Sunday, September 11, 2016

Friends on a Thousand Hills - Rwanda 2016 Part 9

When we stepped off the plane in Amsterdam early Saturday morning, I turned to Kevin and said, "This time in Rwanda was way more intense than last year." Walking through the crowded airport, I started to cry. I felt sobs coming. Kevin quickly hushed me. Apparently, he thought sobbing my way through Immigration Control was not a good idea. He's smart that way. 

Last year in Rwanda was amazing and new and hard and an explosion to all my senses. I went home and told Kevin, "All other travel is going to seem boring now."

But this year we saw so much more. We were more connected to the people. More friends. More loved ones. More children to visit. More heartache to share. 

We absorbed more. Refugee camps and poverty at a level we've never seen. More hungry children. More desperate teenagers begging for help. 

Yesterday our friend Kamana (who will soon be an American citizen!) texted us and said, "You guys have done more in two weeks than I could do in a year." And it feels like it. I've never known this weariness. I imagine it feels a lot like many of my Rwandan friends feel. Every day. 

Maybe next year I'll have discovered how to create a more restful itinerary. But that's doubtful.

For now I'm grateful for two nights rest in The Netherlands, but there is no avoiding the culture shock of traveling from Rwanda to Boise in two days. I'm so grateful to get home to Rebecca and be where I can easily talk to Caleb on the phone and not wait for the electricity to come back on so we can FaceTime.

I'm grateful I don't have to leave Rwanda entirely behind as we go home to dozens and dozens of friends from Rwanda and Congo. These beloved friends keep me real and grounded and honest and living outside of myself in a way I'm scared wouldn't happen if they weren’t in my life.  

Truly, I don't know why God loves me so much, yet I know he does. I see it in the faces of my family and friends every day. 

And I am grateful. 

Read Friends on a Thousand Hills - Rwanda Part 10 here

at home in Boise

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