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.

Where Thieves Break In and Steal

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What we found this morning-our window pried open

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Matthew 6:19

We live in a world where thieves break in and steal, sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally. Unfortunately, last night it happened to us literally. Caleb’s computer, my clinic phone, and wallet were stolen. The window bars were pried apart.

It was a brutal reminder of the world we live in. We are in a bit of a daze, and it seems hard with all the other things we have on our plate. But thankful that we are okay (Lydia’s and Moses’ rooms were the closest to the place things were stolen), my computer was not stolen, passports are still here. And we remember the second part of the verse:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20. We look forward to that place of no rust, no moths, and no thieves. In the meantime, we’re remembering to store up our treasure there.

Contributions can be made at Bridge2Rwanda and scroll down to King Family.

March Madness

Well, this post is not really about basketball, but our lives have been slightly “mad” (in the crazy sense) the last few weeks, and hence the lateness of this post! I have been busy getting used to doing medical work again, which has taken some adjustment, even though it’s only part time. However,  I am happy to be practicing medicine again. I have also been asked to the Chair of Kigali International Community School, KICS, where Moses and Lydia attend (we are looking for a secondary school science teacher, by the way!). Caleb has been busy connecting with a promising development group, and is happy that he has begun construction for the site. Here are some photos, that give a glimpse into the last month or so:

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This is a photo of the construction of the new hydroelectric project. Notice the hard hats, banana trees, and combination of manual labor with a few machines.

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The importance of this photo does not lie in its technical quality, but in the fact that it captures Caleb going camping! He, along with the Scout master, took Moses and 6 other Boy Scouts camping in the national park, representing 7 different nationalities (a few have parents from different countries). The Boy Scouts had a special opportunity to learn about snake bites, when one of the boys got bitten by a poisonous night adder. Thankfully no venom was injected and he was fine. Caleb recalled his days in the Pediatrics Emergency Room to give care and assurance.

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I was happy to visit one of my former patients from Musanze, who received a much needed heart operation from the visiting Team Heart surgical team, here in Kigali. We were able to pray together and give thanks. I also gave a lecture to a team of Rwandan nurses being trained by the Team Heart organization to help follow up these cardiac patients.

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Lydia enjoyed her school’s “Beyond the Gates” initiative in which KICS students visited Rwandan Christian schools. It made such a big impression that she went back to the school, “Rise to Shine School” and helped out for a day. I was able to meet with some of the girls who had been picked out for their leadership and scholarship capabilities. Here’s to Beatrice Bamurange (pictured above) who has done such a great job with this school, in a poor area.

And, the wedding planning continues, for Sara and Logan’s wedding in May. I had a nice break, when my Bible Study, held a “Mother of the Bride” party for me! We played games, ate good food and even had a “MOTB” cake!

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The ladies here are all dressed in traditional Rwandan wedding garb, umushanana (sp?).

Finally, Caleb spent a few days in Goma, where he attended the yearly Heal Africa board meeting, and where this photo was taken:

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The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

Have a blessed Holy Week!