ~ made by prison inmates
  • A Peace basket, wooden milk container & coffee from ERM
Currently, I am working on plans for the 2010 trip. Lord willing, it appears IRM will be returning to Rwanda with a team of men focused on training and equipping the prison pastors to be better shepherds - a vision God began to stir in my heart two years ago.

I so appreciate your continued prayers in all of this......


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Flight Day....

Ministry Partners,

Today is flight day for our return to Portland.

We left Kigali on time and with a special blessing from the Lord. David was over weight on both his bags by quite an amount but was not charged and the amount could have been substantial. When the ticket agent asked to weigh his carry on he was over some and her answer to that situation was for him to take some things out and distribute them in my carry on and Emmanuels. It makes one smile as we are all traveling on the same plane and the total weight remains the same. Regardless, we are thankful that no extra charges were incurred.

It was a special unexpected treat to have Pastor Deo and his wife accompany us to the airport along with Blessing, wife of Alfred Mupenzi, the IRM Operations Supervisor. By the time we left for the airport, Alfred was already in Uganda for personal business.

Every trip it gets harder to leave the wonderful "family" friends and ministry partners that God has blessed me with here. As the ministry grows so does the support team for me, personally, and for IRM. It is exciting to see God providing this expanding support base both in America and in Rwanda. I am so very thankful.

We are currently in Nairobi, Kenya, and we have a +5hr. layover before leaving for Amsterdam. Other than a very warm unconditioned airport, we are well but I am beginning to "feel" the effects of the very busy, wonderful three weeks of ministry.

We will arrive in Portland tomorrow and we will see you soon.

Thank you for your continued prayers and notes of encouragement, they have been so appreciated.

for the team

Monday, October 12, 2009

The New Times article

Dear Ministry Partners,
Following is an article that appeared in " The New Times", a paper that is distributed in Rwanda.


MUSANZE - An American evangelist, Arlene Tatum, has implored prisoners convicted of different crimes in the country to seek reconciliation with God and those they wronged in order to have peaceful minds.

Tatum, who is the founder of International Reconciliation Ministries (IRM), is traversing different government prisons in the country preaching to inmates in a bid to encourage the rehabilitation process.

“Today is the time to start making good choices despite the bad choices you made in the past,” Tatum told inmates at Ruhengeri Prison recently, as thousands of prisoners declared their dedication to God.

In her testimony Tatum, 65, who was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her skull, recounts her journey from bitterness to freedom, arguing that people should not be held back by their past -but live by the choices they make at the moment.

Referring to the Bible, Tatum said God reconciled people to himself through Jesus Christ.

“All this is done by God, who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends too,” she said.

At Rilima Prison, in Bugesera, some inmates confessed their crimes and expressed remorse.


Today, we had a beautiful buffet lunch with Pastor Deo and the Prison Fellowship staff, who cooked it for us. I was brought to tears by their kind words as they each shared how they felt about the time they spent doing ministry with us. Then they presented us with authentic Rwandan wear, a shirt for David and a dress for me.

Tomorrow, a meeting is scheduled with Pastor Deo and the Foursquare Missionary and pastors from his church.

It is hard to believe that the day after tomorrow we leave for Portland.

My sore throat is all well and my broken toe is getting better.

Thank you for your continued prayers,

for the team

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our Final Days

Dear Ministry Partners,
It's sad to know that we are in the final days of our time here.
So many wonderful things have happened and we have been blessed to see God touch the lives of so many. The last few days we have been accompanied by Gregory, our young driver, and Clair both from Prison Fellowship.
Tonight, I hosted a "Thank You" dinner for Alfred & Blessing and Pastor Deo & his wife. David was a bit under the weather and decided to stay at the Guest House.
Tomorrow we will go with Pastor Deo and Alfred for our last prison visit as I will be speaking to the prisoners at the 1930 Prison. I will once again talk about making good choices and taking responsibility for our past wrongs. The Rwandans tell me it is unheard of that prisoners would confess that they did murder in the genocide or steal in front of 1,000's of other onlooking prisoners, guards and their warden. Only the Holy Spirit can bring that kind of conviction and give that kind of courage.
How we praise you God for all you have allowed us to witness you do.
Both my throat and broken toe are getting better.
Monday and Tuesday I will be meeting with Pastor Deo, his staff and
Board of Directors. The Foursquare Missionary and his pastors will also
join us.
These are exciting and fruitful times for me and the ministry.
Thank you for your continued prayers,


Sunday, October 4, 2009

God still reigns

Greetings from Kigali.

