Another first day of teaching in Rwanda. It is remarkable how close we have become with this group of men and women pastors. They are part of our family.
The sessions begin and ends with prayer. Both sides then share the blessings that have occurred during the year. When I announced that Elizabeth (my youngest daughter) was married this year, Neal piped in “and I married them”. There was raucous applause and shouting “yeah”. And when I told them that Peggy was coming and that she would dance “if they encouraged her” – you would think the roof was falling down with such excitement. The group of pastors reported on their blessings, including building a new church, putting on a new roof on a church, buying land for a new church, and one pastor reported that the Government has recognized their church for eliminating drug abuse and violence in her area (Amie reported the recognition, she is an incredible pastor).
We stepped directly into the teaching of Exodus. I get the descriptive part, then the clean-up batter comes in to pull out the theology nuggets. This time I started by showing pictures of the Nile and Egyptian monuments, followed by descriptions of the Egyptian Gods and the Pharaoh’s perspective that he was divine and all powerful. All to set the stage for why God chose specific plagues and why Pharaoh would be so hard hearted.
Then into the teaching….
It is not all sitting and listening to lectures, we break up the time with periods where teams of 4-5 come together to read and evaluate text separately. The part that we both fear and delight in are the questions – sometime these are really off the wall, but so far, everything is reasonable, but not necessarily easy.
At lunch the plates are filled high, think of a dinner plate with the center portion sticking up 8 inches. These guys can eat! But then again, this is more food than they ever see at home, so take advantage…. These are poor pastors – but they have great heart, and truly want to learn more – to be better representatives of Jesus.
This lunch time, I brought out a water rocket – they had never seen one of these before. I did not bring the lubricant for the seals, so there were a few false starts – but finally we had a regular set of successful 100’ launches. It delighted the crowd and has now been transferred to it’s new owner, 10 year old Joshua.
The beginning chapters of Exodus are foundational – so it was slow going – lots of content and intent to be pulled out. Two chapters now complete, 38 to go. We both feel good about ending on Friday. We will see on Friday.
Long day, spent time with our friends, had a wonderful chicken dinner – now time to read a little in prep for tomorrow and go to bed. It was a long night following the end of the game last night – 4 AM here. Too bad they lost. Next year….