Muraho? Yego!

Published on Thursday, 18 June 2015 04:42 Written by Faustin

This is the Rwandan greeting. “Muraho” means “Are you alive?” “Do you have life?” Yego “Yes, I do.” In the Rwandan worldview, life is always in relationship – with God, self and others. Salome and I still have life and abundant life in relation to Christ the Life and life-Giver, and in relation to our fellow brethren in Christ. So, as you read this blog, please receive our greetings from Rwanda in the name of the life-Giver!

Muraho YegoWe are honored to be in the land of Thousand Hills (Rwanda) with our dear friends who have come from the States and Greece to join us in ministry. Pastor Shawn Sullivan, the Missions Pastor at Cross Bridge Community Church, San Antonio and Matthew Owen from the same church, have been coming to Byumba, Rwanda for the last three years. This year they are accompanied by Shawn’s friend from Greece, Emmanuel Ntamparakis (sounds like a Rwandan name!) for a Training of Trainers’ conference that has brought together 40 selected leaders from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Congo. The conference is an advanced course on Leadership and Church Development. These are leaders who will help us train others in their respective regions.

Also, we are with Kaitlyn Sylvain, a former student at Biola University. Kaitlyn is coming to do her internship with TLAfrica, Inc. She will visit Rwanda and Kenya.

MurahoWhen Shawn arrived on Saturday, he asked me whether I have had any surprises since I have returned to Africa. Yes, I have.

On Friday Salome and Kaitlyn traveled for several hours in a bus to visit women in Rubavu, Gisenyi, at the boarder of Rwanda and Congo.  I decided to accompany them. We had a wonderful meeting with two groups of women. One group of thirty women has taken the initiative of making handcrafted items. We were impressed with their project, but at the same time we were sad that we could not help them financially because they needed some machines and other materials. In our limitation, we prayed with them and said, “The Lord sees your need.” The next morning (Saturday), I went to check my e-mail and found an email from Ivan Chung that a church in Riverside, CA sent funds to help thirty widows and needy women (the exact number of the Rubavu women in the group!). Salome and I could not wait but thank God in the internet café! The ministry is the Lord’s and he will provide for the needs of his people at the right time and for his own glory.

MurahoYegoThe conference began yesterday (Monday). Ntamparakis from Greece taught the whole day and pastors were not willing to leave the room even after 5:00 pm.

As a family, please pray for us as we continue to go through transitions. Until now we have been hosted by our daughter. We plan to move into the university house this week.

Amahoro – Shalom!

Faustin Ntamushobora

The Joy of the Cow Project

As many of you know, the TLAfrica, Inc.’s cow project gives cows as gifts in order to help sustain families and hopefully communities. These cows are tools to help bring life to the people and God’s work is seen in the ceremonies where cows are given from one family to another. A few recipients of the gifts share their thoughts on the impact of the gift and God’s provision. Women from Bungoma, Kenya, Jane Wafula and Eunice Shikuku, talk about the benefits of milk with laughter.

“Milk in this area is expensive and to most it is a luxury,” said Wafula. “But when I got this cow, I started enjoying the milk and even feel like I have added a few pounds. My children also enjoy the milk. I have to admit it has helped their grades, I guess because they can focus better when they are not on an empty stomach!”

Lifting the weight of school fees has also been an effect. Shikuku is a widow and shares that it has been a struggle to cover charges such as books. This cow has enabled her to comfortably pay. She can manage to buy the tools needed and there is joy for her as a mother to see her children studying with no difficulty. Pastors from Ruhengeri, Rwanda, Aloys Munyantore and Emmanuel Habyarimana, give thanks and tell of different benefits. Aloys has been able to make manure out of the cow dung. This dung has been a product to sell in the surrounding communities and has helped grow Napier grass to feed his cows. When they were asked how they feel about the upcoming cow giving ceremony, Habyarimana shared words of joy.

“I am privileged to be able to bless someone else just as I was blessed,” said Habyarimana. “The cow came to me unexpectedly and I will be very happy to pass it on to someone so that they may also benefit as much as I have. I give God the glory for enabling this to happen.”

God has blessed through this cow project and will continue through the birth of new calves and the upcoming cow giving ceremony. The simple gift of a cow brings food, keeps kids in school, works the land, can start a business and bring hope to many families. TLAfrica, Inc. hopes to continue this program and see God work.

COUNTING DOWN 16 DAYS

Published on Thursday, 18 June 2015 04:40 Written by Faustin

The countdown has begun! There are only 16 days left before we fly back to Africa. You can imagine the pressure that Salome and I feel as we try to complete unfinished tasks and delegate our ministry responsibilities to the US Board members of TLAfrica. But my mind is not just on these last-minute tasks here in the States. My mind is also on the transition that is awaiting us in Africa, and the overwhelming work ahead of us. In Matthew 9:35-38 it says that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few; this becomes more real when you visit Africa and see the overwhelming needs of the church–growing everyday but lacking in trained leadership.

There are many widows due to war and genocide, as well as grandmothers who are taking care of grandchildren after their mothers passed away of HIV/AIDS, who desperately need economic empowerment! These are just examples; there are many, many other needs! The challenge is to see these needs and decide which ones to meet knowing that I cannot meet all of them at once. It is a temptation! My prayer as Salome and I go back is that I may have a focused vision, for, as a Chinese proverb says, “The eagle that chases two rabbits at one time will catch neither.”  Without focus no impact is made and less is achieved. Would you pray for us?

