Duo Treks To Africa For Missions Trip
Pastor Timothy P. Schmidt and Charles Rukwaro, of Calvary Christian Church, Lynnfield, took a two-week trip to Africa.
Charles Rukwaro, of Peabody, had his dream come true last month.
He and Senior Pastor Timothy P. Schmidt, of Calvary Christian Church, took a missions trip to Nairobi, Kenya from June 20, to July 8.
Rukwaro, who moved from Nakuru, Kenya to the U.S. in October 2008, translated Swahili to English at a pastor's conference and was Schmidt's aide during the missions trip.
In Lynnfield, Rukwaro is an intern, where he teaches a Sunday school empowerment class on the Holy Spirit, leads a mid-week home care group in Peabody, and oversees other care group's Bible studies.
Newly-appointed Pastor Stephanie Clark, Christian education and ministry to women, appreciates Rukwaro's teaching aspects.
"His class teaches that in times of emptiness, the Holy Spirit can still grow. If you look up in the dictionary 'encouragement,' you'll find his picture."
Schmidt, of Lynnfield, for the first time, taught 1st and 2nd Corinthians to 10 pastors-in-training and church leaders in English at East Africa School of Theology in Kenya, Africa, which is an Assemblies of God church, like Calvary.
"My life was enlarged, because of this opportunity to participate in what God's doing in another part of the world," Schmidt said. "My interaction with missionaries was meaningful. As an ambassador from Calvary, I encouraged and supported them."
After a 16-hour flight, waking up at 4:30 a.m. daily, and 8-hour time difference, Schmidt still didn't feel any culture shock. He's been on similar mission trips to India, Bosnia, and Croatia.
Schmidt went on this trip, because he has a passion for pastoral ministry, he said, raising up church planters and ministers of the Gospel, and to respond to the "Great Commission," which is to go to the farthest parts of the world and preach an obedience to God.
Rukwaro enjoyed a safari, living with family in Africa, visiting fellow pastors and friends, as well as returning to his home church, Redeemed Gospel Church, one of the largest Assemblies of God churches in the area, where he pastored for 10 years.
Although Africa has an Assemblies of God revival/growth, there is also an Islamic, Muslim, Catholic, and mainline Protestant presence, depending upon the region. All regions have a secular government.
Rukwaro added a women's trip to Africa, led by Jody Panarello, of Saugus, women's ministry leader at Calvary, is in the entry-level planning stages for the future.
"It was a life-changing experience to be able to minister to students, ordinary people, pastors and their wives (not just Assemblies of God churches)," Rukwaro said, "I've never had this opportunity to minister to people from all walks of life."