Rwanda, A Great Place to Build
The Bible teaches that a man should sit down and count the cost before building. This verse is especially true for me and the ministry here, because we really had to build a tower, but the principle is very important to follow for every area of life.
By God’s grace, we are attacking the Devil’s stronghold over the people of Rwanda. They have churches, but they do not have the real Gospel. I would say that 99.99% of the churches here teach that you must work to go to Heaven! The people have no idea that it is a free gift, and Satan still has them in bondage.
At this time, we are still the only independent, fundamental Baptist missionaries in Rwanda. Satan has done much over the years to try to remove us from Rwanda and silence our voice—but he has failed. If you have some hours to spare, I can fill you in. In this battle for souls in Rwanda, the Lord has opened many different doors of opportunity to build this ministry.
But in order to pass through the different doors the Lord has opened for us, it is necessary for us to make an honest assessment of the associated costs. We certainly do trust God to meet our needs, and He has miraculously done so over the years; however, at the same time, we must obey this simple command to be prepared.
So, I list our needs in detail, not for my sake but for the benefit of the Rwandan people. I pray that as the Lord leads, you might be able to do something to help bring the Gospel to Rwanda. If you currently are giving but can do more, great. If you can only pray, great also; we need that too.
Counting the Cost
Support Level – Over the years costs have continued to rise, but our support has not. We have the same support level now that we had when we had three children and did not have a radio station. We estimate that we now have about 80% of what we need.
The radio is a great tool from the Lord, but it is also like a very hungry baby to feed. We spend from our support at least $1,500 per month just to keep it running. In addition, every year I get a tax return, and it always goes to some radio project. We really need 15 to 30 new churches to take us on just to cover this cost. If you already support us, thank you for your support, but please consider the high impact that this ministry alone has on Rwanda. Please pray about adding extra support for the Radio Ministry.
If you don’t support us, please consider us for support. Please remember—I am not a novice. This is a tried and proven ministry that needs your help. We have tried to visit all new churches this furlough, and five have promised support, which is good but not what we hoped for. Maybe I have not shown the seriousness of getting new support like I should have—unfortunately, fund raising is not one of my strong points.
Obviously, the need for support is the greatest, but also consider a one-time gift for one of our current projects or needs:
Radio Tuner and Antenna – We have two radio- broadcasting locations in Rwanda right now, but the second tower is only playing music 24 hours a day. After talking to a good Christian radio technician, we determined how to best link the towers for the lowest cost. We need to get a 10- foot FM yagi antenna and a professional radio tuner to pick up our current signal (105.1 FM) from the first tower. Then we can rebroadcast it on 90.1 FM on the second tower. This will cost $3,000.
New Engine – Coming down from the radio tower one day, our Astro Van bottomed out on the gravel road, a rock cracked the oil pan, and I did not know it until the engine died. A new 4.3 liter engine will cost $2,500.
The other option is to spend $18,000 to get a used 10-year-old Toyota Land Cruiser. That would be nice, but we do not have that money. Even if I did have the money, I am sure I would rather spend it on the radio or on a church building instead.
Shipping Costs – When we go back to Rwanda in January, we plan to send a box with the new engine, the 10-foot antenna, clothes, hymnals, school books, shoes, etc.—the list goes on and on. This will cost $2,500.
Bible for Rwanda – The King James Bible was translated into Kinyarwanda in 1957, but now the Rwandan Bible Society refuses to print it. They want people to buy their new corrupt versions instead. All we have to do is retype and typeset the Bible, then we can print it. I have no cost estimate on this yet, as we are at the beginning stages. I am sampling stating it as a project we are working on. But obviously, it will cost something to get this done.
English Song Books – My assistant pastor, Bro. Sadock, graduated from Bible college in Uganda. He is doing a great job with the Kinyarwanda service. So when I go back, I wish to start a 100% English service—still in the same church though. I want to take back about 150 good English song books in our box. They are about $10 each. If there is a church that could donate old ones, that would be fine also.
Support for Another Missionary – This year we have six students in Bible college up in Kampala, Uganda. James Pridgeon, a BIMI missionary, is doing a great job there. The six students are working on work scholarship to be there, which is good. But in reality, that work-scholarship money still comes out of Bro. Pridgeon’s support. I would be so happy if five churches could take him on for support and label it “for Rwandan students.” Then he could take a few more students from Rwanda. Please call me also to let me know if you begin to support him.
Pray for Church Property – In 2011, we purchased 3½ acres of property to build a church building. The local leaders said we could build, but then after purchasing the land, it was deemed “swamp land,” even though it is 30 feet higher than the real swamp land. But after four years, it was removed from the swamp-land list and changed to “passive recreational use.” That is good, but we still can’t build unless we get special permission, which may be possible for a school and church. So it is a slow, uncertain process, but please keep praying.
We thank you for whatever the Lord lays on your heart to do. We know there are so many who do support us and pray for us, and we appreciate you so much. We are excited to be going back to Rwanda on January 15. Please pray that this next term is productive and fruitful for the Lord.