There are a lot of difficulties in walking with and serving the Lord. But my how He has blessed me! You may remember how it took me a month and many trips to my favorite ISP business office to finally get internet that was usually better than dial-up. To my surprise they were forced to activate it with my CDMA Verizon modem, which is my travel internet in the USA, because they had a software problem with their more modern GSM/GPRS system. I never dreamed how God would bless me above 95-98% of their customers through this more antiquated (for them) system. Silver linings below:
- The wireless/ISP lost their license for GSM/GPRS & stoped service at midnight Friday (5 EST). But they will continue for CDMA wireless & land-line customers, who have contracts as I do! Even though my contract is mo-mo.
- They are much cheaper for my volume & faster than the other two companies and they answer the phone for free customer service calls. Besides, I am already paid up through April 28.
- The two competitors will exchange for my Sim card and give me the same amount of credit that I have on the old sim card. I have $15-18 credit on that pre-paid card (most are prepaid in Africa).
- I rode my bike (without getting a flatJ) to get my credit, & came to a 40 ft. line of people, but customer service told me they could do it Sat. or Monday, so I rode to grocery stores Friday looking for the butter to put on the bread that was baking at home & found it, even though I could not find butter in the whole city the week before & didn’t have time to catch the bus & buy the butter I found in both Kigali and Ruhengeri on my return trip Thursday!
- So I came home to hot bread, natural peanut-butter I bought in another city last week, and fresh butter on my hot bread!
- Despite Provi’s death, to my surprise, Mama Noella (Ashkey’s current mom) and her sister who comes when she needs to go to her English class, etc, both like my cumin & garlic spiced lentils, and my bread with peanut-butter and butter & salt!
- Mama Noella or NokeyJ and I ate a whole 2 lb loaf of bread, a ¼ lb of butter, and lots of natural peanut-butter together. I showed her how to make it so she can use my bread-maker in her small 2-room house when we are traveling.
- Because my better ISP service took so long, I learned that the best competitive MTN price with no long contract was $50 for 5G of data or 90 days. By accident I found that you get a bonus of $14.55 for voice calls MTN-MTN which I have used frequently in my University teaching job searching and interviews, etc. So I will apply my credit to the data “bundle” add some more and get free voice minutes that I can reactivate when I get back to Rwanda, even though they may expire. It also gives me back-up internet and will work for calls (at higher prices) in Uganda and Kenya. It’s good to have a back up and it is cheaper to call Rwanda from a Rwanda phone, even if it’s roaming in another country.
If numbered blessings tire you, here is another silver lining that happened despite my cancelled bus journey to Uganda (because I didn’t want to take Ashkey by bus or leave her). Three more house churches have been recently planted in Uganda and are waiting for my trip in about 16 days to visit and teach. Samson’s letter is below:
Splendor be to God, how are you doing? I would like to inform you that three more House to House Churches have been planted. 1 in Kampala City making the total of 3 where one is by Christine (my Fiancé) another one led by Elia Muwanguzi. In Mityana District, 2 House Churches have been planted. I am looking forward to receiving you so you can them and see how they are doing.
Hope to hear from you the soonest possible
I just had two good interviews with another university that may hire me for good pay to teach, most likely at the new school year starting Oct. 17, because they are changing their semesters to match the rest of the East African Common Market. That’s a good time for me related to my summer in the USA after teaching in Uganda & Kenya for 5 wks. The vice-rector told me how to write my application letter & preferred subjects to be attractive to the new school they are opening (Entrapreneurship).
The first interview on Tuesday came right after I picked up my daughter’s US passport, after getting her Rwanda one last week. I stayed overnight with a pastor-friend’s family. The next day his 17 year old daughter met me in town, after the interview with the vice-rector & helped my find a hair salon that can cut Caucasian hair. Wow was that a bargain. They spent 2 hrs snipping with scissors, trimming my neck, beard, mustache, & even my nose hairs with clippers! Then, a good ½ hr. washing my hair, rubbing my scalp, neck, and face with lotion. All that for $3.34!! They did such a good job that I gave the three workers 500 francs (83.6 cents) on top of the $3.34!
