Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"You Can't Do That"

We had a VBS preparation meeting on Saturday morning. After the meeting several of us distributed flyers to advertise the event. Linda, Edith, and I were a team, and went to Bayfair Farmer’s Market to pass out flyers. I saw three kids with two women in the parking lot and I offered a flyer while telling them about our church VBS. The younger woman said “No.” While walking away I overheard the older woman saying, “VBS is fun.” When we arrived at the entrance of the outdoor market, a lady came out of nowhere and shouted at us “YOU CAN’T DO THAT! You know the rules for free speech right?”

When I am in Rwanda I don’t need to pass out any flyers to invite kids to VBS. They come joyfully. When I go for a walk, kids join me on my walk. We hold hands and walk down a dirt road, communicating with smiles, giggles and laughs. Pretty soon we start singing “Jesus loves me”. Adults smile at us. I don’t have to prepare a VBS program as we do here in order to entertain kids. Just simple songs and hugs are sufficient for them.

Linda, Edith, and I found few people to invite to VBS at the farmer’s market. I felt like I had committed a crime when we were stopped and told “YOU CAN’T DO THAT!” I can see why so many Christians here are discouraged to reveal their identity, let alone mentioning of the name of Jesus. If we stop telling others about Jesus because the world says “YOU CAN’T DO THAT”, indeed we are committing a crime to our faith.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Church Parking Lot Sale

For several months, we collected used items for our church parking lot sale. On Friday, with Caryl’s masterful guidance, we sorted and priced items. On Saturday morning at 7 am, volunteers began arriving at church. The weather was nice and the breeze was pleasant. I counted 9 workers from the Korean church and 17 workers from our church. Throughout the day, many church members came and encouraged us as well – 32 in all. This year, we even had a food booth. Stacie and John were in charge of the bakery stand. Mrs. Hahn sold kimbap (Korean style sushi) while Steve and Shirley ran the hotdog stand. We enjoyed working together, eating, and having fellowship with one another.

The Youth group from the Korean church helped the event to be fun and successful. Girls were in charge of clothing sales and boys were helping out wherever they were needed. Once in a while, these young people would go to the main street with the “Yard Sale” sign and welcome drivers to our parking lot sale. They were such a delight to work with. A Korean girl asked “when are you going to have the next one?” She was having lots of fun. Indeed, it is fun to serve God with brothers and sisters in Christ.

Every penny we raised is going to equip students at the University of Rwanda as they serve their local community with open Christian hearts. When I heard that we raised over $1500, I was surprised. It is almost miracle to me. Many items were sold for only a dime or quarter. I learned that every penny counts, and that God can multiply our dimes and quarters a $1500 miracle.