Transition!

We are now 6 weeks + into our arrival in the USA. The last couple of months have been a blur. Leaving Rwanda after 16 years was hard. We had given our hearts to Rwanda, and it wasn’t easy to pick up and leave. We had wonderful times of saying good-bye: to our fellow missionaries, the Anglican church, and other Rwandan friends. It was especially meaningful in one of our last days in Rwanda to meet in the home of Bishop John Rucyahana with other Rwandan Christians. Sixteen years ago, we sat in his home, before we left for Shyira, the rural site of the hospital where we would serve for eight years, and the Rwandan Christians sent us off. Now, they sent us off again, back to the United States, once again, laying hands on us as they prayed for us. Here are some photos of us with our Rwandan friends.

We have arrived safely in the USA, landing in Chapel Hill, NC, where we will be living with Caleb’s amazing mother, Harriet. I was thankful to see my three brothers and their families, and my parents, soon after my arrival, and then more of my cousins at a memorial service for my inspiring (literally-he is inspired me to be a missionary!) uncle, Birch Rambo, who served as a medical missionary for many years in Zaire/DRC. Moses set off immediately to be a junior counselor at Boys’ Scout Camp, and was soon promoted to Sr Counselor. Lydia finished her online course, and has been helping us unpack. She just finished a fun filled week at the CDC Disease Detective Camp. Hannah and Sara and Logan met us here in Chapel Hill; it has been wonderful to be here with them. Caleb Jr came in time for my birthday-July 4th, after spending a year in Egypt, and then traveling in West Africa. It’s truly a delight to have our family so close together! In our travels, we met up with a dedicated couple, who taught Lydia and Moses in Rwanda (below left). Moses is pictured below, in his Boy Scout counselor uniform.

What’s next for the King Family?

Caleb and I are looking for jobs in the Chapel Hill area. I am thankful that my NC medical license has already been approved, and that Caleb has had some favorable interviews at the University of North Carolina. Moses and Lydia will start school at East Chapel Hill High School. Caleb Jr will start at Harvard College. Hannah will continue at Wheaton and Sara and Logan will continue to live in Chapel Hill.

How does it feel to be in the USA?

Strange-so many choices, so much excess.

Wonderful-so much family, so easy to communicate!

We have made a few errors-managed to get my mother in law’s land line cut off for a week (Welcome back to AT and T!) and have been confused about meeting places. One of our children (who shall remain nameless) was concerned that a coffee shop wouldn’t have change for a $20 bill! (getting change is a common problem in Rwanda).

What about the children, widows, and other vulnerable people we support?

We continue to support them, and can you can donate in the usual way through Bridge2Rwanda. Here is a photo of Blandine, for example, who is physically handicapped by the loss of one leg, and she wears one prosthesis.WhatsApp Image 2019-06-15 at 7.41.37 AM

We supported Blandine through high school, and now we are supporting her for a one year course, in which she will be trained to teach handicapped children-what a perfect vocation! We pray that it will lead to employment.

What about your own support?

We are technically on home assignment, while actively looking for employment. We will continue to depend on donations-for up to a year, or whenever we find employment, whichever comes first. Thanks to the many of you who have supported us over the years, enabling us to serve in Rwanda for 16 years.

How can we pray for you?

  • Pray for a smooth transition back, especially for our children. There is so much to get used to, and a lot of changes.
  • Pray that we may find positions that best fit our skill sets, after living in Rwanda for 16 years!
  • Pray for the people we left behind in Rwanda-orphans, widows, that we are supporting; fellow missionaries and friends, and the Board of KICS school.
  • Pray for Rwanda, that Ebola won’t enter!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kwibuka

This past Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda, when approximately 800,000 people were killed in 100 days. It is always a somber time; people even drive more slowly, sobered by the remembrance (kwibuka) of the terrible events of 1994, with the bitter reality of the capacity for people to do evil.

That morning, I noticed at our house a pretty red flower bursting out of this slightly bedraggled plant. That is Rwanda: blooming out of a dingy, diseased past.

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He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair. 

Isaiah 61: 1b-3b

We pray for God’s favor for Rwanda, in this week of mourning, and in the time ahead-for beauty instead of ashes.

I would heartily recommend reading President Paul Kagame’s speech, from the memorial ceremony, acknowledging the tragedy, yet hopeful at the same time: President Kagame’s speech

Short Notes of Praise

Here is a touching text message from one of our students we support, who passed the National Exams:

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Like the story of the one/ten lepers who thanked Jesus, we don’t get thanks from everyone we help, but we sure do appreciate it when they do! And, in turn, thanks to all of you who make it possible for us to help students like Obed.

Secondly, I got a phone call recently  from a patient I saw about a year ago, thinking of leaving Rwanda to get an abortion. I didn’t do much-but encouraged her to talk it out with her mother, with a hunch that her mother might support her if she kept the baby. And I prayed. Now, her baby is 5 months old, and she says that the baby is “the best thing that ever happened to her.” God is good.

 

Thankful

Last month, we had a scare with Moses. After riding his bike to school, he collapsed and had trouble breathing. Fortunately, Caleb happened to be at school, taking Lydia in the car,  and attended to Moses during his attack, which seems to have been a combination of dehydration and asthma. Lydia was also with Moses, and she was the one who noticed that at one point he had stopped breathing. He came to, with arousal, but it was touch and go. An ambulance was called, which arrived a long 30 minutes later. With hydration and strong asthma medicine, he improved quickly, though he was weak for days later.

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It has taken Moses a while to get back into the swing of school, and his extracurricular activities, but I was thankful to go hear him in the school worship band this past Friday (who knew he could sing?!?!)

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Two weeks after his collapse, at a Bible study led by one of his fellow students, Moses recommitted his life to Christ. Are the 2 events related? Hard to know, but we are thankful.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Psalm 16: 9-11

 

Beautiful Feet

Well, F. didn’t actually grow a foot, but she got a new foot last week.IMG_5469

F. has 2 leg prostheses, and in this hilly country prostheses break often. She has been telling me for a while that her prosthetic foot was broken, but it looked worse than I expected.

So I took her, and her baby to the orthopedic workshop at the nearby District Hospital and got her a lovely new foot. Being a single mother is not easy, but hopefully it will be a little easier now, with a new foot.  She actually needed 2 new feet, and she received the second one yesterday. Many thanks to her sponsor who provided the means for her feet!

I was struck by the ingenuity of the physical therapist, P., who runs the orthopedic workshop. He is handicapped himself, so he takes extra special pride in his work. I was so impressed that I ordered a foot for another young woman, B., who also needed a new foot. She was quite overcome, and sent me this series of texts: Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 9.10.37 PM

B. doesn’t have a sponsor, so her sponsorship comes out of our general ministry fund. Thanks to all who make this possible!

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

 

 

The Wedding Season

I think the wedding season is over for now. It began with Sara and Logan’s engagement in December, followed by some initial planning in South Carolina, then months of WhatsApp calls, messages, internet research that comprised the Wedding Planning from afar! The day came, on May 26th, and thanks to a lot of help from friends and family, and prayer, the day was perfect. We saw old friends, made new ones, and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Here are some photos:

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King_Treat_w236And now yesterday, we had a small party here in Rwanda for Sara and Logan. It wasn’t really a “Rwandan wedding” but we had sambusas/samosas, ate cake, prayed, sang hymns; people made lovely toasts, gave presents, and brought us traditional Rwandan baskets. And the last present-a cow! Now we feel like Sara and Logan are really married! If only we can figure out how to get the cow to the USA.

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So, that’s the reason I have been a little “quiet” on the blog. Hope to pick up soon!

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.