Thursday, August 25, 2016

Friends on a Thousand Hills - Rwanda 2016, Part 1

It’s hard leaving home when life is full of people to love. Family, friends, our kids’ bible study, and so many babies! Do you know how hard it is to leave those babies who need me to hold them? Two month old Rachael and I just perfected our own language (note: there are a lot of vowels)! How can I leave so much sweetness?

Yet here I am again in the little city of Haarlem in The Netherlands on my way to beautiful Rwanda. This time my sweet husband has joined me, and I’m eager for him to see with his own eyes the beauty of Rwanda and meet our dear friends there.

After a week of goodbyes to our Boise friends, in the midst of weekly children’s bible study and back to school preparation for the kids and visits to hold those heart-stealing babies, finally we left Boise Tuesday morning. We, along with our seven suitcases filled with clothes and gifts from our Boise friends to their families in Rwanda, boarded the first of several fights which will take us the nine thousand miles to Kigali, Rwanda.

My dear friend Lori drove us and our seven fat bags to the airport Tuesday morning. As we stood at the curb, Lori prayed blessings on our journey. And her prayer brought tears. I’ve always struggled to explain why we go to Rwanda. We aren’t on a mission trip. We aren’t aid workers. We aren’t building anything. We aren’t making sick people well. We are just Kevin and Shawna. But as Lori prayed she thanked God we were going to Rwanda. She said thank you that Kevin and Shawna are going to show the people of Rwanda - especially those living in refugee camps - they are not forgotten. She prayed those family members left behind in the camps would know they are never forgotten. They are loved. They are remembered. They are missed. They are valuable. There is hope.

Lori’s prayer made my purpose clear. We go to Rwanda because we love our Rwandan and Congolese friends in Boise and their families in Rwanda are a part of that love. We go because our friends in Boise cannot go. We go to take tangible love to our friends in Rwanda. We go because hope is everything. We aren’t just taking seven overstuffed pieces of luggage with us to Rwanda. We’re taking hope and love and remembrance.

Romans 12:10 “Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.”

Future Presidents of the USA

Ivan and friends

Gavin let his parents be in his photo

and Miss Rachael whose language I speak

Read Friends on a Thousand Hills - Rwanda 2016 Part 2 here

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