March 11, 2010, KIGALI, RWANDA – HOUSTON, HERE WE COME! Today we left for my hometown of Houston, Texas in America for my miracle wedding to my miracle fiancé. The last few months have been quite the faith trip and I have seen God continue to show me His faithfulness in all my challenges. My mind reflects back at all I’ve been through and where I am now and the mysterious unknown ahead.
As we headed off to Kigali airport, our church family and friends sent us off with warmth and love. We are so touched by their love, all of us united by the love of God. I look at Jean-Paul and I think how wonderful it is to do this with my best friend in the whole world. God has always been with me, but now I am even more so covered in His blood with my partner on earth and both our church families. And we weather through life’s challenges together, in faith, sharing also in God’s blessings. Thank you, Lord!
PRINCE CHARMING & MILESTONES
My friend Anita said “I can’t wait to meet your prince charming.” The truth is I had my wishes, but never dreamed I’d be normal enough to have a prince charming or a dream wedding. I went through most of my life telling myself to face up to my abnormal life and be strong. Then, I found Christ Jesus and He changed my life, called me to Rwanda to serve Him and sustains me through everything. If you’ve read my previous blogs introducing my fiancé, you know that I prayed for a husband in these last few years. Before I came to Rwanda, God put me in my place and told me not to underestimate what He can do for me if I desired it with all my heart. So, I desired a partner to walk with me in serving God. I prayed for an earthly protector and a family. I desired to start a new generation in my family of servants unto God, at our utmost – a generation founded on LOVE, the love of God and close love for each other.
Bigirindavy…Mrs. Bigirindavy…In a few weeks I trade my one-syllable surname of Chinese origin meaning “yellow” or “emperor” for a five-syllable name meaning “God watches over you.” In Africa some people don’t take the family name of their father so this will be the first generation of Bigirindavyi’s. But most wonderful is carrying on the meaning of the namesake. We are missionaries in God’s watch. And the name has already proven its truth in the testimonies of both Jean-Paul’s and my life. And JP’s first name takes on the names of the two greatest missionaries for Christ, John and Paul. What more can I ask for? Let’s not forget the miracle of how God put us together. It’s like our prayers came from two different directions at the same time and found each other. Mrs. Linda Huang Bigirindavyi can now mean “Christ the everlasting King who watches over us.”
However, my true prince charming doesn’t come from a fairy tale, but from truth. Christ Jesus is my prince charming and He swept me off my feet, pulling me from a life of endless search for significance and “looking for love in all the wrong places.” Jesus is the knight in shining armor of my life. But Jean-Paul is my desire, my earthly joy, my partner, reward and blessing. And he’s a part of the plan that God knitted for my life and purpose as he knitted me in my mother’s womb. As I grow in my faithwalk and review the milestones of my journey, the obstacles I’ve faced and how God has brought me through again and again, I see how God marks my life with these milestones that he predetermined. And as I reach each milestone, its not a sense of nostalgia (which is an emotional feeling of looking back), but more a sense of reaching the right places in my life, finally getting closer to somewhere that I’ve been trying to reach. Each time you hit a milestone, it’s like a sense of peace and relief, but you know you have another milestone to get to. The Bible says we are to build memorials to God at our milestones.
A LIST OF MIRACLES
The list just keeps growing. We began this engagement with zero funds. As of a few weeks ago we still had zero funds, but by faith we had organized a miracle wedding in Houston, Texas to share God’s miracle with all who’ve walked with me through this mission. Because time had ticked away we were debating getting into debt to make this wedding happen, but I told Jean-Paul that I didn’t feel right about starting this marriage in debt. And my spirit and experience told me that debt is the tool of the enemy, not of Christian faith. I heard a voice inside me remind me of Abraham and Sarah and how they had faith, but got weary and created a Hagar and Ishmael whose lineage now is doomed to toil in hardship and dispute. This is what happens when we act upon our weariness and impatient moments of fear and doubt. God reminded me to wait. I knew He’d come through just as He did for Abraham when He was about to sacrifice Isaac in obedience to God. So, we waited and did not take debt. We waited and prayed.
Just a few weeks ago I was informed by my church in Houston that some donors from the church had given money to the church designated to buying us the airplane tickets to attend our own wedding. We were ecstatic and overwhelmed with joy at God’s faithfulness. Even in all our fleshly worry, we knew He’d come through, that He wouldn’t forsake us, nor would He leave His blessing incomplete.
Another true miracle is that JP has also completely healed of diabetes after almost dying (he has been off medication and eating normally, but carefully, for months now). Last May he was almost on his death bed. I found him losing 20 pounds in one week, constantly sleeping, thirsting and going to the bathroom. No matter how much I fed him, he got thinner and thinner. We finally got him on some medication and he started stabilizing gradually and putting on some weight. We also changed his diet to cut out sugars and starches, a devastating experience for him. Even on the meds, he was weak. My mother sent us a glucose meter and we had to measure his blood frequently. We prayed and prayed for complete recovery because it’s very difficult to have a starch free diet and sustain on costly medication. A few months ago funds got tight and we just didn’t have much money for his meds so he skipped a few days. Miraculously he seemed fine so we kept him off it. It’s been almost 3 months now and he’s fine without the meds. He gets a little weak periodically so we still watch his diet, but he’s pretty much completely healed. It’s a miracle indeed!
This was another of a long list of miracles paving a pathway to this marriage. Starting with little funds for our wedding made us pray hard for God’s confirmation of this marriage. He definitely confirmed that it is His will for us to unite. Most of the wedding came from in-kind donations of places to stay, loaner car, etc.