It is such a privilege to be here and watch God work. The Holy Spirit is bringing many to salvation decisions along with public confessions of buried secret sins. It is an exciting thing to watch them making good decisions that will change their lives forever. Indeed, I serve a wonderful Savior.

The enemy continues to try and disrupt things and refuses to admit that he is defeated. His attacks are evidence that God is going to allow us to once again see Him do something wonderful for which we can offer thanks and praise.

It seems I have picked up a bug as I am struggling with a very sore throat with swallowing and speaking being difficult. Please pray that God would bring healing as I still have much speaking to do. Today, I speak for the morning service at Vivante Church and later I will be meeting with a pastor from the Foursquare church here.

A few days ago I met the Foursquare missionaries and they invited David, Alfred, Blessing and I to have dinner at their home that evening and we had a wonderful time of fellowship. They are very excited about working with Prison Fellowship and IRM to bring training to the prison pastors and develop a discipleship program for the prisoners.

Tomorrow, Monday, we head to northern Rwanda and we will return to Kigali on Thursday.

Thank you for your continued prayer,


Friday, October 2, 2009

God is still in control

My love for the people of Rwanda and their beautiful country continues to grow.

As each day passes we see the hand of God as He covers us and opens doors and roadblocks that the enemy himself has set that we might become discouraged. In there place we find ourselves showered by God's love, provision, encouragement and blessings. The Holy Spirit is bringing many to salvation.

PLEASE continue to hold us up in prayer.

Blessings upon you all,

for the team

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Greetings Ministry Partners from the Beautiful country of Rwanda

Sunday was the first day of ministry and I shared my testimony at Vivante Church and challenged them about forgiving their enemies. It is a very large church and I met with the pastor and his staff following the service, Pastor Deo from Prison Fellowship is the assistant pastor there. I was invited to speak with a group of about 50-60 (of the total 80) of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Some are married to each other and ALL are dying of HIV. This church is struggling to support them financially but most importantly they are supporting them spiritually.

Yesterday, I returned to Ntsinda Prison and had the opportunity to share the "Gospel Message" to the 4,500 inmates who came.
Today, I returned to minister in Relima Prison, where 2,000 attended.
To each one of you who have been praying for the Holy Spirit to prepare their hearts........
. More than I ever could have imagined. It's all I can do to keep from dropping to my knees on the spot to offer our Savior....PRAISE.
I will keep this short as internet service here is, shall I say....lacking in all areas, quality and quantity. Sorry, previous posts have not been able to make it through.
WE are, we are, we are finding favor with the wardens and the Rwandan pastors and others helping us are already praising God along with us as we are watching and seeing God do GREAT and unheard of things.
I asked you to pray along with me that I would find favor with the wardens. And God is answering that prayer for sure!!!!! One warden who also oversees a complete district made a personal visit to see me tonight. She has offered her personal transportation to pick us up when I am scheduled to visit another prison in her district.
I could tell you my cup is full but actually, the truth is, it's full, running over and developing a very huge, wonderful, puddle around my feet.
Tomorrow I return to minister with the 26 ladies, dying of HIV, that I worked with last year.
So, I am off to bed
Please continue to pray, pray, pray......

Praising God along with you.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dear Ministry Partners,

I am so excited that today has finally arrived and Lord willing, on Sat., the 26 our plane will land with us safe & sound at Kigali airport at 2am.
There are far too many "Thank You's" to list but I note a few of them here.
"Thank you", to my friend, Bobbie for the many ways she partners with me. She volunteers at my home church, New Life, in the Missions Dept. and she is truly a "gift" to me and IRM as she continually types and prints my messages. Actually, she prints, prints, prints - everything I need and her wise council and prayers are a huge encouragement. This photo reminds me that this trip she printed 2,700 gospel tracts not only for me to use but for some of my teammates to also hand out. These postcard size green tracts are filled with scripture and are very clear in sharing the love of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial provision for our sins. As I look at them I am reminded of the following scripture:

"My word, which comes from my mouth, is like the rain and snow. It will not come back to me without results. It will accomplish whatever I want and achieve whatever I send it to do." Isaiah 55:11

