7/22/2014 - Rwanda and Congo - 2

by Grace

I shouldn't be, but I am always amazed anew as I watch women around the world react and respond to the Word of God. It is such an amazement to watch the tears, the praise, and receive the thanks from these women for helping them learn to "rightly divide the Word of Truth."

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7/22/2014 - Rwanda and Congo

by Bruce

Greetings from the Congo,

We began our class today with about 45-50 participants. At first blush, it appears that some of the more distant village pastors did not make it this year. The hosts have not yet told me why this might have been. Because we are only teaching through Wednesday we can only cover one unit from Theology 101. However, with two tests, and sufficient class hours, we will finish by noon on Wednesday. Today went well with the exception of two changes in my interpreter. Getting used to one translator is work enough but three is very exhausting. I had to repeat myself alot today and it was very tempting to be frustrated with the process! Fortunately, we were able to complete the section for today and took some questions afterwards. This is what it is like to communicate in another language and culture. Patience in this context is not just a virtue, it is a necessity! I was also pleased with the attitude of the pastors and other students who came today. There appears to be a collective teachable spirit.

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7/21/2014 - Rwanda and Congo

by Grace

I began my pastors’ wives classes this morning. They have never done anything like this, so they kept the schedule light – Monday and Tuesday mornings from 9-12. Ok. I will roll with it. By 9:30, we had 36 pastors’ wives and eight nursing babies between the ages of six weeks and 2 years, many of whom traveled up to 8 hours by bus to arrive. The women were dressed in their beautiful bright African dresses. They began by singing – with such joy!! I was again overwhelmed at the fact that anywhere we go on this planet, when we met others who love our Savior, the bond is instantaneous and powerful.

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7/20/2014 - Rwanda and Congo - 2

by Grace

Yesterday, I was able to visit the Rwandan Genocide Memorial. I can't begin to tell you how it broke my heart to tour this facility. I have known about the Rwandan Genocide. Bruce has told us that all of the pastors he teaches were, in some way, affected by this atrocity. But now I understand even more how devastating this Genocide was. In 1994 (within 100 days), over a million people were butchered simply because of the tribe into which they were born. Outside forced stirred up hatred between two tribes that had coexisted peacefully. Not only did they kill men, women, children, even infants, they killed them in as painful and humiliating ways as possible - with machetes, by bashing the children against a wall, by slashing people's thighs and then dropping into a septic tank and pushing them back down until they died from the bacteria infecting their wounds. Even worse things that I won't write.

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7/20/2014 - Rwanda and Congo

by Bruce

Today, I heard the words, “Welcome to the Congo”. They were from my host on the seat beside me after we arrived in the Congo. My host traveled to pick me up to Kigali Friday evening, and before our conversation had gone very far he told me he had come up by bus. Yes, the dreaded bus. Did I say bus? This is the mode of transportation here that would put fear in the eyes of Mario Andretti. I took this bus to Congo two years ago and determined that I would never use this form of transportation again as long as I lived. But here I was last night hearing the words from my host that he had come to pick me on the bus. I couldn’t believe it. I told him to pick me up by private car. I was afraid of the bus, didn’t he understand?

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7/18/2014 - Rwanda and Congo - 3

by Bruce

Today is graduation day from Theology I01-1. For the vast majority, if not all of these pastors, this is the first time in their lives they have had an opportunity at getting any kind of meaningful ministry preparation. We taught until about 11:00 this morning when we took a short break for a short meeting among the pastors. After the meeting, we came back together for the official graduation service. Watching all of these fifty-two pastors walk forward to receive their second certificate from GBTF was memorable. Each of them have a story, along with a difficult ministry.

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7/18/2014 - Rwanda and Congo - 2

by Grace

Today marked the ending of the pastors’ class and the graduation. There were actually 52 pastors who attended each class, passed each test, and received a certificate for Systematic Theology – Part I. It was such an amazing event to witness. One of the pastors, representing the other pastors, asked to speak to my husband in front of the group. The heartfelt thanks he expressed was more than humbling. He actually said they consider Bruce to be “their apostle Paul” who comes to train them. I videoed this speech and the translation. It should be posted in the next day or so.

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