Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"You Share with Me?"

Sonya’s Story

It was already late in the afternoon. The sun was sitting just above one of the many mountain ridges that make the sprawling city so time consuming to navigate. My driver and aid, Maurice, had been running all over Kigali trying to locate some medications that the doctor at King Fisal Hospital had prescribed for me while I was a patient there. I still wasn’t feeling well after my bout with a kidney stone and I needed a strong pain killer for the flight home.
Although I was thanking God that the worst was over I was still frustrated, uncomfortable, tired, weak and hungry so we stopped at a small cafe to eat. A young women came to our table and introduced herself as Sonya. I ordered something from the menu along with several bottles of water. The choices were limited to just a few things.

Our food finally arrived and after just a few bites I was full. My stomach had shrunk during the several days of my painful ordeal. Most of my meal was still on my plate, untouched.

The young women who had taken our order came by to check on us several times. Each time she asked if my food was okay. I would smile and say “yes” and she would disappear back into the kitchen. Finally, she approached the table one last time. This time her voice was low. I nearly missed her question.

“You share with me”, she said?

Her meek and desperate plea absolutely froze me. So consumed by my own condition I had forgotten why I was in Rwanda. In an instant, through a timidly whispered question, God jerked me away from myself and back to others.

All I could do was shake my head and hand my plate to her. Sonya’s smile of gratitude is unforgettably etched in my memory forever.

Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa. It’s economy still recovering from the devastating genocide of 1994. Ninety percent of Rwandans are subsistence farmers barely surviving on what they can produce. The average Rwandan lives on a meager 43 cents (US) per day.

For more on our work in Rwanda go to or

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pastor of the Month - Meet Reuben ole Tiges

Pastor Reuben ole Tiges with wife Leah and children Hillary and Diana. 2007

Lake Jipe with the Parr Mountains of Tanzania in the Distance

In the distance you can see the tiny fishing village where Kacharo Church, one of our church plants, sits on the shore of Lake Jipe.

Click on images to enlarge.

In June of 2005 God led the Maynard family to a small Maasai village in Kenya. The village rests near the Tanzanian border and is within view of Lake Jipe, the Parr Mountains and majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. In Maasai the village is known as Orkung'u or High Ground.

Pastor Reuben reads from a Maasia Bible

In God's sovereign plan we were able to build a relationship with the elder of the village, Reuben ole Tiges (Reuben son of Tiges) and soon after a church was planted in the village.

Lake Jipe Church, Kenya

In 2006, God called Reuben to Pastor Lake Jipe Orkung'u Church and he became the physical and spiritual leader in his village.

Since that time God has blessed the church tremendously. HowFar, in partnership with Sugar Hill Church (FBSH, Georgia) and three donors, purchased 14 acres for a compound, a church building was constructed, a school and now a deep water well. The church has become the center of life in the area with an influence far beyond the village.

Lake Jipe School Educating 150 Maasai Children. A howFar Partnership with the Government of Kenya.

New Classroom Under Construction, July 2010

One of our of Classrooms at Lake Jipe School

It has become the seat of government housing the Assistant Chief of the area during the week. We are so blessed that the church is now used as the central distribution point for supplemental food from agencies like World Relief and US Aid. It is very rewarding to see sacks of maze flour and beans and one gallon cans of cooking oil with the red, white and blue message reading, "A Gift from the People of the United States of America".

New Deep Water Well on the howFar Compound. Lake Jipe, Kenya. July 2010.

Jipe Orkung'u Village with Church and School from atop Jipe Mountain

Under Pastor Reuben's leadership new churches have been planed along the Kenya/Tanzania border. In 2006 he was called to be the Overseer (sometimes called Bishop) of our network of 15 howFar Ministries churches.

Reuben is married to Leah and has two children, Hillary and Diana.

Pray that God continues to give Pastor Reuben ole Tiges wisdom as he labors in our Fathers field in Kenya and Tanzania.