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It is Thursday night (August 9), and I am wrapping up my first, and very long, day. I slept fitfully through my first jet-lagged night, waking up and going back to sleep three separate times. My bed is surrounded by mosquito netting. There were many new and unfamiliar sounds in the night: the Moslem temple playing their canned music through the bell tower just a few hundred yards from our compound, the sound of the city as it finally ended its day and went to sleep, birds which I had never heard before singing outside my screened, the coming and going of quiet conversation of Rwandans as they finally broke off and decided to go to bed. I finally woke up about six this morning and began my day.
After devotions, dressing, and breakfast, we started the first meeting at 8:30 am. There were several preachers who were in transit from all over Rwanda, but we started anyway with lively singing, introductions, and finally I began teaching about 9:00. I taught with two breaks until 12:30. I covered mostly introductory matters, the role of interpretation, and then I went through the mechanics of an actual expository message from 2 Cor 5:10-21. We then broke for lunch until 2 p.m. We started back and I taught until 4:30 on the theology of preaching and on the expository method. In each session we started with lively singing from the men. You will see that African singing is not for the timid. I wish I could reproduce the sounds of it for you tonight, but I promise to get video of teaching and singing tomorrow.
To say that these Aftrican preachers are hungry for teaching would be a gross understatement. How I wish all of us could be so hungry! They listen to everything. They watch, analyze, listen, and write down what I say. I have no doubt they are going to implement what they have heard into their lives and ministries. Tomorrow, there will be more preachers. By the time we ended today, there were forty of them. Many of them had come from some distance, others from villages surrounding Kigali. Tomorrow, I am told, there will be more, perhaps twice as many. I will be getting up early!
Please pray for Akeem’s wife’s sister Rose. She and Pastor Denys (Dennis) met me at the airport on Wednesday afternoon. She felt poorly last night and was no better this morning. They think she has a case of malaria. I have been sharing my ibuprofen with her to help her fever. They do not expect her to get any worse and believe she will improve in a few days. It is a good reminder to me to not forget my medicine! I do not need any reminders. The bug situation has been helped by rain last night and an even harder rain this afternoon. The downpour on the tin roof of the church made it very hard for the preachers to hear. My Rwandan translator has a booming voice so it was not a big problem. I did not think a translator would be necessary here, but it turned out to be the case.
Please keep people praying for the ministry here. It is, I think, one of the most important things I have ever done in the Lord’s work.