09 June 2010

Colorado in June

I am on the road and have been nestled down in the valley of Crested Butte (CB)for almost a week now. My time in Denver prior to the drive to the mountains was productive. Meetings that provided me with a larger picture of opportunities and conversations that were hard. Not negative hard, but the kind which allow you to know you are surrounded by people who are not afraid to ask the hard questions and answer the hard questions you ask.

While I was in RW in May, I met a dentist from CB and upon his learning I would be in Denver, promptly invited me to the place he calls home. I accepted. Michael Faktor has a heart for others and is a great host. We had been in town for just a few minutes and he had already introduced us to local coffee shop owners, Danika and Arvin and Dave the owner of the bookstore. CB was already starting to feel like a different kind of place.

We went to meet with Pastor Jim of Oh Be Joyful Church and arranged to talk about KAAC during the announcement portion of the service. Michael would talk for 5 and me for 10. Michael continued to introduce us to all of the local folks and treated us to a delicious Thai dinner at Ginger. Friday he took me on a tour of the village the only way to really see it -- on bike. Rebecca enjoyed a mountain run and milling around town, she's a mountain town girl at heart, so she is quite comfortable here.

Michael, along with the folks at Rumors Coffee Shop hosted an informational meeting sharing the partnership with Elk Avenue Dental and KAAC~R. Michael is going to sponsor at least 2 high school students from the village to travel to RW this winter and work alongside me and KAAC. We are so excited about this. As the details of how the selection of the students are finalized and trip details are more concrete I look forward to sharing more with you.

Church on Sunday turned out to be 1 and a half hours of the Lord moving and the Spirit leading. Michael's 5 minutes turned into 30, as he shared from his heart and work in Cambodia and the excitement he has for the future in Rwanda. Pastor Jim got up and spoke to the congregation and it was decided that the kids would stay in the service and listen to me share the story of my growing up in Liberia and how that drives my work with KAAC in Rwanda. The Lord was working in the hearts of His people as I watched the faces and eyes tear in the congregation. When I finished, Pastor Jim stood up and invited Michael to come to his left, as I stood on his right and we locked arms. We locked arms as a church as Jim prayed over us, the church and praised him for the providence of the days past, the present service and the days to come. The Lord is doing something in the village of Crested Butte and Musanze, RW and KAAC will be blessed because of them. I pray that we, KAAC, are able to bless them back.

As the days passed and we met more and more people in the community our plans too changed. We didn't make it to our R & R in Frisco, but instead a few days turned into a week in CB, with a side trip to Aspen via Kebler Pass in Michael's Fiat. It was a dusty drive over dirt roads, but the views made the dust minimal.

The rest of the week has been filled with meetings and meals shared with locals and many conversations and buzz surrounding the trip in the winter. I have been invited back to preach at OBJ and we will have another informational meeting with parents and interested students to get the ball rolling on fund raising and service projects to decided who will be the chosen students to travel to RW. Tonight we will be a part of a big cook out with people from the Community Church in town.

Tomorrow we will wake early, pack the car, stop by Izzy's for breakfast and head back to Denver. We have a dinner party to attend there and meetings on Friday before heading back home just in time for our boys closing ceremonies at Kanakuk.

Above -- Leaving for a ride on the lower loop and around town.
Above -- On Sunday I ran into a person I had been trying to reach for a number of weeks. He lives in TX, but happened to be at OBJ Church on Sunday. Yet another way God spoke that day. Meeting with Jackson about high and low element challenge courses and developing the theological base for each element. (Enjoying lunch from Izzy's Bagel Shop -- our favorite place to eat in town.)

(Left and just for fun) Here is a photo of Rebecca and me enjoying, Micheal's car on Kebler Pass after he took us to meet friends and overnight in Aspen.

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