Posted by: thekingfamilyinRwanda | January 29, 2017

New Beginnings

Like so many places, January is full of new promises and hope in Rwanda. Much of this excitement centers around the beginning of a new school year. For us, it’s a hectic time: our old students come with their national exam results, wondering where they should now go to school; new students come asking for support; and we try to sort out the nuances of where and how so many needy and deserving students should attend school. We pray over them, talk to them, consult our friends in education and then make the best decision we can.

This year, we had the added inconvenience of being primarily in Kigali, while most of our students live in Musanze. Fortunately, we had two good helpers, both of whom we had known for a long time from our days in Shyira: Benjamin and Emmanuel. Benjamin provided some needed technical expertise, organizing spread sheets, taking photos, and setting a budget. Emmanuel knows many of the students, some of them for years, and will provide the needed follow up and continuity in Musanze. The total: 73, ranging from elementary school to university; top schools in the country to basic technical schools; handicapped students, deaf students, and top athletes. We realize that “one size” doesn’t fit all, and we try to tailor the package to each student.

Thank you to the many of you who make this educational support possible, who haven’t forgotten the needy and afflicted. If you want to donate specifically to the education fund, go here, and scroll down to Kings Education Fund.You can also give general support to our work and ministry by scrolling  down to King Family ministry.

But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. Psalm 9:18

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Emmanuel and Benjamin, who are helping us to organize the students we support

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Alphonse, who is entering S5, or 11th grade, and is studying to be a veterinarian

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Germaine, entering 11th grade

Posted by: thekingfamilyinRwanda | December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas!

Click on this link for our latest newsletter:  Christmas Newsletter.

Many blessings,

Caleb and Louise

Posted by: thekingfamilyinRwanda | November 13, 2016

November Update

Well, as I often do, I look back over my recent photos I have taken to see where we’ve been and what we’ve done since I last posted a blog. Here’s what came up:

Now, THAT’S a crooked back. This is a boy who came to our Bible Study in Musanze, with his parents, asking for help. When we saw his back, we saw why! He came to the hospital where I work in Kigali,  where I was able to orient him, and they saw the pediatric orthopedic surgeon, who recommended a brace. Getting the back brace has not been so easy-apparently it doesn’t fit well, and he is coming back to Kigali tomorrow to get it re-fitted. As an example of how ignorance, fear and sickness intersect, the family, who are quite poor, spent a lot of money on traditional medicines because they believed that there son’s scoliosis had been caused by poisoning. We pray for their minds to be awakened out of the darkness by the Truth that sets us free.

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I was recently at a meeting at the Medical School, and I ran into Frederick, who studies at the nearby Technology Institute/University, and whom we have sponsored ever since secondary school. We were glad to see each other. He told me he is doing well in school, but needs glasses.  I was touched to see that he is still using my somewhat worn computer  bag that we gave him several years ago, along with the computer we also gave him.

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We were back in Musanze recently for church, and we were impressed by how many children were there-we couldn’t fit them all in the photo; it must have been over half of the congregation! I was glad to see that the children’s ministry is thriving, despite the fact that many Sundays we are attending church in Kigali. I am hoping to help arrange a Sunday School teachers’ training later this year at our Musanze church.

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I have been helping to host a Palliative Care teaching team from the UK. They have had many thoughtful discussions with our residents, involving end of life care-never an easy topic, but an important one, with spiritual significance. img_3226

Kids everywhere, even with burns at my hospital in Rwanda, like to ham it up for the camera, and show off their superpowers!

Here are our Prayer Requests :

  • For Caleb’s development  projects, that the doors would open for him, so he can break ground.
  • For the Rwandan students who have finished their school year, and for us as we decide how and which students to sponsor next year
  • For the upcoming holidays, and the arrivals of Caleb Jr and Lydia from RVA, and Sara and Hannah later in December. For Moses, as he finishes his first semester at his school, KICS.
  • For my (Louise’s) work, that I would be an effective teacher, and a good mentor

In closing, 2 Bible verses from our daily reading that recently “jumped out to me”:

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.Proverbs 27:19

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:24

Posted by: thekingfamilyinRwanda | September 12, 2016

September Update

We are back in Rwanda, after a short trip to the US. Well, some of us are back in Rwanda. In fact, only 3 of us-Caleb (Sr), Moses and I are in Rwanda. Sara has safely settled in Paris, and is enjoying her studies, which include a course at the Sorbonne, and an internship with a Public Health NGO; and she has even found a church, mostly attended by French Caribbeans; Hannah is in Wheaton and seems to be thriving, after a challenging first week, on crutches, due to knee problems. Caleb Jr and Lydia are at RVA, starting 11th and 8th grade, respectively.

