Nzige, Here We Come!
Pearce’s fourth VISA (Volunteers In Service Abroad) team to Nzige is leaving today for Rwanda. This past Sunday, our congregation took time to pray for Carol, Laura, Cheryl, and Jackie as they prepare to embark on this time of ministry to our “Linked with Love” partner.
I asked Andrew Berardicurti, who will turn eleven-years-old this month, to lead Pearce in a time of prayer for the team and for the children in Nzige. I thought he did a wonderful job as the kids from “Children’s Moments” gathered around the four team members and laid hands on them as part of the commissioning prayer.
I asked one of the team’s members, Laura Ciminelli, to share her thoughts as she packs her bags. She offered “Five Thoughts, Feelings, and Prayers as I Prepare to Go to Rwanda” in her email to me:
- God is GOOD! He has prepared a way for us to go. Thank you, Pearce Church, for letting Him use you to support and connect with Nzige School and this team.
- So excited to meet the kids, teachers, and people in the church and community, and to build relationships with them to love each other in Jesus’ name.
- A little nervous about stamina and health for the travel days and long days of DOING. Prayers that we would remember to be held by God as He provides.
- Wondering about the unique ways two cultures will come together and looking forward to learning about the ways the Holy Spirit breathes in this new place, people, and even ways of teaching.
- Amazed by the Lord, as always, at the ways He has already used this trip. So many (unexpected) conversations with family, coworkers, and friends that have ministered to me and them. More to come on the travel days, on the trip, and after, I’m sure! “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Debt Free in 2028
If you were a part of Pearce in the early 1980s, a campaign was conducted to eliminate the outstanding debt incurred in the construction of the sanctuary. The slogan was “Debt Free in ‘83” and resulted in eliminating that debt.
If we were to have a slogan for our present debt, incurred while building the Family Life Center and educational wing, it would be “Debt Free in 2028!” Not much of a ring to it, is there? And, November 2028 seems a long, long way away.
All of that to say, I am celebrating this past weekend’s “building fund” offering. (We call it the building fund, but it is more accurately a “debt reduction fund.”) This past weekend, more dollars were contributed to the building line than in any single weekend throughout all of 2016!
As our administrator, Honna Curtis, wrote to me in an email this week: “This is a great praise!”
The building line received $7,048 last weekend, 100% of which goes toward paying our weekly loan payments. With an outstanding balance of approximately $2,205,000 left on the loan, we are excited when folks become as passionate about decreasing our debt as we are! Your steady and continued faithful giving is much appreciated. Thank you!
Writing is a Love Language
As we think of the VISA team heading out to Rwanda this week, perhaps this is a good time to remind those of you who sponsor children in Nzige to write them a letter. ICCM (International Child Care Ministries) offers the following encouragement and instruction on writing letters to sponsored kids:
- Letter writing and card sending is not a lost art. It just isn’t being practiced as much as it once was.
- Besides daily prayer, a short letter or brief note of encouragement is, perhaps, one of the best gifts you can give your sponsored child. It conveys the message: I’m interested in you. I am thinking about you. You are special. Consider making a resolution in 2017 to write your child or send a card, once or twice in the year, if not more. It’s like a treasure and priceless to your sponsored child.
- All correspondence should go through the ICCM office. Write clearly and simply so our translators will not have difficulty in translating your letter. Because most letters must be translated before they can be given to children it may be two months or more before they are received.
- To write your child using the form provided on our website, click here. Or send a note by post to this address: Child’s Name & Number, International Child Care Ministries, 770 N. High School Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46214
An Uncommon Moment at Common Grounds
I happened to be in Pearce’s Common Grounds Café this past Sunday morning when Gary and Suzanne Russo stepped up to the counter to order their morning coffees. They called me over to highlight that they were using a gift certificate that had been given to them in July of 2011, signed by Ruth Stewart when she worked at the café.
Needless to say, the certificate was gladly honored and even carries a small balance to be used six years from now in 2023!