|At the Kigali Memorial Centre (Rwanda Genocide Memorial)|
I don't know where to begin. What an amazing journey! First of all, I just want to thank our Heavenly Father for His blessing and care and thank all of you for your support and prayers. We are safe and healthy and our families were kept well while we were away. Special thanks to my mom for caring for my husband and children while I was away. Thank you also to Heidi for making a delicious meal for them. Mike raved about it!!
There is so much to process from this trip. I'll give a basic explanation of what we did in this post and then I will write in more detail later.
Our days began with devotionals led by a team member, followed by prayer. Many days our team of fifteen was broken into a few smaller teams and then we all went in different directions. We assisted with feeding programs, sometimes for over three hundred children, visited poor families, aided in medical ministries and helped with church services. Each evening we would all meet for supper and share our "highlights of the day." We went over the following day's schedule and closed in prayer.
Rwanda is a beautiful country. I could not believe how breathtaking the land is! There are so many mountains and it is so green.
In Rwanda, we were based in Kigali, the capital city. We journeyed out to rural areas each day. The first full day was spent in Jabana. We were met by so many children! I don't even know how many were there! After spending some time visiting families in the area who were in need, we returned to the Jabana Word of Life church campus and played in the playground with the kids.
Children clung to us. Sometimes we'd have two or three little ones hanging on each arm. They loved to stroke our skin and hair. They practiced their English by saying,
"Good morning. How are you?"
We greeted them with "Muraho. Amakuru?"
Hopefully one of us would answer with, "I am fine, thank you," or "Meza."
I met a twelve-year-old girl who carried her baby brother on her back. I wish I remembered her name. I spoke very little Kinyarwanda; and, she spoke very little English. We connected somehow and visited for a long time. I felt compelled to teach her to say, "I am beautiful, " to which she replied, "God is beautiful!"
She was very excited for church to begin and guided me into the building. Something I didn't know was that the children only sat in the back, not in the front. The other team members wondered where I was and I didn't want to get separated from them, but when I tried to go to the front, I was not able to bring my new young friend. She found me afterward and I was able to get a photo with her. She touched my heart so much! What a beautiful welcome to Rwanda!
|Hugging my new friend in Jabana.|