We have been here for six weeks and the Lord has been moving. We could look back and say this past month has been difficult, but being in the midst of God’s will and seeing Him provide, has grown our faith in insurmountable ways. Everyday, some things seem impossible but God shows up, in ways we couldn’t ask, and makes them possible. Everyday, we get to wake up and see the ways that the Father is moving in our lives and hearts.
Our initial prayers upon arriving was for a smooth transition, a house suitable for hosting and making that place a home, a big reliable car within budget, community, and opportunities to be with people, all which have been answered in big ways.
On the morning of our departure, we had no idea where we would be staying for our first night in Rwanda. Completely last minute, the sweetest family picked us up from the airport, welcomed us into their home, helped us figure out all of the transitional things, and invited us into their family. They have since become our landing ground anytime we visit Kigali, they continue to welcome us with open arms no matter how frequently we stay in their house and eat their food. They have made our initial transition seamless and have helped us process the roller coaster of emotions that comes with living in Africa. This family has been an answer to our prayers in the most unexpected way.
One week after we arrived to Kigali, we made our way to Cyangugu, where we now live. Upon our arrival, we were shown a house, a big house, suitable to host many people, and were given the keys to that very house. We were ecstatic. We have been spending time hanging shelves, decorating to help make our house a home, preparing to host whomever God leads to us, and even building a chicken coop. Another way our house has been made a home, was through the gift of a puppy. We met a couple in Kigali who had lab puppies available. After telling them our past with pups and journey here, they basically gave her to us, to help with our transition, with the only cost being a small donation to help with the schools fees of two underprivileged high schoolers. Our little pup, Mutesi, has been such an unexpected little piece of God showing just how much he cares about the small details of our hearts.
After finding a house, our next step was to find a car. Cars in Rwanda are very expensive and pretty unreliable. Due to dirt roads in the villages we are near, we knew we needed a solid car. With our car budget, we knew finding a car of this caliber would be difficult. A few weeks into searching, a friend told us that he had found the car for us. We come to find that this car was large, reliable, and exactly what we had budgeted for. This car has been such a blessing already, from taking it into villages and being able to give many people ride, and most of all, being reliable.
Aside from being blessed with community in Kigali, upon our arrival to Cyangugu, we have been totally welcomed, supported, and selflessly helped by many. There were a few people we knew we could call at any time of the day and they would stop whatever they were doing to help us. They have been an intricate part of our transition and we are forever grateful.
We officially have our job titles and started our jobs on Monday. Jake is headmaster at a high school, focusing on the business side of the financially failing school. Kathryn will be helping in administration at another high school, but in the mean time, is teaching English. She is also volunteering with a non-profit that educates woman in poverty, on Nkombo Island. Our goal is to become a familiar face in the schools, to make relationships and pursue our calling of discipleship. We are praying big prayers for these students to come to full know and fully love Jesus!
All of these things, have been assurance and encouragement showing full face of God’s faithfulness and kindness. And we could not be here without your help. Each an every one of you have been instrumental through your prayers, encouragement, and financial support. Coming to know each of you has been one of the sweetest unexpected blessings. We could not be here without you. Your partnership is just as important in this journey as us being here.
Each day, we ask the Lord to lead us, wherever He calls, and to whomever. We have first hand seen the fruits of His kindness in the relationships we have already formed. We have become regulars in town; on the soccer field, in the market, in the carpentry shop, at a local restaurant, at church, at band practice, and even in the only store to buy eggs. Listening to God, showing up, being present, being available to people, being asked to pursue and love people in this community, has been one of the biggest honors of our lives.
A few weeks ago, we took a leap of faith and invited members of the community over for a bible study. To our surprise, over fifteen people showed up to learn about Jesus. We were totally unprepared with inadequate seating and food. People were sitting on the floors and sharing bananas. It was a perfect picture of what the Kingdom of Heaven looks like. Our prayer is that God is with us, (and you), always, wherever we go – we have seen exactly that.
Our current praises:
-You all, our support team back home
-Our house help, Gloria, and guards, Ernest and Antone, they have been such a blessing and it has been the sweetest getting to know them and break bread with them.
-Wifi, to stay in touch with family and friends back home
-Time here with some great people from home, praise Jesus y’all, that is fuel for the soul.
-God’s attention to detail, His kindness is overwhelming
-Knowing where to buy items in town and having a reliable honest person to sell to us (this is HUGE)
-Being here, this has been a dream for so long, getting to see the Father bring it to fruition has been the biggest joy.
Our current prayer requests:
-Visas (this process has been super slow and inconvenient)
-Sweet start to forming relationships at the high schools, for the students hearts.
-For Jake’s school, it is failing financially and there is not enough money to feed the students for the rest of the term.
-For the people that will fill the walls of our house, that the Lord would prepare our hearts for them and their hearts for His.
-Patience with the inconvenience of Africa
-Community. A few of our very favorite people in Cyangugu will be moving away in the next several months
-Our car would continue to be reliable!!
-Our reliance and intimacy with Jesus would increase
-Language studies. Kinyarwanda is HARD.
-Gloria: “My father is a moto driver and he has lost his permit, he no longer has a way to support my family. For my family to be able to buy a house. For my sister to pass her national exam. For me to find a husband, to have a better future.”
-Our marriage would grow stronger as we experience different kinds of difficult things.
-Kathryn hurt her ankle pretty bad last, prayers for no major injury and quick and full healing
-Continued guidance by The Spirit
-Rest, everything in Rwanda takes five times more energy
-Continued comforting of our hearts and smooth transition
We have so many crazy stories, but would end up sending a never ending email if we shared them all. If you would like more frequent updates, check out Kathryn’s instagram page @kathrynotterman, where she shares little videos of our life in Rwanda! If you would like to chat with us, shoot us an email or Facebook message and we would love to chat more with you about Rwanda.
We love you all deeply and your hearts for Kingdom work.
We encourage you, that the same God that is here, is abundantly present in your town. He is there, He is moving, and we are praying for mountains to move, hearts to change, and people to truly know and truly love Jesus.
We long for the day we get to see you all again and share more of His goodness here and there.
We know more of Jesus because of each and every one of you.
Jake + Kathryn
WhatsAPP or iMessage
Kathryn: +250 783 273 098
Jake: +250 784 211 468