When we first got engaged, I told JP that my dream would be to see him play with my favorite nephew Tyler and have them both at the wedding. Now, this dream is coming true. My two favorite people on earth shall be with me on my wedding day. Praise God!!!!
GOD SHOWS US THE CHURCH INDEED!
God has shown us The Church indeed! The unity of two church families as proof of the One
Body of Christ. My church, Houston' First Baptist, and Jean-Paul's church, Evangelican Restoration Church Remera Rwanda, has joined in faith to support us. Like I had said, this wedding is not just about JP and I. It’s a testimony of God’s Glory that we happily and obediently share with everyone. It's not the incorporated church budget, but the PEOPLE of the church that showed their hearts to us.
HFBC has come through with many in-kind contributions of airplane tickets, accommodations, loaner car, etc. And my church family will be joining us as Pastor Don Munton marries us on March 27th. On New Years day, we were surprisingly introduced as an engaged couple to the church in the Petit Stade (The Little Stadium) by Pastor Lydia Masasu. Hundreds of church members applauded with tears and joy as they shared in the blessing God has bestowed on their beloved church servants. People were touched to see the true hands of God Almighty upon Jean-Paul and my life. They had known JP and seen him humbly serve the church for about 5 years now. They now see how God blesses His servants abundantly. Several came together to donate from their pockets to support God's miracle wedding. It’s been such a miracle to see how loved JP is by his church. Apostle Masasu and Mama Lydia are wonderfully annointed parents of ERC. We thank God for Mama, Papa and the church family! God's people are good indeed! Kabisa!!! And God is so faithful!!!!
BUTTERFLIES IN MY STOMACH
In America we say we have “butterflies in our stomachs” just before doing something major. I am strong and brave, but who can ever imagine the things that go through your head as you make such big movements in life such as marriage. You can never know a person entirely, nor do they know themselves entirely. People change. I’ve seen it and experienced it with my own eyes. Only God knows who we are or will be. So, stepping into a spiritual and earthly legal covenant of marriage is quite a leap of faith. I didn’t think I’d be nervous about this, but the butterflies are fluttering about in my stomach, not many but a few. I have experienced so many failed marriages in my life through friends and family that began so promising. It’s easier to see others do it and to criticize what they should have done differently. But to enter into this yourself is quite a step. I have always taken marriage seriously. Being a child of divorce, I don’t condone it or wish it upon any family. It’s a complicated blemish that creates a huge stain upon many lives. But Jesus washes away all the stains. And as I face this new commitment, I surrender all the unknown and all the butterflies to God. My faith in my husband comes through my faith in Christ Jesus. And I know the Bible says the key to all conflicts and misunderstandings lies in remembering “first love.” So, as I choose a ring to symbolize Jean-Paul and my covenant marriage, I pray for it to remind me of my “first love” for Christ and for Jean-Paul.
A NEW SEASON TO BE DETERMINED
As we wed in Houston and return to Rwanda, we ask for prayers for the direction of our new season together as husband-wife missionaries. Whether God has us remain in Rwanda or return to America or go off to some other country, we will always serve him to our utmost, making sure we use his gifts to give and bless others and bless His Kingdom. The fate of Rwanda is mapped out in Kagame's Vision 2020, but only God knows. Rwanda, especially the capital city of Kigali, is growing like wildfire. Pray with us about the future of Rwanda and what God wants us to do.
STAY TUNED TO BLOG UPDATES
We are off to America. Stay tuned to these blogs. Subscribe (see below) as I share the month of our miraculous wedding. We are so excited to see family and friends. God be with you. We love you all sooooo much. Thanks for all your prayers and support.
Love in Christ Jesus,
Linda & Jean-Paul
· For all the provisions for our wedding
· Jean-Paul’s continued health and healing from diabetes
· For all the supporters in Rwanda and Houston
· speedy 501c3 approval for Urukundo for the Children, Inc.
· the remainder of funds needed for our stay in Houston for the wedding
· Jean-Paul’s continued health
· safe return to Rwanda
· Our job stability and sustainability in Rwanda and/or USA
· Continued peace and safety, especially in the new house
· The actual wedding March 27, 2010
· Jean-Paul’s family in Burundi – brothers’ health
Online Gift Registry: If you’d like to bless us with a gift, we have set up a cash gift at: www.myregistry.com . SEARCH: Linda Huang
Wedding Basket (at reception)
You may also choose to drop a check (payable to Linda Huang) in the gift basket at the wedding. Thank you so much for your blessing.
PLEASE ADVOCATE FOR THE CHRIST & FOR THE CHILDREN
I need your help to raise funds to build what God has called me here to build for Him. Gather friends to sponsor lunches, bike rides, run/walks, picnics, bake sales, lemonade stands or concerts for the cause of God’s ministry in Rwanda, to build Christ Is Our Hope School Community Rwanda (and wherever else he desires), a center of hope and God’s blessings, to raise new leaders. There are children who need your help. There are nations that need hope. Help me to raise funds to develop a better education system for them and a future hope in Christ. 501c3 is pending very soon.
TO DONATE TO URUKUNDO (LOVE) FOR THE CHIDLREN, INC.
PLEASE SEND CHECKS PAYABLE TO:
Urukundo for the Children
4020 Blue Bonnet Blvd., Unit G
Houston, Texas 77025
Attn: Beth Richards
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------PLEASE SUBSCRIBE: If you have not already done so, please subscribe to “Bridge To Rwanda Blog Newsletter” by entering your email address in the subscription field to the right. FeedBurner will send you a CONFIRMATION EMAIL that you must REPLY TO CONFIRM in order to activate your subscription. Please, pass the subscription and blog site on to others to share the testimony and raise support for the mission. God bless you!