There have been a lot of changes for Mike in the last 2 months. In November he wrote this letter to our supporters:
As I prepared for another trip to Rwanda, I said good bye to my ill father and reassured him that it was ok to stop fighting death for his family’s sake. We knew he was in extreme pain because his heart and lungs were failing, and it just felt selfish to ask him to hold on any longer. So after saying good bye for what I knew was the last time, I boarded a plane and headed to Rwanda to visit someone else whose heart was failing. Only, unlike my father who had lived a long full life, this was just a child. As I stood before him in the hospital room, his mom next to him with tears in her eyes, I couldn’t help feeling like I was ready for a fight of my own. Not a fight with flesh and blood but with the kingdom of darkness that was trying to take this child’s life. So, while it was painful to hear that my father had passed away the day I arrived in Kigali, it made me all the more determined to see this boy, Benjamin, healthy again. Through a series of miracles, Benjamin received a heart valve transplant in the Sudan and made full recovery. He is able to celebrate in vigorous dance and play soccer with others his age. Now a little over two years after surgery, you would never believe he was the same person I saw in the hospital room.
I am so grateful to God and to our supporters for the opportunity todevote all of my time over the last four years to the ministry of Ten Talents International. So much was accomplished: new programs were started, new staff were hired and trained, children were rescued, the lives of families were changed, the hungry fed, and supporters added to the team. All the while, God provided in miraculous ways.
There is no doubt in my mind that He is not done yet. He has more great things planned for TTI and Rwanda. So, while I am not ready to say, “It is finished” - I do believe “Mission accomplished” is in order. Nearly five years ago, I heard God say to me, “Now is the time.” I knew he meant, “Now is the time for Rwanda, and now is the time for me to devote myself full time to the work he had called us to.” With my wife’s full support, I stepped away from a great career as a union carpenter working for a reputable company, to take a leap of faith. I was believing that God would provide, and as I have said, he did provide in miraculous ways.
Because of the things that God helped us accomplish, the staff we were able to put in place, and the training we were able to provide to that staff in Rwanda: I believe it would be in the best interest of the ministry if I now step back from a full time position and find employment elsewhere. This will free up resources that could be put to use in other areas that need them.
The last few weeks I have been working as a union carpenter, and I am not sure how long the work will continue, but I am confident that God, who has always been our provider, will open the right doors. I am still very involved with the continuing ministry of Ten Talents in Rwanda, and I will still lead short term mission teams to Rwanda at least twice a year, but I will be asking Lisa to take on more of the day to day responsibilities around the TTI office. This ministry is not slowing down, in fact we believe that God is going to enable it to expand and deepen, as it is His desire that more hearts and lives be changed for His kingdom. The nation of Rwanda is still a ready and ripe harvest field. As we show them the compassion of Christ we believe their hearts will be opened to the truth of his salvation.
If you have any questions about this transition, please feel free to send me an email or give me a call. Of course we would greatly appreciate your prayers for our family and for the ministry.
God Bless You,
We praise God because Mike was able to work all the way until just the week before Christmas, which gave him some needed time to get ready for the trip to Rwanda. Now we are praying that God will provide work for him to step back into when he returns, and that it will continue. We thank God for his favor & provision.
We appreciate your continued prayers for our whole family as we walk by faith, and not by sight, pressing onward towards the goal that God has set before us!
God Bless You,