Better than Matching Socks

Posted by Garry Friesen August 20th, 2016

Family & Friends

Matching socks are good.  Some of mine are not. Apparently, some socks disappear into a footwear black hole.  But, Matching Gifts are even better.  A “matching” gift, of course, means that a gift will be given if the same amount is raised by the recipient.  After a breakfast in Lake Oswego, two friends, slipped out of the room and returned after making a decision.   They said,  “We would like to give you a matching gift of $5,000 for Rwandan rural pastors”.  The $5,000 you raise must come from NEW supporting churches.”  This was a gift of generosity and wisdom.  It motivated me to look harder for regular supporting churches who would stand with ABC for the long run.  I only visit Portland once a year for a month or so.  So I hope to find $5,000 worth of churches who want to join the African adventure of training pastors and wiping out biblical illiteracy in Rwanda.  When I visit the Rose City, I am available for speaking.  If you know of a church that would be interested in hearing about Africa Bible in Community, let me know.  Because of some generous people, your support will double.  And, that is better than matching socks.

Rwandan Rookie, G

To help Africa Bible in Community (ABC) 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

To contact me directly:     garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

Fire from Heaven?

Posted by Garry Friesen August 14th, 2016

Family & Friends

When I visit Portland, I go to visit any doctor or dentist that will see me. I was getting my annual physical when my doctor told me that it would be my last annual physical . . .  with him.  He was the best doctor for 50 years with trained skills and Christian faith.  But, his last prescription is making me look mad.  Not crazy mad, but red-hot angry mad.  My forehead now looks like I am blowing a fuse. My years of working as a greens’ keeper at Oakland Hills country club have returned to roost on my face.  I loved the job.  It kept me in great shape and between golf greens my Greek cards came out and prepared me for another year of seminary.   But, the sun did unknown future havoc to my peaked skin.  The medicine I have taken for 15 years suppressed any skin disease.  This new medicinal cream is going for the juggler.  In three to six months, it will kill any disease and leave my skin looking as smooth as a baby’s behind.  But, until then, it scares the children.  There is an indicator light to show it is working.  My doctor said it would turn the skin bright red.  The official medical description said “unsightly” and then more graphically:  “erthemia, usually followed by vesiculation, desquamation, erosion and reepitheliazation.”  And I thought it would just turn red!  If you see me, I’m not angry at you, I’m just following doctor’s orders.  And please, don’t run away.

Rwandan Rookie, G

To help Africa Bible in Community (ABC) 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

To contact me directly:     garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

Mid-Life Crisis Convertible

Posted by Garry Friesen August 8th, 2016

Family & Friends

Just before returning to Rwanda on July 18, I sighed deeply with nostalgia. Sadly, I had driven my beloved red Mazda Miata for the last time.  It would be prepared for sale by a close friend after my departure.  The Miata sports a “Narnia” license plate and so gained the moniker, “Narnia-mobile.”  It was more fun to drive than anything that I have ever owned.  My friend did a great job of restoration to my 25 year old classic. He found expert repair people at great prices and soon the Miata looked pristine again.  His girl friend watched the restoration process.  Her long-time desire for a convertible reared its head.  She described what happened. “I just saw a great deal for a mid-life crisis and bought it!” She purchased the Miata, but with a condition.  Her proviso was that when I am in Portland, I would be required to use her Miata and enjoy the Narnia-mobile again – a welcomed serendipity.  The cherry on top of the serendipity was that the car helped bring $3,000 for Africa. This will go to support Andrew, an ABC leader, in his further education.  So the Final Scenario: Andrew will be blessed, she got her mid-life crisis convertible and the old guy will enjoy his classic wheels one more time.  God is good . . .  all the time, . . .  but some times, even more than others!

Rwandan Rookie, G

To help Africa Bible in Community (ABC) 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

To contact me directly:     garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

African Class-B Miracle

Posted by Garry Friesen August 2nd, 2016

Family & Friends

We just finished the second module of pastor training in Kabarore, East Province, Rwanda. Forty of the forty pastors were there and arrived on time (8:30 am) each morning!  This was an African “class B” miracle.   The second module (5 days) was better than the first!  Our main speaker was the former “Africa Bishop” over a denomination. He brought 40 years of pastor and teacher experience with his luggage.  He was inspirational like, well, if you know him, David Needham, longtime Multnomah U. professor.  Our director Fred is what the Africans call “very serious”.  They love him and fear him just a bit.  Our speaker was amazed at the discipline of our 40 pastors and knew that Fred was part of the reason.  So Fred got the nickname “Umuporisi” or policeman.   The Bishop might say, “The policeman says that we have a ten minute break and must be back at 2:00 pm”.  Everyone would laugh, and be back at 2:00 pm.  The Bishop gave stirring stories from his 40 years of pastoral experience and often the pastors would respond with applause.  I should mention that our training sessions also have “worship dance breaks”.  The drums start, the voices raise and the dance begins.  For those who are sponsoring the cost of a pastor ($40 per month), your gift had a big bang for the buck.  Thank you.

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

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