Travel Diary 6: God Is Good

Hello Beloved Partners,

I am seated in the airport lounge in Kigali, Rwanda awaiting my flight back to Nairobi two hours from now (8:40AM PT, Friday). It was an interesting night (Thurs). For a while I was wondering if I would make my flight Friday. But things worked out OK.

The place where I was staying had an outdoor bar that was packed with a younger generation that was hooting and hollering and clapping and cheering quite awhile But that was the least of my issues. Then the internet went out because, as I learned later, the motel didn’t prepay their internet bill so their service was cut off. But that was the second least of my issues.

THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE

I ordered dinner including black coffee. When dinner finally showed up somewhere around 8:30pm, when I took my first swallow of coffee, I immediately knew it looked like coffee but it was not coffee. It was some hot, black substance with a very strong ginger taste. I took no more and about that time the server showed up with my coffee and apologized

So, I ate my dinner (and I confess I had overeaten Thurs from breakfast on), drank some coffee, and spent time surfing on the internet and about 11:30pm just before I planned to turn out the lights, my stomach started aching. Between 11:30pm and 2:30am I ended up making several trips to the bathroom doing two things people normally do when their stomach is aching. I had no clue what brought it on. Bad chicken? The ginger drink? Or? All I know is that my stomach was not pleased. And once my stomach got rid of whatever it was, I started feeling better immediately and got some sleep. I slept for only a few short hours but at least the pain was gone and I slept. 

Today, I’ve been careful about what I’ve eaten and I seem to be doing well.

This may sound ridiculous, but I’ve had similar stomach issues on two straight trips and in both cases the effects were relatively short because the body has a way of getting rid of “the problem.” I was thinking about just how amazing our bodies are. God thought of everything. God is Good!

DISCUSSING RWANDAN YOUTH OVER LUNCH

With an early evening flight (now delayed 2 hrs to 7:30pm, 9:30am PT), I took Dominique and our driver to lunch at a nice restaurant in Kigali. Take a look at the pictures. This is one of the cleanest (if not the cleanest) city that I visit in Africa. And having lived in or near a city all of my life, I feel quite at home here. Except when young party-types are hooting and hollering at an outdoor bar next door. 😊 A similar city is Lusaka, Zambia but Kigali is slightly more desirable in my eyes. 

Over lunch, Dominique, our coordinator, and I talked about the youth here. Consider these numbers from the internet.

Over 50% of the Rwandan population is under 20 years old and the median age of the population is 22.7 years old. Urban areas of Rwanda have a higher percentage of youth than rural areas, though 80% of young people in Rwanda live in rural areas. Youth constitute over 53% of the population within the capital, Kigali.

Dominique described a double minded generation. They have similar questions about the compatibility of being a Christian and being rich. This is similar or identical to the question I was asked in Uganda a few days ago. He also said that it is common that when they leave school and get a job they leave the church. He also said that when they get together as “Christian youth” they want to sing and dance for hours and then suffer through a 20-30 minute message. 

I told Dominique that a better method is engaging them in dialogue and not make them listen to a lecture. He agreed and told me of an opportunity he had to do just that thing.

He mentioned a couple of other questions they have asked. “The Bible says it is inspired by the Holy Spirit. How can we know that for sure?” And a similar question about Christianity being “the only religion” that takes you to God and heaven.

We talked about everyone needing a Christian/Biblical Worldview in which case the Scriptures serve as a pair of glasses (figuratively speaking) that a believer is to look through when trying to understand the world and life. When I told him that a recent study in the US revealed that only 6% of those who claim to be “Christian” also have a biblical worldview. He responded, “Exactly! That is what I am talking about.” He said that very few pastors understand the youth and how to reach them. 

When I told him how many youth leave the church because they were never told not only what to believe but why believe it and why it matters, he again agreed. THAT IS EXACTLY why apologetics is necessary more than ever. The “what” is no longer an adequate reason for remaining in the church. Most, now, need the why and why!

I’ll cut things off here and get some pictures uploaded. Take a look at Kigali and see if you agree. Also notice that motorcycle-taxis are everywhere and both driver and rider are required to wear a helmet. Rwanda is about as regulated (both good and bad) as any place I go. 

Pray for my upcoming stop in Liberia where, besides meeting with the team, I will speak to (and listen to) a group of youth, hopefully about some of these critical issues.

Pray also that God might line up some divine appointment(s). 

Pray for my health and praise the Lord for creating our bodies in a way that discharges yucky stuff when it doesn’t like it. 

By His grace,
Steve

HERE IS THE LINK to the photo album.    

1 thought on “Travel Diary 6: God Is Good”

  1. John and Martha Bamford

    Glad you are feeling better, Steve. We, and Hillside Bible Church, are praying for a good week for you this week, with an emphasis on the Wednesday apologetics meeting with youth. John and Martha Bamford

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