Where Thieves Break In and Steal

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What we found this morning-our window pried open

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Matthew 6:19

We live in a world where thieves break in and steal, sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally. Unfortunately, last night it happened to us literally. Caleb’s computer, my clinic phone, and wallet were stolen. The window bars were pried apart.

It was a brutal reminder of the world we live in. We are in a bit of a daze, and it seems hard with all the other things we have on our plate. But thankful that we are okay (Lydia’s and Moses’ rooms were the closest to the place things were stolen), my computer was not stolen, passports are still here. And we remember the second part of the verse:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20. We look forward to that place of no rust, no moths, and no thieves. In the meantime, we’re remembering to store up our treasure there.

Contributions can be made at Bridge2Rwanda and scroll down to King Family.

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March Madness

Well, this post is not really about basketball, but our lives have been slightly “mad” (in the crazy sense) the last few weeks, and hence the lateness of this post! I have been busy getting used to doing medical work again, which has taken some adjustment, even though it’s only part time. However,  I am happy to be practicing medicine again. I have also been asked to the Chair of Kigali International Community School, KICS, where Moses and Lydia attend (we are looking for a secondary school science teacher, by the way!). Caleb has been busy connecting with a promising development group, and is happy that he has begun construction for the site. Here are some photos, that give a glimpse into the last month or so:

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This is a photo of the construction of the new hydroelectric project. Notice the hard hats, banana trees, and combination of manual labor with a few machines.

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The importance of this photo does not lie in its technical quality, but in the fact that it captures Caleb going camping! He, along with the Scout master, took Moses and 6 other Boy Scouts camping in the national park, representing 7 different nationalities (a few have parents from different countries). The Boy Scouts had a special opportunity to learn about snake bites, when one of the boys got bitten by a poisonous night adder. Thankfully no venom was injected and he was fine. Caleb recalled his days in the Pediatrics Emergency Room to give care and assurance.

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I was happy to visit one of my former patients from Musanze, who received a much needed heart operation from the visiting Team Heart surgical team, here in Kigali. We were able to pray together and give thanks. I also gave a lecture to a team of Rwandan nurses being trained by the Team Heart organization to help follow up these cardiac patients.

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Lydia enjoyed her school’s “Beyond the Gates” initiative in which KICS students visited Rwandan Christian schools. It made such a big impression that she went back to the school, “Rise to Shine School” and helped out for a day. I was able to meet with some of the girls who had been picked out for their leadership and scholarship capabilities. Here’s to Beatrice Bamurange (pictured above) who has done such a great job with this school, in a poor area.

And, the wedding planning continues, for Sara and Logan’s wedding in May. I had a nice break, when my Bible Study, held a “Mother of the Bride” party for me! We played games, ate good food and even had a “MOTB” cake!

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The ladies here are all dressed in traditional Rwandan wedding garb, umushanana (sp?).

Finally, Caleb spent a few days in Goma, where he attended the yearly Heal Africa board meeting, and where this photo was taken:

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The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

Have a blessed Holy Week!

 

 

Answers to Prayers

I showed one of our Rwandan friends our newsletter from Christmas, and she remarked that almost all of our prayer requests have been answered. I felt that I couldn’t keep quiet about that! Here are the prayer requests and how some of them have been answered, with requests for more prayer. We asked for prayer for:

  1. Our children, especially Sara and Caleb Jr, who are graduating from college and high school, respectively. Sara, in addition to getting engaged to Logan (!) was admitted to 2 medical schools, including UNC, her top choice! Caleb Jr is traveling as I write this, after having interviewed for a merit scholarship in the USA. Please continue to pray for him and his decisions/admissions.
  2. That Caleb’s project would start construction in 2018. Construction has started! Keep praying that it will continue.
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Starting on the access road for the next hydropower project

3. For wisdom for me for resuming medical work. I have started working part time in an international clinic, with 2 other lovely women. It will be a service to the community and also a way to keep up my clinical skills. It’s a different skill set for me, outpatient medicine, so keep praying!

4. For our students we support so that we can minister to them spiritually as well as physically. We have no shortage of students and other vulnerable children and widows we support, about 133. We haven’t yet been able to have a meeting or retreat for all of them, but we give thanks that we were able to send so many off to school, giving them hope for a future. Keep praying for them, and for wisdom for us as to how best to help them.

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Kids playing near the hydroelectric power site.

I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me. Psalm 10: 6

Happy New Year’s

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Not sure where the time has gone! I am writing this from Chapel Hill, NC, on New Year’s Eve. Our family of 7 has been together for over two weeks-a rare treat, and the last few days we were joined by Sara’s fiancé. Caleb Jr has just left for the airport; he starts the slow but steady departure of our family onto divergent paths-Kenya, Rwanda, and Wheaton, with Sara being the last one to leave, after a medical school interview. This year, we give thanks for:

  • Our having spent 14 years in Rwanda
  • The time I had for teaching Rwanda medical students and residents, and now for a few months of sabbatical
  • For the progress Caleb has made in his hydropower projects
  • For good schooling for our children in Rwanda, Kenya and at Wheaton
  • For Sara’s engagement and her acceptance into a medical school
  • For a peaceful election in Rwanda in August
  • For the children we have helped in Rwanda, and for their continued growth spiritually and physically
  • For being part of the lives of so many Rwandans, even when it pulls us in many directions-being godparents, mentors, Bible study leaders, and parents
  • For all the generous donations which have enabled us to serve in Rwanda.

