Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NEWTIMES - Rwanda Newspaper Article

Ministry Partners,

I thought perhaps you would like to read the article that appeared in the Rwanda Newspaper - "NEWTIMES" on June 10th..


Saturday, June 19, 2010

June 19...............

Ministry Partners,

We arrived in Portland safe and sound tonight at about 9pm.
The team has become like family this last very busy three weeks, it was hard to say goodbye.
Awesome and overwhelming were words often spoken as we watched God do amazing things.

Thank you so much for your prayers for the teams activities and health. My violent coughing has returned so I would appreciate your continued prayers.

It's almost midnight so I am off to sleep in my own bed.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

America, here we come..........

Ministry Partners,

It is so very hard to believe that today is our last day in Rwanda.

Yesterday we met with Pastor Deo and the Prison Fellowship staff. They fixed us a delicious Rwandan buffet and gave gifts to each one on our team. Once again it was a time of singing and dancing, this time you REALLY would be surprised who and even with a Sycamore tree bark hat!!!! The hugs and tears from Rwandans and Americans that followed seem to be common between us now as we know the time for our departure is near.

This afternoon Pastor Roger, Alfred and Arlene met with the IRM Core Team, pastors from the Foursquare Church and Chaplins from Prison Fellowship who will do follow-up in the 3 prisons with the spiritual leaders who took the training. As they turn in their monthly reports it will help Pastor Roger, my pastors and I determine how this pilot program is doing.

Last night we had our final Rwandan dinner of fish, fries, spaghetti noodles, sauce and oranges for desert......hum, I had hoped for some of the delicious pineapple.

Today we went shopping for Rwandan coffee and picked up the last few gifts for family and friends, our plane leaves at 7:50pm.

We have so much to give God praise for but it will be very difficult to have adequate words to describe what we have seen God do here. Words.........there just aren't enough, the right kind or enough time here to discuss such amazing events.

See you soon..............

for the team

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Final Day at Nsinda Prison

Dear Prayer Partners,

Today was our final time of teaching and work at the last prison.
Jon and Roger had an awesome time with 57 spiritual leaders while Arlene, Dorothea and Tanya had their second day of Women's Conference with over 400 women. The smiles, the hugs, the times of confession and release of bitterness and guilt was astonishing.

We gave out the paper certificates to those men who completed the course. It seems really insignificant to us but one of the men who found out the last hour of our training that he was being released from prison came back in his street clothes and received his certificate before leaving the prison. He was so extremely excited and the joy poured out of him as Roger and Pastor Peter prayed with him before he left.

Roger awoke with new energy and feeling much better with his cold.

Dorothea was completely exhausted but the Holy Spirit filled her with strength and boldness greater than anytime on this adventure. Many women's lives were touched today by the teaching and witness of Pastor Dorothea and Arlene.

We are back at Moucecore resting for the night. We have several meetings tomorrow and then packing on Thursday. Thursday night at 7:50PM we board the plane to leave Rwanda.

Please pray for Arlene, it is very difficult to say goodbye to her son Alfred and his wife Blessing. There will be many tears as we leave this beautiful country with absolutely beautiful people overcoming an incredible history only made possible by God's forgiving love, His grace and the Holy Spirit's work of Reconciliation and Restoration. We have all been deeply affected. Our lives will never be the same.

Please pray for our final days of packing and travel. We arrive home on Saturday, June 19th in Portland at about 11:00PM.

For the team,
By God's grace and love and mercy,
Pastor Roger

Monday, June 14, 2010


Ministry Partners,

It's so very hard to believe that our time here is almost over.

Our "Thank You" dinner went well last night with 21 present. Tears abounded as many shared what it meant to them to be part of this combined team by prayer or action. The wife of one pastor who helped said she prayed every day for us and the prisoners although she could not go herself....someone there had murdered her first husband and 5 children. Rwandans and Americans crying together and giving God praise together for what He has allowed us see him do on this trip. No more words.......

