Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Waiting Period...Finally a Breakthrough

PREVIOUSLY UNPOSTED ENTRY - 08/26/13

AUSTIN, TX – Its been a long time since I've posted on this blog. I praise God for continually remembering me and carrying me through the challenges. Sometimes it seems like life is a journey on Noah's ark, waiting in the flood for some relief and sign of hope. God remains my first and last passion. I continue to carry God's clear vision in my heart, even while its path goes in directions I never foresaw.

My husband and I have been on this journey to get re-planted in America and its been quite a trip. God has tested us and we've finally made some breakthroughs. We are planted somewhere that we can see roots forming. It hasn't been easy. Its been a process of praying and waiting. Not being very public about our struggles, but bringing it to God. Now, finally we have made some breakthroughs and we can see light.

We have planted our lives in Austin, Texas. I struggled with finding decent work and financial stability. The four year inflation of life in America really took a toll on us and my husband JP had to begin his career at the bottom, which was humbling for both of us. Nevertheless, God has come through for us and fought for us. He now has a nice full-time job with great medical benefits that takes care of his diabetes. He is waiting to get his permanent green card, but meanwhile got his first provisional driver's license (learner's permit). After three years of trudging through the employment market, I finally landed a great job in corporate America with great benefits. We have found a great home church here in Austin, where JP plays lead guitar for Saturday services. The wait was long and tested our faith, but we are strong followers of Christ and we know that God has great plans for our family.

Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to get stability. Please also pray for God to provide the way and means to revive the ministry. Urukundo for the Children is still alive and real in my heart. The dream is to revive it in full force in a few years. God has brought me many education connections that I believe has a purpose in my life. The dream is to build something with perpetual results to change the world. Our young people are the future and if we do not build them up and develop them for leadership and global consciousness, there will not be a world left to pray for.

If you are in trying times, please be assured that God has not forgotten you. I know this because I have been in and out of the desert waiting on God and He always comes through and provides the perfect way out. There is a purpose for the waiting period that God knows about. Its to prime and prepare us for the grater task ahead and the greater glory ahead. The enemy is strong, but not stronger than the force of God Almighty. Be encouraged that God does not forget us. Anticipate and look forward to the breakthrough ahead.

Love in Christ Jesus,
Linda

Starting over...

PREVIOUS UNPOSTED ENTRY - 04/27/12

Dear Friends and Family,

As I look at my last posting on January 2011, its been more than a year since my last posting. OMG, I apologize again as life just got ahold of me and Jean-Paul. We have had quite a time trying to get settled in America. We are finally here in Austin, Texas after spending almost a year in Los Angeles, CA struggling. We came to America October 2010 with only what we earned from selling EVERYTHING we owned in Rwanda, which wasn't alot. God really blessed us with enough to get JP's visa and our airplane tickets and a bit more to start off in an apartment.

It's been a mix of emotions returning to America. I was so happy to be back in the comforts of family and familiarity (however, my family still remained far), not to mention some American luxuries that we take for granted. However, one thing that I could not prepare for is that time has moved on, America has progressed, people have gone on with their lives while I was living in a less developed country. In order to survive in Rwanda, I (a master multi-tasker) had to teach myself to slow down and adjust to the less urgent pace of Africa. Returning to America, I've had to speed back up. I also lost some value in the job market as I was a volunteer humanitarian worker for 4 years. Coming back into the job market has been tough. Some people can value the time I've spent in Rwanda, but others cannot. I was a teacher and a marketing communications professional before I left for Rwanda. In those years, America leaped into an age obsessed with social networking (which is also invading Africa today). During my time in Rwanda, I used social networking to keep in touch with people, but the internet was so slow and I didn't have TV to keep me up on the latest industry norms.

Another challenge that I faced as a returning missionary was that I returned to another city and no longer had my church family support because apparently the mission ended as I crossed the international borders. In an instant I had to switch modes and go from  a daily life with mission purpose - focused on bringing Christ and compassion to anyone around me, to a lost world of unemployment and struggling finances. Then, I had a new husband, who is also new to America, that I had to assist in getting adjusted to all the changes.

So, to make a long story short, its been a whirlwind year for us...almost 2 years back now.

