Still Macho Man

Posted by Garry Friesen April 22nd, 2017

Family & Friends,

ABC Fund Drive update.  $43,000 of $100,000 in as of this week!

Some things should be reported by the Oregonian.  A mother of six children wakes up and everyone is dry.  Get a reporter on the scene to catch the veteran mom’s whoop for joy.  Not as impressive, but newsworthy is the first time a hip replacement patient can put on their own socks and cut their own toe nails.  I waited in vain for this day to arrive.  Then I made the inconceivable vow that if I could not do both by April 21, I was going for a pedicure!  My research revealed more “nail” places in Gresham, OR than churches.  I pondered Nirvana Nails, Snazzy Nails, Nail La Belle, and Rosy Nails.  I finally settled on Nail Emporium. They got a 4 ½ out of 5 star rating.  I worried about that missing half star – - – did someone lose a toe during a pedicure?  For my toe nail polish, I picked out “passion pink” as the best fit for my outfit and the coming spring equinox.  Then, on April 21, I doubled my physical therapy stretching, soaked my feet in hot water, offered up a short prayer, and made one final assault on my toe nails.  Call the Oregonian!  On April 21 at 9:30 am Pacific Standard time, I, the bionic biped, was able to cut my own toe nails and then cover them with socks!  No Nail Emporium for this macho man.

Rwandan Rookie, G

To contact me directly:     garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

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

Christ’s Resistance Movement

Posted by Garry Friesen April 15th, 2017

Family & Friends,

Good Friday service I was asked to give a “Homily” at Imago Dei on the Temptation.

The Temptation is where Jesus starts a Resistance movement.  Do you remember the movie trailer for The Passion?  The scene where a serpent is slowly slithering.  It no sooner captured my attention, then, Crash.  From above a foot and sandal crush the head of the serpent.  I thought “I know who is wearing that sandal.”  This dramatic symbol comes from the first temptation.  Eve falls.  Adam falls.  Judgment comes, but with a promise called the proto-evangelium, the “first gospel”. God said to Satan, “I will put enmity between you and the woman.  Between your seed and her seed.  He, Messiah, will crush your head and you, Satan, will wound his heel.”  The Messiah, the “seed of woman”, would resist Satan until He crushed him.

Messiah came.  But, before he healed a paralytic, before he spoke a parable, He was led by the Spirit into battle with Satan to be tempted for 40 days.  He resisted and He makes it possible for all of his disciples to resist.  In Rwanda I wrote a walk through the New Testament for rural pastors in the Kinyarwanda language.  They loved this overview with words and motions.  Their favorite part was the Temptation.  Satan, Satani, attacks Christ 3 times. “Sa-ta-ni” Christ resists, “Handitswe, Handistswe, It is written, it is written.  Genda Satani.”  “Go Satan.”  The pastors wanted to cheer every time they said “Genda Satani”.

The Bible is long, but be sure you get to the end where it says, “The great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old, who is called the Devil and Satan”  And “I heard a loud voice saying ‘Now the salvation, and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah have come’”  and “the saints overcame Satan because of the blood of the Lamb.” .  Imago Dei, You in the authority of Christ have the power to resist and say, ”Father, not my will but yours.” And then “Genda Satani”.  Christ is our Resistance.

Rwandan Rookie, G

To contact me directly:     garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

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

Bible Marathon Alert

Posted by Garry Friesen April 13th, 2017

It is late notice, but we are having a mini-marathon on the book of Ephesians this Saturday 7-9pm in Gresham, OR.  If interested contact me for details.  garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

Google to the Rescue

Posted by Garry Friesen April 9th, 2017

Family & Friends,

Here is actual conflict situation we faced last week in Gresham, OR.  For privacy sake I will call the two A & B.  The relationship between A & B is hurting both.  Worse, A & B are stuck in such a way that neither can do their jobs properly.  Pressure from friends to change their situation is futile.  Those helping are afraid that their intervention might cause one or the other to break.  Some oil of encouragement was added.  No effect.  More pressure on both for a change.  Nothing.  When everything else fails, try Google.  We entered our question and Eureka!  Four sites claimed a solution.  Their strategy: try to cool A down while concurrently trying to heat B up.  Two friends applied this scenario.  Amazing.  Quickly, A was able to cool down and B was able to heat up.  We held our collective breath. The point of “stuckness” was finally released!  Neither suffered damage and both were free up to return to productive lives.

You might have guessed. We separated two glass pans that were tightly stuck together!  Put ice in A and put B in hot water.  One contracts.  One expands.  Unstuck.  Let the lasagna celebration begin.

Rwandan Rookie, G

To contact me directly:     garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

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

What would an African do?

Posted by Garry Friesen April 1st, 2017

Family & Friends,

I forgot how hard it is to send out a prayer letter by snail mail!  Did you get it?  This letter might be the start of the most important ministry that I have helped to create.  We are determined “to wipe out biblical illiteracy in Rwanda and then Africa.”  Last week I explained why the Matthew 4:4 Bible reading groups are so effective in Rwanda.  This week I sent out letters to announce the official beginning of ABC which creates these Matthew 4:4 groups.  This led to rural pastor training for those committed to the Matthew 4:4 Bible groups.  We need $100,000 for the start up and first year of ABC – Africa Bible in Community.  It must start!  We already have 70 Matthew 4:4 groups to support.  We just finished the pastoral training for 40 pastors and the next 40 are already registered.  This is huge.  I ponder, “What would an African do?”  Pray, of course!  On Monday April 3, we will have a day of prayer asking God to raise up ABC and “wipe out biblical illiteracy in Rwanda and Africa.”  I will be praying 10,000 miles from our African leaders, but this will not stop the Almighty from doing something almighty. The venue is the Imago Dei Church prayer space (6am-4pm).  The triune God will be filling the room, but there will still be room for others.

