In Global Stories, Uncategorized

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Hebrews 12:28

I am home from Rwanda and Burundi a month ago, and what is important for you to know is that…

the effective fervent prayers of the righteous avails much.—James 5:16

  • We know you were praying all along and even today! We’re aware that many of you pray daily, weekly, and as the Holy Spirit leads. This is our confidence, whether on this continent or another, prayer is being offered on our behalf and we thank you,
  • There was a prophetic word spoken in Alberta in February 2023— words the Lord gives to a stranger whose name I do not even know—”You’ve long since done the boot camps and these trips will go with ease and you’ll have the assurance that you’re in the centre of God’s will.” The word was a true word with only minor hiccups along the way!
  • The required financial gifts came at just the right time
  • My previous trips to these countries were in 2003, 2008, and 2012. The development and training of leaders, new converts, and resulting new churches. Since those earlier trips, I am assured—investing where God wants us to invest—always pays off. 

Pictured L-R: Jean de la Pain, Timothee, Ildephonse, Gary

Four years ago, I was asked to facilitate a seminar for pastors and their wives, to be held over three days, and designed for couples from NE Congo and Rwanda. The subjects they asked me to cover in the seminar were:

  • Marriage and Family
  • Reconciliation
  • Leadership

Finally, everything came together and this recent trip included leading that seminar in Rubavu, Rwanda. I had asked Rev. Jean-Claude Makati (R) from Burundi and Dr. Emmanuel Hopeson (L) from Ghana to share the teaching. They were clearly willing, very ready, and fully competent to do it! The seminar was a fantastic experience for all involved.

The attendees included seven couples who came from a refugee camp and others who walked past rebel blockades. Fifteen couples walked across the Congo/Rwanda border to attend the seminar and workshops.

🔥Please pray the rebel war in the Congo would end🔥

If these faithful were following and promoting a ‘gospel of convenience, with no pain and loads of money’—there would be NO churches in Rwanda and Burundi!

We are convinced that hundreds upon hundreds of people will be positively affected and influenced by this group of 85 leaders who attended the seminar.

On this amazing trip, many souls were saved, many baptized in the Holy Spirit, and there was healing of souls and bodies.

Visiting both rural and city churches was part of this trip’s purpose. It was easy to listen, counsel, and mentor pastors as we often drove long hours to and from the various churches. Some days included walking city streets with the pastor, answering questions, giving counsel, and always praying together.  

A city church of 1,500 in Bujumbura, Burundi was mobilized to reach the least reached in their city. I saw former alcoholics, drug addicts, and prostitutes in attendance.

🔥Please pray for Pastor Kevin (L) who shepherds 1,500 people in the Bujumbura church. They are effectively reaching the addicted and the prostitutes.🔥

Back home in Canada

Within a week of arriving back from Africa, I had one-on-one visits with three young prisoners. Zacharias, one of the young men, was recently saved. The other two men, Jeremiah and Jonah, readily gave their lives to Jesus. The chaplain said he saw the change happen in these young men’s lives. A great reminder that Jesus changes lives! A subsequent visit to the prison and Lucas, Jean, and Francois also came to the Lord!

🔥 Pray for Zacharias, Jeremiah and Jonah, Lucas, Jean, and Francois, that they would grow in their newfound faith. 🔥

In an Ottawa church, I was asked to teach on outreach and personal evangelism to a men’s group. They are serious about the mission of God!! One young man Rick said, “I told my brother and father about Jesus for the first time. My father was not happy at all.” 

🔥 Pray that Rick will have the boldness to continue sharing his faith in love and with grace. Pray his father’s heart is softened and he is drawn to the Lord.🔥

Having sat on the board of the Promise Keepers/Impactus for 12 years, I recently attended board meetings in Burlington, ON. I also serve on a committee with the part-time director and volunteers for the Francophone arm of this men’s ministry. As a result, French resources are also being used in other Francophone countries.

🔥 Pray the Francophone Promise Keepers/Impactus materials will be an effective tool in God’s hands, both in Canada, and in countries in Africa. 🔥

Our summer ministry and vacation time will be spent in Quebec doing prison and hospital visits, making pastoral contacts in Montreal, and facilitating a men’s workshop in Campbell’s Bay Church in Western Quebec.

🔥 Pray our ministry time will be fruitful and our vacation time will be restful.🔥

🎶 ‘’Give thanks with a grateful heart…to the Holy One…
and now let the weak say I am strong; the poor say I am rich

In reality, singing ‘give thanks’ is not such an easy thing when you feel weak, your faith is small, your funds are tight and the enemy is shouting ‘You are defeated!’

It’s a good thing that Paul, who experienced all those trials and more writes the truth…

“No, in all things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”—Romans 8:37

Pictured: Shelly and I with Emmanuel (from Burkina Faso) who is in Montreal to take his masters.

❤️ We thank all of you who pray, give, and keep in touch. ❤️

Gary & Shelly