Let me ask a favor: Please send this blog to several of your friends who may be interested in reading the news about my family and the TLAfrica ministry. Advise them to go to www.tlafrica.org and subscribe to both the e-newsletter and the blog. I hope you have already subscribed. If you haven’t, please do so now!

Shalom – Amahoro!

Faustin Ntamushobora, Ph.D.

President & CEO, TLAfrica, Inc.

COINCIDENCE OR TRUE VISITATION?

Published on Thursday, 18 June 2015 04:38 Written by Faustin

I believe that my whole life – even small details – are under the control of God. God speaks to us through his word written in the Bible, but also through events and circumstances. Last week, the Lord visited my family once again. Here is how the visitation came to us:

On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, my son, Pierre, opened his flash drive and found a letter I wrote to friends on April 16, 2007. In the letter (Click here to view letter) I explained that Salome and I were taking a step of faith and going to Biola University. We believed in a GREAT GOD who is FAITHFUL to provide for our needs: It was a letter to request prayer and financial assistance.

Reading this letter on the same day six years later reminded my son of how the Lord has been a faithful Provider. In response, he was not at peace until he wrote to our family and challenged us to continue trusting in the Lord. On the following day, April 17, 2013, I received an offer to teach in the doctor of ministry program at Africa International University in Nairobi, Kenya.

I interviewed with them back in February but had not heard back. Our family was expecting to move to Nairobi on faith. Truly speaking, the offer came unexpectedly. This door that God has opened at Africa International University is just another example of transformation through trusting Him and his plans. God continues to remind us that he has called us, has a plan for us, and will continue to provide! He is continuing to teach my family and I that He will provide now just like he did for us back in Rwanda during the genocide.

Finally, I would like to remind you that Salome and I will both be relocating back to Africa on May 28th, 2013. While in Africa, we plan to keep in touch with you through blogs and e-newsletters. Would you kindly send the same blog to one or two of your friends? In this way we would increase the number of those who will be flowing us – then you would be our true extension! Thank you for your love and partnership and God bless you.

-Faustin

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Spring 2013 Newsletter

GREETING

Dear Friends,

Happy Spring!  This marks the last newsletter before Faustin and Salome end their chapter of Biola University and follow where God has called next. These steps before them will lead to Kenya and provide more opportunities to grow and prepare for what God has planned. The last few months have been eventful with new connections being made, more staff being brought on board, books being published, and the vision being shared. The work will not cease but hope to continue in the United States as well as Kenya. Thank you for your partnership!

God Bless,

Marissa Mavaega

Communications Director

 

Transformation Through The Different Other

RECAP

Launching the book!

On April 6th, 2013, Faustin and Salome Ntamushobora shared their last formal goodbye along with launched Faustin’s second book, Transformation Through the Different Other. Over 110 were in attendance at Biola University and several came to hear what God is doing through the ministry of TLAfrica, Inc.  Praise God!

 

A NOTE FROM FAUSTIN AND SALOME

We will be flying back home on May 28, 2013. Please pray for our three children who will remain in the States completing their undergraduate studies that they may continue to love God with all their hearts.

As we go back to Africa, we are going to be temporarily based in Nairobi where I will be teaching at Africa International University. I will continue to develop the curriculum and material for the proposed Thousand Hills International University in this time. Salome will be mobile in the five countries TLAfrica, Inc. serves. She will monitor the women empowerment projects and developing new projects as the Lord continues to provide.  Our plan is to raise funds that will allow us to develop some sustainability projects so that in the future all the funds we raise from the West may go toward programs instead of paying individuals’ salaries. As you buy a copy of my new book through TLAfrica, Inc. website, (www.tlafrica.org), you will be participating in the vision for ministry sustainability. Please share this with your church, small groups, family members, and friends in order to spread the vision. Feel free to contact us and share your feedback, we value your opinions and thoughts.

 

TLAfrica, Inc.’s goals for the upcoming year are as follows:

 

$       1.     Manage a smooth transition back to Africa

$       2.     Develop the African Board of Directors

$       3.     Strengthen the existing ministries through monitoring and evaluation

Here is how we hope to focus on these goals:

$    –        Finding supplies needed for the transition to Nairobi

$    –        Strategic Plan Retreat with the Africa Board (Oct 2013)

$    –        CrossBridge Community Church’s trip to Byumba, Rwanda to help train 40 pastors (June 2013)

$    –        Training 60 pastors for a week and graduation ceremony in Bungoma, Kenya (July 2013)

$    –        Second Leadership Training of 100 new pastors within the Leadership Institute in Ruhengeri, Rwanda with Living Word Fellowship Church (July 2013)

$    –        Giving 15 new calves to different communities (July 2013)

$    –        Initiating a new microfinance program in Byumba (Sept 2013)

$    –        Monitoring of Women Empowerment projects with intern Kaitlyn Sylvain and Salome

$    –        Second session of leadership training with the Leadership Institute in Ruhengeri, Rwanda (Feb 2014)

$    –        Follow up on the cow project and evaluate for the next season of giving (April 2014)

Salome and I plan on coming back to the States in 2014 but the specific date is undecided.

Thank you for your love, care, support and prayer. We feel belonging and for us, that is significant as we go back. Please read the blogs that I will be writing from Africa and send me your feedback whenever possible. Kwaheri kwa kuonana (Goodbye and see you later)!

Faustin Ntamushobora, PhD

Prsident & CEO, TLAfrica, Inc.

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For more information, contact the Communications Director Marissa Mavaega at mlmavaega@gmail.com 

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