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Phil and Linda Byler, missionaries in Sudan
October 18, 2012 5:05 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

So much of aid to Africa comes in  condescending, humiliating, and disempowering packages. Linda and Phil spent this week in a workshop learning principles of Transformational Development. This enables us to expand our understanding of the redemption of Jesus to encompass all aspects of life including  reconciliation with self, others and nature in addition to the more usual “God and me” relationship. Particularly we grappled with ways to help those in need without robbing them of their dignity by empowering them to creatively use their own resources in relationship with us to find solutions.

October 15, 2012 4:35 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

Last week, Phil and I (Linda) traveled to the Sesse Islands in Lake Victoria where some of our members are doing ministry. It was delightful to enjoy the sights of God’s marvelous creation as we traveled by boat, exciting to hear of new converts and their desire to meet daily to pray, fun to see the joy on the faces of the little ones and hear the children singing songs of praise, special to enjoy the fried cassava and fish fixed for us by a local pastor’s wife…  It was sad to hear of many who still do not follow the Way of Jesus!

We have had numerous laughs about two of our grands picking out Lake Victoria on a globe, the second largest fresh water lake in the world, and identifying it as Grandpa Byler’s Sailing Club.

October 5, 2012 7:24 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Linda spent two days exploring ministry options among a people group long torn by internal conflict and traditionally marginalized.  She traveled by plane, open truck, motorcycle taxi (bodas), and foot.  The beauty of the surroundings contrasted to the stories of pain.  The signpost advocating that the people return the guns and embrace education is only part of the picture.   As one pastor’s wife told us, “there is a deep need for education, but change will come only with the gospel” — long term transformation of the communities by the renewing of the heart and mind. Only Jesus can do this.

October 5, 2012 7:12 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Linda and Phil spent the past four days on an administrative visit to Rwanda. What a beautiful country with many mountains and lakes and almost no litter since plastic bags are illegal. Kigali, the capital, has achieved an amazing modernization program that rivals many cities in the West. For the first time in my life, I saw traffic stop lights digitally counting down the seconds anticipating signal change. We enjoyed the spectacular mountain scenery as we took a bus from Kigali to a new outreach area up near the Congo and Uganda borders where one of our couples have just moved.

Beneath all the beauty smolders great pain from the tragic history of the genocide almost two decades ago. May the Prince of Peace reign in Rwanda.