Sharing God's Love in Rwanda February Newsletter

How we are sharing and experiencing God's Love in Rwanda?
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Happy Valentine's Day!

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7


Sharing God's Love
by Emily Griggs
4th Grade Teacher at Kigali International Community School and Volunteer with Christ's Church Rwanda's Children Ministry

When asked the question, "How do I share God's love each day teaching and serving at KICS," the answer is an easy one...I simply show up. I am present. I show up to class, blanketed with His strength, to teach and learn from a wide-eyed, diverse bunch of 4th graders, who teach me about generosity and God's grace. I learn from them, and laugh with them as we learn to divide, and pray for the nations. God's love radiates from our room every morning during a chorus of "How Great Is Our God," sung in English and Kinyarwanda. The students sing so loud, they tell me, because they want to bless the people walking outside to work, and the workers who are cutting the grass and picking up the rubbish. I show up every day and see Jesus in their faces. They humble me. They literally "invite" Jesus into our classroom each morning. He usually gets the middle spot on the reading carpet. :) My students are light and joy and God's love is radiating here at KICS. Students are going home and sharing with their parents and praying for them to accept Christ. I have shared the knowledge of His love and grace with parents at parent-teacher conferences. The Holy Spirit has shown up in the oddest of places! But at just the right times! 
 
My afternoons are full of engaging with students in sports and activities. Some of the girls I coach and tutor are not believers, but they are seeking the Truth, and showing up every day for lay-up drills and laughter. We are loving each other and encouraging one another. I experience God's love on the basketball court, just as I do in church on Sunday morning. I cherish my time with these ladies, as we exercise, and share about our week. They are teaching me to be consistent in my prayers.
 
As I leave my bright, blue gate on Sunday mornings, to stroll to CCR, I'm greeted by a gaggle of awake, alive, joyful children running to escort me the full 5 minutes to church. "Teacha, teacha," they pronounce ethusiastically. "Good morning Teacha. Sing please." Many of these kids walk to church by themselves from the next hill over, and hide in the trees in the greenspace until I emerge to walk and sing Mambo, Sawa, Sawa with them. Beautiful children. Sharing God's love sometimes means showing up and singing. Holding hands. Being a vessel for His salt and light to flow freely through you, arms and legs and all of you!
 
It can also mean leaving this beloved hill, and venturing out to other communities. I've been humbled to see how God has used me in unique settings and situations here to share His ever-flowing love. Listening to His Spirit, and showing up to the pool one day, turned into a divine friendship with a Chinese lady who began worshipping at CCR during her stay here, and accepted Christ before returning to her country just last week. Her life was transformed by God's love, experienced in our community. I know her community in China will be transformed as well. God is present here! And sharing His love is as easy as showing up. Being willing and ready. Being alive and fully awake to His people. And God will do the rest.
 


 

God's Love

Painting and Pencil Artwork

 by Natalie Shreck, daughter of ROC missionaries Brett & Keli Shreck

"Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love." I Corinthians 13:3


Welcome our new ROCin' Team mates!

Robert and Pat McLaughlin began a sense of calling to serve in the mission field in 2010 when they spent a summer season with a Christian school in Belize. Returning back to Egypt from the mission trip to Belize the call to serve Him persisted. At the conclusion of Pat’s most recent work as a Teacher Professional Development Director with a USAID project in Egypt the call to serve Him in Rwanda came with Pat serving as Deputy Head of Kigali International Community School (KICS) and Robert once again working with children with disabilities.

In January 2013 Pat was appointed to serve as KICS Director commencing in June 2013. In addition to offering each student a quality Christian education, Pat is passionate about giving KICS students the experience of walking the servant leadership pathway. By launching a Service Learning Program for all KICS students and by building relationships with Christian cross-sector workers and missionaries in Rwanda, Pat envisions KICS students having purposeful service opportunities throughout their school career at KICS.

Sharing God's Love around the World

Last month, the ROC Board hosted a blessing reception in Oklahoma City for the Jenkins family celebrating the 19 years of service in Africa. Click here for more information about the reception. Since returning to the US, the Jenkins family has been adjusting to life the US, connecting with and thanking their supporters, and transitioning to the next season of ministry to which God has called them.

Christ’s Church in Rwanda (CCR) commissioned the Jenkins to become missionaries to the Diaspora of Africa’s Great Lakes (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Congo) in the United States. God is opening a door similar to the one that launched CCR. As the Jenkins arrived in Chicago they found a number of friends and relatives of CCR members. Also, they found the relationship network of those the Jenkins had known from Uganda. Many of these people are experiencing both the challenge and opportunity of being Third Culture Kids (TCKS). Yet, their financial contributions back home is the largest source of foreign income in East Africa.

The Jenkins are praying, making many friends, and seeking to hear well from God and men. On most Saturdays the Jenkins host a dinner for friends from East Africa. It is their hope to in March begin forming a leadership core for a ministry called Great Lakes Fellowship (GLF). From this they hope to begin a public launch of GLF in the fall of 2013. They plan for GLF to meet monthly in various churches for African worship, a good speaker, shared communion, and a meal. They hope GLF will promote unity, and also shepherd and disciple the transitions of our friends.
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ROC Reception Honors Jenkins Family

Dave and Jana Jenkins were honored along with their family recently with a reception in Oklahoma City. Dave, who was one of the founding board members of ROC, returned from Rwanda for a season this past June and settled in the Chicago area.

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, the Jenkins were honored for their 19 years of service in Africa by the ROC Board of Directors in a special reception ceremony on the Oklahoma Christian University campus. John Osborne, the Chairman of the ROC Board, addressed the crowd of friends and well-wishers by highlighting the Jenkins’ time in Africa and then presented Dave and Jana with a lovely plaque highlighting their 19 year dedication to African missions.

The Jenkins were sent to Rwanda in June of 2005 by the Quail Springs Church of Christ, who has been the primary sponsor of the Jenkins for the following seven and a half years. Following John Osborne’s presentation to Dave and Jana, Tom Gooch, an Elder from Quail Springs and also the Vice-Chairman of the ROC board, honored the Jenkins for their accomplishments in Rwanda, including: early church registration, helping establish a private christian school in 2006, establishing Christ Church Rwanda (CCR) in March of 2007, helping to adopt several Rwanda orphans to several Quail families, helping ROC assume sole operation of Kigali International Community School (KICS), helping grow CCR to a 400+ member congregation, and helping encourage four Quail families to come work in Rwanda, arriving in 2007, 2010 and 2011.

Following this special presentation to the Jenkins family most attendees walked to Hardeman Auditorium for the Rwanda Culture Night program, which provided a fitting conclusion to the evening’s activities.

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