Posts Tagged ‘mission’

Impacted By Love: My Trip To Africa

Heidi Birch, a sophomore majoring in educational ministries, shares about her recent trip to Rwanda with a group of MU students.

The adventure of a lifetime

As I started my freshman year of college at Multnomah, I had no idea that by the end of the academic year I would be sharing God’s glory all around The Land of a Thousand Hills — that’s the nickname given to Rwanda, Africa, thanks to its beautiful, mountainous landscape.

This February, after Dr. Garry Friesen had retired from teaching at MU, he moved to Kigali, Rwanda, to teach at the African College of Theology (ACT), a newly formed Bible college. Dr. Friesen has a vision to build a bridge between the students of Multnomah University and the students of ACT, so he invited a team of six students from MU to visit Kigali in May this year.

When I first heard about this trip, I was extremely skeptical. I wasn’t sure if I could get the time off work or where God was guiding me in life. But I felt something tugging on my heart to at least interview for a spot on the team. Two short weeks later, I was signing papers and fundraising to go on the adventure of a lifetime.

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My team and me hanging out with the Dream Boys

Dream Boys

And six months later, there I was, standing alongside five others students, breathing in the African air.

First our team visited the African College of Theology. We got to sit in on classes, meet fellow Bible majors, and pray and worship alongside ACT students.

Then for three days of our trip, we got to help out with the Dream Boys, a nonprofit program that helps feed and educate the street boys of Rwanda. Getting to spend time with these boys was one of the main highlights of our trip. We got to play games with them, teach them Bible lessons, act out skits, and teach them how to make bracelets.

Though we taught them a lot, I feel as though they taught us more. Not only did they teach us words in their language, Kinyarwanda, but they also taught us how to smile — even in tough situations. One of the boys, Providence, had lost a finger just two weeks prior, due to an infection from a cut. But he was always one of the first to greet us with a grin on his face and joy in his heart.

Florence

After spending time with the Dream Boys, we got to drive out to two schools located in Kageyo, a village close to the border of Rwanda and Tanzania. At the second school, we got to go on our first Hope Visit to see a little girl named Florence. A Hope Visit is where a child who is not yet sponsored gets visited by one of the teams.

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Florence, her family and me

From the moment I saw Florence, we became instant friends. Florence is one of four children who live with their widowed mother. When we arrived at her house, her mother looked at me holding her daughter’s hand. With tear filling her eyes, she embraced me tightly. I will never forget her face. It was a face of desperation, a face of hope, and a face filled with love.

When we first went to Florence’s home, she was unsponsored. But by the time we left, I knew that I had to sponsor her. Later the next day, I signed the papers, and she became my lifetime pen pal. I never realized what it meant to a child and their family to be sponsored till I sat in the house of one. A sponsorship can change a child’s life forever. It’s more than just a direct withdrawal and a letter now and then. It’s a uniform, an education, insurance, food, and a chance to thrive in a poor community.

I will never forget the love

This trip has changed my life forever. I will never forget the faces of those I met. I will never forget the love that radiated from their hearts. I will never forget the way that they trust their Savior — even in the most trying times of their lives. I am so grateful that Multnomah gave me the chance to experience a missional lifestyle outside of the U.S., and I’m excited for future opportunities to travel abroad to share the love of our Father with others.

Kigali Update 6

Comments Off Written on June 23rd, 2010 by
Categories: General, Missions, Students

For the full context of this story, check out our posts tagged as Kigali. Or, if you already know, but want to get caught up on Update 1 or Update 2 or Update 3 or Update 4 or Update 5

Wedding

June 19, 2010
The next activity that was scheduled for the team was to attend Steven and Florence’s wedding. Their wedding cermony was just about the same as any American wedding, but their reception was different. During the reception, they had traditional Rwandan dancing, and both sides of the families had to welcome each other to the family. In the Rwanda traditon, there is a bride price to pay. The bride price is usually paid in cattles.

After the wedding reception, we came back to the mission house. We actually left the reception a little bit early. The days of the team returning to America are coming close. We are excited to come back to the states, but also very sad to leave the friends that we have made here in Rwanda.

Thank You!

Thanks to everyone for praying for the team and their health. Each team member has been on their feet and has been involved in all the ministry that has been on our agenda. It was because of prayer that each team member is feeling better and that we are able to carry on. God bless.

Happy Thanksgiving from Israel!

Comments Off Written on November 28th, 2009 by
Categories: Alumni, General, Missions

(Another letter to our Alumni Department from the mission field on Thanksgiving.)

Shalom,

We are thankful for many things. In Tiberias, Israel we can't find a full turkey in the grocery store (they have to be ordered in advance) but we are thankful that at least we can buy a turkey breast! We are thankful for all of the groups that have come to help us this last year, and especially the five students from Multnomah who came in May. [We're hoping that the University will send another team this year.] It is our prayer that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Much Shalom, in Messiah Yeshua,

Bill (BS '90) and Vered Rogers

03-10-09 053_resizedAbout The Rogers'

Bill is a native of the Pacific Northwest, while Vered was born and raised in the Eastern Galilee. They have served with OM Israel for six years now and Bill is on the national leadership team for the field. They have three children--Roi Yoel,6; Matan Ben, 4; and Dvir Asaf, 8mos. They are active in the Peniel Congregation in Tiberias, one of the largest indigenous fellowships in Israel, plus they serve as the host family in a hospitality house owned by Galtronics, a company established by Multnomah graduates (PDF - pg 5). Their main ministry focus is utilizing short-term outreach groups from abroad to systematically reach every home in their region with a basic Gospel presentation. Other activities include follow up, discipleship and teaching in the context of a home/cell group that meets in their home (Hebrew/Spanish). The Rogers' family is active in just about any type of evangelism, and everything having to do with literature.

Alumni Missionary Support – On To Rome

Comments Off Written on June 2nd, 2009 by
Categories: Alumni, General, Missions

Dearest Faithful Prayer Supporters,

Warmest of Greetings to you from Rome,Italy. I trust that each of you are well and have enjoyed a beautiful Pentecost Sunday. It has been a busy day of travel for me - but a great one. With an early morning flight out of Edinburgh I flew into Amsterdam with the Scotland team. After saying good bye and sending them on as they headed back to the states I then boarded another plane and headed to Rome.

Arriving In Rome

Upon arriving in Rome, I was greeted by Rachel Uthmann (BS '00) and her little girl Joy Vania, as well as my dearest friend Tanya Heilman (BS '00)who is also visiting in Rome this week. What a wonderful reception after such a long day. This evening we spent some time relaxing here at the Uthmann's...what a gift it has been to be in their home. I am looking forward to spending the week together and learning more about life here in Rome and their ministry to the refugees.

Refugee Ministry

Tim (BS 99) and Rachel oversee a refugee ministry in working with International Teams and have been serving refugees in Rome since September 2007. Tens of thousands of forcibly displaced people from Somalia, Eritrea, Afghanistan and many others travel through Rome each year. Housing, food and social services are difficult to find, but one of the greatest challenges that refugees face is the climate of prejudice and fear they encounter when they arrive. The Uthmann's support several local ministries with food distribution throughout the week while befriending individual refugees in order to share Christ's love. I am looking forward to learning more and participating in their ministry this week.

Thanks for your continued prayers,

Michelle