The men did the 2nd day of training with the pastors at Nsinda Prison while the ladies went with me to do errands, banking and finalizing "bill paying" for services for the team.

We had a very interesting lunch guest.....Pastor Cornelius. He was the head pastor at Nsinda prison for three of my trips but last year when I came they said he had been released. I never knew his "story" but he seemed to be a gentle, quiet spoken man. Every time I saw the photo of us with Alfred I wondered what had become of him. Alfred contacted the prison and was able to obtain his contact information to advise him that I was here. He made a 2+ hour ride to come and bring me a photo of his wife, family and church family.
After we had chatted a bit I asked him how long he had actually been in prison and he said 4 years adding....all that time without a trial !!!!! When he finally did go to trial he said he was found innocent and that he was not bitter as he knew God had allowed him to be there so he could share the gospel with the other inmates. I was so glad to finally know his "story" one of courage by God's design and not hatred and anger.
He will meet us at the gate at Nsinda Prison tomorrow and sit in on the final training and certificate presentation.

Also tomorrow, Pastor Dorothea, Tanya and I will finish the second conference day with the women at Nsinda.

With God's strength the team is doing well but continue to pray for Rogers health. We have been told that so very many of you are praying and it is very evident here.

for the team

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 12

Ministry Partners,

The very fact that I am writing this post is proof that God is concerned about even small things like laptops that refuse to work. After being told that the hard drive on my computer was locked and the computer tech Tim (on another team also staying here) made a Skype call to Mike (the computer tech at my church) I was told that nothing could be done until I returned home as there must be something wrong with the keypad. Tim worked on it for 2 hours and put the password in every way possible and then some and it just would not unlock.

I went to bed saying "Regardless of the circumstance I will give you praise Jesus as you ARE in control". As I woke the next morning I was talking to the Lord, telling Him how much I needed the computer when He told me to pick it up and open it, which I did. I opened it and the screen was still black as I typed in the password AGAIN and taa-daa the screen opened right up. I heard Tim talking to someone in the hallway and took the open computer for him to see. The look on his face was priceless as he did a double take and I said "Boy, do you have a story to tell your techie friends". Our laughter and praise was a great way to start the morning.

Yesterday the team went to the Colonels Village (Alfred has dubbed it the IRM Village). There isn't enough space to tell you the laughter we all had as a new driver, Aaron, and then Alfred drove. If you have never had the absolute pleasure of taking a ride with Dorothea and Tanya you are really missing out. I was sitting between them and they both had us laughing so hard our sides ached. Of course Roger and Jon had never been on this village trip before so their remarks coupled with our laughter made for a VERY memorable ride up, you would not believe it but at times Jon was actually speechless !!! I think Pastor Roger had had enough from all of us as he decided to safely drive the Colonels NEW jeep down the hills back to Kigali. Only a jeep could go where we went....up, down and sometimes sideways and I am NOT joking.
Our time at the village was wonderful and the evening concluded with a dinner of roast goat (on a stick) and roast matoke (a starchie green banana) with the village leaders. Looking up at the star studded sky made it a most wonderful end to a terrific day. There is just nothing like seeing people receive Christ's gift of salvation and then so filled with joy at receiving a Bible of their very own that they sing and dance, giving God praise.
We arrived at the Colonels and after he greeted us he drove us home. Since he does not worry about getting a ticket the ride was VERY interesting around corners and bumps. All with Roger, Alfred and Aaron (all former DRIVERS)in the back seat. Of course dear Dorothea just couldn't resist a whispered comment "He'd better be careful, the back seat is already full of ex-drivers". Have you ever tried not making a sound while you are laughing so hard that you can't catch your breath?
Thanks a lot PASTOR Dorothea !!!!!

A few nights ago we were returning to Kigali after dark and were stopped at a check point by 2 police officers. Alfred told them we had been to Nsinda prison doing ministry and the officer asked for our passports. Alfred handed the officer two of my tracts instead. The officer went to the front of the vehicle and looked at them in the headlights then waved us on. Do you know anywhere else in the world where a Gospel tract would work in place of a passport??????