One more (well 1.5 moreJ) silver linings: After the long hair cut 4:45 pm, I went to the bus company where I had left 22 lbs of wheat berries that I bought at one of their stops. They said the next seat for my 3.6 hr bus ride left at 7:30pm! So I ran fast for several minutes to another bus station (it’s often pointless to try to call, because they don’t have listed land-lines. No seats. I ran again to the only other one serving our city. No seats. Then I ran back. No seats. I stood there and look sad. When my line moved up, I said, “No seats?” The lady said, “Five.” I though she meant double-plus 5,000 franc fare, so I asked what? She said, “Now!” It was about 3 minutes till 5pm! I was the second to last passenger to get on, but I got a seat right by the door (not in the aisle seat) & picked up my wheat berries which we made to whole-wheat flour the next morning and ate with the butter I got when I went at a bad time to get phone credit with a new company. All that running turned into a 90 minute earlier bus ride and time to start down-loading a textbook for my next on-line class. I had to load the installer 3 times then several long waits, but I just checked my computer when I got up twice for the toilet (I am 53J), but actually Ashkey woke me up) and finished the whole 135 MB e-book download Fri. night!
Since two relative prayed that our daughter would be like her father and not like her mother and a man prophesied, “God loves Greg (me) so much, that whatever gifts he asks for his daughter that God will give them to her.” I prayed for all kinds of spiritual gifts, some natural gifts, and especially both natural wisdom, the word of wisdom, and the presence of the Spirit of Wisdom in her life, and that the spiritual gifts would only come when she had the right wisdom to use them wisely.
Naturally I don’t see her spiritual gifts or wisdom, since she hasn’t learned to speak yet, but she has some things that are like her father, me. They are:
- The relatives all say that her face, with brown eyes, looks like me. Her hair is surprisingly soft and not yet curly for a ½ African child.
- She has more brown than I, but she is more Caucasion than African, and her hands are lighter than mine!
- She has wide feet like mine and she even spreads her toes like I can do which most people cannot.
- She has a voracious appetite, which is normal for a baby, but everyone laughs when I say she is like her father in Swahili.
- I also say she likes to exercise, like her father, and her legs are strong enough to shoot her out of your lap, if she straightens out her legs against your stomach.
- She likes to be held and to move. When I was a child I rocked myself to sleep every night for years, shook my leg when I was thinking a lot (still do) and I loved to climb on the laps of visitors to our home. I still like being squashed together with people that I don’t even know, like on an African bus.
She is just starting to focus and look and follow the faces of people like me and her new mother. I got tested for HIV a second time 2.3 months after the small danger of infection (small now, because we were married 3.5 years & used no protection) and tested negative again.
There are silver linings in every black cloud.
God has given Ashkey a mother who cares for her and says, “My baby”. She even likes the flavors I like!
School news: I finished Business Law with an A- (I was surprised) because of the lousy quizzes, & finished Cultural Anthropology with, I think, a solid A, and perfect scores in the first 4 wks. of the first 8-week class in the University where I can get a double major in Business Administration and History and test out of about 12 hours of the major requirements.
Ashkey is often on the couch next to me (I feed her while I click on the computer). I think I won’t let her drink milk so fast, because she really spit-ups! It’s been a while since I dealt with thatJ
Hallelujah! Thank you for sharing my news & joys!
