Linden Christmas wish list! 2014

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The reason stores get ready for Christmas ridiculously early is not greed…it’s so your packages and cards have time to arrive in Kigali on time!!!! Even a simple Christmas card would bring us JOY JOY JOY!!!! Thanks in advance!!! (packages take about 3 – 4 weeks to arrive and cards 2 weeks) The list has changed slightly from last year.

Our address is:
Christ’s Church Rwanda
ATTN: Rusty and Onawa Linden
BP 6612
Kigali, Rwanda

any sort of festive fun things for holidays….

Christmas CANDY and chocolate!
$1 store girly gifts (stocking stuffers) The kids love crafty things, make up, crafts, cool little things we can’t get here.

Peach Tea Crystal Light packets (we love love love these!)
raisins
“take 5″ candy bars
FRUIT SNACKS!!!!
fruit roll ups
swedish fish
chocolate!
graham crackers
hershy bars
Marshmallows
heath mini bars
butterfingers mini bars
GRANOLA BARS!
beef jerky
oreos
pecans
cinamon bears
ritz crackers
Orbit gum
m&m’s
any kid of mm’s products!
Andes mints
twinkies
ding dongs
premade rice crispy treats
Liptons instant chicken noodle soup mixes
Microwave popcorn
Zip lock bags

Thanks in advance for your KINDNESS!!! Might I ask that you take some of the packaging apart if you can. For example, open the bag of hershey chocolate mini bars and put them in a zip lock bag. It keeps frees up space in the package and lifts any confusion at customs. I appreciate it!

Love you all and hope to hear from you soon!
Onawa and family

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November 16, 2014 · 8:40 am

it’s hard.

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I hope you’ll grab a cup of coffee and read this newsletter…

Where do I start?

….When we set out to live the “missionary life” we really had no clue what that entailed and where to start. We had no idea how God would raise the money to get us on the field. We quit our jobs, sold our home and belongings, said goodbye to our families and headed out to a land so very far away from anything we ever knew, not knowing where he’d plant us within this city we knew little about. But we went anyway. We trusted he had a plan, that he had big things in store for us as long as we had faith in him and just believed.

We’ve been here just over 3 years now and wow, I wish i could tell you all the stories of all the things he’s shown us and all the changes he’s made in us and the people we serve. Did I ever think I’d be the director of a faith-based fitness program? Did Rusty ever think he’d be mentoring young men who might later change this country? Did we think we’d of had a 3rd child in our own bedroom in our home in the middle of AFRICA?! Did we ever expect to be completely financially dependent on friends and family who believe so much in this work God set before our little family?

The answer is no

It’s so hard to try to explain to you all what we do here. It’s hard to describe a day in our life when there’s just so much to say.

I have to be honest …..

It’s hard to keep in contact with each of you individually and to not live in fear that you’ll all disappear and quit believing in this work… and in us.

It’s hard to tell you about the meetings that Rusty has on a daily basis with young men who want to be closer to God, who want to be better sons and husbands, and are confused about life and struggling with so many decisions … and he just sits, listens, prays and loves.

It’s hard to describe to you they way it feels when we have worked so hard to build up community groups within our church that after years of committing to, we finally have breakthroughs in peoples hearts and they finally begin to be transparent, to openly share and hurt and love like they never have before.

It’s hard to tell you about the women that come to fitness class to get fit, but instead find Jesus. Or the women who begin to instruct with me thinking they’ll just be teachers of exercise but instead find themselves teachers of the word and the amazing love of Christ. Seeing that this ministry at Body and Soul is about SO MUCH MORE than fitness. Or the women that come to class broken, in tears, needing prayer and love and a safe place to hurt and they finally find it.

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Merry Christmas!

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It’s been a wonderful year. God has immensely blessed us this year! Thank you for supporting our family. It is because all of you and by God’s grace that we have been able to work in Rwanda for the past three years. As we approach 2014, we pray that the blessings continue, and thank God for your continued support. May this year shine brighter than the rest.

As the end of the year approaches we kindly request you consider making a year end donation to our family and the work we do here in Rwanda…either with a special year end gift in 2013 or with an ongoing monthly gift for 2014.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support that empower us to serve Him!
Much Love & Blessings,
Rusty, Onawa, Evey, Sali & Maggie Linden
Watch a video of our CCR Christmas choir on Christmas day!
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By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:78-79

You can send your support to:
Monthly bank draft 
Credit Card: 1 time or monthly
Check:
3007 NW 63rd, Ste 205
OKC, OK 73116-3605
Memo: Linden

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December 30, 2013 · 9:41 pm

Thankful

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Oh how thankful we are for all that God has given us. 

It’s easy to lose sight of it all sometimes. Like these 3 kids he just GAVE to us. Really? You really think we’re that lovely to just give us these 3 fragile, amazing, terrific-al, i wanna squeeze them all the time, little girls? Thanks God. No really, THANKS! When we came to Rwanda Evey was 3.5 years old, Salome was 2 months old and Maggie wasn’t even a thought yet. 3 years later, they’re all so big and they just won’t stop growing, but we’re so thankful for every moment with them, even if it is brutal a lot of the time. The screaming, sleepless nights, tantrums, pickiness. We wouldn’t trade it for anything!

