“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Right now I am having to remind myself continually of this verse. I cannot see the end of the path, but by faith I know that God is already there and has approved everything that happens to us. So, here is what is happening: Both our radio and our church have been shut down by the government. The two events are actually not linked and are two separate events that, unfortunately, occurred at the same time—but God knows.
The radio was shut down, as of February 22, for one month, plus a $2,500 fine, all because one message by one good pastor on the radio was taken out of context. He was talking about bad churches as represented by prostitutes. So he said these women were evil—but in reference to bad churches. But the only thing people heard was “evil women.” He is actually a good preacher who was kicked out of the SDA for preaching eternal security.
But it turns out that Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) violated many laws when dealing with this situation. Even if the pastor said bad things, then he is responsible—not us. We are currently getting a lawyer to help re-establish our good name that has been totally slandered. And, yes, lawyers are also expensive here. Obviously, please pray for this.
Then our church was shut down at the same time. Actually, there were over 700 churches that were closed along with ours. Again, the local government dealing with this ignored many laws. They arbitrarily placed all kinds of rules on churches to follow that are not in the law: like having paved parking lots, no tents, having metal detectors, and having a half-hectare of land for operating, and finally having church registration papers. We tried getting registration papers in 2003, and they stopped all registration for years! Time to try again.
Really, the Devil hates what we are doing here, and many people are getting saved. He so wants us completely shut down, but again, let’s remind ourselves of Romans 8:28 and trust that God is still on the throne. Oh yeah, one more thing. When some of these churches were closed down, local officials were mocking them, calling them stupid and asking, “Where is your God?” They have gone past churches and are now ridiculing God! Oooh! They have picked a fight with the wrong person!
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. These 2 months we saw 26 people trust Christ out soul winning, 2 professions, 1 baptized, and 42 saved through the radio.
In His service,
Gregg, Angela, Caleb, Hannah, Timothy, Virginia, Micah, and Zachery Schoof