However, we did successfully reach two anniversaries of marriage. We stood the newlywed test and are still madly and passionately in love and blessed. Don't get me wrong, its not perfect and we have our challenges, but its perfectly made and blessed by God. The love of God and the love we have for each other is truly the glue that keeps everything together for us. Marriage is alot of work, but a work of God. We praise the Lord for giving us strength and love. Many people have asked us about whether we have a baby yet. We have been working on it. Life in America is not easy. Financial strains and managing daily life is stressful on our physical, practical and spiritual existence. But we can and will do all things through Christ Jesus. We trust that God will bring things together and our family will be born from the grace of God. We want to make sure that when we bring a child into this world, that we are prepared to give the child the best of life. So, the answer to that question is that we and God are working on our future family. All prayers are welcome.

As I take on whatever jobs come my way to support us, I long for the wonderful days filled with purpose. I long for the days of being the vessel that God uses to bring hope and joy to the people of Africa. I long for days of sitting in my living room and sharing God's miracles with young people. We will return one day, strong and fully stocked with resources to change lives for Christ.

Life is short.Cherish the days you have. Whether you past was filled with joys or sorrows, they are days gone by. Look ahead at the things God has in mind for you.There are treasures stored up in Heaven and Earth waiting for you to surrender your path so that God can lead you towards the true path to retrieve your  blessings. I thank you for reading my blogs for all these years. I will soon be putting up a new blog to start the new chapters of my journey with God. Please keep me in your prayers to seek God first and foremost. I have left the third world country for now, but my mission has not ended. In God's eyes, I am still a missionary, on special mission, on a new season, in a new place, fighting for the cause of Christ - that all may seek His face and rejoice. I pray for you all to find the joy of the Lord in your lives and to keep a tight grip on it.

With love and blessings to all,
Linda (Huang) Bigirindavyi

In the Presence of My Enemies...


PREVIOUS UNPOSTED ENTRY...Some time in 2009
"...He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. my cup overflows." (Psalm 23:3-5)
In times when you are stuck in the "valley" and "death" overlooks you, waiting for an opportunity, God seems so distant, but He's so close you can't get a focus on Him. As I go through daily life, with vultures surrounding me because they smell Jesus on me (vultures thrive on devouring the blood of Christ), I shout His name silently in my heart, "JESUS, HELP ME!" It's in these times when it feels like life has taken a full circle back to where you were in the darkness, but I know its an illusion that the devil has created to make you think you've fallen back into that desolate place of helplessness. I know its not the same - GOD IS WITH ME.

As I paddle through my existence in a foreign land far from all familiarity, far from family, far from comforts, I am not immune to enemy fire. The devil works in universal patterns. He uses what looks safe to entrap you. He uses fellow Christians to stab you not only in the heart, but in the back. He does this because it hurts more when it comes from "family." My only resort is to stand still and pray. If I move, I will trip on his traps. I get on my knees and I shout a silent prayer. I don't want to lay any clues for the enemy. The other tactic of the enemy is to get you to hang yourself in some entanglement.

Lord, I am back on the edge of the precipice, waiting for you. My fellow neighbors of Christ sabotage me out of envy. I do nothing. Just the slight pretension in Christ's name is sacrilege. Oh, Lord, forgive them though they know not what they do. Lord, place a mirror before them and let them see the decay in their visage as deceit and envy, greed and fleshly hungers devour their faces. I'm reminded of the book, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, where the beautiful man of proper countenance and true vanity sees himself decay. Every love of self is like a virus eating away at his flesh. Lord, these Christians need your conviction. Please have mercy upon them.

I feel empty and afraid as they try to steal my livelihood. I grab onto my Lord and His Word like a lifesaver. Lord, I know you are in control. Hear my pain. Protect me from their stabs. Lord, anesthetize my heart that I would not bear the pain of their deceit. Lord, when the afflict me, they afflict you and vice versa. Lord, your living Word stands and I stand before it next to you. Lord, your Grace is sufficient for me! I know who you are and I stick by it, despite the dangers.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" (2 Corinthians 12:9a)
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8)
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." ( John 14:27)

God is my strength


"...He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. my cup overflows." (Psalm 23:
2 Corinthians 12:9a, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" (NIV)
Deuteronomy 31:8, "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (NIV)
John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (NIV)