As many of you know, the two of us have long shared a desire to take our love for Jesus overseas and make disciples among the nations. Throughout our first year of marriage, this was something that remained at the forefront of our minds and continued to press on our hearts. We prayed for a ministry opportunity that would allow both of us to utilize our unique skills and giftings to their fullest potential, and God was faithful to answer those prayers.
In the summer of 2013, Jessica had the privilege of interning with two families in Musanze, Rwanda. At the time, they were spending their days hosting English classes for Rwandans of all ages. However, because of the complicated history of Rwanda and the current dynamics between the national government and expatriates, both families began to feel the need for an outlet that would allow them to establish a more permanent presence in Rwanda, one that would show people their dedication to the flourishing of their community and country. The vision to start an American international school was born, and Virunga Valley Academy (VVA) was founded in 2014.
From the foundation of the school, educating its students well has remained a high priority of VVA. However, the vision for the impact of the school reaches beyond academic excellence. Ultimately, the school exists to see the advancement of the Kingdom in Rwanda. There is a rapidly growing disciple making movement (DMM) in Rwanda, a network of Christians committed to making disciples who make disciples. Currently, there are over 400 house churches and ongoing Discovery Bible Studies led by Rwandan brothers and sisters who are in love with Jesus and are dedicated to seeing His love bring transformation to their communities. The school plays a unique role in this movement, allowing the teachers and administrators to develop relationships with the staff and students’ families, connect them with Rwandan disciple makers in the area, and partner with them to bring about physical and spiritual transformation in the city of Musanze.
We will be moving to Rwanda and entering into our initial 2-year commitment to work at VVA on July 15, about a month before the start of the 2018-2019 school year. Jessica will be teaching, and Nathan will be in charge of managing VVA’s accounting, taxes, payroll for Rwandan staff, students’ school fees, as well as upkeep of the school website. While these will be the official job descriptions of our work in Rwanda, this work at its very core will be our way of connecting with and serving others to show them the heart of our Savior and bring them into deeper relationship with Him. Our ultimate desire is to be a part of the DMM in Rwanda, making true disciples who are daily “being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are confident that God will use us in our positions at VVA as well as provide us with other opportunities in the community to accomplish this and continue to bring about new life in Jesus throughout the city and beyond.
We are passionate about the ways God is moving in Rwanda and excited that we get to be a small part of the work He's doing there. We deeply desire that our loved ones and the community we're leaving behind get to be a part of this journey and ministry as well, and one way to do that is by joining our financial support team. All of VVA’s expatriate staff must raise their own salary, so our ability to move to Rwanda and work at VVA is completely dependent on individuals who feel led to partner with us in this way. In order to make this move, we are in need of $20,000 to cover one-time, setup costs and $3,000 a month to cover living expenses. We are looking for montly commitments to take care of our living expenses once we arrive in Rwanda, so any monthly, annual, or one-time gifts that we receive before the move will be put toward our setup costs. In humility, we ask that you will prayerfully consider partnering with us to help reach these goals. We love every one of you and are so thankful for the many ways you have already poured into and blessed our lives. Thank you for your constant love and support. We look forward to sharing with you all the stories of God's goodness and faithfulness to see His Kingdom come in Rwanda!
NOTE: Donations are strictly gifts and are not tax deductible. The donors are not receiving any service or benefit from donating to this campaign. If there are further questions regarding this issue, contact Nathan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (325) 217-3296.