We read in church today from Ecclesiastes 3: 11a: He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart. We pray that in 2018 you will see that God makes everything beautiful in its time, and that you will feel the Eternity that He has set in your heart.

For those wanting to make a donation before the year’s end, you can donate online at bridge2rwanda,  and scroll down to King Family or King Education ministry or send a check to Bridge2Rwanda, PMB#322, 1818 N. Taylor St, Little Rock, Arkansas 72207.

 

Unexpected Valleys

It was a beautiful sunny day. I had already driven Moses and 5 other missionary kids to school in the morning, and I was on a walk with a friend. We decided to take the “country” path, down a dirt road, that was nonetheless highly populated. I was looking forward to our time together, and was about to ask her advice about one of our children when I felt a hand in my pocket, and I turned in time to see a young man running off with my phone, descending down a twisty path. As Caleb reminded me later, “it’s only a phone” (and a pretty old one at that), but my adrenaline kicked in. I ran down the path after him, shouting “robber” in Kinyarwanda, but was unable to catch up. I spoke with people in the neighborhood and they were sympathetic, but the situation seemed pretty hopeless. My friend and I walked back to her house, and with the FindmyiPhone website managed to do exactly that: find my iPhone. Caleb came, and with some help from some eager security guards, we tracked down the phone, first in a small house, and then it seemed it was turned off. The signal came back again and the phone was found buried in a hole, presumably to be retrieved later. In the meantime, we had asked many people to pray for us; we also remembered two important guidelines for getting something done in Rwanda-never lose your cool, but don’t leave the situation. Once we found the phone, we had a moment of prayer and thanksgiving with the many bystanders and everyone was relieved, including the local community leader. The thief was never identified; hopefully they found the incident discouraging, at least. One day perhaps he will be found. We always try to remember that Rwandans are victims of theft far more often than are foreigners, and they have fewer resources with which to recover.

The suddenness of this incident reminded me of a sermon I once read by Rick Warren, entitled “God’s Antidote to the Valleys”. He lists five characteristics of Dark Valleys-Inevitable, Temporary, Purposeful, Impartial, and…Unpredictable. It was the unpredictability of the theft that took me by surprise. One moment I was having an important conversation with a friend, the next I felt violated, afraid, and angry. We have had a couple of unfortunate incidents in the missionary community recently: a teacher who was hit by a car and had multiple facial fractures, requiring evacuation and surgery in the UK; another teacher, pregnant, who developed pre-eclampsia, and made it back to the US, but her baby, born prematurely, died shortly after birth. These were all sudden incidents, that leave one asking Why? This subject has been tackled by many books, and also is dealt with well by Rick Warren in the aforementioned sermon. Rick Warren’s  point I most appreciated was that there is no Shadow without Light. The challenge is to focus on the Light of the World, instead of the Shadow.

On a lighter note, these 2 cuties found me in Musanze recently, walking home from school. They are both orphans, whom we send to one of the better schools in Musanze. Thanks to all who make it possible for us to sponsor them.

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September Update

Things are a bit quieter in the house now: the kids have gone back to school-Sara and Hannah at Wheaton College; Caleb Jr and Lydia at RVA in Kenya; and Moses at KICS in Kigali. We had a great time together as a family, and we were able to celebrate Moses’ 13th birthday together.

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We also helped 75 students start their 3rd term, students, such as Albertine seen below, with her mother. It’s hard to know what Albertine’s future holds-she comes from a poor family, and  it’s unclear what work she will do after school. Our hope and prayer is that she will have a better life with a high school education-and not only her, but her children too, as studies have shown that a child’s likelihood of surviving to the age of 5 increases with the mother’s education level.IMG_4446

We miss Benjamin (see previous post), who had been helping with students, but we are thankful that he has the opportunity to study at the Florida Institute of Technology. Unfortunately, Benjamin recently had to evacuate in the face of Hurricane Irma! Do pray for him! Emmanuel is helping us now; we have known him for years, and he is doing a good job. He is pictured below (R), with another Emmanuel (L), who is deaf and whom we send to a special program for deaf children.

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I have been helping Caleb with his work, in whatever way I can. Over the last years, I have been working hard at the hospital, and he had really picked up the loose ends at home. I am happy that now I can support him in his work. Tomorrow, I will meet with someone about helping at a Christian clinic affiliated with our church, and also attend a new (to me)women’s Bible study. It’s a waiting time for me, but I am appreciating the extra time. It reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses:                                                                    But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40: 31

I send out special prayers to those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma; and to our friends and family preparing for Irma! May you run and not be weary; walk and not be faint.

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Group Hug for Hannah, as she leaves for college