In the meantime, I have started working at the Rwanda Military Hospital within the context of the University of Rwanda, teaching Internal Medicine residents and medical students. In fact, I just heard last night that we might be having as many as 22 extra students, due to larger numbers of students than usual (they start tomorrow). The first week I was at this new hospital in Kigali, I unexpectedly ran into people I knew every single day-nurses who had worked with us at Shyira; a teacher at Shyira who has a daughter Lydia’s age who had been treated for cancer; a young doctor from whom we had rented a house in Musanze to house boys we support; a devoted patient from Ruhengeri Hospital who greeted me with what can only be called a bear hug, despite being a frail 75 year old lady. I really had the sense that people were praying for me. I have been enjoying teaching, and learning, a lot. I am happy that the other Rwandan doctors are capable, helpful and include some strong Christians.

Caleb has been finding more than enough to do here in Kigali, going to meetings, arranging financing for projects, attending to people here whom we support. In some ways he is finding his work easier to do here.

Moses has started at KICS, Kigali International Community School, which is a Christian international school in Kigali. We are enjoying being part of that community. Moses does;t have quite the freedom he had in home school, but overall he is enjoying KICS and is playing soccer and the trumpet.

We have been back to Musanze briefly, in time to make a wedding cake (I think the word has gotten out), host friends visiting from Germany, have a 6 am Bible study at our house (with sweet prayers for our transition to Kigali), and for Caleb to preach.

Please keep our transition, and our far flung children in your prayers.

In Him,

Louise

Here are some photos:

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Hannah at Wheaton

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Moses go to celebrate his birthday a couple of times in the US, at the beach and in Chapel Hill, with 2 different cakes!

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Saturday morning Bible study, in Musanze

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As usual, Caleb takes the cake! The wedding cake, that is (I made it this time, though)

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We continue to support students with the help of friends near and far-thanks! 

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It was fun to be together, all 7 of us!

 

Posted by: thekingfamilyinRwanda | July 31, 2016

2 Quick Links

Here is a link to our latest newsletter: Summer 2016 Newsletter

And here is a good article about Caleb and his interest in hydropower, done by people working with Power Africa, a US government funded initiative to help bring power to Africa.It doesn’t mention the Light of the World, which has been our motivation to be in Rwanda, but it is a good article: Power Africa article

 

 

 

Posted by: thekingfamilyinRwanda | June 27, 2016

Forced Rest

I had a little enforced rest this weekend:

First, for the first time in several years, I was laid up with a stomach illness, likely a virus, that left me wiped out. I was supposed to preach on Sunday at a local high school, but that was out of the question. Ironically, the topic I had chosen was “Come to me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Caleb, fortunately, preached in my stead. I lay in bed and slept, and read a little, and slept more. I am usually not a late sleeper, but I managed to sleep about 14 hours. I gained a certain amount of empathy for my patients!

Secondly, my phone broke, at least partially. The screen seems to function somewhat autonomously, calling numbers, deleting emails, etc. at random. I noticed today that a nice tune was playing in the maternity ward; then I discovered it was from my phone in my pocket! Anyway, I discovered the best way to deal with it is to use it as little as possible, which has been difficult at times, but has freed me up to do other things.

At the end of the weekend, though, I felt rested and reassured-happy to know that the world keeps turning, even when I rest!

On the other hand, Sara and Moses were doing anything but resting. They, along with 4 others, took a long, hilly bike ride, over 2 days along the coast of Lake Kivu. Fortunately no one was hurt and Caleb had the foresight to arrange for a car to follow them along the way, with an extra bike, which they needed.

We don’t have a bike rack, so Moses stacked up the 7 bikes, pancake-style, which happened to be what I fixed them for breakfast before they left!

