Samuel's Story

Bridges Beyond—Connecting to Empower—Impact story—Samuel

 Samuel was a vagabond (his words) on the street, stealing, not in school, and making a problem in the community. His younger brother was learning from him. His mom had no means of income and was living in a rented home with no hope. Her first husband was killed in Genocide. She birthed Samuel and was pregnant with a second child when her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident.

BB—Connecting to empower—Jean Paul

 JP came to Canada and was discipled by Dave for 17 months. He felt God’s call to return to Rwanda. We continued the relationship and the discipling. JP got promoted within the church. In the meantime, God set up a meeting in Brussels with Jon Ortlip (President and founder of (www.ambassadorsfootball.org) and Dave after which Ambassadors Football came to Rwanda. Jean Paul is trained in using football and the pitch to reach children, something JP is passionate about.

 Samuel is invited onto the pitch and we (JP, Bridges Beyond and the local community) assess the need and chose to help. Initial support with school fees, sewing classes for mom, sewing machine, and regular follow-up, were involved in making every effort to ensure success.

 We are NOT project based or focused, we are Christ centered and person focused, engaging the people on the ground to determine the root of a problem and together developing and implementing a strategy to bring real, sustainable change. We have been implementing this approach and are seeing remarkable success.

Please watch the following 5-minute video that is Samuel’s Story. Real impact in real lives.

Thank-you!

https://youtu.be/O-_dEKSc_dQ

Update January, 2019

January 8, 2019

Hi friends,

We had a great time with family at Christmas and many laughs were had by all. He had surgery for a macular hole in his left eye which was successful although complete healing could take several months.  We have been enjoying our extended stay in Canada while Dave deals with the situation with his eye. We see this as a positive thing because it allowed us to stay in Canada a little longer 😊and it made it easier to change the way we do some things in Rwanda. 

 

Highlights from 2018

As 2018 closes and we look ahead to 2019, we have much for which we are thankful. 

We are very grateful for the awesome privilege of being God’s instrument which He constantly tunes and retunes and uses for His glory.

As you know, we have recently (in the last year) started a not-for-profit organization which is designed to help us continue our work in Rwanda considering Dave’s retirement from Calvary Chapel. Bridges Beyond Ministries International is now officially registered as a Canadian Charity. 

A new National Executive was put in place in ADEPR for a 5-year term. ADEPR is the denomination with which we work while in Rwanda and we look forward to working with this executive.

One area of which we are so privileged to be a part is the national strategy for reaching and discipling the children using Football (Soccer). 
- Jean Paul is the National Team Leader for this ministry.
- Seventy-five coaches/missionaries have been trained in teaching football as well as teaching the children about Jesus Christ.
- Currently, this ministry is active in 25 communities around Rwanda with 2,500 boys and girls involved (ages 7-14).
- In August they held the first national championship which was a huge success and surpassed anything Ambassadors Football has done to date.
- Dave has been appointed as a member of Ambassadors Football Global Board of Directors with the responsibility of overseeing the leadership in Rwanda.

While in Canada:
- Lynn has enjoyed connecting with the women in Calvary Chapel, mentoring, pastoral ministry, and just appreciating having coffee with them.
- At the North American Leaders’ Conference, although Dave was unable to attend due to recuperation from surgery, Lynn was able to address the group to update them about Bridges Beyond.
- Dave & Lynn were privileged to preach (Dave) and present a Bridges Beyond update (Lynn) at various churches and connected with many partners, friends and family.

Plans for 2019

- Our flight has been booked for January 15th, returning April 16th.
- Formalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ADEPR and Bridges Beyond. 
- We usually renew our visa in November as it expires every two years in December which is usually a painless procedure. As we were not in Rwanda this fall, our visa has expired. This means we need to get a letter of invitation from ADEPR and then renew it for 2 years while we are in Rwanda. Again, mostly painless, but a little more involved.
- Work with Pastors with whom we have previously worked in training their  leaders—4 days each week.
- Train the Ambassadors Football Rwanda (AFR) national leadership team in Authentic Leadership
- Participate in training an additional 75 coaches.

Needs?

