April 26, 2004

Hello Prayer Partners,

I would like to first give “Thanks and Praise to God” for this last week for all that went on during the youth leader’s conference that I attended in Kericho, Kenya. On Sunday, Scott Werntz and the rest of the team of Americans traveled back to the U.S. and I returned to Kigali, Rwanda yesterday – on Monday. I am healthy and doing well, except that I’m a little tired from the conference and the traveling. The Kericho Youth Leaders Conference was an incredible time for each member on the team from America. There were over 500 youth leaders who attended the conference! The conference was held at Kipsigis Girls High School and those who attended stayed in the dormitories that were on the campus of the school. The conference attendees were able to stay in the dorms at the school during the conference as it was a vacation time or break from school for students. Many of those who attended traveled very long distances in order to attend the conference and were very eager to learn from the minute we got started. They also could not afford the transportation or expenses during the conference. God provided and it was a real blessing for everyone attending!

It was very humbling to be able to see and hear about the sacrifices many of them had made in order to attend the conference. In spite of meeting from 8 am until 9 or 10 at night the conference attendees were very attentive and eager to learn. God taught me many things and opened my heart and eyes to many more in spite of the fact that I was there to teach at the conference. Isn’t that how it seems to work most of the time! The conference was from Monday night until Friday night of last week. Each day was filled with bible teaching, lessons on youth ministry, illustrations, drama, activities, games, music and a movie. All of these things to help the youth leaders to better understand how to develop an effective youth program to minister to the needs of the youth in their churches. God is truly worthy of all the praise and honor for what went on during the week. It was very humbling at the end of the week to hear how thankful everyone was for what went on during the conference and to hear the testimonies from several of those who attended on what God has revealed and taught to them. Some of the teachings dealt with youth programming ideas, purpose of youth ministry, Cat and Dog Theology (check out the book if you haven’t already – it’s powerful!! Cat and Dog Theology or Unveiling God’s Glory by Bob Sjogren), teaching methods, discipleship and teaching as Jesus taught through parables, object lessons and example!! It was an incredible time as the conference attendees would literally write down everything that was said or put on the video screen during the teaching times. They were very eager to learn and share all that God had taught them during the week.
One of the funny things during the week of the conference was the number of photographs that were taken. I have never had my picture taken so many times in my life. All 500, or more, of the conference attendees wanted to have a picture taken with each member of the team of Americans that were leading the conference. Some of them wanted to take more than 1 picture. It was neat that they were so excited about having a picture taken with each of us, but it got old real quick as anytime we had a break during the conference we would each get mobbed to have just “one SNAP” ,or picture, taken.

I would like to say “THANK YOU” to everyone for your prayers and support for the conference. God taught us and did some incredible things during the conference. Everyone who attended the conference would also like to say “THANK YOU” for your prayers and support in helping them to be able to attend the conference. They were all very thankful for everyone back in the US as they would not have been able to attend the conference without your support and your prayers for our time during the conference. They send you their greetings in the name of Jesus and would like to ask that you continue to pray for them and for the people of Kenya!

I found out today that the internet café that I normally use will not be open for the next 4 months. This will cause some problems in that it is close to where I am staying and is one of the best and fastest one’s (for African standards!!) in the city. It is also very cheap to use. The other one in the area is 3 times as expensive and is very unreliable. It will also be very crowded as it’s now the only one in this area of the city. Because of this I will have to find another place to do emails and contact all of you from time to time. This will cause me to have to go into the downtown area of the city as there are no other good internet cafe’s close to where I am staying. Please be patient when emailing me and realize that I will not be able to respond as quickly, or at all! The internet café that I’ve been using is being used to train the military on for the next 4 months.

I hope that all of you are doing well! Thanks for your prayers and support of me for my time here in Rwanda. It’s been 2 months so far and my initial exposure time for this trip of 3 months is coming up quickly. I am praying about the opportunities here in the future and will let you know what God is leading me to consider in the next couple weeks.

In Christ,
Eric Sundene <{{{><
Psalm 105:1-4


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