Father’s Day

I am happy to post this photo of my 2 favorite fathers! IMG_3935

It would take a book to write everything about my father: He grew up in India, the son of missionaries, and made his career teaching surgery, and caring for the underserved. He raised us 4 children, not easy under any circumstances, and even harder with a sick wife (my mother), who passed away when we were teenagers. Smart, funny, kind, patient, humble, with a strong Christian faith: I think I can speak for my brothers as well when I say that we think he “hung the moon.” I am happy to report that he is recovering well from his heart surgery.

Caleb could be his only rival, for “best father.” When our oldest was just a baby, the Pastor of our large Boston church used Caleb as an example of the way that God adores us, just like Caleb clearly adored Sara! His sacrificial love for all of our children is amazing. I saw this video and I immediately thought of Caleb: Fatherless to Fatherfull. He reaches out to the fatherless in real and meaningful ways, pointing them to the real Father. IMG_3767

I can’t leave out the other very important father in our life: Caleb’s father, Kimball. His graciousness and loving support mean the world to us. I can’t count the number of times he has welcomed all 7 of us in our jet-lagged state with great hospitality, and then at the end of our trips have helped us pack up, weigh and load  suitcases when we head off back to Rwanda, usually not knowing when we will be back. We love him and miss him! We are glad that Sara can be with him for Father’s Day.

Here’s one last photo: Praying for this next generation of Fathers! Happy Father’s Day to all!

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Caleb and Moses
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To Act in Love

“To Act in Love,” is the title of a poem recently written by our friend Tami Iralu, from her blogsite:

To act in love requires

absorbing the pain.

Let the lightning strike.

Let the storm rage.

See how the tree stands tall.

The wind, surely, is felt deep

into the roots, yet the roots

withstand the storm.

Let the lightning bolt.

The nest cradles the egg

and outlasts the storm.

Being a missionary is all about acting in love. Without love, we are nothing, is basically what I Corinthians 13 says. Or as it says in Galatians 5, The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. And there is nowhere where that is more true than the mission field, where there are abundant opportunities for misunderstanding, mistrust and miscommunication.

But, as the poem says, to act in love requires absorbing pain: the pain of sacrificing for others, helping others but receiving no gratitude in return, the pain of protecting others, forgiving others. It is only with deep roots, close to the source of the Living Water that we can absorb those pains. Thanks for all of you who give us the means to Act, and those who pray for us for the Holy Spirit to pour out God’s love to our friends, students and many others in Rwanda.

On a more news’y level: We have been praying lots for my father, Bill Rambo, who had heart surgery last Monday at Duke Hospital. It ended up being a longer surgery than anticipated, so probably the recovery will be a bit longer. It’s hard to be away at a time like this. Pray for all the family who are there taking care of him.

Some of our children are finishing up their school year. We are thankful for those who are taking care of those who are stateside. The RVA kids still have another 6 weeks. My Rwandan residents and medical students will soon be taking their final exams. Please pray for their preparation and performance!

Here are some recent photos:

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We had a good visit with some visiting physicians from our hometown. We all appreciated their good teaching!

 

 

 

April Showers

April is the rainy season in Rwanda-a time of blessing, but also mourning, as the country remember’s the 1994 Genocide. In fact, it’s raining today, as it may well have been 23 years ago, when a systematic and brutal killing was enacted in Rwanda. Lydia and I have been watching “Shooting Dogs”, which takes place at a Technical School about 1 mile from where we stay in Kigali. In the compound where we are staying, former missionaries hid Tutsi boys, we heard recently.

I will post some more photos soon, to show some of our recent activities, but here are just two:

IMG_3784This is a seemingly inconsequential foot bridge, but it’s new, and it’s on one of my favorite walks that I like to take with one of my friends. Before, we used to walk down into a little gully, hoping there was not too much water. The local community built this. It’s symbolic of progress in Rwanda-sometimes small, best when originating with local, grassroots efforts. It’s my prayer that there will be a bridge of reconciliation between the 2 different people groups here. We give thanks for Jesus, who is Himself the Bridge for all of us, leading from Death to Life.

Here is another hopeful photo, of our friend Sam, being installed as Bishop. I love the symbolism: The cross in front, then the archbishop, then Sam, then his lovely wife. You are indeed blessed if you have the cross in front, and a good wife behind you!

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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

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

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!