- Prayer, prayer, prayer; 
     - for wisdom, 
    - for continuing and increasing favour with ADEPR leaders,
    - for complete healing in Dave’s eye and our general good health,
    - for energy, endurance, and perseverance to do the work as God calls us,
    - relational connections,
    - safe travels to and from Rwanda as well as driving throughout the country,
    - the budget for the new year
        - at this point we have need for finances for 2019
        - ADEPR has been supplying a vehicle for the past 7 years but we have been asked to provide our own
    - translator - We have made arrangements for Sylvie to be our translator and were excited about working with her.  She has an excellent opportunity for a full time 3 month position which would go until the end of February. She will not be able to do both, so we will need to look for another translator – which is not an easy task.

We thank you for your prayers and interest in the work in Rwanda.  Your financial support would also be greatly appreciated and will be a huge encouragement to us as we look ahead to a very full 4 months.
If you have any questions, please ask us, or if you want topartner now,please follow the link. 

Warm regards,
Dave & Lynn Kehler
Bridges Beyond International Ministries

December 4/17

November 2017

Six weeks in and we have completed book 2 of 4 with 118 leaders in Kamonyi District. This is the new material Dave has written and it carries our heart for raising leaders, becoming fathers, and for leaders to be people of integrity and character. The material has a strong focus on spiritual fathers raising and training disciples, for an understanding of and moving from our identity.

A Pastor now calls his Heavenly Father "Papa".

A Pastor now calls his Heavenly Father "Papa".

We just completed a 3-day conference with the top leaders of ADEPR. We thank you greatly for your prayers. There is always strong resistance from the enemy as we push against the gates of hell.

These leaders have been extremely heavy and burdened and been in shame over recent events in this church (top leaders indicted for embezzling millions). At the end of our time together they were gathered in districts, discussing how to proceed. We saw many smiling faces and laughter—it was so very good.

It was such a blessing to have Ron MacLean, Matthew Frank and Elmer Chen join us for one of our leadership training sessions. For them to see us in action with what we do day in and day out is a profound blessing.

Elmer also addressed the Bible School and visited other centers of higher learning.

IMG_0309.jpg

Left to right: Jean Paul, Aurélie (CFO ADEPR), Ron, Titus (Uganda), Elmer, Ray (Burundi/Congo), Steve (UK), David Freeman (UK), Lynn & Dave, Matthew (Ron’s Intern), Simeon

Prayer needs

·      We are in the final stages of securing our not-for-profit status in Canada. Please be in prayer about this.
·      For God’s relational connections in Rwanda.
·      For God’s provision of resources and wise stewardship on our part.
·      For a vehicle in Rwanda.
·      For the people to embrace the concept of raising and discipling spiritual sons and daughters.

Here is a song we have been praying over this situation. I see it as God’s prophetic word.
When she’s crying
When she’s hurting
When she’s fallen and can’t go on
When she’s broken into pieces
In her mourning has lost her song

 CHORUS
Who will help the Church
The one that Christ loves 
Who will rise up, Who will rise up
How long will we wait, How much will it take
Who will rise up, Who will rise up

 VERSE 2
When she’s crawling through the ashes
And she’s calling out for help
When she’s reaching from her kneeling
She needs strength now beyond herself

 BRIDGE
For every brother who has need
And every sister on her knees
We’ll show the mercy we’ve received in our lives
And all the world will finally see
The love that makes a family
If He’s alive in you and me, We will rise

EssentialWorship.com

This is the state of the church of over 2 million in Rwanda. Each year there seems to be an extreme crisis in leadership. This is now the 3rd national Executive we are working with and in March a new one will be installed with a 5-year mandate (none of the Executive we have worked with to date has lasted 5 years). We believe God wants to put His Nehemiah in place to rebuild the walls. Please pray with us.

Murekatete Lynn Kehler
Byiringiro  David Kehler
Elder @ large; Calvary Chapel; Team Leader Bridges Beyond, ADEPR Missionary Rwanda
For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. Rom. 1:11,12

While in Canada +1-204-326-0584; While in Rwanda +250-787-830-151; www.thecalvarywebsite.com 

 

November 10/17 Newsletter

 

 

We have been in Rwanda for 3 weeks and it has been quite busy.  Our schedule for this term is that we will be training on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Our Fridays are kept for connecting with the young men and women whom we are mentoring/discipling.

During this last year, the church has been again or should we say, continues to be in a perpetual state of chaos. In May, 4 of the 5 Executive were arrested on allegations of embezzlement and fraud. A very large sum of money seems unaccounted for and the Dove Hotel, which people thought was paid, is not and still has a very large mortgage. A forensic audit has been completed and the implications are that where there has been smoke, there is indeed fire! While we are not involved in any of these things, it impacts us as we have relationships with many people and attempt to develop trust.

