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HEATHER & JASON FADER
We've all been reeling since approximately 7:20 pm on Saturday, February 22nd. We're sharing this so that you can pray for us. So that you can bear our burdens with us. On Saturday evening, the Watts family (minus Jonah and Matea who are at school in Kenya) were having dinner with Kayla and a visiting nurse Julie who is a missionary in Rwanda. Four armed men broke into their house with the intent of stealing a bunch of money that they mistakenly thought was somewhere in the house. All the adults except George were tied up. George got beaten up quite significantly, stabbed in the thigh, and choked for information as he was forced through different rooms of the house in a search for more money that wasn't there.
Through the courageous intervention of a Burundian friend in charge of security, the perpetrators fled with whatever valuables they had found, dropping most of them on the way. A pursuit of the perpetrators (by Burundian members of the hospital and surrounding community) followed, resulting in the immediate arrest of some, and the continued pursuit of others. The rest of our team and other Burundian friends who live in the same area had been informed over text immediately and had sheltered inside our homes until the danger was confirmed to have passed.
The Watts family is now in Kenya receiving some needed support and counseling, as well as being with Jonah and Matea. George's physical wounds are healing well. Kayla similarly spent some time in Kenya but has now returned.
As the immediate events have unfolded, we have been greatly encouraged as a team by the outpouring of support from our local community here at Kibuye, up through every level of leadership to the national level. Additionally, all the resources of Serge were quickly and thoroughly mobilized to care for us all during these events. So many people have given of their time and effort to demonstrate their solidarity with us and the work of Kibuye Hope Hospital. We are also involved with a number of leadership levels to redesign our security systems so as to prevent such an episode from ever being attempted again.
We're still reeling in many ways. Our daily lives go on, but it was one of those events that changes the flavor of all that comes afterwards. Both our hearts inside us as well as the world around us are quite dynamic right now, and we're wondering where we'll land. There is a sense of feeling violated, and wondering why God allowed this to happen. There is a simultaneous, intense gratitude for the many ways that we were spared from it being so much worse. It's truly a strange mix of emotions. I once heard that we are all looking for people that have scars in the places where we have wounds. This is true on many levels, and it’s part of the reason that our friend Steve, who flew from the States to work with the Watts family and Kayla in Kenya, is such an amazing trauma counselor. But this fact is never truer than when we look at Jesus. Our Lord has suffered. His scars, persistent in his glorified resurrection body, testify of promised healing. We look to him.
As Kayla wrote afterwards: "In moments when my faith feels weak, I am thankful the object of my faith is not weak. And in the moments that I don't understand, I am learning to trust His sovereignty." Please do pray with us. JULIO & KATIE ISAZA – Emailed March 14: Youth Leaders Begin Formational Journey Together
ERIC & BRITTANY PEDERSEN
Posted on Facebook Sept. 11 (Brittany): Handed out 100 donuts to first year nursing students today! We are hoping to get to get a bible study launched in the next week or two in the nursing school. Pray for me as I follow up with the 12ish students who showed interest so far! Earlier, on Sept. 5, Brittany posted: Large group was great tonight! We wanted to show students a couple of the things we love about intervarsity so we sang a song in Zulu and did a manuscript bible study. Students engaged well with the bible study while we talked about the parable of the soils.
JULIO & KATIE ISAZA
Youth Leaders Begin Formational Journey Together - What does it mean to be a youth leader in a local church? How are we equipped to lead others? Where can we come together with other youth leaders for sharing, learning, and an opportunity to grow in our own relationship with Jesus? These were some of the questions that prompted the national Covenant youth organization in Colombia to develop a plan to focus on the formation of local youth leaders and those who are interested in serving youth, but are new to leadership. They have seen the need for ministry to youth, and for equipping those who are ministering to youth.
And so the “Primero mi casa” (Beginning with my house) project was born and has begun to be carried out in different cities in Colombia. It is a project that brings local youth leaders together several times in a semester to study together and build relationships with one another. Facilitators have been trained to lead these gatherings, and materials have been created for both the facilitators and the participants. Katie is writing and gathering this material.
On March 7, the first gatherings took place in Bogota and Medellin, and focused on the theme of identity: who am I?, what influences my self-concept and self-esteem? Who does God say I am? What is my identity in Christ?
This will continue to be the focus of this first semester, as the leaders dive deeper into their own faith and walk with Christ. It was powerful to see the leaders coming together to share the work that God had been doing in their lives as they had been reading the materials and reflecting on the questions and Scripture. There was authentic sharing and a sense of how necessary these formational encounters are. We thank God for the facilitators who created the safe space for these leaders to share and for community to begin to be built among them.
Pray for the facilitators and participants in Barranquilla who will also be meeting this month. Pray for this to be an opportunity for leaders to be equipped and a network, a community to be built among them. Pray for the development of the material for the second semester that focuses on leadership.
KELSEY TEBEEST CORPAS
At first, I did not want to send an update mentioning the COVID-19 virus. However, we’ve received many e-mails and texts checking in, so I thought it was best to send a little note saying we’re okay. Thank you all for the notes sending prayers and love our way!
As many of you know, Spain is on total lockdown, ranking 4th in the world for number of coronavirus cases. We can only leave our homes for the grocery store or pharmacy. If you are out for any other reason (a walk, meeting friends, a run) you can get fined. Honestly, I can catch myself wishing we had a yard to walk or run laps in or even just a small balcony to sit outside. However I mustn't think that way, we have so much to be thankful for.
We are COVID-19 free in our house, and we are thankful for that. We pray that all of you stay healthy as well. We applaud our medical workers and all of you working extra hours to care for and protect others.
I am able to work from home and have team meetings by video-call. Aren’t we blessed to have technology! Although, we are missing our regular contact with those we meet with to intentionally share God’s love.
Josué and all his coworkers at the gym are without work. We are thankful for a few clients who are willing to find other ways to train with Josué, and we're sure he'll be back at the gym when its reopened. We feel for all of you whose jobs are being affected. We trust God’s provision and His plan no matter what happens.
God has brought to mind James 1:5 to be praying during this season. "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." We pray for wisdom for government officials, medical workers, and those in leadership. We also pray for wisdom to know how to use this time to be a light. Many people are anxious and worried, others are lacking identity and purpose as they’re without work. May God give all of us the wisdom to share His lasting peace, hope, and love with those who don’t know Him.
Thank you for praying. We are praying for you all as well. Please send me specific prayer requests for you and your loved ones.
NILS & ERIKA CLAUSON
Thanks to Linda Hyer for these glimpses from the Clauson posts on Facebook. 1. Several of the children have been ill with Influenza B, one child with pneumonia. They are waiting for results of Cov-19 testing. Meanwhile, they seem to be on the mend. 2. Erica was relieved to be able to fly home to Mexico recently, considering recent flight restrictions and cancelations. She had been a guest speaker at a trauma and healing conference in Ecuador.
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