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Because of the faithful giving, tithing, and overall generosity of our church family, we continue to have the privilege to be used by God to PARTNER with friends in Roanoke and around the world to see God’s Kingdom “come on earth as it is in heaven.” But today I mainly want to thank God for what our partners in ministry are doing and how they teach us what it looks like to follow Jesus Christ. Let me give you an example.

One of our Rwandan friends, Bonnie Lakony, has set a high-water mark for godly, selfless, consistent, servant leadership. Any of our church members who have traveled to Rwanda can attest to his steadfast example!

Bonnie and others have partnered with us to develop a full range of ministries on Nkombo Island; he loves the children and has effectively executed projects like building a huge kitchen for the feeding center.

Bonnie started the English Service in Cyangugu that is having real impact on that community. He loves to sing praises to God and to teach God’s Word. Recently Bishop Nathan Amooti ordained Bonnie as a deacon. Bonnie has served sacrificially and always without asking for anything. His personal generosity and manifestation of the Fruit of The Spirit are inspiring.

Two years ago, a friend on Facebook, who is not a Christian, noticed what was happening on Nkombo and asked if she could donate money for three cows. We gave Bonnie two of the cows so that he could have milk for his family and sell the rest of the milk to provide a small stipend for his family. What did Bonnie do? He milked the cows day after day and gave the milk to people who lived next to him and had no milk for their children.

Bonnie has traveled far and wide to insure that Compassion children sponsored by our members have what they need and were checked up on in almost real time. He has taught more than one family how to milk and care for their Compassion Cows. I could truly go on endlessly recounting his faithfulness. Bottom line: Bonnie has taught us how to be servant leaders, how to pray, how to be grateful and joyful in spite of circumstances. He is my hero!

Last week his middle child, Joy, age 17 months, was burned badly with boiling water. Second degree burns cover her neck, stomach and legs; she is in excruciating pain. Joy was hospitalized and it was and still is pretty traumatic.

I was happy to pray for Joy, Bonnie and Sola and to message Bonnie back and forth to encourage him.

And then I received an unexpected but timely email. Our church accountant reminded me that you all had given a special offering of $845 on Good Friday and Maundy Thursday to assist someone in a most difficult, even impossible, situation. A photo of sweet Joy came to mind; that particular image is too hard to look at, so I will just share the one below where most of Joy’s injuries are covered.

The Lord “connected the dots” between your generosity and little Joy’s needs; the great news is that Bonnie’s daughter will be able to receive good follow-up care now that she has been released from the hospital and their medical bills will be paid in full.

This connection is kingdom ministry: Friends in relationship. Both parties serving and learning from one another. Both grateful for the honor of serving God. Jesus Christ in the midst providing more than we could ask or imagine.

Please keep little Joy in your prayers. One day you may be sitting at her feet learning!