February 4, 2009, KIGALI, RWANDA – Dear Friends & Family: No, I have not moved to China. That is my earliest photo. Since I don't have any photos to post and today is my birthday I am posting Baby Linda. God knew this little baby was going to be a missionary in Rwanda many years later. I miss you all so much. I pray for you always because of your love and commitment to Christ and to this mission.
I apologize for the long silence, but my new year started quite tumultuously. I needed time to let God work things out. It was a difficult turning of seasons and changing of guards. Nevertheless, God has worked everything out for good. He’s so good like that.
Praise God, He has answered my prayers for a new assignment within the scope of my calling to serve children of Rwanda under safe covering. He has confirmed that it is His will for me to stay in Rwanda another year. Between now and May I will be on double duty as I am transitioning from World Relief to serve with EA for Needy and Abandoned Children, a 501c3 nonprofit that has been doing awesome things for Jesus in Rwanda for 8 years. I will be working directly with the founder and director to develop the ministry, particularly EA School for orphans. From now until end of May I will continue to teach World Relief staff periodically at workshops upon their request, but most of my time is spent developing a primary level teacher training and evaluation program and overseeing activities of EA ministry, including skills training for impoverished and displaced youth. We currently have around 200 students of Primary 1-4 (who are entirely scholarshipped to EA School) and 80 older skills training students. I have seen lives turned from the streets and prostitution because of this skills program. Of course, all of this is founded on Biblical training as well. EA also supports hundreds of other children outside of its own school with school fees.
We are also working on a somewhat confidential project to rehabilitate child prostitutes through Christ and skills training. Please pray for this very difficult but needed project. I will not be able to show you any photos of this project nor talk too much in detail, but will update you with progress and prayer requests. There are children starting from age 10 being entrapped and trafficked into child sex labor. Once you are in, it’s tough to get out. A lot of these children are orphans or have been exiled from their families so they have no means of food and shelter except to continue the only way they know how to earn money. We are working on plans and grants for funds to build a rehab house. Please, please pray for this.
NETWORKING & TEACHING
Praise God! I am also meeting new people and ministries to form a network of friends in Christ Jesus who support each other’s missions in prayer and service. I continue to get invited to teach young professionals about life in service to God.
I have also joined a new church called Rwanda for Jesus that has stronger English service, great teaching, and sound leadership to help me grow. Please pray for this relationship. I will share more about it as it progresses. Of course I have joined the worship team.
Since I have been in Rwanda God has been just showering me with the gift of writing and playing music. I have just completed my first recording of 2 songs that God inspired me to write about Rwanda: Urukundo for the Children and Bridge to Rwanda. I will be trying to get this on facebook for you to hear. Please purchase and download the songs on Snocap, all proceeds will go to support me and the mission projects. Please send this link to all your friends to also purchase these heart songs. Thanks!
I am also negotiating and exploring many other Christian music promotions opportunities, ways to grow His musical servants.
KIGALI HOPE FESTIVAL: Andrew Palau
Finally, I just had an awesome meeting with the Luis Palau Association and they are coming to produce Andrew Palau’s Kigali Hope Festival. I will be consulting and helping them. What an honor to be involved in trying to unite the city and churches of Kigali in Christ Jesus.
RAISING SUPPORT FOR 2009-2010: BIRTHDAY REQUEST
Friends and Family, your support will allow me to continue serving in Rwanda. I must raise funds in order to sustain living here and serving here for another year. This is what I wish for my birthday and all the birthdays to come. My heart is so bonded to the hearts of Rwanda and so devoted to serving God. This includes cost of visa, car insurance, travel for ministry, round trip furlough ticket, and funds for ministry aid. Right now I only have funds for rent or living up to the end of April. I am hoping to raise as much of this upfront as possible as it makes it easier to budget monthly when I know what my base amount is. Please ask God how you might help to support the cause. Your supporting my mission helps hundreds of orphans find new life in Christ, helps me to disciple Christians, and plants a perpetual seed for the peace and welfare of Rwanda.
PLEASE ADVOCATE & FUNDRAISE
Please be my advocate of prayer and fundraising. I need your help. Gather friends to sponsor bike rides, run/walks, picnics, bake sales, or concerts for the cause and all the ministry God has brought to me in Rwanda. There are children who need your help. There’s a nation that needs hope. Help me to stay so I can develop a better education system for them and a future hope in Christ.
I love you all so much. Your support of my mission and ministry means so much to me and to Jesus. God bless you all. Thanks for all the prayers and emails of Happy Birthday. I am blessed because God is always with me. Please keep in touch and email me as often as you’d like or keep in touch on facebook. Just hearing from you encourages me for the good fight. I haven’t been able to take photos as much of what I have been doing has been confidential, but I will try to get some photos of the school next time. Meanwhile, you can see photos of the school, kids and the ministry founder at www.esthersaid.org. God bless you so much!!!!!
Love in Christ Jesus, Linda
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CURRENT PROJECTS & PRAYER REQUESTS
* Please pray for serving the church in Rwanda
* Please pray for serving the orphans in Rwanda through Esther’s Aid for Needy and Abandoned Children
* Please pray for hiring of local teachers and teachers from abroad
* Please pray for clarity and favor in the development of Urukundo for the Children to serve children worldwide
* Please pray for the rehab house project to progress
* Please pray for my keyboard to get fixed so I can learn how to play more and write more songs for Jesus
* Please pray for continued healing of my heart
* Please pray for old and new relationships. Discernment and protection.
* Please pray for fundraising to support my living here for another year.
* Please pray for my involvement with the Palau Festival
* Please continue to pray for time to study Kinyarwanda and ability to speak and comprehend
* Please pray for my internet connection & patience