If you did not get this prayer letter, DON’T HIT “RETURN”, but click the email below and send your name and address.  Rwandan Rookie, G

To contact me directly:     garryfriesen3335@gmail.com

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

Radical “Wipe out”

Posted by Garry Friesen March 25th, 2017

Family & Friends,

Last weeks’ Fortnightly asked why Bible Marathons (Matthew 4:4) work better in Africa than the U.S.  Rwandans are 68% literate, but don’t read anything including their Bibles.  Why would they want to come to a 1-4 hour Matthew 4:4 Bible reading group?  African Culture!  It is community related, oral and prayerful.  Matthew 4:4 has oral reading in community with periodic times to read a meaningful verse and pray a response to it.  It is simple to lead.  It costs nothing.  It can be done if 15 Africans only have one Bible.  It works if 14 illiterate people have one who can read aloud as they listen.  It is effective for 2 or for 20 people.  A church can adopt it as their own without needing outside support.  But the greatest reason is that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.”  ABC (Africa Bible in Community) has been planting Matthew 4:4 Bible reading groups at the rate of about 1 per week for the last 18 months.  We are radical to “wipe out biblical illiteracy in Rwandan and then the rest Africa.”

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

First Bible Marathon

Posted by Garry Friesen March 18th, 2017

Family & Friends,

While at Multnomah Bible College, the living room of Aslan’s How became the venue for 15 students to read aloud for 6-12 hours through the O.T. & N.T.  It started when one of the men living in my mentoring house said, “You can read the whole N.T. aloud in 18 hours.”  His excitement was met with my dead pan “So what?”  His passion jumped into my heart when he said, “Let’s you and I do it together.”  I said, “Let’s invite friends.”  The first Bible Marathon had 14 people who went 21 hours and ended at 2 am on Easter morn. I was amazed at the cleansing power of the Scripture.  I was shocked that I stayed alert reading the whole N.T. in 21 hours straight.  Over the next decade we held about 50 of them, though a bit shorter.  My regular personal Bible reading added a beautiful community facet.  Ten years later on another continent, I learned that they even worked better in Africa. Why? To be answered next week.

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

“0.5 Class-B Miracle”

Posted by Garry Friesen March 12th, 2017

Family & Friends,

Preparation for hip replacement surgery is a kin to a finals exam.  I was given 150 pages of information.  This scribal over-kill for total hip arthroplasty introduces a “pain chart” with ten faces.  The faces and corresponding pain numbers give a tangible way to answer the midnight nurse when they wake you from wonderful sleep to ask, “What level is your pain?”  The only certain thing they reminded us, like an African drum beat, was that it will NEVER be “zero”.  Amen, I thought, remembering the right hip replacement.  After surgery there was no pain.  Day two “zero”.  I decided to agree with the 150 pages of medical material, yet let them know the wonderful truth.  “Pain level?”  I answered, “My pain is 0.5”  “How much pain killer?” “None, but I am 0.5”  I am calling it the “0.5 class B miracle”.  Once home I was able to quadruple the Physical therapy exercises and walk 90 minutes a day.  Today is day eleven.  Pain?  Praise the Lord for “0.5”

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

Nocturnal Prayer Adventure

Posted by Garry Friesen February 25th, 2017

Family & Friends,

I miss the African prayer times while I’m in Portland.  Each morning in Kigali before the sun comes up a group of us church members pray.  After an hour there is a short devotional.  Recently, the devotional was a dramatic true story.  Pastor Emma encouraged us with his nocturnal adventure.  He was home sleeping at 3 am when someone climbed over the wall around his house.  He heard pounding on his door and someone desperately calling “Pastor, Pastor”.  He got up to find a man he did not know begging him to come and help a woman in his family.  Pastor Emma picked up another church member and headed with him to the hospital.  He asked the man, “How did you know me, and find me?”  The man said, “I know your church has people praying all the time.  So, at 3 am I drove to the church.  At the gate the night guard helped me to find your house.”  Pastor Emma told us, “Not only is God listening to our prayers, but even unbelievers in the area know you are praying and making a difference.”   If you want to learn to pray, hang around Africans!

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

Armed and Dangerous

Posted by Garry Friesen February 20th, 2017

Sent Feb. 19, 2017  “Armed and Dangerous”

Family & Friends,

The 40 rural pastors in our ABC pastor training each returned with a piece of paper that was often dirty and crumpled.  But, it looked beautiful to us.  None of them has ever read through the entire Bible.  That is about to change.  In the 2 months between modules, they have a huge assignment.  They are reading through the full Bible.  They write down on a reporting sheet what they read and on which date.  This unruly pile of reports represents thousands of chapters of Scripture read by the pastors.  Their Bishop was very proud of them and so were we.   They have only 3rd grade formal education, but now they are working day and night to read through all of God’s Word and pass it on.  And you should hear them.  Each module they are given a Bible story that they must retell in a small group without notes.  They are born storytellers.  And they are telling the stories that God said every human should know.  Each of the six small groups picks the best presentation and then that pastor gives their story again to the whole group. Watch out Rwanda.  These pastors are armed with Scripture and dangerous!

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