Bike tripThe kids are back safely, and I am back at work, hoping to keep that sense of rest and peace that passes all understanding in my heart and mind.

Posted by: thekingfamilyinRwanda | May 15, 2016

Good-Byes

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Lydia, Hannah and Caleb Jr at the Kigali Airport

 

I thought since I had a post entitled “Hello” , I might as well have one entitled “ Good-Bye.” As anyone in the mission field can tell you, there are far too many “Good-byes” in your life. The hardest ones are your own children. I wish I could say that it gets easier, but it doesn’t. Hannah, Caleb Jr and Lydia just left after a month here. All too soon, Hannah will leave for college (Wheaton College, by the way, for those of you who know she was trying to decide.)

We celebrated Easter together; went to Kumbya, an old mission retreat center; walked on The Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest; did puzzles; watched movies and read books. The house seems rather empty now, though we are thankful for Moses who keeps things lively.

What does it say in the Bible about Good-Byes? Abraham must have had some when he left his family in Ur; Ruth refused to let Naomi say Good-Bye and moved with her. In Ecclesiastes, it says that there is a time for everything; children leaving is definitely a season in life, as all parents know, but it’s painful nonetheless. Jesus told his disciple John to take care of his mother, anticipating his departure; He also said, And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. We do appreciate the friends we have made here, who have become like family, but we look forward reunions, on this side of heaven or the other, with all those to whom we have said Good-Bye.

Here are some photos from our vacation with the kids:

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We took a Sunday boat trip, for a fresh-out-of-the lake fish lunch

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Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest

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Hannah, Lydia and I went to the wedding celebration of their former choir teacher.

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April is a somber time in Rwanda, as it is the time of commemorating the 1994 genocide. Lydia and I went to a rainy memorial at a gravesite near our home. 

 

Posted by: thekingfamilyinRwanda | March 27, 2016

Hope Deferred, Good News, and Easter!

I had this blog post in mind a while ago, but I had not gotten around to writing it, and now it strikes me as the perfect Easter post:

Last month, I helped take care of a young woman, Clementine, who had a serious heart problem, a leaky valve that could only be helped by surgery. Fortunately for her, Team Heart, the Boston based cardiac surgery team screened her and accepted her for surgery in Kigali, though she was last on the list. Several days before she was supposed to receive her surgery, someone called her and said that in fact she wouldn’t be operated on. She came to see me the next day, hoping against hope that it wasn’t true. I called someone, who called someone else, and they confirmed that she was not on the operating list. When I told her, she couldn’t hold back her tears. Hope deferred makes the heart sick,  as it says in Proverbs 13:12. Her hopes for a new life were dashed. I almost couldn’t hold back my own tears, especially as I know only too well the fate of these young patients with severe heart disease who don’t receive surgery. I did pray together with her, for God’s protection and that next year when the team came, she would get her needed operation.

Inexplicably, a few days later, I got an email that she actually was on the list-she had the green light. I was delighted to call her and give her the good news. This time, she couldn’t hold back her smiles. We agreed that “Imana ni nziza.” God is good. Her mourning was turned into joy.

I suppose that’s the Easter message-the darkness of disappointment, sickness, betrayal, and even death is not the final word. The mourning of Jesus’ followers on Good Friday was turned to joy on Easter Sunday. May you find also that Easter joy, through Christ who gave us the victory on the cross.

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Clementine, after hearing that she was going to get her operation after all

Posted by: thekingfamilyinRwanda | February 21, 2016

Hello

I have to confess-I am an Adele fan; she has a great voice. So I am delighted to use the title of one of her recent songs for this blog. Last night, I received a call out of the blue from one of my former patients, Alice. I met Alice when she was 20 years old in 2011, when she came in with a chronic cough, which was provoked by eating. A longish work up ensued which revealed that she had a fistula between her esophagus and her trachea-in plain language: she had a connection between her esophagus and her airway, meaning that every time she ate, the food went into her lungs. So, she was starving to death, among other things, because she couldn’t eat. She eventually was referred to the Central Hospital of Kigali, which then referred her to King Faycal Hospital, where she was operated on twice, with excellent results in the end. It really was a team effort, as I helped pay for some of her medical costs; my Rwandan family medicine resident at the time, Vedaste, also gave some of this own money; a Rwandan Ruhengeri hospital volunteer (the only time I have ever seen one) accompanied her to Kigali; and apparently a worker at King Faycal also befriended her. Alice called to thank me and give me the news that she is doing well, is now married, and living in Kigali. We praised God together, for her healing. I was grateful that she thought to call me, and for that joyous moment we had together on the phone, remembering how close she had been to dying.

