Cold Feet, but a Wedding

Posted by Garry Friesen July 23rd, 2016

Family & Friends

Once a month I tell a Bible story for the 7-9 year olds at New Life Bible Church.  I have been telling them the story of Ruth one chapter at a time.  As I prepared for Ruth 3, an idea hit me. I found a bedspread and two large towels.  In class, I started with a summary of Ruth 1-2.  Students filled in when I paused.  “A family of four left Bethlehem.  The father was named _________ and the mother _________  Then, I laid down the bed spread as a “threshing floor” and explained it.  Then I found a young man to be Boaz and a young lady to be Ruth.  The boy took off his sandals, laid down on the threshing floor and covered himself with the first towel.  Then I whispered to Ruth to go to Boaz and uncover only his bare feet.  She moved slowly and quietly and uncovered his feet.  To my surprise the whole class stood and surged forward to not miss anything.   40 kids were gazing at the threshing floor close up.  Why such a strange act by Ruth?  Naomi did not want Ruth to look like a prostitute when she asked Boaz a private question.  The cold night breezes that made winnowing possible would also freeze the feet of Boaz.  He in turn would wake up and start the conversation.  It worked, and before you know it, Jesus had a great, great, great, great . . .  grandmother.

Rwandan Rookie, G

UPDATE:                Rural pastors sponsored: 9

Future Pastor Training modules sponsored: 9

CS Lewis Sale for Africa earnings:                 $9,000 https://squareup.com/store/cs-lewis-for-africa/

To help Africa Bible in Community with expenses for creating Matthew 4:4 meetings and ABC Pastor Training,  Send check to “Imago Dei–Dr G for ABC”.   1302 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214  Or  on-line giving:  https://imagodei.webconnex.com/GFriesen     Questions? 503-231-5096

Garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

Europe or Rwandan Pastors?

Posted by Garry Friesen July 18th, 2016

Family & Friends,

On Monday morning I head “home” to Rwanda, but Portland will still be my favorite place in the world to visit.  Imago Dei supports me as the “elder on mission”.  Other Imago Dei believers added further support.  Two couples have been keeping up with the Friesen Fortnightly.  So, when they heard the challenge for the rural pastors, their hearts and thoughts were already prepared.  One couple just received an annual raise at work and were crunching the numbers for their new budget.  They talked, prayed and came to a simple solution.  We will keep our budget the same, trim the “out-to-eat” budget and “step up giving instead.”  They decided to support a rural pastor each month.  Another couple had planned long for a cruise to Europe.  But, their hearts resonated with training for rural pastors.  They realized that if they cancelled the cruise ($15,000), they would be able to support 40 pastors for a full year of pastor training!  Both are great opportunities, but they were so excited about the rural pastors that the Europe trip went overboard.  That means 40 more pastors supported for a full year (300 hours) of training and God’s church was made a little stronger all over east Rwanda.  I can see the rural smiles from here and will soon be at the second rural pastor training and see the smiles in person.  Thank you.

Rwandan Rookie, G

UPDATE:                Rural pastors sponsored: 9

Future Pastor Training modules sponsored: 9

CS Lewis Sale for Africa earnings:                 $9,000 https://squareup.com/store/cs-lewis-for-africa/

To help Africa Bible in Community with expenses for creating Matthew 4:4 meetings and ABC Pastor Training,  Send check to “Imago Dei–Dr G for ABC”.   1302 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214  Or  on-line giving:  https://imagodei.webconnex.com/GFriesen     Questions? 503-231-5096

Garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

Epaphras to the rescue

Posted by Garry Friesen July 10th, 2016

Family & Friends,

Were you praying for me recently?  Somebody was.  On a two hour trip to eastern Rwanda to train pastors I almost entered the pearly gates ahead of schedule.  I did not drive because the roads were too rough for my Rav 4 to navigate.  So we went in an African truck.  My seat belt did not work. The serpentine roads constantly curved through Rwanda’s 10,000 hills.  The driver passed a semi-truck and then we returned to our lane too quickly.  The back of our truck hit the front of the semi.  The driver was outstanding at getting our truck back under control using both lanes as we careened back and forth.  No vehicles were coming at us or . . . well, thank you for praying.  I prayed the rest of the way and held onto my seat belt strap pretending that it worked.  The drive back in the dark was safer, but more intense.  Africans love to pass on curves and test God like the Israelites tested Him at Rephidim (Exodus 17).  While on the training site we had an excellent time.  I spoke on Colossians after 25 pastors read it aloud in community.  Colossians 4:12 reminded me that someone like Epaphras was “laboring in prayer” so we could make this trip and return to write about it.

Rwandan Rookie, G

UPDATE:               Rural pastors sponsored: 9

Future Pastor Training modules sponsored: 7

CS Lewis Sale for Africa earnings:                $8,800               https://squareup.com/store/cs-lewis-for-africa/

To help Africa Bible in Community with expenses for creating Matthew 4:4 meetings and ABC Pastor Training,  Send check to “Imago Dei–Dr G for ABC”.   1302 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214  Or  on-line giving:  https://imagodei.webconnex.com/GFriesen     Questions? 503-231-5096

Garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

“How much did he leave?”

