Monday, October 31, 2011
Today was a day "off." I joined a friend for a day at a local pool. It was prefect! The whole point was to get away from the office, phone calls, and the normal daily things of my job. The sensory was a blessing! The pool overlooked Lake Victoria. We had a good time chatting, swimming, and enjoying the sun. Of course the phone rang and I answered...call it passion for the seeing the Kingdom glorified.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The day has been a successful and good...but I feel myself dragging! At lunch I was ready to ball up and take a nap in the staff room. By 2:30pm my body was telling me it was 4pm. Now as I type this it is 4pm and I am praying I can make it through till 4:45pm when I start the journey home.
Even with my body crawling along today there have been great joys! Even in this moment I am in the office while all the new STers are sitting on the grounds of the compound learning language. They are chatting with their language helpers, getting to know them, and fumbling over new words and sounds. There is joy in hearing someone push themselves to learn, for this learning is to further the Kingdom.
Thank you Father,
Thank you for all your blessings.
For how you love us and know us better then anyone.
Your eye never leaves us and your hand is always there to guide us.
Each day your love and mercies are new.
Every moment you look at us and say we are Yours.
Thank you is not even but it is all I can say to express my love and gratitude for You, Your Son, and the Holy Spirit you sent to live in us!
Monday, October 17, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
I was so excited to head one of the markets in Kigali! Yes, I do enjoy shopping but there is something special about heading out to get COLORFUL fabric. Africa is known for its colors. So many people have told me there is something special and wonderful about the colors of Rwandese fabric…and they are so right! Fiona and Cathy (on two different days) took me to a market to get some fabric. The colors are bold, bright, and wonderful! I cannot wait to get to work on making something out of them. One of them is the perfect colors for a duvet cover for my bed. Know I just need to figure out how I will make all these fun fabericy things without a machine…by had? Maybe.
What if God called you? Made it clear, you knew without a shadow of a doubt He was calling. If He called, you answered, and it was not easy how would you react? After pushing through out of love and obedience what if He told you to do it again? Could you walk in faith to do the thing you know is HARD but you are called to?
There is a missionary family is following in faith even when it is hard and sometimes painful. They see that God made has it clear there time where they are is not over. Even with many hardships and frustrations they answer the call through faith; the faith in the One who has called them. With a hearts and minds set on the work of the Kingdom they press on.
Could you do this? Really? If God called, made it clear it would not be a cakewalk would you answer with a YES? This family has been a great encourage! Their faith is so obvious in the calling even when it is not all roses for them! Just spending a few days with them has given me a new perspective and desire to do ALL God is asking of me.
I was blessed to join Fiona, an AIM missionary here in Kigali, on her weekly gathering with a group of Rwandans. The group (anywhere form 30 to 40 women and a few men) gather to make paper beads and turn them into jewelry. The products and beads are sold to help the lovely Rwandese workers.
The group is in the middle of changing their council so I did not get to see how the funds are used at this current time. They are looking at how to take the funds and use them in a way they become a recourse for the future and not just for the next meal. There is a role call each week so each worker is marked and will get their part of the profits.
It was a joy to see the ladies and two men working. It was also a joy to meet some of their children. There were four children in total that join their mum’s. Three were little girls and one smart looking (handsome) little boy. I took each one’s photo except one little girl who cried so loud when I came near…she was afraid of the Bazugu (white person). After photos it became clear, I had a new friend. His name is Augustine. He was dressed in his school uniform and sat inaudibly next to him mum as she started to roll of the beads. Augustine may have been shy but that only lasted 10min! He walked over to Fiona and I and made the motion of cutting (Fiona knows much more Kenrwanda and I but he still had not warmed up 100% to us to use his words). We got home some paper and cutters for him to work on cutting. I took a few more photos and then it because clear that Augustine had no intention of being in the photos or cutting, he sought to take photos!
Some might think that something like this is not making a difference; but it is so clear it is. Without Hope Beads Fiona might not have the opportunity to speak into the lives of SO many ladies. If Hope Beads were not around the women could be looking for work and not working. Others might have a job but it most likely does not pay enough, because of Hope Beads more bills and School Fees are paid. So, YES paper, string, and varnish have a positive change on peoples lives and hearts!!!!
On the 6th of Oct I landed in Rwanda. Once I got my bag and took the short trip through immigration (if you are an American you do not need to get a visa ….so nice and so rarer in Africa) I found the lovely lady that was meeting me. As we left the airport I had to take a double take! Gently I reminded myself that I was still in Africa. The streets were free form rubbish (for you that speak American that is the word for garbage). There were signals that worked! Know as I reflect on of what I just wrote you must have an awful picture of African countries, trash everywhere and madness on the roads. Well, that is true to some extant. Once you get use to life in Africa you see the beauty that is all around. The people. The culture. The colors! But, there is something different about Rwanda.