Today, we were at Nsinda Prison where the new warden is a tall, young, very handsome man. I think I have found favor with him as he insisted on carrying my backpack and personally escorted the women to the Women's area and stayed to introduce us. The women had worked so very hard to make the area presentable and had a mic system set up and the area covered for us so we would not be in the sun while sharing. About 350 women were added to the Lamb's book of Life. I will never have accurate words to convey what the gift of a Bible means to them.

Even Pastor Roger's and Jon's teaching area was surrounded with used tarps so the Pastors Training would not be interrupted by the other prisoners.
It was a good day for all but Roger is still struggling with health issues.

Tomorrow we will be at the Foursquare church here and then hosting a "Thank You" dinner for those who have helped us so much.

We are seeing God work at every turn, your continued prayers are appreciated.

for the team

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Ministry Partners,

We are having technical difficulties with my computer and I may not be able to do any other posts.

The man who's computer I am using is leaving tomorrow.

The team is well but pray for Pastor Roger who is now struggling with a sore throat and the last 3 day pastors training at Nsinda Prison starts on Sat.

The New Times, the Rwandan newspaper, printed a wonderful article, today, concerning what IRM is doing here along with a photo of Pastor Roger and myself.

Your continued prayers are appreciated.

for the team

Monday, June 7, 2010

Butari Prison

Ministry Partners,

What an amazing day it has been.

Pastor Roger and Jon went to the 1930 Prison to do the second day of Servant Leadership Training (Pastors Training). They report a good day and have great stories they will communicate themselves but while they were delayed at the prison gate God had arranged a divine appointment for them. They met the second in command of all the Rwandan prisons and as he questioned them, Roger was able to give an accurate and detailed account of what IRM is doing in the prisons. Once he saw our official document giving approval for what IRM is doing he saw the signature of the Minister of Defense and said " Oh, that's my boss. He then asked to be given a report after we conclude our time here and Roger has agreed to work on the requested report.

The ladies traveled over 2 hours to Butari Prison. The drive was so beautiful as usual and although we went over some mountains the road was paved nicely and it was not curvie like the road to Musanzi , which was much appreciated by Pastor Dorothea and Tanya.

I had not visited this prison before so was surprised to see them building a new prison just down from the old one. We were taken to the new one although it still has much work to be done. The meeting place is the best yet, large but open on the side for lots of ventilation. About 3,500 came to the crusade, so very many received God's free gift of salvation. There were not enough Bibles for all of them. It is a hard thing to have so many put their hands out and beg for God's written word and not have enough. Tanya and I were both brought to tears as we drove away.

We were informed this evening that the bridge we had just come over to return to Kigali had collapsed and people were now stranded and not able to get back into town.
Again and again and again we see God care for us.

Tomorrow the entire team will be at the 1930 Prison. We will end the 2nd day of the Women's Conference and be with the men for the Certificate presentation program. It is my understanding it will be in front of the entire prison with newspaper and perhaps TV coverage.

We appreciate your continued prayers for everything, Alfred is still struggling with his throat.

for the team

Monday, June 7

Dear Ministry Partners,

Thank you for your prayers concerning my sore throat, it's so very much better.

Today was the first day of the Pastors Training at the 1930 City Prison and the first day of the Woman's two day conference.
Pastor Roger and Jon say "things" were so very different from the Rilima training and I will say no more !!!!

Pastor Dorothea, Tanya and I had a good day with the women but once again we observed the sheer desperation the prisoners have for a Bible. The need is almost overwhelming.

Current prayer request......
The IRM Operations Supervisor Alfred has been so very busy keeping everything coordinated and translating for me during the crusades. He has caught my sore throat and violent coughing. Please pray for him.

