The whole experience of being here is a bit surreal. Wherever we go we are treated like rock stars.
I see the joy that exists here now, and I realize that just 14 years ago these same roads were littered with raped and mutilated bodies of genocide victims. These same schools and churches were full of murder rather than dancing. These hearts were full of death rather than life. This country was full of sorrow not joy. I feel as though I am seeing living people who have encountered the healing power of Christ. This must be the same story that the blind men, lepers and lame told of Jesus. It is like walking in the pages of the Scripture.
One final thing, many of you will be interested that we ate at the hotel from “Hotel Rwanda” last night. They actually filmed the movie in South Africa, so the building was not the same as the one you saw in the film, but we were in the real deal. It was amazing to look at the rooms and the hallways and remember what happened here. What courage, what strength, what faith, what an amazing God.
A thousand thoughts from the land of a thousand hills
They’re both salty – sweat and tears. I’m not sure which I tasted more as we stood in the tiny mud-brick home of Anastasia and her son Samuel. They live in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, in a twelve by eight shack that houses their bed, cooking area, bathroom and the small stock of goods that Anastasia sells out of their front door to make a subsistence living. Samuel is an 8-year-old student at a nearby school run by an Anglican church.
Other than his surroundings and the yellowish tint to his eyes due to slight dehydration, he might be a child I would see on any playground back home. Well, there is one other thing that separates him from most other children in Hope Mills: his mother has HIV.
I came thousands of miles to minister in the name of Jesus Christ, and it is I who sat at the feet of an infected Rwandan woman. It is I who came to be ministered to.
A word from Africa
The Lord has taught us much humility and faithfulness here with our sister church and Pastor Charles. Every house we’ve been at has prepared way too much food. A common question we get is, “How do you stay so big if you don’t eat more?”
This evening we had dinner at Pastor Charles’ house. It was wonderful; his house was so filled with the Holy Spirit, and you could feel the love within his family. One thing we noticed was a decoration almost like a streamer going around the living room where we were hosted. It looked quite familiar and so Ted was the one to ask. It seems that they liked the package we sent them so much that they took the packing peanuts and threaded them into a garland and strung it around the house. It was very well done. As we were leaving, the three of us were talking and Ted kept saying, “I just bought packing peanuts, it meant nothing to me!” (It was a great lesson in humility and possibly in wastefulness.) We cannot wait to be home with our families and church family. Love to you all.
Your apostles to Africa.
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