Monday, October 30, 2006

My New Church Family

We moved from Mill Valley to San Lorenzo, well, almost. We spent last night for the first time at our new house. I slept on a couch, because our bed is still in our Mill Valley. Al and Ken came to the house at 6:30 a.m. We started early to beat the traffic at the toll plaza. We made pretty good time to get to Mill Valley house. Brian was there already. He came last Monday and also this Monday to help us. We loaded our bedroom furniture and computer room stuff, then came back to our SL house around 10:30 a.m. We finished unloading around noon, had a lunch from last night's party. Here is our Fifth Sunday Night gathering. Also we celebrated Al's retirement.

The secret is out. We love to eat.

See what we played. Look we are are singing and dancing, sort of. We sang "deep and wide" with motions. If that counts for dancing. Al is showing us what wide means, "This is Wide"

Can you guess the theme for tonight? Who says Southern Baptist people don't know how to have fun. We just don't get drunk to get a good time.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


We rented U-Haul last Monday, and moved furniture. Brian and Doosan helped from Mill Valley end. When we arrived at San Lorenzo, Ken D, John and Roberta King, Carol, Don, Joy, Lisa, Joy's son Rufus, Don who cuts our lawn, Bob came. Don and Joyce's grandson came to help as well. What a great group to work with. MV house is getting emptied as SL house get filled. I ask why we need so many things. I really enjoyed this empty house.

Spritual Direction -part II

Oct 18th Mercy Center:
As we listen to each other's Holy Ground experience, we are told to pay attention to our inner thoughts, and notice what is happening within us. My partner shared his brother's death last week, his experience of witnessing his brother's passing from this world to the next world, he experienced the presence of Holy spirit, the comforter was with his brother and his family who were at the death bed. Watching his brother leaving this world and embracing the next world was so satisfying because there was such a peace and grace in that place. They all felt that the presence of God. As I listened my partner's story, I felt like I was right with him because the way he shared about his sacred experience. Then he shared another incident when he experienced God. He was walking on the beach one time; there was breeze, and he knew that was the breath of God. I can totally understand what he is talking about. I too had the same experience with breeze. I call it "God's breath experience".

I was going to share about my new church being a holy ground for me, but first I dovetailed on Bill's story of God's breath. I shared my Uganda experience. God's breath, morning breeze that I felt in that morning in banana field in Uganda, I will never forget. That was my encounter with God, my holy ground experience in 1998. I shared with my current holy ground that I saw in my mind tonight.

After we shared our experience with each other, we met in a large group again, then the facilitator asked about our dyad experience. People said "easier to keep going, became sacred as I tell the story, thinking about and telling about the experience made our experience sacred, trust" The activity took only 30 min. The next 30 minutes, the facilitator read Speech Therapist, how she saw God on the face of a handicapped child. She read it, and then asked what happened to the ST. There are so many great comments were made, as always, I learn a lot from my classmates.

Circle of Life
Spiritual direction is to be in God's presence, nothing is excluded, everything is important to God, assurance from God, God manifest himself. When we touch a person deeply, we touch God. When we have relationship with God whse name is "I AM"- it changed to I - thou relationship to I - I relationship. God is interested in my everyday, ordinary affairs. When I am with Him, my ordinary life comes alive. glory of God is human being fully alive.

Art of listening

Listen to others as though the person is speaking his last words. What a great warning or prompting. If I listen to Chris, Zach and Simon in this way, what would be like? We took a dinner break from 6 to 7 p.m. We had fish, salad, and soup. I sat with two other women whom I have known them since the first meeting last year. We convened at 7 p.m and continued with the listening experience. We broke up with a team of three and practiced Spiritual Direction. Frank was the director, I was the directee, and Louise was the observer. I told about my forgetfulness. I forgot totally about the last month homework, and I cannot even remember what was talked about last month. A few times, I had blacked out experience. Bill caught the word "scared" and asked me why I was scared. I was little agitated that I am not scared, but I am frustrated. It was amazing that Frank's question helped me to sort out the feelings of "scared and frustrated". Frank was very comfortable in his role as a director and I felt his empathy toward the directee was the key for me to open up. He listened to me, gave his undivided attention. I knew that because he was leaning forward to hear what I have to say. Louise debriefed and gave some feedback. We met as the small group, Bill, the mentor for our group debriefed about the today's lesson.