Also pray for this wonderful team of "first timers". They are having to process so many new things and at half way through our time here the busy schedule, heat & humidity along with some fatigue is beginning to set in.

I am so thankful for this team as we all learn from every event and situation so that we will be able to prepare for the 2011 trip.

Thanks for your continued prayers for everything INCLUDING the internet service.

for the team

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday, June 6th -Rwanda update

"Overwhelming" is the catchphrase often used as we debrief each evening. This is Pastor Roger reporting tonight. We are back in Kigali and will begin our three day pastor training at the 1930 Central prison. But I want to share with you two highlights of the past three days in the Musanzi area. Our team went to the Rehabilitation Center for Congo soldiers turning themselves in. Arlene preached a sermon empowered by the Holy Spirit and we watched over 220 of the 230 present pray to receive Christ. We then gave each of them a Bible and as they received their Bible they went back to their seats without any instruction and began to read. When they all had received their Bibles they began to sing and hold their Bibles over their heads with huge smiles on their faces and exuberant singing and dancing. Without question is was the most moving experience for me so far.
There is much to report on but let me share one other highlight. Bishop John is founder of Prison Fellowship Rwanda; Anglican Bishop for Northern Rwanda and has a huge ministry even for US standards; helped establish a reconciliation village in which over 300 perpetrators and victims reside together in unity and faith.
All of this to say, Arlene gave the message at the 7:30am service today. She wore a white robe and was quite stunning. Please keep praying... the team is doing well but fatigue and emotional overload needs the Holy Spirits anointing to move forward with power and courage. Thank you... we love you... Grace & Peace,
IRM team

Friday, June 4, 2010


Dear Ministry Partners,

We are now in Northern Rwanda in the Musanzi area.

Internet service in Kigali has been down so I have not been able to send a new post.
At every turn we are continuing to watch God do great things.

For three days I have struggled with a sore, scratchie throat that does not allow me to get a good nights rest so I would appreciate your prayers. At times when I was to preach, and I am coughing violently, the Lord's hand upon me is so very evident when He enables me to share what the Holy Spirit has given me..... without a single cough !!!!

We have just had dinner and the team has all retired after a long day of travel and ministry. I preached at the Rehabilitation Center for Rebels from the Congo forests and Pastor Roger preached at the Reconciliation Village.

Although the team members had heard me share, back in America, about what God has allowed me to see Him do in Rwanda, they admit they were skeptical but no longer. As we watch the Holy Spirit empower us for each scheduled and unscheduled ministry opportunity, I find I am no longer the only one crying as we see the impact of His love on these beautiful people, forgotten by most of the world but not by God.

Imagine if you will, being the first white people to visit a village, where a car has never been seen before. And yet they cleared miles of "road" so we could visit them. 100's were there and they are awaiting our second visit on the 11th to share the Gospel for a second time, inviting others in the surrounding mountains to attend. We were given the gift of seeing them preform some tribal dancing...it was beautiful, and you might be surprised to know just who did some dancing with them. Jon and Pastor Roger will accompany the women's team on the 11th.

Pastor Roger and Jon have had a tremendous time doing the first 3 day Prison Pastor Training Program at Rilima Prison and the pastors at the 1930 Prison where I preached yesterday are eagerly awaiting our return so they can start on Monday.

Tomorrow I preach at the prison here and in the afternoon Tanya, Pastor Dorothea and I will do ministry with an HIV/Aids group from Bishop John Rucyahana's Church. Bishop John spoke at Mission Connexion Northwest earlier this year. I have been invited to preach at his church on Sunday before returning to Kigali later in the day.

Arlene at Bishop John's Church last year

I am so very thankful for each member of this team, Men and women who love God deeply and allow God to stretch them. Truly, each member of this team has seen God work in such a wonderful way that none of us will ever be the same.

We all give God "Thanks" and "Praise" for allowing us to be HIS ambassadors.

Because of the current internet issues I am not sure when I can get on line again to post. Please continue to pray for.........

for the team