Dear Family and Friends,
Last night was not a good night but today has been an electric, very satisfying day.
If you have followed previous trips you will know that hard beds and my senior-aged body don’t get along. That was the case last night. I got to bed at 11:30, then flipped, flopped, tossed, turned like a turkey on a rotisserie. I tried taking all of the sleep-helping tabs I bring “just in case.” Nothing helped until, finally, about 3am I was able to drift off.
I had lunch with my good friend Nathan Chiroma who is the principal of a Christian University here in Kigali.
At the end of our lunch fellowship, Norman Paul Desire arrived. We can call him Norman or Paul. I asked. 😊 We went to the Ahupa Visual Radio station (https://ahuparadio.com/) where he interviewed me with questions about the dangers of having untrained pastors in churches then about the challenges of working with “youth” in Rwanda.
DEFINITION: Youth? “Any SINGLE person between the ages of about 18-35.” That is why we are not calling this part of ITEM’s ministry a “youth” ministry. It means something totally different In the US. In Rwanda, 68% of the population fits into this category.
Then tonight, we went to the local radio station that reaches the entire country and did it again. This time it was through an interpreter. It was in English earlier.
The other person with us, Vital, is a “youth” and works with “youth,” and from what he told me, what the “youth” (young adults) deal with here are what they are dealing with in the US.
As more and more of the emerging generation here get university degrees, they are asking tough questions about the Christian faith and parents and church leaders, for the most part, do not have the answers and to make things worse, they dismiss the questions and tell the questioner to stop thinking like that.
Vital did a study of that generation and wrote a report. He found that one of the major reasons some of the “youth” are rejecting Christianity and the church is because of the scandals in the church and the hypocrisy of many of the church leaders.
Divorce is increasing exponentially here. I mean, the number of divorces is exploding. The family is breaking down. (Sound familiar?)
Tonight we talked about the searching that many of them are doing, looking for meaning and ending up in crime or on drugs. We talked about how parents and church leaders should respond when “youth” come to talk about these issues should respond. I emphasized that the “youth” need to be listened to and understood. I heard recently that Gen Z in America has two messages for the rest of us: Love me. And… Show me. They need to know they are loved unconditionally and they need examples.
If I sat and reflected, I could probably fill another page with what we discussed.
All that to say it was a great time on TV and on the radio, today.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, is the seminar. We will be introducing a good number of Christian leaders from the area to “apologetics,” explaining what it is and why it is needed.
But this wasn’t the only sources of joy today. Dominique Rwanfizi, our country coordinator here, stopped by and we talked for awhile. He was so gracious, sharing how my ministry had impacted him and how he is committed to expositional preaching. He was excited to tell me that he had been allowed to preach through the book of James at his church and the people loved it and the pastor has asked him to teach another book.
I am blessed to be here doing what I am doing and you, who pray and give, are the ones, besides our loving God, who make it possible.
The seminar Wed that vision would be presented and received.
That plans for the future of ITEM-apologetics in Rwanda will be discussed and hopefully agreed to.
That God will raise up someone who will come along side and get prepared to step into my spot when I am no longer able to do what I am doing.
I’ve added a few pictures AND a few short videos Here is the link. CLICK HERE.
By His grace,
Director, ITEM Next Gen Ministry
PS Still no update on the boxes of books.