Febraury Rwanda Update
Hello everyone this will be the last newsletter from Rwanda for a few months. On Monday we will arrive back in the UK. Joanna will be 36 weeks pregnant and to say that we are both excited for the arrival of our firstborn baby boy would be an understatement!
This month we have been winding up all our programs. We finished the Marriage Preparation course with the town-centre youth on Monday. We have both really enjoyed teaching this course and the youth have responded so well to the teaching. We gave an opportunity for the youth to share some of the things they learnt and will take forward into their marriage. The responses included the importance of putting God first in their marriage through praying together daily, learning about the five love languages and the importance of ensuring your partner knows they are loved, accepting that we are not perfect and the importance of forgiving each other quickly. One boy said that as a man in this culture it is not easy to humble yourself and be the one to ask for forgiveness but that he wants to go against the culture and be a husband of humility.
We also finished our Youth Alpha courses, one at Bweramvura church (try and pronounce that!) and two others in Secondary schools in Kigali. One boy who attended the church Youth Alpha course said that as a result of taking part in the course he had recommitted to serving God in the church. Another said that he had learnt how begin to build his daily prayer life. Please continue to pray for the youth of this church that they will put into practice the teachings and continue to grow in their walk with God.
We held a two-day youth conference in the far North of Rwanda very close to the Ugandan border. Here we gathered 100 youth from the three churches in that parish and we were able to give them the highlight teachings from the Youth Alpha and Freedom in Christ courses. It was a really fun conference as the youth here were so enthusiastic and all the pastors from the region also came to receive the teaching. In this region they have a specific cultural dance, which is very rhythmic and involves jumping and stamping. The times of worship were electric and I even tried to learn their dance and join in (with little success!). The testimonies from the youth here were so encouraging. One boy said he had learnt that when he sins it doesn’t remove his status as a child of God. He testified that he now was beginning to grasp the mercy of God although before he was in fear concerning his salvation every time he sinned. Another said that he now had the tools and understanding to engage in a daily quiet time whereas before he was not. A girl said that she had understood that she could confess her sins to God herself and not always wait to see the Pastors so they could pray for her.
Last week we had visitors, Lydia (Joanna’s sister) and her friend Jemima. They brought out an entire suitcase of brand new nursery uniform which we were able to distribute to the children of a nursery school that we have strong connections with. It was amazing to see they joy on the children’s faces as they received their new uniforms.
Please pray for us as we return home to the UK to add a new member to our family. I will be volunteering part-time for Elim missions and we will also be travelling to visit our supporting churches. Additionally during this time I intend to develop new courses to add to our ministry. We trust this will be a good time for us to gain fresh vision from God for the future of our ministry in Rwanda.
God bless you all
James & Joanna
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