Naye Lia kwa Mapenzi na Furaha,…
He Who Weeps with Love & Joy, for the Beautiful African Bride of Christ
(Known in the past as) Greg Cunningham
Mail & donations to:
New Wave Ministry
29731 C. Rd. 28
Elkhart, IN 46517, USA
(+) 250-784-138 348 (My current Africa phone number)
(+) 1 574-307-3030—Goes to voicemail to email to me when in Africa (through May)
(+) 1 574-679-0011 or 295 9696 Cunningham Air & Heat (working in IN, MI, & NC, USA)
(+) 1 877-679-0011 Free from US phones for African visitors or if your cell won’t work
Three New Waves:
Ø Passionate Love————–From & for Jesus
Ø Never-Ending Humility—To follow the King
Ø Total Sacrifice ————–Living out His Love & Humility
Bonus news from my friend David Servant below if you didn’t read it last time and want to:
Dancing with God’s Stars by David Servant
The Food Fund at Work in Kenya
A group of widows, dancing in a joyful procession for new cloth they received
Today was our sixth day in Kenya. Yesterday, half of us flew north to the town of Lodwar, which sits in the heart of an area populated by Turkana tribespeople. Their region is generally arid, but it hasn’t rained here in eight months, so living conditions are even more challenging than normal. The Turkana survive as small-scale goat and camel herders, and their livestock is dying. Water has become so scarce that women are walking ten or more miles to a polluted river to carry back a dirty drink for their families.
We purchased four tons of dried corn in Lodwar, rented a Land Rover, and followed a dusty road that eventually became little more than tire tracks in the sand. Passing an occasional cluster of grass huts, we finally stopped under a big acacia tree along the bank of a dry river bed. There, five small children, dressed in rags, were singing worship songs, led by a teenage girl with a traditional goatskin drum. It was Sunday morning.
Before long, a steady stream of Turkana adults and children arrived from distant villages to join the church service in progress. Their worship, punctuated with exhortations from a Turkana pastor, was joyful and exuberant. They sang, clapped, and danced with traditional African leaps, all to the skillful rhythm of a solitary drum. Dust and praise rose towards heaven. It was African glorious.
As I listened with them to Teryl Hebert’s sermon, I thought about how different their lives were from mine. Turkana people rarely bathe for lack of water, and as a substitute, they rub animal fat on their bodies as moisturizer and deodorant. They sleep on the ground on straw mats under the open sky, as their huts only serve to protect them when it rains. Turkana women adorn themselves with layers of colorful necklaces. Most shave their heads—with the exception of a strip on the top—which they braid and often dye. Yet these Turkana people were born of the Spirit, and we’ll be spending eternity together with them!
Left and Right: Beautiful Turkana smiles adorned with colorful necklaces; Center: Teryl teaching
It occurred to me that in heaven I might find myself surrounded by Turkana saints dancing in their African way before the Lord. Near the end of the service, when they asked me to speak, I asked them if they would teach me to dance. Two-hundred stood to volunteer! The drum started beating, the singing started, and everyone started dancing as my appointed teacher stepped forward. It wasn’t as easy as it looked, and I unwittingly provided the comic relief for that morning’s service as I leaped on the wrong beats and apparently held my arms in the wrong position. With my every error, the worshippers roared with loving laughter. It was heavenly joy. I was dancing with God’s stars!
After the gathering, hundreds of believers streamed to where our four tons of dried corn was waiting to be distributed. I thought to myself, If these suffering saints possess so much joy on earth, what will they be like in heaven? I’m so glad we have the chance to serve them now.
|Ashkey Good close up in bonnet.jpg
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|Good Mama D & holds Ashkey.jpg
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|Neighbor girl exercises with me.jpg
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|Two men sharpen a hand saw.jpg
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|Ashkey at 8 weeks.jpg
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|Ashkey at 8 weeks in cushion thing.jpg
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|Ashkey on face & knees in bed.jpg
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|Computer cords at UTS outlet.jpg
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|My Gisenyi dish washer.jpg
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|Ashkey Wishes come True shirt.jpg
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|Sister Nono holds Ashkey.jpg
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|Mama Nokey sings & holds Ashkey.3gp
|Ashkey has strong lungs & we rock her.3gp
|Ashkey is comforted by guest.3gp
|Neighbor girl back bends.3gp
|Pouring rain behind our Gisenyi home.3gp