We regularly and continually say that, “Everything rises or falls on leadership!” If Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords and we submit to Him, if we personally walk in the light the enemy cannot gain a foothold. So, the issue here and everywhere is and continues to beleadership!!

Currently there is a constitutional crisis as the church has not been functioning according to its constitution. There is strong pressure on the board of governors to step down, and the chairperson already has. It seems a team will be appointed to study and make constitutional recommendations, consulting all levels of church members.

As we are bringing a humble, servant leader mindset, a call to walk in the light and in personal submission, to move in grace rather than legalism, to become free of the love of money which is the root of all kinds of evil—we are in a battle.   

The success we have is strongest and most evident in one-to-one relationships where we see a changed mindset and world-view. 

Jean Paul Seneza is committed to reaching and working with the children in his area—this is the heart of Christ. He no longer cares about or is impressed with position or title.

Aimable used to be on the Executive – the only one who was not arrested. He is walking in the light and submitting his life to his personal pastor. Amiable has not had any desire to return to hishome village where it is still dark and heavy as a result of the genocide. He has wanted to forget about this part of his life. He now has an increasing burden and love for his home village, which he does not understand, other than it is a gift and a mission from God. He is going back there, connecting, praying and asking the Lord, “How can this village and these people be redeemed?” We continue to meet regularly and grow relationally. 

Odette has retired from her work at the ADEPR Head Office and has begun a counselling ministry after completing the Peer Counselling Program.  She and Lynn get together regularly and continue to grow their friendship.

We take great joy in these individual changes as we know that this is the essence of reformation.We are in prayer about gathering a group of young leaders and pouring our life into them. We need God to move and be clear on this.

We have been told the Executive wants us to go to Uganda for about a month to train the leaders. They are very much for us and with us. Dave meets with Viateur (Secretary General), a relationship that began several years ago, and Lynn meets with Aurélie (CFO), a new friendship is just in its beginning stages. We met with Efraim (Legal Representative) and he expressed his desire to walk with someone with whom he can speak of the things of his heart – something that is rarely done, especially among leaders.

Simeon continues to be a valuable part of our team.  He is vulnerable with us and eager to serve the Lord by serving us.  We are blessed!

We are so thankful for your prayers as that is how we are able push against the doors of hell. We praise God for His goodness and His mercy as we continue in what we feel He has called us.

Dave & Lynn

October 27/17 Blog entry

We have arrived - over a week ago! Our flights were great and the times in the airports were pleasant.  Jean Paul met us at the airport and then went out for a light dinner with Viateur (the new Secretary General on the executive and a dear friend) and Joshua (another pastor and friend). The internet has been very poor since we’ve been here which is why not many have heard from us since we landed.

We landed on Tuesday last week (17th) and got to our new home at 12:00 midnight.  At this point, I (Lynn) had not slept for 30 hours.  I tend to not sleep in the plane - too many movies to watch!! Dave got about 6 hours sleep, so needless to say, we were pretty tired when we reached our home.  (Why do people say what is needless to say right after they say it is needless to say???) We both slept for 11 hours! Jet lag seems to be affecting us more each time we come here.  Dave has recovered quite well, while I am still sleeping a lot during the day.  I have also started a new medication which might be affecting this.  Thankfully, this week has been set aside for recovering from jet lag and settling in to our new home.

Let me tell you about our new home.  It is beautiful!!!  It has a large living room/dining room, large kitchen (which our cook, Lillian, loves) with all new appliances, 3 spare bedrooms, 3 washrooms, and a large master bedroom with a walk in closet and an ensuite washroom.  It is a 10 minute walk to city centre, 10 minute drive to ADEPR (the church we work with here) head office, and is quiet considering it is right downtown! God is so kind and His gifts are beyond what we could even ask. If the internet starts working, we will try to add pictures when we send out our newsletter.

Pray for:
- opportunity to connect with the executive - we have not as yet
- connections with new friends, and reconnection with old
- God’s timing re communicating with the past executive
- Training of a total of 120 pastors, deacons, evangelists in 3 different areas, that they will be empowered, equipped and will go and make disciples.
- It looks like we will need our own vehicle — $20-25,000 Cdn
- General health.
- Ambassadors Football training local missionaries to reach out to children—Nov. 12-17 Training of 60ish locals to carry this ministry—establish a national team and strategy.
- Salt & Light International top leaders conference—Nov. 21-29—God’s Spirit to move and make us one, to do church together, to break down strongholds and barriers and whatever the Spirit leads you to pray. 