"Thank You" to those of you who consistently pray for IRM and for me and most recently, have been specifically praying for my toes. A few days ago, while walking through my house at 1am in the dark, I stubbed my left foot on a chair leg. After a trip to the Emergency room and x-rays it was discovered I had fractured (broken) one toe. The Dr. told me if I stayed down, elevated and iced my very swollen and painful foot, I would be in OK shape for today, with the addition of a not exactly stylish, "boot." Of course, you and I know the best medicine for my foot & toe is Jesus healing hand.
I have never been so pampered, "Thank You" to Lorraine and Betty who brought me delicious dinners ~ the first time in my life to have friends provide in such a manner. I can only offer praise to God that this is a minor bump in the road and it is nothing to keep me home from this trip. I no longer have to try and decide which nice shoes to take with me, thus saving luggage space and weight ---a hidden blessing. Since I spent Sunday with my foot elevated and iced I was unable to get a photo of teammate David, Suzanne and myself for this "post". Considering this current "foot" issue, I must once again say.........
"Thank You" to teammate Kristy for procuring the shortest flight itinerary in my 6 trips to Rwanda.

"Thank You" to each one of you who sent one of the many emails of encouragement. I share a part of one from a dear sister in Christ:
"Anyway, you know God has a plan for this. The first thing that comes to my mind is that there is someone who will see you in your boot when you get to Rwanda and it will happen when God has made an appointment with that person's heart. Your infirmity will be used to help heal another soul that has been waiting for the day. So I will pray in this regard while you are there the next few weeks. Blessings to you my sister. With Jesus' love, Judy."

Thanks, Norma, my friend & neighbor who took me to Emergency and to the airport today. "Thank You" to neighbors and friends, Jean, Jo and Norma all who will perhaps be glad to get rid of me as the last month they continually heard ~ "You wouldn't happen to have .............?"

We depart Portland in just a few hours at 12pm and I will post again as I am able and internet service is available.

Thanks again to each one of you who partnered, in your own unique way as God laid it on your heart, with IRM in serving the people of Rwanda. Please continue to faithfully praise....pray....praise....pray....praise....


Friday, September 18, 2009

Greetings Ministry Partners,
The first prison I am scheduled to minister in, this trip, is
Ntsinda Prison.Ntsinda Prison-guard, Alfred Mupenzi, Arlene, Lead prison pastor

This was the first prison I visited in 2006 and this will be my 6th time to minister there. Photos are not allowed, but on my last trip many were praying that I would find favor with the wardens and God answered those prayers as EVERY warden allowed us to take some photos. This guard was about to take Emmanuel's phone/camera (all we had at the time) away from him but he was informed by the warden that we had permission to take photos. With that, he almost pushed Alfred out of the picture to make sure he was included.

Many of the prisoners, almost all murders involved in the 1994 genocide, have lost hope. They feel because of what they have done God has turned his back on them and no longer loves them. They listen intently and when they are faced with the truth of God's Word...that he does indeed hate their sin (and mine), but He showed his love for them , in that Jesus came, suffered, and gave his life as payment for that very sin. And when the Holy Spirit makes God's Word real to them and helps them grasp the fact, that even inside prison walls, God offers them forgiveness through His Son, they a ready to believe and receive God's precious gift of salvation. Only then, can they finally lie down and sleep, in His perfect peace.

"THANK YOU" to each of you ministry partners that have faithfully continued to send and bring ties and scarves to me. All that I am unable to take this trip, I will keep and take next trip, Lord willing. Would you believe I am already making some preporations for the 2010 trip!!!!

One teammate, David Coffman, will be involved with IRM's prison ministry this trip as he has caught my vision for the "Bibles for Rwanda Project." I appreciate all the work, time and effort he and his friend Suzanne have put into helping me with Bible fund-raising. This is the first time IRM has had a teammate so focused on that part of the ministry and he will be overseeing the count of the Bibles and helping me distribute them along with our Rwanda staff and partner, Alfred and Pastor Deo.

This Sunday is our last Sunday before leaving and I will be at my home church, Canby New Life, for first service and will then meet up with David and Suzanne for the Rolling Hills Singles Service. I will try to get a photo of the three of us to post in the next blog.

6 days and counting....................

Blessings on you all as we work together in reaching the lost,

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Bible of their very own.

Ministry Partners

Let me introduce you to this group of dying Rwandan women who walk 3 miles, twice a week, to meet at Pastor Deo's (Prison Fellowship International -Rwanda) office. Still traumatized from the 1994 Genocide that ravaged their country, they receive counseling and encouragement. Although there is usually no lunch, as there are no funds for such luxuries, this day God provided a delicious lunch for us to enjoy together. The soft, colorful scarves you donated brought smiles to their beautiful faces......

