Posted on August 15, 2020 And There Was a Great Calm
[world map] Africa Democratic Republic of the Congo push-pin Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mark 4:39 ESV
And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased,
and there was a great calm.
            The verse above is such a great reminder of God’s power over this fallen world. As well as the lyrics from the song sung by Kristene DiMarco, It is well:

“Through it all, my eyes are on You.”
“It is well with my soul.”
“The winds and waves still know your name.”

I, Tim, want to share how God answered your prayers and today I have great news.  The bladder stone was completely removed using a scope.  The lung biopsy successfully took adequate tissue of the small spot in my right lung.  It showed a minor fungal infection commonly found in the soil in the Midwest….. and there was NO cancer.  So thankful I DON’T have to battle cancer and DON’T have to undergo major cancer surgery for removal of a lobe of my lung!

Please continue to pray for the work in Congo and our ability to return there.  With the great news about the improvement of the economy and no significant surge in Covid-19 cases in the States, we have hope that international flights will open up.  I hope we will be able to return to Vanga to fight COVID-19 there, shoulder to shoulder with our Congolese brothers and sisters.

Continue to pray for justice here in the States as calls are made to reform policing policies to hold the police accountable for their actions.  May God expose and bring to justice those who practice oppression, injustice, racism, and tribalism in the United States, as well as in Congo and around the world.  The Good News is that as we walk in the “great calm” that Jesus gives us, each of us gets to play a part in the advancement of God’s Kingdom and His rule of righteousness.  The Good News is we can stand for justice in how we live and use our resources.  God’s peace and love empowers us to show love to our neighbors, those who are not of our tribe, the widow, orphan, alien, and exile.

Thanks for your prayers and support of the work in Congo.
Tim and Kathy Rice

For those that missed the last Newsletter I have included an abbreviated version below: 
Last Newsletter, I shared the following scripture verse with you, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 ESV

Let’s look at the three parts of this verse: Peace, Mind, and Trust.

The Bible says peace flows out of a mind being stayed on/fixed on God.  This is encouraged by trust in a trustworthy, heavenly Father. In other words, peace is a byproduct of trust.

If we know the all-powerful, all-loving Heavenly Father that holds us deep in His hands, we can be at peace in the middle of the storm. This peace comes because of our focus.

Where is our mind staying and what is our focus?   When we catch our thoughts straying to worry, that is the time to redirect our thoughts and remind ourselves of God’s trustworthy deeds. When we think about God’s trustworthy deeds, then we find our peace growing.  However, when we are focused on the tempest and storm around us, we become more fearful and our peace disappears because we are not resting in the goodness of God.

Have you ever found a $20 bill in a coat pocket or some money under the couch cushion? The truth is that money was always there. That money was available and valuable, but until we found it and used it to buy something, that money was useless.  This is exactly like God’s goodness and faithfulness. God’s goodness and faithfulness are always present.  We just need to grab a hold of that resource and spend it on making God’s goodness known in the storm that we are facing. God wants us to use His resource and use His peace to give Him glory and show others around us that He is a good God.  We get to participate with God to make all things new whilst in the middle of the storms of our life.

Now for a little update on our activities here in the states.

Kathy has spent the last three weeks with her mother and stepfather.   He is currently on hospice care, and Kathy and our girls are helping with his care.

I finished my time at the pediatric hospital which was not very busy.  Only one time did we have a patient that we considered might have COVID-19 but was negative.

I have had some medical testing done to evaluate some health concerns.  This Wednesday, May 27,  I will have outpatient surgery where a bladder stone will be removed using a scope.  In the process of evaluating the stone in my bladder, it was found that I had a small spot in my right lung and a couple of other smaller spots in my left lung. We are undergoing further evaluation, including a CT guided biopsy of the spot on my right chest on Thursday, May 28.  Feel free to lift these concerns to the Lord during your prayer time, or whenever God brings us to mind.

In the meantime, I continue to work remotely with the doctors and residents at the Vanga Evangelical Hospital.  To date, they have not had a COVID case, though the number of cases in the Kinshasa and eastern Congo increase.  In a country of 85 million people, only 4500 Congolese have been tested for COVID due to a lack of testing capability. Of those, 1670 cases of COVID have been confirmed.

We are awaiting the return of international flights to Congo so we can return.  We wait in peace, knowing God is a good God who knows what is the best timing.

Tim and Kathy Rice
Christ followers on the banks of the Kwilu and for now the Mississippi River
Photo above: A little time of relaxation in the country at our friend’s house in the United States.