Posted by Garry Friesen July 3rd, 2016

Family & Friends,

What is it like to say “goodbye” to 50 years of collecting C.S. Lewis memorabilia?  The on-line sale moved into the Multnomah University gym on June 25.  The old story usually goes something like this: At the funeral of Howard Hughes someone asked, “How much did he leave?”  The answer is always the same, “All of it.”  The reality of temporal life is that your things are taken from you by the force of death or you get to share them before then.  That is why I started when I first left for Africa.  Out came the “final will and testament” and the process started.  My hope is that there will be nothing to distribute on the day God chooses, in Jesus’ words, that I “fall asleep.”

We did not sell everything, but we “price to sell not to sit” so the prices have been dramatically reduced and the on-line store is open again.  As before, all profits go to help Rwandan pastor training.  Some of my favorite framings are still available and I don’t plan on having them forced out of my hands!

https://squareup.com/store/cs-lewis-for-africa/

Rwandan Rookie,  G

To help Africa Bible in Community with expenses for creating Matthew 4:4 meetings and ABC Pastor Training,  Send check to “Imago Dei–Dr G for ABC”.   1302 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214  Or  on-line giving:  https://imagodei.webconnex.com/GFriesen     Questions? 503-231-5096

Garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

The Czarina has spoken!

Posted by Garry Friesen June 18th, 2016

Family & Friends

Her name is Lisa and she was a “C.S. Lewis for Africa Sale” answer to prayer.  She accepted the role of director of the sale and we immediately nicknamed her the Czar which then morphed in a feminine direction so the final moniker became CZARINA.  And Czarina Lisa has just announced earth-shattering news.  The sale that will work to earn money for African pastor training will begin Friday at 5:00 pm (Portland time).  Every cent of profit will make the African church stronger.  In particular the ABC (Africa Bible in Community) Pastor Trainings will be able to continue.  In addition to the items on the store site, we will have another 200 items many of them priced from $1.00 to $5.00.  Quit reading and click below!  Thank you for ABC and rural pastors all over Rwanda.

https://squareup.com/store/cs-lewis-for-africa/

The physical sale will be on Saturday June 25.

Rwandan Rookie, aka, “Assistant to the Czarina”

G

Crunch, crunch, one pastor scholarship

Posted by Garry Friesen June 14th, 2016

Family & Friends

I forgot to say in my last missive that I was returning back to Portland to report to my home church Imago Dei Community.  I gave a 5 minute report in the three services.  I challenged the listeners to a new approach to helping the ABC Pastor Training.  I was thinking about an idea and Sam wrote and pushed me over the edge.  He said, “I want to support one pastor getting the year-long pastor training.  How much would it be?”  I then crunched numbers.  A year of training (6 weeklong modules) for 40 pastors costs $15,000.  That includes giving them six text books and at graduation the best tool in Kinyarwanda.  The NIV Study Bible has been translated into our language!

Crunch, crunch.  The final was about $40 per month.  That is less than the interest on a student college loan!  So I let Sam know and the first ever ABC Pastor Training scholarship was created.  Actually, we don’t charge anything, but the $40 per month covers the cost for one of these rural pastors.  Sam and I would like to challenge you to take on a rural pastor or find a group to sponsor one rural pastor.  They don’t get paid for pastoring and nothing seems more appropriate than giving them free training to say thank you until the Lord rewards them on judgment day.  If you take the challenge, let me know and use the normal means of sending funds (below).  Garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

Rwandan Rookie,

G

To help Africa Bible in Community with expenses for creating Matthew 4:4 meetings and ABC Pastor Training,  Send check to “Imago Dei–Dr G for ABC”.   1302 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214  Or  on-line giving:  https://imagodei.webconnex.com/GFriesen     Questions? 503-231-5096

Garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

Orphan Sarah’s Big Smile

Posted by Garry Friesen June 5th, 2016

Family & Friends

I felt like Charles Barkley about our first rural Pastor Training.  Barkley sometimes says, “I may be wrong, but I don’t think so.”  I thought the African team who created Matthew 4:4 Bible reading groups would be even better at a five day Pastor Training.  I was not disappointed, but elated.  We devised a Pastor Training program equal to the traditional African Bible Colleges.  It is for rural students who cannot leave their village for 3 months and don’t have any money for school.  The cost was 10% of a traditional Bible college in Africa and about 2% of Bible training in the US.

Our model was simple.  A denomination would provide venue, housing, food for 40 pastors for 5 days.  They then invite us and we will bring theological training at no cost.  It is a partnership made in heaven and brought to rural Rwanda.  We had 37 pastors for five full days.  One lady, Sarah, was an orphan and never went to school since she could not pay her school fees.  She taught herself though the years.  When we gave out the difficult test on the book of Ruth, it was the first school test that she had ever taken.  What is that big smile on her face?  She had the best grade in the class!  We told the students, we had raised enough money to offer the first two modules.  With them we are trusting God for the finances for the final four modules.  You can join us and keep that smile on 37 rural pastoral faces.

