Friday, July 15, 2011


Dear Family and Friends,

There are seasons in life and ministry. Sometimes it seems like everything is going well during a season of ease. Other times every moment is a stretch.
At times we have concluded that our seasons of difficulty are ones in which the Enemy has been granted a season to attack us. At other times we conclude that these seasons of stretching are ones in which the Lord is testing us. Our weakness is displayed. In the process of the struggle He refines our character and positions us for new opportunities to serve and display His glory.

There will come a day in which all will be clear. Today, the task is to seek Him, pray, and serve. The last month has been one that has left us stretched. For instance:

Our landlord asked us to move so she could replace the asbestos roof. Her home was a beautiful one where we had lived for almost six years. It had 5 bedrooms and a wonderful yard filled with trees. It was ideal for our large family and hosting many guests. Our rent was reasonable at $900 per month. As we looked for similar homes all cost between $2,500 and $1,500 per month. Thankfully, we were able to find a similar home for $1,000 per month. We moved, but the move has been expensive and left us unsettled. After renting for 18 years in Africa we are weary of not owning our home.

Gabriel continues to gain weight and now has over doubled his birth weight from 1.3 kilos (2 pounds 14 ounces) to 2.9 kilos (6 pounds 6 ounces).
However, we have some struggle. His legal status is ambiguous. Also, over the last month he has increasingly become a “colicky baby.”

• Though Kigali is likely the safest major city in Africa we employ a man to watch our home at night to protect us from petty theft.
A few months ago, we found our watchman repeatedly sleeping and decided to no longer continue his employment. He responded by suing us for a little over $11,000. In yesterday’s court ruling he was granted approximately $1,500. Though less than his initial claim this does feel unjust.

• We are thrilled that Sophia has been accepted to her first choice, Wheaton College.
We believe she will thrive there. Wheaton is one of the top Christian Universities in the USA. Sophia has found $9,000 of scholarships. Our family has qualified for $11,000 more in USA Federal Aid. We need to find at least $22,000 more in 4 weeks.

One of God’s messages for His people is to remember His good deeds of the past. Though we feel stretched and a bit weary we sense this is a season that God intends to use to prepare us for new opportunities to display His glory. Last month we asked for you to join us in thanking God for the 18 years that God displayed His providence in Sophia’s life and also for guidance on how we could bless children such as Gabriel Mugisha.

We ask this month for you to remember us in prayer for protection, providence, and wisdom. This Sunday Dave will present a sermon at CCR called, “The Spoken For Proposal” in which he intends to lay a vision for CCR to lead in a Fostering to Adopt ministry for Vulnerable Children. We sense that much of the last month’s stretching is for the purpose of God’s glory being displayed through this effort.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and support which empower our family and ministry.

Imana ikurinde (May God Stay With All of You),

Dave and Jana

P.S. Both Rwanda and the USA share a common day of freedom’s triumph on the Fourth of July. To see Dave’s reflections on this day see our blog at

Our colleague Bryan Hixson also wrote his reflections on freedom. You can see his reflections at

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