Monday, August 10, 2015

Rwanda, Beautiful Beautiful Rwanda.

I figured by now I would have written a post about Rwanda, but the truth is, I haven't even sat down to fully process what I experienced. I think largely because processing it meant it was over, that it was a memory, that contrary to what my heart desires, I won't be seeing a Rwandan sunrise this morning.

God changed my life in Rwanda. And He fulfilled one of my greatest desires in giving me the opportunity to go there. Rwanda has had my heart since a young teen, and there are no words to describe the draw I have had to the country or it's people.

I could describe to you all of the details of my trip, the schools we visited, the genocide memorials, the children we met, and the knowledge I gained of an incredible organization that is being used by God to transform the country of Rwanda (Read more here.) But what God did while I was in Rwanda was more than working with Africa New Life. He gave me the opportunity to see the faces and hug the precious souls I have loved for so long. He let me look them in their eyes and tell them God loved them in their own language, He let me dance with them in the streets, and put stickers on their faces, and take selfies for the first time, and pray for them. He let me see, first hand, people I have loved deeply and have missed without ever knowing their names.

I love Rwanda. And I miss it, daily. I miss the calmness at night, the sunrise in the morning, the beauty of rolling hill after rolling hill, but what I miss most is beyond that. I miss the sound of God's redemption and provision whispering in the wind and glowing in the warmth of the sun.

In 20 years, God has transformed a nation of souls. From a broken ravaged country coming out of a genocide, the Lord has brought healing, and peace, and brotherhood in His name. He is bringing souls to Him and wiping away the tears of sadness from the horrific event of 1994. His redemption promise can be visibly seen in Rwanda. It leaves you longing for the same to occur in your own life...

But as He is restoring, God is also providing. Not in a Western 2-car garage townhouse and Starbucks, but a real life-giving provision. While doing a team debriefing one night after being in the town of Bugesera, a town that had been brutally destroyed during the genocide, we were discussing all that we had seen that day- the church where 10,000 were killed, the poverty of the children, the hunger of one brother who was not able to go to school, but God's provision as his brother in school snuck his meal behind the fence to him. There were so many things we saw in just a few hours, we were all swimming to process it. It was that moment on the trip where the enormity of American wealth just consumes you. One of the women, who has lived in Rwanda for a few years, said when she first experienced that same feeling God spoke to her and said, "These are mine."

God's providing for them. He is raining water to fill their wells, dirt and mud to build their shelter, animals and plants coming from the earth to feed them. God is providing for them. And for every family that Africa New Life has not transformed through education, yet (you could be a part of helping every child dream and changing those families' lives. Sign up here.) God is caring for them and sustaining them.

It is that provision that has my heart all twisted. I saw His provision first hand in Rwanda, and I see it daily in my life. But yet I always fear His goodness will falter. I always try to make my plan and my way without trusting the waves of life He has created to carry me where He wants me.

My prayer since being home is that God keeps directing my path. Showing me where I am needed and where He wants my family to serve. I pray that He continues to open doors for me to serve in Rwanda, whether that be an annual trip or a long-term trip as a family. But I also pray that He gives me the peace to rest in the knowing that the manna will come tomorrow. That He will reveal His plan, in time, and until He does, I serve whole-heartedly where He has me. The Lord is wrestling my heart, and my dreams, and my plans. But He cares for me more than sparrows, and I know He will provide.

I lift my eyes up to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. 
Psalm 121:1-2