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Hi everyone trust you are all doing well and that you’ve had a fantastic January. We have certainly had a busy few weeks but we are enjoying being back in the swing of things here after spending Christmas in the UK.
During our first week back we set about the task of translating the marriage preparation course into Kinyarwanda with the help of a few members of the youth. This was a painstaking task but now we have a great resource that can be used across Rwanda in giving engaged couples a great foundation for their marriage. We just finished week two of this course with some of the city centre youth and they are responding really well to the teaching. Joanna and I are including our personal experience of marriage, which they find fascinating (and hilarious!), given that in Rwandan culture discussing anything as private as this in public is rarely done.
For the past few months we had reports that there was a drought in the east of Rwanda, which had caused many people’s crops to fail. Last week we had the opportunity to go and visit a parish that had been badly affected. 75 of the poorest members from 6 churches in the parish gathered together. We were able to take 900kg of maize flour to be split among them and also to share the word of God with them and to pray for rain. You can read more about that here: joannaruthmartin.wordpress.com
A new Inkuru Nziza church has recently been planted in the area of Kigali where we live. We were invited to go and visit them for their Sunday service. I preached a word on the goodness of God and encouraged them as they look to go forward as a church. I love visiting new church plants, as it is tangible evidence of God’s continued work and the expansion of his kingdom.
This week we also started a Youth Alpha course in a rural church. We met the pastor of this church at a pastors training weekend. He told us that he had many youth in his church and he wanted us to come. When I asked how many youth they had I was surprised to hear that out of his church of 150, 90 were youth! After hearing this how could we resist? We were very encouraged by the first week. Joanna taught the session entitled why did Jesus die? They responded well and we hope to see them all grow in their faith over the weeks.
Thank you all for your love and support.
God bless you,
James & Joanna.