But....... placing a new Bible and Discipleship Booklet in their hands caused a celebration time to break out with smiles, singing and dancing, worshiping God and giving Him praise for such a precious gift !!!!
"Thank you" to each ministry partner who contributed to
the "Bibles for Rwanda Project" It is a bargain and I know of no better way to spend $8, the current price. I will be spending one day with these wonderful ladies, eight of whom accepted God's gift of salvation last trip. Please pray for them and for me that the Holy Spirit would guide my words, all for His glory. The four babies that were there were beautiful and their mom's were gracious and allowed me to hold them.

It was a perfect ending to my time with them.

It appears I am not the only one counting the days until Sept.24, according to my Gmail chats, the IRM Rwanda staff and Pastor Deo are also counting.
Ten days to go... and yesterday was the team "packing party".... 12 tubs filled with sewing machines, scarves, ties and lots of other team supplies. A big "thank you" to Kristy, the sewing teacher, who decided to only take 8 sewing machines, leaving extra room for others supplies. It appears I will only need to pay for 1 piece of additional luggage this time. How is it that there is never enough luggage space to take all the tangible things we would like to bless them with?
But the fact remains that building relationships and
sharing the gospel message of God's love and getting His written word, the Bible, into their hands, is by far most important to me and the staff of IRM. Seeing the hope that resonates in their eyes as they ask Jesus for forgiveness and accept His payment for their sins, realizing He has their soul in safe keeping for eternity,
is such a privilege for me, and the IRM team, to see God do.

May our Lord richly bless each one of you as you partner
with me in serving the people of Rwanda.

That none would be lost,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"16 Days to go - but who's counting - ME !!!!

Dear Ministry Partners,

As the days are quickly approaching for this next trip to Rwanda and I prepare to, once again, enter the
prisons there, I am reminded that:

When all hope is gone:
God steps in with His great mercy.

He has done that in my life and I am compelled to tell others that His wonderful love, grace and mercy is also for them.

This is Ntsinda Prison and there were 11,ooo inmates there. Alfred Mupenzi interprets as I have the privilege of sharing the Gospel message, of God's great love. How important this message is and that they understand Eph.2:8.9, that salvation cannot be earned but rather it is a "free gift" from God. That Jesus paid the huge dept for our sin, a dept we could never pay !!!! This is the first prison I visited in 2006 and since then, the Holy Spirit has allowed me to witness Him speak into the hearts of those prisoners, bringing them to saving knowledge in Jesus and adding 1,000's of their names to the Lamb's Book of Life.

A recent comment by IRM Operations Supervisor, Alfred Mupenzi:
"Life behind prison walls is not always what it seems. Rwandan prisons are full of men and women who now have broken, shattered lives and dreams. Each day that passes pushes them further from humanity, as they struggle within the prison walls, to
maintain their sanity."

Previously, I have done 11 prison visits to 4 prisons and God has provided that I will not only revisit them but will have opportunity to minister in 4 new prisons, one by special invitation from the warden. I am thankful to the government of Rwanda and the gracious wardens for giving me permission to enter the prisons and share the "Gospel" freely.

Words cannot express how excited I am to go, just to observe what God has designed and what He will do this trip.

My prayer list remains the same:
  • The Holy Spirit would prepare the hearts of the Rwandan people for the "Gospel" and the "Forgive Your Enemies" messages
  • What we plant, water and harvest will have positive results for God's kingdom
  • The IRM team and I would find GREAT favor with the wardens and everyone we have the privilege to meet and work with
  • God would open many unscheduled doors of opportunity
  • The Holy Spirit would give me wisdom, courage and clarity of mind as I prepare my messages now and when I actually speak in Rwanda
  • The team would have safe air and in-country travel
  • The team would stay healthy now, while in Rwanda and for my personal health needs
Thank you for your continuing prayers.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

23 days and counting !!!!!

My Friend, Katilda

On my second trip to Rwanda I met 73 year old, Katilda one day as I was handing out scarves and tracts in one of the villages. She had fallen two years before and broke her left upper arm, which is still dislocated and she had never been to the doctor!!!.
My heart was broken as I was told that there was nothing I could do for her. I have visited her on my return trips, taking her rice, beans, soap. ect. and she always tells each new interpreter that goes with me how I cried the first day I met her.
The last time I saw her I had the privilege of hearing her ask Jesus for forgiveness and to be her Savior. This precious woman who calls me "friend" is now my sister in Christ. I hope I will be able to see her this trip.