We feel so thankful to have the opportunity to give our kids a different life experience living here in Rwanda. We can’t number the ways God has blessed us in raising them here. Not only do they get to watch mom and dad minister to people, they themselves get to do some of the same work. It’s so fun to see Christ glowing through them. To watch their hearts hurt for others. To see them desire more for the broken, for the orphaned for the lost. It warms our hearts to see God being glorified through them at such a tender age.

In our neighborhood on any given day we have people who need love, don’t we all, but specifically physical love. One day the girls and I were out on our walk and we passed by a shoeless mama who was working the field, most likely a job done for pennies. You’ll see this often, a mama and her baby to her side watching mama work hard, all day long. Evey saw this unclothed baby and said, “Mom that’s just not right. Can we go home and collect some things to give to this mom and baby?”

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We walked the 3 minutes home and collected clothes, food, water and some toys for this family. Then we walked back and blessed them with these things. As we walked away Evey said “Mom, that felt really good. They’re gonna be ok. I’m so thankful we got to give to them.” God blessed her through her willingness to give. God was glorified. I am thankful.   READ MORE…..

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Linden Christmas wish list!

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Guys guys guys!! The reason stores get ready for Christmas ridiculously early is not greed…it’s so your packages and cards have time to arrive in Kigali on time!!!! Even a simple Christmas card would bring us JOY JOY JOY!!!! Thanks in advance!!! (packages take about 3 – 4 weeks to arrive and cards 2 weeks)

Our address is:
Christ’s Church Rwanda
ATTN: Rusty and Onawa Linden
BP 6612
Kigali, Rwanda

any sort of festive fun things for holidays…. 

dried blueberries
velveta cheese (small ones last longer for us) lOVE THESE
walmart brand of crystal lite drink mixes (the single drink ones) peach punch or pink lemonaid
raisins
bagged tuna 
“REAL” bacon bits. (not dried crunchy fake ones)
Pepperoni
raisins
 “take 5” candy bars
lots of fruit snacks
fruit roll ups
swedish fish
chocolate!
graham crackers
hershy bars
mini marshmallows
beef jerky
Jiffy Peanut butter
oreos
pecans
walnuts
cinamon bears
ritz crackers
extra gum
m&m’s
any kid of mm’s products!
Andes mints
twinkies
ding dongs
cupcake / muffin mixes
premade rice crispy treats
instant oatmeal
trailmix
instant soup mixes
chicken noodle soup mixes (the ones you use when your kid is sick)
instant meal packets
Microwave popcorn
ranch dressing packets
garlic salt
$1 store girly gifts (stocking stuffers)  The kids love crafty things, make up, crafts, cool little things we can’t get here. 

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Thank you!

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Rusty and I just received our financial report listing the many people who support us on a monthly basis and those who make donations when they are able. As we were going through the names, we got emotional and our hearts were warmed. We want you to all know how thankful we are that you believe in us! Through all of you, both financially and prayerfully, God provides for us to be here and that fact gets us excited! We love knowing that there are so many people who are personally invested and connected to the wonderful people in Rwanda that we are ALL serving. Rusty and I deeply THANK YOU!

Be blessed in knowing the huge difference you are making in God’s kingdom!

Your donations are a huge encouragement to us, but we’d love to hear from you directly as well! We need you!

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Take a tour through Kigali

Take a video tour with me and Evey from our house to the church we work at! It’s not a smooth ride, but it is a fun one! This is the road we drive a few times each day.

Buckle up and HOLD ON! (filmed mostly by Evey, May 2012) Just click on the video to view!

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at the cross.

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My husband is a pretty amazing guy, though he’s way too humble to agree with me. God gave him a cool story to live out in this life. It’s awesome to see how God’s used Rusty’s past to shape his future.

As a kid, Rusty raised hell. The youngest of five kids, he got away with a lot. His parents were TIRED. He had a rebellious spirit, but with that grew an inner strength. He became a leader that kids wanted to follow.

rustyEventually, I fell in love with Rusty and after many rebellious years together, God finally got through to both of us. We got married, got jobs, finished college and had a kid. We did all the things we were supposed to do. We assumed we’d then go on to better jobs, a bigger house, a nicer car, summer vacations, stocks, bonds, etc. You know how the story goes. It’s a nice story. For some people. God had different plans for us.

Africa. Really? AFRICA? Can we get any more cliche, God? You really want us to move that far to serve your purpose, Lord? We thought we’d end up in Oregon or something…

When the time came, we said, “Yes.” We left our jobs. We sold the house and the car but we kept the kid. We asked a bunch of people to partner with us financially, packed up our belongings, strengthened our faith and got on that plane, now with two kids!

See, our God is a God of excitement, thrills and mystery! If He always allowed our plans to work out the way we thought they should, life would be pretty boring.

I need to stop and brag on my husband a bit here, people. I kinda like him a lot and I’m just overjoyed sitting here thinking about where he came from and all that God has done in his life and that I get to be a part of his story! Yay!

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When I married Rusty, you could not have told me we’d be moving here. I would have laughed in your face if you said we’d be in full time ministry supported by others, with three kids and living in some place called Kimironko where I couldn’t get cheese. (I really, really like cheese.) But that’s exactly what God did. Rusty listened. He trusted God. He left his fears behind and stepped out in faith.

Read more….

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