Greetings, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
We have now finished eight weeks of our DTS (Discipleship Training School)
The first week we studied the Nature and Character of God, it was a very good course on getting to know God better, the more you understand Him the stronger you become.
The 2nd week was learning about our Identity In Christ and Our Relationship With Christ. This was understanding who we are in Christ as His children. There was a gentle reminder that faith without action is dead.
The 3rd week, I always love this topic, for many of the students it was the first time they had heard and understood, The Father Heart Of God. One of the question we were asked to talk about, discuss and answer was: Is everything that has happened to you in your life God's will? It proved to bring out a lot more questions, and a number of conclusions by the students. There was 4 - No, 10 - Yes, 5 - I don't know. So it made for a very interesting week, as students and staff alike dealt with personal issues in relation to the Father heart of God. As in God being Father and Mother to those that have no parents, or to those who had parents that never treated them right, and other issues along that line.
The 4th week was Interpersonal Relationships, and a good week of developing that.
The 5th week was Fear Of God, Pride & Humility! This week was understanding our position in Christ.
The 6th week was: Sin, Repentance, and Restitution! The week looked at deep areas where we may be hiding sin. and how to deal with it.
The 7th week was: The Holy Spirit! This week we didn't really learn anything new but were reminded again of the work of the Holy Spirit.
The 8th week was: Praise and Worship! This week we are learning how to write a song of praise and worship to God!
The 9th week is: Prayer, Intercession and Spiritual Warfare!
The 10th week is: Stewardship, Servanthood, Cost of Discipleship!
The 11th week is: Worldview and Cross Culture!
The 12th week is: Missions, Evangelism, Discipling Nations for God!
We have enjoyed all the weeks so far and are looking forward to the ones to come.
God has blessed us in many ways. One of those blessings was during the third week, we officially/unofficially became the parents in the DTS classroom. It is not uncommon for us to be called mom or dad by most of the students and sometimes even by some of the staff. It is a real honor here to be older. There is such great respect for the elders in this culture. They do not want to allow us to work to hard, because it is the responsibility of the young people to do all of the work. They find it hard to believe that Diane and I lived alone in our own home and did all of our own house and yard work. So it is part of the culture we have to understand, and they are starting to understand ours a bit more as well.
We have also been learning some Kinyarwanda language from the students in our interaction with them as we go about our day to day activities. Words like 'Good morning', 'How are you doing?', 'Hello', 'yes' and 'no'. They will all be very helpful as we go into ministry in the villages or in the city later on, during and when we are done DTS.
We have been here for eight Sundays now and we have been to seven different churches, three of them were english services and the others were Rwandan services, but we have had a translator for them. So the services have been very good, and we have been received very well by the Family of God in each of these churches.
So this is a little about what has been happening with us, since our arrival in Rwanda. Please continue to pray for us as we have a long way to go with our training yet, and much more to learn. God is also opening up opportunities to minister here during our training. We have been on three outreach opportunities, and have been blessed! We ministered by sharing the gospel, we visited and were an encouragement to HIV/AIDs victims – singing and praying with them for their needs, we also, were given a whole service and as a team ministered in different ways – skit, singing, testimonies and preaching.
We are hoping that once the Outreach starts we will have internet access. Outreach starts the last week in September and goes to the middle of December, so if you don't hear from us in that time please continue to pray for us. The plan right now is to go somewhere in Burundi, Africa. It is the country just south of Rwanda and we have about 5 students from that country taking classes with us. We are asking you for your prayers during this time and even now in preparation for us and for those that we will be ministering to.
Please pray for our children and their families – LaDonna & Jason Harris, and 6 children, Kirk & Candace Salmond, and 3 children, Jason & Becky Salmond, and 3 children, and John Salmond. We have had opportunity to talk with all but John on Skype and that is great but this is a new experience for all of us to be separated like this. Please remember them in your prayers, too. And our other family members – parents and siblings and families! We have been blessed by all.
We want to say thank you for your many prayers and financial support for the last few months. You are a part of our team, and if you have any questions about our time here in Rwanda please email us. We would really love to hear from you all. We love you all and miss you. But God is good and is keeping us well.
If you are not, and would like to, information is on this blog as to how to support us (or you can contact us by email).