Praise for:
- Contacts already made - I met Aurelie (the new CFO) and will be having coffee with her later today (23rd)
- Training times and areas have already been designated and we are looking forward to meeting a new group of men and women
- New home is wonderful and peaceful—10 min. walk downtown, 10 minutes to the office, 15 minutes from Jean Paul—new and peaceful.
- Began training in 3 regions (118) and it is peaceful.
- For now, we have a vehicle provided.
- Jet lag is done.
- Connecting with Jean Paul & Dinah, Amiable & Dorothy, Lynn with Aurélie (New CFO).
- Our internet seems to be working now.

 

September 6, 2017

 

Greetings our friends,

We have been having a great time this summer, refreshing, connecting with our grandchildren and our family and church family. It has been a great time of recharging our batteries. 

  
This time in the church community is bitter sweet as Dave’s time as a paid pastor is nearing an end. December 2017 will be the last pay cheque. We still look forward to serving and connecting but will have a little more freedom with our time while in Canada. 

We just finished re-writing the leadership training material—now 24 sessions instead of 30 and much more relationally focused. Really, it brings the heart of who we are into the work. While we were in Toronto in June, we met with the Equip Canada people and they introduced us to their new training, which is completely different from their original work.  Hopefully we will have a partnership agreement in place soon with them and then plan to use the Authentic Leadership material. This is a highly intimate, highly relational training focusing on living and moving in grace rather than legalism. It is an excellent teaching and we look forward to adding that to our training material.

Simeon has been growing and learning much as he has been spending time here with us.  He has been enjoying living with different people, but our home continues to be his home base. He has been doing the training from John Bevere on the Bait of Satan, where he is learning about overcoming offence. He is now half way through Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian, by Dean Sherman, an excellent teaching.  He will then continue with Undercover, by John Bevere, which is about submitting to leadership. Rob Balfour has taken him through a New Testament and Old Testament survey and he is now in the middle of learning New Testament Greek. We felt that especially with Simeon’s gift for languages he should learn this while he is here. It has been great as Rob tutors Simeon and requires tests and exams to be completed—so wonderful.

Our flight has been booked and we leave for Rwanda, Lord willing, October 16th and return on December 17 for Christmas. We love Christmas in Canada and use it as a time to reconnect with family and friends.  We will go back to Rwanda in early January but are unsure of the exact date.

For the past 5 years we have lived in Kagarama and have enjoyed the quietness of the neighbourhood as well we have appreciated our landlord.  When we go back to Rwanda, we will be moving to a new house which we will be renting from Rev. Joseph, the Vice Regional Pastor in Kigali. It is to be a training centre for the smaller group leadership training and also has space to host some of our international guests who will be coming throughout our 6 months in Rwanda.

Jean Paul and Jean Claude were in Cleveland, Ohio for 6 weeks of training with Ambassador’s Football. They are now taking it back to the Rwanda and in early November will have a coaches equipping time. The plan is to reach out and train the 6-12 year olds throughout the nation. Literally, using the access to schools that is so available and the blessing from government authorities, the timing is ripe and we need to act. Jean Paul began working with 30 children on his own, and the next day 100 children showed up.  He was told by government official and pastors that they were going to send all of their children to Jean Paul for training. The Holy Spirit is moving. 

November 20-29 we plan to have some of the national leaders from within our S&L family of churches join us for a time of ministering to and connecting with the top leaders of ADEPR. We also plan to go throughout the nation with the gospel of hope. 
Please pray that we will hear God’s leading for this conference and that we will be executing His plan. 

We have been communicating with the new Executive and they are eagerly awaiting our return to Rwanda. Most of them have already been with us for leadership training and now we anticipate a local people taking more and more of the initiative. 
Please pray for wisdom as we work with the Executive. 
Pray for a good working relationship.

Finally, we have been “gifted” with a not-for-profit number in Canada, however, it still needs to go through the formal work of getting registered. To date, we cannot issue receipts under the name Bridges Beyond, but that is the plan. Until that happens, we can continue to receipt support through Calvary Chapel.
Please pray that everything regarding the charitable organization will be finalized sooner than later.
We continue to covet your prayers and support as we do what God has called us to in Rwanda and other countries as He leads us.