In other news from the King Family:We had a nice visit in Nairobi for RVA midterm. Here are some photos:

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We enjoyed the idyllic setting at Amani Gardens, but we missed Sara!

 

We were happy to have Team Heart come again to Ruhengeri Hospital to screen patients for cardiac surgery. I was thankful that the right patients seemed to find their way to the hospital; we had called the ones we knew, and were happy that even others also came. The visiting cardiologists, sonographers, and nurses were very patient and kind. Please pray for Team Heart as they make difficult decisions, in deciding which 16 patients, from the whole country, will get operated on.

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Patients line up to be screened by Team Heart

 

I preached today in church, on Abraham and his faith. As usual, I learned a lot as I prepared for the sermon, and appreciated the reminder of how we are saved not by works, but by grace, through faith.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2: 8-9

Posted by: thekingfamilyinRwanda | January 3, 2016

Scenes from Christmas

We were fortunate enough to be able to make a quick trip to the US over Christmas, to celebrate not only Christmas but also the 60th  wedding anniversary of Caleb’s parents. The four younger children and I are now back in Rwanda/Kenya, while Caleb stayed behind a bit to be with Sara and his parents. I have some photos, but I first want to share some good news:

  1. Moses has received his US citizenship. We’d been waiting for some acknowledgement from the US Immigration Service of his application, but we still had no response , and time was running short. Caleb scheduled an informational appointment and he “happened” to see the officer whom we saw in 2013 (he was supervising a new employee). He immediately remembered Caleb and Moses; volunteered to look for the application, which was untouched, and processed it right away. Caleb is supposed to pick up the certificate tomorrow; with that we can apply for a passport from Rwanda.
  2. We traveled safely. Despite some passport mishaps, all went well.
  3. I passed my Internal Medicine Recertification Boards (which I have to take every 10 years).

I also wanted to share my favorite Christmas poem this year, by our friend Tammy Iralu, http://terimuso.com:

Before Frost

Before the birth, it was all angels and light,

but when it came time for the birth,

the wings and accompanying brightness

vanished like butterflies before frost.

I could have used a midwife

or a woman to wash the baby

or at least cook me a bowl of soup.

So when I heard the knock, I rallied.

 

When Joseph answered the knock,

he saw them standing there,

not all meek and mild

but roughhousing among themselves,

shoving each other for the best view

between the cracks in the wood frame.

 

They were snotty-nosed, unkempt little beggar boys,

sent away from home to watch sheep

until they grew up and were fit to be trained

in one trade or another.

Joseph could have turned them out.

Just one “Scat” would have sent those boys

scurrying back to their sheepfold.

 

But even though we had little ourselves,

we knew those boys had less.

If they wanted to share this evening with us,

we would share with them.

Our bread stretched a bit further,

the broth thinned until there was enough for all.

 

We took a risk letting them in the stable.

They could have stolen our few belongings,

or made a mockery of our poverty,

so little removed from theirs.

And when their unwashed hands cradled our son,

he could have caught cold, or worse.

And yet, something told us that—while there was risk

in letting the shepherd-boys into the stable

(and into our lives) that night—there was even more

risk in shutting them out.

I really choked up when I read this, as we have so many “unkempt boys” who knock at our door, and we know the risks in letting them into our lives, and the risks in shutting them out.

Finally, here are some photos of the trip:

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We were happy to have Sara with us again!

 

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Seeing Uncle Steve and his trains!

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Visiting Uncle Birch, former longterm missionary in Zaire, now DRC

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Caleb’s parents, and their adoring family!

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A toast to our newest American citizen (don’t worry-it’s just apple juice!)

Many wishes for a blessed 2016!

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