We told you that this is the rainy season in Rwanda. There were torrential rains before we came, to the point of washing away houses and lives lost. But until now, we have only had minor downpours at night. This morning we awoke to a steady rain, not hard, but constant. Neal and I broke out umbrellas and went off to meet our pupils. At the church where we teach, perhaps 15 out of 66 pastors were drinking their tea, the rest no where to be found. The rain continued, and the class was mostly missing in action.
When the car was available, we sent it out to recover our class from the home where they are staying. Each pastor was waiting for a break in the rain before they took the five-minute walk to our church/classroom.
I was to be Rabbi John, telling the details of the of the Moses’ Tabernacle and all the associated practices – this we wanted to do with the full class in attendance. And so, Pastor Neal, being a man that is quick on his feet, proceeded to use the projector to show pictures of his past trip of Israel. Showing Harrod’s Temple, the landscape, images throughout Israel. By the end of the Israeli tour, the class was assembled.
The tabernacle presentation went well, and what I enjoy most is their questions. You never know where these pastors will go. Many times, they are seeking answers to questions that are simply not addressed in the Bible – but they have enquiring minds. The one I enjoyed this morning was – No one can touch the Ark of the Covenant. And the Hight Priest is the only one that can go into the Holy of Holies. And on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest sprinkles blood seven times from the bull and the goat. Then, who cleans the Holy of Holies? Well the tabernacle was mobile, the tabernacle was dismantled and re-assembled from time to time. But no one could touch the Ark. So, I would guess the blood flakes off the gold surface – I could speculate, but to for pastors, I needed to conclude that the Bible does not tell us.
During lunch, I brought out an air rocket – a diversion for the pastors (picture). You use a bicycle pump to pump air into a plastic bottle – release the bottle and the bottle goes 100 ft into the sky. They loved it.
Our pastors have an excellent appetite for learning and food. Neal is becoming more Rwandan with every meal. His lunch plate is still small in comparison to the other pastors, but he is on his way (picture)
After lunch, Christina and Peggy reported on their meetings with the women of their churches, what they have been teaching and encouraging (picture) – a teaching on forgiveness, challenging the women to live in God’s grace and a teaching on Priscilla and Aquila, Paul’s ministry team friends.
Then I left Neal to carry on with the teaching while Christina, Peggy and I went to review the items we had made earlier in the week at the market. Miriam selected cloth for what would be a parting gift for our team at the Friday celebration. I quickly scoured the bazaar for new and interesting items. It is interesting, after ten years, some of the stalls actually remember you. It becomes harder each time to find that special something for a friend at home – because so much is the same. A few items were collected – then off to home.
Neal was on the terrace in the cool shade, drinking a Fanta. Happy to see us. Content with the teaching for the day. Planning tomorrow – a necessary task, since one never knows how the Spirit will move – sometimes teaching goes quickly, sometimes not so much. The intent is to make sure they get the concept vs. complete the delivery of the material on a schedule.
Do you know that Neal drinks a lot of coffee? Well, tonight we completed the annual ritual. Neal purchased 69 bags of coffee, enough for one bag a week for the year, plus a few for good measure and friends. He loves Rwanda coffee!
All in all a good day! Praise God!
P.S. Please continue to pray for our QUEST students and chaperones. You can follow their mission trips and encourage them at: https://questne.weebly.com/