Stepping out of the Kigali airport on a very pleasant day to experience the warm embraces and greetings of Neal, John, Theophile, and Joshua foreshadowed in significant ways a truly meaningful experience.  The clear blue sky and warm air were quite agreeable, especially after a very cold week spent teaching in Northern India. Joyful conversation often characterized by several people talking at once filled the car during the ride to the place we would call “home” for our days together in Rwanda.

The pastors are filing into the church and finding their chairs. Questions flood my mind. What can I possibly teach them about leadership and planning for their ministries? Will what I share make sense? Will it be relevant? Is the African context I have lived in similar enough to their experience? Lord, please help me! Without you I can do nothing!

The devil is a liar and he is at work in Rwanda just as he is in Burkina, Niger, Boston, and New Hampshire. Pastors who are born again, filled with the Spirit of God, and considerably invested in kingdom ministry have serious doubts as to whether God has truly given them what they need to begin to have a spiritual impact in the communities where he has placed them.

Lord I lift my tiny mustard-seed teaching contribution to you and ask you to bless it. Forgive me for doubting that you had given me what I needed to have a spiritual impact on them! Lord, won’t you fill them with the courage and wisdom that Nehemiah had, when he discovered that the walls of Jerusalem were in disrepair and dared to believe that you could use him to rebuild them? Lord, won’t you give them the eyes to see the brokenness of their communities and the courage to reach out in faith to those who are lost and hurting? Lord, won’t you give them hope, that even though they may not have many material blessings, that the Lord who sends them into the world has promised to be with them, and even he had nowhere to lay his head? Yes, Lord, I believe you will. 

Joel Gray
SIM Niger