Rwandan Rookie,

G

To help Africa Bible in Community with expenses for creating Matthew 4:4 meetings and ABC Pastor Training,  Send check to “Imago Dei–Dr G for ABC”.   1302 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214  Or  on-line giving:  https://imagodei.webconnex.com/GFriesen     Questions? 503-231-5096

Garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

Beauty in the Ghetto

Posted by Garry Friesen May 21st, 2016

Family & Friends

I am on the prowl for African art for my new digs.  Downtown, I ducked into a temporary tent with small shops.  I met an artist who goes by “Jilo”.  On the spot I gravitated toward two of his paintings with their distinctive style and skillful color shading.  One had drummers and the other dancers. They seemed to be destined for the same wall.  They now hang in tandem in the new house.  I wanted more.  Jilo paints out of his house.  I asked to come and see everything he had.  Soon I was on a road going through Nyamirambo, better known as the “Ghetto” of Kigali.  Deeper and deeper into the crowded Ghetto. My artist was a starving artist.  Dirt floor, littered with half finished paintings and a project on the easel.

I looked at finished paintings and dozens of pictures of past works.  I needed a book on decision making and the will of God.  I told him “I like too many of your paintings to choose” and then thought, “That was a bad thing to say before the negotiation begins.”  But, my sales resistance was wandering into the dense Ghetto.  I purchased four paintings– two finished and two commissioned.  They insisted we stay for a meal and I asked to pray for the food.  At the end of the prayer, the Muslim family heard the name of Jesus.  Before leaving, my friend James asked to pray a blessing over the house. They asked us to return and we took pictures of the family and the two finished paintings in front of my car before leaving.  Aslan’s How is relocating to a new continent and morphing into the African How.

Rwandan Rookie,

G

To help Africa Bible in Community with expenses for creating Matthew 4:4 meetings and ABC Pastor Training,  Send check to “Imago Dei–Dr G for ABC”.   1302 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214  Or  on-line giving:  https://imagodei.webconnex.com/GFriesen     Questions? 503-231-5096

Garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

Quit looking and you shall find

Posted by Garry Friesen May 14th, 2016

Family & Friends

I am initiating a new proverb, “Quit looking and you shall find.”  After six months in Kigali I looked for my own rental house.  I had no interest in living in any of the many that I surveyed.  They were dysfunctional and priced for a Muzungu and that is a very bad combination.  So I found a room to rent in the house of my new friend Dan. I am one of the few with the privilege of having a car – in Kigali an “imodoka” is a great blessing.  I have sought to thank the Lord by being ready to be a taxi driver for others.  Recently I was so helping two ladies look for a rental house.  I looked at houses with them.  At one house they said it would not work. I starting falling in love at first sight with this house.  I revisited and the infatuation grew.  I got some counsel and they said, “Good house, good price and ten minute walk from ACT college.”  I asked my housemate, “Dan, want to move?”  He was in the US, but said he would join me and trust my choice on the house.  The price was slightly higher than my one room rental.  The view of Kigali from our perch is calendar quality and it has five bedrooms.  I pulled the trigger.  Last Saturday we hired six workers and worked for 16 hours to move in.  I now hurt all over, but love my new digs.  Praise God, and with the Lord, sometimes it is, “Quit looking and you shall find!”

Rwandan Rookie,

G

To help Africa Bible in Community with expenses for creating Matthew 4:4 meetings and ABC Pastor Training,  Send check to “Imago Dei–Dr G for ABC”.   1302 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214  Or  on-line giving:  https://imagodei.webconnex.com/GFriesen     Questions? 503-231-5096

Garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

“Great in counsel, mighty in deed”

Posted by Garry Friesen May 10th, 2016

Family & Friends

Nothing has encouraged my prayer life more than 5:30 am morning prayers with Africans.  As James said, the poor are often “rich in faith” and I am hoping some of it rubs off on me.  I always start the same way.  I walk back and forth along the back of the church.  Then I stop to pray a verse from Jeremiah.  “Ah, LORD God, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too difficult for you.”  This encourages me to pray BIG.  The next phrase reminds me that God’s wisdom knows when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’.  Jeremiah adds, “Great in counsel, mighty in deed.” (Jeremiah 32)  His power is directed by great wisdom.  Daniel’s prays the same truth – “Power and wisdom belong to you.” (Daniel 2:20)  These simple words help my faith to expect great answers and to accept it when God, in His wisdom, is silent.  A “Yes” answer shows God’s power and a “No” answer shows His wisdom.  Before I die, I am hoping to learn to pray like an African.

Rwandan Rookie,

G

To help Africa Bible in Community with expenses for creating Matthew 4:4 meetings and ABC Pastor Training,  Send check to “Imago Dei–Dr G for ABC”.   1302 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214  Or  on-line giving:  https://imagodei.webconnex.com/GFriesen     Questions? 503-231-5096

Garryfriesen3335@gmail.com