Rwanda is so Kigalicious- June 19th
Some of our team slept well as the rain accompanied by thunder and lightning kept us company for the night. Heading into a wonderful prepared breakfast with cheesy toast, refreshing passionfruit juice, hard boiled eggs and fresh papaya, pineapple and banana. World Relief were having their leadership training sessions today, thus not being able to meet them in the chapel, which allowed us to start on our personal and group devotions from 2 Corinthians chapter 1, verse 1-7. Remembering God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion, and God of all comfort. As we reflected on Paul’s letters, how we should share Christ’s suffering and comfort with the people we came to serve?
– Asking for God to give us eyes and a heart softened to share in the suffering. To recognize it and have compassion.
– Sharing our faith, hope & being an encouragement to any who will listen.
– Trust God in the unknown, for them and with them.
– Listening to their stories.
After devotions, Bob from World Relief came to educate and share with us the history and unknown truths, taking us deeper into the genocide which was very shocking to all of us. However, we kept looking into the positive as we learned about the great strides that Rwanda has made since 1994. For example, you wont find a thatched roof in the country (thatched roofs are indicators for the poorest living) and plastic bags are illegal and not allowed in country! Paved roads are not yet completely finished but in progress all throughout the country. Rwanda is one of the cleanest and safest countries to walk in Africa and has more women in parliament then anywhere else in Africa. There is already universal (free) primary education and they are working towards universal healthcare. Another jaw dropping fact, a new business can be registered in one day which is encouraging a lot of foreign investors, including many from Kenya! Not forgetting, the government does not consider the death sentence but embraces the idea of a life sentence where the criminals are required to spend their life performing community service of various kinds.
Next taking our first journey touring the city by heading to the President’s palace which is now a museum to public (sadly no photos allowed inside). We saw the lovely gardens, the first house the president lived in, keeping a python as a pet in the once residential swimming pool and seeing the bits and pieces of the president plane when it was shot down, amazingly landing in the palace compound which was a catalyst which signaled the 1994 genocide to begin. We toured the inside of the palace and the highlight was a secret planned escape route from the children’s room.
After heading back and having a lovely lunch prepared for us, we next had a meeting with Ngoga from World Relief, sharing on Church Empowerment Zones. Objectives of the CEZ mentioned were: unity and collaboration among the churches, mindset transformation, transformational development, organizational and leadership capacity building, equipping the church and last but not least sustainability and growth.
We were taught the church is God’s chosen and ordained instrument to bring mankind back to Him, to protect and help the vulnerable. We also discussed how poverty is not the problem, it’s a symptom.
All that we learned today makes us feel more equipped and ready to head to the field tomorrow for our 7 hour drive to Nyamasheke!
We wrapped up our first full day in Rwanda by enjoying a nice evening walk around the neighbourhood after supper.
Please continue to keep the people of Rwanda, World Relief and my lovely team in prayer. God is so good and we appreciate you!
Ps: We worked while he snoooooozed! 🙂