I learned a lot. I am so glad that I came.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Spritual Direction -part I

Thursday 18, 2006 at Mercy Center.

I am in a 3 year Spiritual Direction program at Mercy Center
We meet once a month, I am learning so much about myself and God, and my relationship with God. Tonight's topic was Holy Listening. We started out the session by singing "This is Holy ground, We're standing on holy ground, For our God is present and where God is... is holy" Sisters read sacred words by taking turn. In between the readings, we sang Holy Ground. As I get involved in this process of singing and listening to sacred words, I noticed myself that I was calming down and become more centered within a minute time span. As we sang, we were prompted to go to the time and space where we had an encounter with God. We were prompted to reflect on our Holy ground experience.

The text read (Gen 3) was about Moses and his encounter with God. God appeared in burning bushes. What is my burning bush? Moses took off his shoes when he sensed God's presence. Shoes have message and meaning. Taking off shoes has meaning. Moses took off shoes in the presence of God. When and where should I take off my shoes? Am I sensitive enough to know when and where? We struggle to be holy. Knowing when and where to taking off our shoes on the holy ground is not easy. When did I have that experience? I when I am in the presence of God. I am alive.

During the reflection time, I thought about my holy ground. With my surprise, I saw the parking lot of our new church, then the house and church. How cans the parking lot to be my holy ground? I might ask. How the parking lot can be the holy ground. The word "serve and love" Mabel, Ken D, Barbara D, Jane & Al and many members of the church showed up in front of me. Is God saying to me that at this space and time, I serve and love these people? I thought my duty is to reaching out to the lost, but somehow my assignment seems to be different than I expected and imagined. I used to think, "reach and teach" others about who God is the primary importance of my Christian duty.

From the first time we were called to this church, we never ask God why we are here at San Lorenzo, because we know that is what He wanted for us to be at this time. I am just thrilled that he included me in his work; I am so jazzed about our new congregation. God showed me my holy ground where I need to take off my shoes. As I take off my shoes at my house, I think about our church.

Once I saw clearly what is my holy ground is for now, I feel much better about our move. I was blessed tonight how God show my holy ground, where I will meet God everyday. My Holy ground at this time of my life is this place, right in front of me. The place, our church, where I will commune with God.

Monday, October 16, 2006

September CASA Report from Robina

The CASA-Rwanda house is busy as you can see the activities below. Please pray for the House Activity Director, Robina, as you can see her plate is full with many different ministries. I thank God for her faithfulness, creativity and hard work. Please e-mail Robina and encourage her as she toils in the harvest field.

The following numbers are people who are served by the CASA house during the month of Sept. Every morning at 5:30 to 6:30, there is morning devotion at the house every morning except on Sunday, and there is a small prayer closet where people can pray as they fast staying there overnight. The house is busy day and night, and the retreat rooms are booked solid with different Christian student groups. Students and mamas come to the house to get counseling; also pastors and evangelists stay at the house when they come to Butare to preach the Gospel to students.

By Robina

Morning Devotion

1st wk 206 people
2nd wk 107 people
3rd wk 83 people
4th wk 83 people

Prayer Room
1st wk 3 people
2nd wk 2 students
3rd wk 4 students
4th wk 2 students

Student Retreat
1st wk 36 students from GBU
2nd wk 14 students
3rd wk 8 students
4th wk 10 students

MaMa Counseling
1st wk 5 mamas
2nd wk 20 and above for two days seminar on “Lady at
home , Lady in the ministry”
3rd wk 2 mamas
4th wk 4 mamas

Student Counseling
1st wk 45 students due to deliverance service done a
pastor from kigali invited by GBU hosted by CASA 2nd
wk 7 students
3rd wk 4 students
4th wk 3 local people

