Twarabasuye – We Visited Them- June 25th- 26th
Our last 24+ hours have been so full and memorable but to keep your attention we will keep it short:
Child Development Program – June 25
Our team headed to one of the sectors in Nyamasheke to visit one of the locations where we could see and participate in a child development program. We were welcomed by the children singing songs of worship followed by prayer and introductions. We sat and listened as the teacher guided the students in a lesson about staying healthy and safe through personal hygiene and good decisions. Darlene led a worship song that all the children could participate in followed by introducing the game “duck, duck, goose”. We closed by giving them our prayers and encouragement.
OVC Visits – June 25
Our Orphan and Vulnerable Child program visits encompassed visiting 3 different homes. Our first home was that of orphaned siblings John and Delphine (both in their teen years). Angelica, an elderly woman of the community, is providing shelter for them but is not able to provide other necessities. Both John and Delphine are unable to continue schooling and struggle to find a way to live on their own.
The second home we visited was that of orphaned siblings Noel and Francine (both in their teen years). They live on their own, paying for rent by offering to cultivate peoples’ fields, doing housework or cultivating the landlord’s fields for money.
The third home we visited was that of Emmanuel and his family. Emmanuel has a physical disability living with one mildly deformed leg, one deformed leg and only one arm. Emmanuel’s mother shared that he often has pain in the areas of his deformities. This causes him to have to miss school from time to time. Even though Emmanuel has suffered physical disabilities, he is highly motivated in school and is number 5 in his class.
It was a blessing and so humbling to meet all 5 children. We were able to pray for each and every one of them individually and give each of them encouragement. It was truly inspiring to see how great their faith is and their strength, courage and resiliency are in such difficult circumstances.
Pastor’s Home Visits – June 25/26
The Girl’s Team – Tracy, Marsha and Charlotte our interpreter – had the privilege of staying at the home of Pastor Martin and his wife, Julienne. They blessed us with delicious meals and Godly fellowship and they apologized when the power went out. We were all eager to share stories from Canada and Rwanda with each other. In the morning, we helped sweep out the church and pull weeds in the church yard. There were lots of hugs as we said good bye.
The Boy’s Team – Kelvin, Richard and Bob (Interpreter) – We stayed with Pastor Jean – Pierre, his wife whom is an amazing cook, and his 2 lovely daughters. We came in a bit late, while the family waited patiently for us. Pastor Jean – Pierre prayed for us and we indulged in a lovely conversation in the dark as the power kept going on and off, exchanging introductions, questions and concerns. After a deliciously prepared dinner, we prayed and went to bed. Richard and I shared a room, slept on one foamy mattress with a mosquito net, space was limited but we were content with it. Following morning, tea and bread to start, and next was to collect water from the river which was a steep hike and trek from the pastors home. Collecting water is a tough and tiring, nothing more than admiration for the locals who do it on a daily basis. We rested, got prayer request from the pastor, one of them was God to open a door for him to continue his education, we had a wonderful lunch before we set off back to our lodge. All in all, a wonderful, eye opening and such a privilege being able to share the love of God with brothers and sisters. We said farewell but till next time.
The Couple’s Team – Darlene, Mike and John – had the privilege of staying at the home of Pastor Kaneeseus, his wife Martha and his 8 children. We were greeted by many people of the neighborhood including Pastor John Bosco and his wife Doriselle, and a few other pastors, deacons and friends. Pastor Kaneesus’ three youngest children welcomed us by singing two songs for us before being served a wonderful meal.
We sat in fellowship praying, sharing stories and taking time to get to know each other.
After a great night’s sleep we were able to help the Pastor and his family collect firewood, retrieve water from the lake and then sit together in fellowship over a meal one last time before having to say farewell.
Savings Group – June 26
After our Pastor’s visits, we were able to take part in a Savings Group meeting at a church. We were all impressed with the dedication and generosity of the group as well as the fact that members came from a number of different churches, showing their great unity. The group which looks a lot like a life group, not only provides financial security and opportunity but also social and emotional support to some of the most vulnerable community members. They shared some stories with us about how the Savings Group helped them through some difficult times and helped them participate in various business ventures such as purchasing animals that they would never have been able to afford without a loan from the group. All of this takes places through a deep level of trust in each other and the mindset transformation training from World Relief.
It has been a memorable couple of days, full of rich experiences as we continue our journey here in Rwanda. Tomorrow we look forward to participating in Umuganda which is a nation-wide community service program which takes place the last Saturday of every month. Blessings and thank you for your prayers- we are all healthy and doing well!
Interestingly enough, tomorrow we are being ‘kicked out’ of our home because the Rwandan President is coming to Nyamasheke next week and his advance team is coming over the weekend to prepare for the visit.