Published on: 27/02/2017

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Febraury Rwanda Update 

Hello everyone it’s time for some news again!

martins-feb-4This month we have been continuing our schools Youth Alpha programs and it’s been great to see 9 pupils come forward to receive salvation over the last two weeks. It is so encouraging seeing young people grasp the simple message of the gospel. Here, the understanding of salvation is often very confused. We often encounter the same questions from young people when we do these courses, which always have a legalistic slant. For example, how many times do I need to pray per day? How long should I pray for? What sins will cause me to lose my salvation? If the blood of Jesus covers my future sins then surely how I live doesn’t matter? If I stop working for God will I lose my salvation? Legalism permeates their entire culture. Law is enforced and discipline maintained through a man with a stick or a gun. Islam is on the rise and it’s easy to understand its appeal in this culture as there are rules to follow and if you complete them you will receive salvation. That is not to mention the free bags of rice and free school fees on offer for your conversion!

martins-feb-1When we begin to preach about salvation as the free gift of God it is difficult concept for them (and for anyone really) to fully grasp. However we are making progress and seeing people receive salvation and also the assurance of their salvation. Please continue to pray for us in this area as we are fighting against culture, church teaching and ultimately unseen principalities and powers.

Recently we travelled to Byumba in the north of Rwanda very close to the Ugandan border. Here we taught two sessions, how can we be sure of our salvation and forgiveness. These are both taken from the Youth Alpha and Freedom in Christ courses. The youth responded well and there were some good testimonies that came from the forgiveness teaching. 

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One boy travelled very far to another region to work and was promised a good salary. He worked very hard but didn’t receive any money from his boss. Excuses kept being made and in the end he gave up trying to get the money and returned home. He said he still had not forgiven that man for what he did to him but that day he decided to pray and forgive him from his heart. We also gave out 20 Bibles to the youth here. The pastors of the churches in this region also enjoyed the teaching and requested that we return to do a three-day youth conference for 150 youth. Just today we received the proposal for this and are planning to go next month.

martins-feb-3The marriage preparation course with the city-centre youth is going really well. The questions we receive are often fascinating. Last week someone asked ‘do I need to tell my spouse the amount that I earn?’ Often there is a lack of trust between married couples about the amount that they earn with some streams of income kept hidden or lies told about the price of the food bought from the market! We are encouraging them to be honest with each other in this area. Another boy asked about the status of women considering they were made from the rib of a man. Chrisse (another missionary who was taking this session for us) replied “well consider the fact that men were made from the dust!” If you want to read more about how this course is going then please read Joanna’s blog at joannaruthmartin.wordpress.com

martins-feb-6Finally, we travelled to a village close to Kigali in distance but worlds away economically called Cyabatanzi to teach the youth there and distribute Bibles. There are plans for a school to be built there and also for Compassion to start a project there. Please continue to pray for them, as there is a desperate need for education in that area.

Thank you for your prayers and support. We appreciate you all.

James and Joanna

Prayer Points

  • For Youth Alpha, that we would see more youth saved and coming into the reality of a relationship with Jesus over religion.
  • We would continue to see religious mindsets broken.
  • That we would see God move in power in Rwanda.


Thank you all for your love and support.
 
God bless you,
 
James & Joanna.

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