Student Luncheon
1st wk 5 students
2nd wk 5 students
3rd wk 10 students
4th wk 7 students

Pastor Hosting
1st wk None
2nd wk 4 pastors
3rd wk 3 pastors
4th wk None

Helping Hands
1st wk 1 person
2nd wk 1 person
3rd wk 1 person
4th wk 1 person

Host guests
1st wk 1 pastor from kigali
2nd wk 2 ladies that were teachings the mamas
3rd wk 2 ministers from Mutara
4th wk None

Equipment check-out
1st wk 1 guitar
2nd wk 1 guitar
3rd wk 2 guitars
4th wk Wires microphones for one day.

Schedule activities
1st wk A talk on January Conference
2nd wk Work on the statute and annual report
3rd wk Talk on January conference
4th wk Work on the statute and annual report

Conduct monthly meeting
1st wk Small meeting for CFH Staff with Frank
2nd wk Small meeting with CFH Staff
3rd wk A talk to Pascazia and Scovia
4th wk 1 CASA Staff meeting with pastor Paul and
Pastor Musoni James.

Visit churches/homes
1st wk Visited 2 homes
2nd wk Visited 2 homes and one church
3rd wk Visited 3 homes with 1 church
4th wk 1 home

Robina --House Management
Supervise Pascuzia
1st wk As usual
2nd wk Measuring and sowing the curtains
3rd wk Curtain hanging
4th wk As usual

Supervise Jack
1st wk As accustomed
2nd wk As accustomed
3rd Curtain hanging
4th wk As usual

Maintain inside house
1st wk Bought new cartains
2nd wk As accustomed
3rd wk Curtain hanging
4th wk As usual

Frank --Academic
Schedule classes
Teach classes
Available for students
Visit campus
Frank--Property Mgt
Pay bills-utility/phone/rent
Maintain Library books
Maintain Music Equipment
Maintain Electronic Equipment
Maintain house running

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hectic time

Willi came to visit from Rwanda. He helped us moving to from MV to SL, Chris, Willi, Simon, me worked all day long,packing,loading,unloading. In between, I check e-mail to answer inquiry about the house. Then I read my nephew, Josh's blog about what Not to do when we witness.

There are four aspects of evangelism that many Christians get wrong.

1. The Motive of many Christians for witnessing is simply guilt. They know the Bible tells them to, so every once in a while the guilt builds up enough for them to try to do something about it. Our motive should be compassion. We should be leading people to Jesus because we love them and want them to be saved from their sins. Without this motive, everything we do or say will simply be a clanging symbol.

2. The Goal of evangelism is not to win an argument or prove that you are right. The Goal should simply be conversation. God's love comes through us when we are in a relationship with others; not a competition. People can tell when you just want to win an argument rather than build a relationship.

3. The Perspective we should not have is that our interaction needs to bring a person to salvation. We need to understand that each person is on a Journey. And our job is to help them along. It helps if you picture a scale from -10 to +10, with 0 as salvation. -10 would be absolute hatred for God and +10 would be the best relationship with God that is possible. Now everyone can be charted on this graph. When you encounter a -7, your job is not to get them to 0. It's to get them to -6. That's what the Bible means when is says some sow the seeds, others water them, and still others reap the harvest.

4. The Response that you give to their objections to Christianity needs to be appropriate. There are 3 kinds of barriers to accepting Christ. Emotional, Intellectual, and Volitional. Emotional barriers are caused by bad experiences from church or Christians. Obviously the best way to deal with these is to simply demonstrate love to these people. Giving them statistics and charts won't heal their heart. Intellectual barriers are issues like science versus religion, or logical contradictions. This is where facts and figures can actually help. Someone who thinks that all Christians believe the world was made 6,000 years ago doesn’t need a hug. They need facts. And finally, every person has a Volitional barrier. This is simply a matter of God not having revealed Himself to them yet. There is nothing to do about this except to pray.