Pastor Dustin has all the pages up on the web site and although he says he still needs to refine it some I think he did a great job of conveying the heart and focus of IRM. If you have not had a chance to do so before, go check it out, it really is very informative. The addy is:

~ ~

A big "THANK YOU " to you, Pastor Dustin

"Thank You" also, to two of my neighbors, Jean and Norma, who helped me yesterday package donated womens' scarves (800) and mens' ties (400), a tangible gift of God's love. For many it will be the first "gift" they have ever received.

May your day be filled with the Lord's peace and presence,


Thursday, August 27, 2009

"27 Days and Counting"

The time has gone slowly and yet so very quickly as I have been focused on the Sept.24 trip. Every day more things get crossed off the very long "to do" list. Today was a big one as I turned in the message the Holy Spirit gave me to my friend Bobbie, at the church, to type for me. This one, "Fear" is about not allowing fear to motivate us into making poor choices for ourselves. Choices that are out of the will of God for us and far from His good and perfect plan for us. Funny, as God gives me a new message each trip for the prisoners and a message for the villagers, how much each message speaks into my own heart. To guide, challenge and encourage me as I continue to take small steps forward, all with His leading, strength and courage. I am so thankful for the many pastors at New Life Church who support me and give me wise council.

I met this lady in a village one day and although she was quite ill, a stool was provided for me to sit on and wait as she dressed in her "Sunday Best" to greet me. I was surprised to learn that I was the first "white" woman to ever visit there. As I heard voices hollering through the trees many villagers appeared in the clearing, just to see this odd woman with the pale white skin. Notice I did not say "old" as they think I am
40 - 45 !!!
And you wonder why I like being there?

This has been an exciting time for me as I have seen God open so many doors of opportunity not only in Rwanda but also here with many new churches allowing me to come and share some of what I see God doing in Rwanda and IRM's involvement there. Two weeks ago I had a wonderful time in Eugene, Oregon, sharing at Jubilee World Outreach Church and this weekend I will be sharing at New Life Church.

IRM Operations Supervisor, Alfred Mupenzi says Pastor Deo from Prison Fellowship International - Rwanda, has confirmed my itinerary with the wardens and others. Alfred is doing a wonderful job for IRM on his side of the globe.

Thank you for your continued prayers.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Prayer List

Dear Friends and Ministry Partners,
I hope you are enjoying all the additions and changes Pastor Dustin is doing to the IRM site just as much as I am.
I know the completed site is going to be a good one.

Just one of the beautiful animals of Rwanda

Please check the link to the itinerary page and download a copy for yourself. It will help you know the areas of ministry we will be doing while we are in Rwanda and how best to start praying even now.

Please pray that:

  • The Holy Spirit would prepare the hearts of the Rwandan people for the "Gospel" and the "Forgive Your Enemies" messages
  • What we plant, water and harvest will have positive results for God's kingdom
  • The IRM team and I would find GREAT favor with the wardens and everyone we have the privilege to meet and work with
  • God would open many unscheduled doors of opportunity
  • The Holy Spirit would give me wisdom, courage and clarity of mind as I prepare my messages now and when I actually speak in Rwanda
  • The team would have safe air and in-country travel
  • The team would stay healthy now, while in Rwanda and for my personal health needs
Thank you for your prayers.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

IRM, Arlene and this new beginning

Dear Friends and Ministry Partners,
How exciting to be starting this trip with the web site and this blog, another new beginning! Words cannot express how grateful I am to Pastor Dustin Brown for getting the site going and Mike Gill for all the general computer help. I could not be doing all of this without the help from so many people, gifted in different areas of service, willing to partner and encourage me. I have never done any "blogging" so I would appreciate your patience and prayers as I learn this new skill. Dustin and I felt this would be an important feature to have on the site so I could keep you informed of the events of the day, while I am in Rwanda, especially, since flexibility is the name of the game while we are there and unplanned events are bound to occur. This blog will not only keep you informed but it will help you know how to pray as "things" come up or change. It will also be a great way for you to "Praise the Lord" along with us each day as we watch God work.

I have uploaded a photo, yahoo!!!!, it worked, of one of the dear ladies that I worked with on the last trip, she was so happy to finally have a Bible of her very own. Her name is Vastina, pray for her as she is dying. I am scheduled to revisit this group of 26 precious ladies and spend the day with them. I am so looking forward to reconnecting with them and Pastor Deo says they continue to pray for me. I am blessed by such a very special gift!!!

Plans are in full swing for the Sept. 24 trip to Rwanda with only seven weeks to go, it will be here before we know it.

That's all for today as I need to see if I did this correctly.