While in Rwanda, we do a one-hour prayer walk every morning. Each day, I noticed a young man pushing his bicycle, going up a hill. (Rwanda is a very hilly country). When the man reached the top of the hill, he would get back on his bicycle again. I noticed he was careful in pedaling his bicycle and I could hear a noise coming from the middle of the rear wheel. I would see this guy every morning; I would say hello to him and he would say hello. One day, I asked him how far he traveled each day and learned he was coming from about 25 miles away to go to work. I asked about the problem with his bicycle and he said there was a part in the rear wheel of his bicycle that needed to be replaced. I asked him how much the part would cost and, to my amazement, it was less than $4. I asked him to stop at the house where we lived on his way home and I would give him the money for the repair part for his bicycle. The following day, he was so happy and full of thanksgiving, his face lit up with a big smile. The repair of a bicycle opened a door for us to minister to this young man. We thank God for divine appointments like this where God gives us the privilege to touch people with the love of God.

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In Burundi, we held a leadership conference for government officials and pastors. Seventeen government leaders received Christ for the first time! In the evening at the crusade, many received Christ as we ministered. Some people brought a lady who was possessed by demons and laid her close to the platform. God delivered this lady from demonic spirits and we believe God did many other healings and miracles that night that we may not even know about as prayer went forth. The next day, we had a prayer meeting where a large group of children were getting out of school for a break. We invited them over to pray with us to receive Christ. They did! Next, we went to the local prison where 431 young inmates were gathered together in an inside courtyard. We ministered the Good News of our saving, healing Jesus and more than 200 prisoners raised their hands to receive Christ. We also visited a small orphanage and then ministered at the crusade again that evening. Almost 500 people gave their lives to Christ during those two days in Burundi. Glory to God!
 

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Revelation 21:5 says “Behold I make all things new.” God is doing a new thing in our lives and we are very excited about it! At the beginning of May, the Lord began to deal with us about stepping out into our own ministry. As we obeyed, we saw the hand of God move to open new doors of opportunity. The first opportunity was receiving permission to start seven IVBI’s in the prisons, mentioned above. Second, we were invited to speak in the neighboring nation of Burundi at a crusade. We are seeing God's plans for us unfolding because we said, "here am I Lord, send me."

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The prisons of Rwanda hold great promise for revival. Sixty thousand inmates are incarcerated because of participating in the 1994 genocide, guilty of murder and other crimes. These are the outcasts, the forgotten people. Most of the ministry occurring in Rwanda is geared toward the genocide survivors, which completely make sense. But the Lord has put on our hearts to reach these “invisible” men and women in the prisons of Rwanda. After seeing the need and hunger for God in the prisons and talking with the government leaders about the opportunity for lasting, inner changes in the inmates, we believe International Victory Bible Institute is needed. The Lord has opened a big door for us to start seven IVBI's in seven different prisons throughout Rwanda. We praise God we were able to start one IVBI in the capital city of Kigali's main prison at the end of May. We are believing to start the other six this fall. The budget for seven Bible Schools in the prisons is $12,600 per year. We believe this is God's plan and together we can do this. We are not allowed to take photos inside the prisons, but our most recent opportunity allowed us to minister to about 800 male and female inmates. In Rwanda, children of prisoners are actually housed with their inmate parents until the age of three, so we were ministering to adults, as well as children.

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The two young boys pictured here are among hundreds and hundreds that do not attend school, but spend their days on city streets where they beg for money so they can buy something to eat. Money is the obstacle that keeps these children from attending school. They lack even the small amount needed to pay school fees, buy a required uniform and shoes, get a haircut, and purchase notebooks and a pen. This has led us to start a program to keep the children in school by providing them with these necessities. Can you imagine that for $115, we can keep a first grader in school for one year? Knowing Jesus and attending school gives hope that these children can rise above their impoverished circumstances. Isaiah 58:6 – 7 says, "...share your bread with the hungry...cover the naked..." There are still many widows and orphans in Rwanda because of the genocide and we are called to minister to the "least of these."

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Fifteen years after the genocide, you might think that everything has returned to normal and that people have accepted "life goes on," but this is not so. The survivors of the genocide carry inner wounds from what they saw, heard, and encountered. There is great need for healing and deliverance from the torment that is experienced by both the innocent and the guilty. For this reason, we have had the opportunity to minister to literally thousands and thousands of adults and children. Our challenge was not to find ministry opportunities, but to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit guiding us to God's choice of the many opportunities that were before us every single day. Ministering in churches or one-on-one, we have had the privilege to lead many people to Jesus. The streets in Rwanda are busy places, full of people, making it very easy to share the Gospel every day. We have ministered in the cities and in very rural areas; we have ministered to pastors and inmates in prison.

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 In May, we had the privilege of graduating 45 students from two International Victory Bible Institutes (IVBI) that we were overseeing. Every pastor we have encountered in Rwanda agrees more teaching of the Word of God is needed. The people of Rwanda love to praise and worship for long hours, but they also need the solid food of the Word of God. That’s why more Bible Schools are needed in Rwanda.
 

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