August brought a number of unexpected twists and turns for our family- the biggest being the passing of my Pappy, George, and the corresponding unplanned trio back to America to be with my family. Thank you so much to each of you who reached out, encouraged, prayed, and donated to help make the trip possible. It was a perfect as a trip for that purpose could have been, full of peaceful time with family. I am so, so grateful.
August was SUPPOSED to bring the start of Halle’s school year, but it was delayed a week because of an unannounced Rwandan holiday. Seriously- they announced it the night before via Twitter, and that’s not uncommon. Ha! So, she started last week at Discovery International School and seems to really like it so far! This has given me some much needed margin/introvert time and freedom to do some things I have been wanting to do, like volunteer at our local birth center!
August also brought us 2 new employees for our ministry staff- Edmond, Matthew’s new Assistant Director of Agriculture and Nutrition, and Emmanuel, our Farm Manager. Emmanuel will live on our farm property, oversee research projects being completed there, and help maintain the land. Edmond has been a volunteer for Matthew’s trainings and is super passionate about Agriculture- we are happy to have him fill the gap left by Deo last month.
Matthew’s Agri-Faith training program continues to be the highlight of his week. Last week, they demo’d how to build a proper compost pile! The farmers start each week with a lesson on a fruit of the spirit, and talk throughout the class about how the exemplify that fruit through their farming. It’s a new concept to most- that they should farm differently because they are Christians! What a cool thing to see (and discussion to be a part of!) They also organized a class Umuganda (a community service day) to build one of their own, a widow who also recently lost a 2 year old, a garden bed. They kept saying, “We are Christians, we should help each other in these ways!” It’s amazing to see them connecting the dots like this- really putting their faith into action and living differently because of it.
This month, I’ve had a few firsthand opportunities to use our resources to bless others- and I want to share one with you. One of our Rwandan teammates, Immaculee, is pregnant (around 25 weeks) but is very high risk, and has weekly (or multiple a week) appointments. Because I have a car, I’ve been able to drive her to appointments recently, when she would typically have to walk or possibly take a moto- or someone else from the ministry would take a half day to take her. I’m so grateful to have the means to help out whenever I can- thank you all for your generosity that allows us to have 2 vehicles here.
I have continued to serve on our churches leadership team, both coordinating volunteers for various roles in the service and, this week, launching an all-new small groups program! I am so excited to see how this blesses our diverse community, as I have seen firsthand how beautiful small group communities can be.
Shepherd is still growing like a weed and charming everyone he meets! He is big boy crawling now and pulling up on everything- and trying all kinds of food! For the record, he LOVED Chick-fil-A fries the most 😉
THINGS TO PRAY FOR:
-Diligence and understanding for the farmers in Matthew’s training program, that the way of Christ would be newly illuminated to them. These first students will go on to become the trainers for future trainings in their own communities- discipline their own peers and multiplying the knowledge they are learning. Pray that they take ownership of what they are learning and that it really clicks in their hearts and minds.
-Matthew will be preaching later this month while our priest is out of town!
-We are constantly bombarded with poverty needs, including multiple people coming to our home each day to ask for food and money. We want to help, but do so in a way that is both sustainable for us and dignifying for those asking. Pray for wisdom, in each specific situation and how we posture ourselves in the community as a whole. Pray also for the conversations these interactions spark with Halle, and the example that we set for her.
-Pray for Halle as she settles into school, and for me as I create a new rhythm of life. I am beyond excited to start volunteering at our local birth center that primarily serves vulnerable women. Finally, how I’ve been wanting to serve all along!
-Pray that I (Karli) would be able to use my “free time” well, to both practice self care, pour time into my business, and devote time to volunteering here as well. Pray for discernment as I decide where to put my skills to use.
-Pray continued favor over the planning and permitting of our future home in Gasura
-We are beginning to plan a trip to America for December and early January. Pray that we can wisely balance the need for support raising with the desire to spend ample time with friends and family, and that we can build in some rest along the way. Specifically, you can begin praying for favor in flight times and prices!
We are so grateful to each of you, and would LOVE to know how we can be praying for you!