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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.
Bruce leaves for the Congo tomorrow morning. If you remember, two years ago, Bruce said one of the most difficult parts of the trip was the dangerous bus ride to and from the Congo. So, this year, he asked the host pastor to come and get him. We would pay for the gas, and the trip would be much more pleasant and safe. Well, Pastor Baraka arrived today. In the course of the conversation after his arrival, we were asking how he preferred to be paid for the gas (US dollars, Rwandan Francs, or Congolese Francs. He said that he didn’t need gas money because he came on the bus. Well, that’s that. So Bruce will be taking the bus to Congo tomorrow with Pastor Baraka. Welcome to Africa!!
On Monday, I begin the ladies’ classes here in Rwanda. The pastors were so excited about their wives receiving training. This is the first time this has been done. In each nation where Global Baptist Training Foundation operates, we find the same thing to be true of the women. They have been grossly neglected when it comes to training in the Word of God. The women have very difficult lives. They wash clothes by hand. They shop for food every day because they do not have refrigeration. They cook everything from scratch – in an outdoor kitchen. Then they boil water to wash the dishes including the pots that have been used on the charcoal stoves. All of this time, they take care of their children – usually 6 to 12. They make many of their own clothes.
My job is a huge one – to convince these women that they can understand and teach the Word of God, and that the study of the Word of God will make their lives so much better!! These are the pastors’ wives. The other women are even further behind. We have only been given two days for the women’s ministry this year. This again is indicative of the attitudes toward women. The men think they need to be back home after two days. I am praying that next year, this will be expanded into more days.