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