Everyone knows about the genocide that took place in 1994. It was horrific. Thousands upon thousands of Rwandans lost their lives. It was all about stomping out the “cockroaches” a.k.a the Toosie tribe. People were so convicted to do this they literally stomp on the Toosies! One of my missionary friends here has a house lady who personally knows that this stomping looks like. During that awful time her mother was stomped on. Not a kick; it was a littoral stomp on her back. Just like you do to cockroaches. Still to this day she has kidney problems because of where they stomped on her back. Currently she in the hospital and it does not look good.
That is the dark side of Rwanda that everyone knows but, I have discovered a wonderful part of this country! Something many don’t know about or even get to see. There is hope here in Rwanda. People are making change and trying (not 100% but there is more of an effort than ever before) to change what happened between Rwandans. The government is better (just like any it has some issues too). The city is clean. Roads are well made. People are trying to do what they can to live and thrive. Yes, there are people without food, a home, a job, and health care. But this country has come a long way. Less then 10 year ago bodies were stung along the streets. Rwandese were killing Rwandese.
There is hope here. There are people seeing that change must come or Rwanda will never move forward. There are missionaries that are coming along side Rwandans to give encouragement, support, and the LOVE of Christ. It may be an up hill battle at times but there are people that are willing to climb!!!!!
Monday, October 3, 2011
Death is a part of life. We all know at some point, at a God directed point, our lungs will no longer be filled with air and our heart will stop beating.
All of us learned this lesson because of the lose of someone we loved. Maybe a grandparent, a parent, or even a child; never the less it hurts. It is like wound that only heals half way. Every now and then it feels fresh and just as painful as day one. Then there are other days when you can go on with life and hardly notice the pain.
If we all know this, then death should not come a huge surprise, right?! Maybe for some but for the ones living in Africa it is daily surprise. Let me tell you how I have come to this mathematical equation.....
In the West you have numerous many ways to prolong life, no matter the quality it maybe. Life is still life. Air in the lungs still and the heart still beats. So when death does come it is not out of the blue (in most cases. I know there are times it is out of the blue.) Here in Africa it is more often then not, out of the blue! Just these last two months I have learned that. In two months I have know of two people (one very dear to me) who's lungs were drained of air and heart that just stopped cold.
One of these dear souls was a friend of mine in Kenya. He worked for a missionary and was beaten to death near the home he worked in. The details are still fuzzy for me but all I know is that he was living and breathing one moment and then he struggled for breath as he was beaten and then air forever left his lungs.
The second was a brother of one of the boda boda guys I have become friends with. Q is always read to pick me and take me where I need to go. Always full of smiles and jokes. The other day I was told by my neighbor that Q's bother died. He was killed in "mob justice." Here in Africa that still happens. People are upset and they take matters into their own hands. Because of their anger and lack of self-control my friend's bother..his heart stopped beating.
Are these stories normal in The West? No, I don't think so. No, I know so! My heart grieves for any life lost. For someone that has been ill for years, for the young woman who is seen as "used" in the eyes of her traffickers, for the man walking to work and beaten for being at the wrong place at the wrong time; my heart aches!
Sadly, living in Africa means my heart is aching all the time. Death is daily. As painful as it is...it is proof. Proof the Word of God is needed more now then ever! How could I hold my tongue from sharing the eternal gift of life that comes form the lover and maker of our souls? That is why I am here! I can't be silent! Can you?
Sunday, October 2, 2011
At the end of ABO I had to say goodbye to so many good friends. They were heading out to their area of ministry all over Africa. I was so thankful to not have to say goodbye to my sweet friends, the Nalls! There are working right here in Kampala! Charlie, the husband, will be teaching at a Bible collage called KEST. Tyra, the lovely wife, will be working with member care and other counseling ministries. Their three children are attending a school just down the road from their home. It is a gift to be here with people who understand your call, because they are called as well, and have made it through ABO with you. This way someone will laugh when you make an ABO joke. :) Photo of Kampala Traffic!!
Saturday we got together. The six of us piled into their landcruser (number one car out here...the roads are not the best!) and headed into Kampala. We planed on going to a local museum and lunch. On the way through the thick Kampala traffic we all agreed we should eat first. So the gang and I head to a cafe. The food was good, the company was great, and then it rained! Hope you all know what I mean when I make a reference to rain. This city comes to a complete stop when it rains. So needless to say we never made it to the museum! (woo hoo, another reason to hangout with the Nall family AGAIN!)
Back home we set time aside for rest and encouragement. Out here, you can try to set time aside but that does not always mean you will be able to rest. Relationships are ministry out here........walking to work, getting lunch, and even just being in your home is an opportunity for ministry. So this is why getting out every now and then is so important. This is why I am so thankful for my day out with the Nall family!
This Photo was taken at the shopping center we had lunch at......TONS of rain!