Good Morning from Rwanda,

Friday January 4, 2013

On the Ground Rwanda

My evening last night wandered into the wee morning hours as I did what was necessary to connect with those I've encountered along my path... Finally letting the bug net down and tucking it in around my welcome bed...I lay awake to the outside sounds of cars going by, horns honking, people singing as they walked by, and a very different sense of peace within. Stirring back to awareness after slipping off to sleep some hours before, I was intrigued as the same hustle bustle sounds lingered in the night air. I recall wondering if this place ever sleeps before drifting off again to resume my acquisition of rest. Several hours 5:30 am Kigali time...I found myself once again engulfed in the many sounds and voices that had traveled their journey into and through the night. Only this time, a new voice rose from the twilight adding nature's music as a solitary bird spoke joy into the new day's dawn... I lay silently awake taking it all in from beneath a suspended net as I noticed the first glimmers of light peeking through my window across the wall on my room's other side... From my horizontal position amid the new day's rise, I was once again aware as outdoor activity gained momentum as horns, cars, and voices from my surroundings spoke forth...


Standing at my hotel room window just inside the balcony glass peering through a slot in my drapes...I noticed a solitary soldier from among resident military forces making his security rounds down the alley radio in hand. While on the go yesterday in Kigali, a city of more than one million people; I scanned my pathway as machine gun armed police, bank guards, shopping mall security, and peace keeping forces manned their posts... Peace resides here because there are consequences for wrong actions and because it is guarded by those God has placed to protect those who suffered so deeply amid early 1990's genocide gone by...


As the day progressed while awaiting other team member's arrival after their flight was delayed...Eric and I made our way through the city gathering supplies. As we traveled the cobble stone sidewalks with cars, trucks, motorbikes, and pedestrians making their way by...the Rwanda's atmosphere settled upon me. With each passing step...I found my eyes locking with those of other passers-by... I found warmth, openness, and friendship's extension freely given. As we drove to further destinations within the city a bit later, our journey carried us up one hill and down another as we meandered our way through shopping complexes, inner city farming plots, governmental agencies, and the underlying heartbeat of Africa. Most living here work for under one dollar ($1) per day. And yet, gasoline is roughly $5.20 USD per gallon. How is it that the masses I encounter her can be living such reality...and yet open themselves to a stranger? I simply know that I am much more at peace in this place than America...

Toward the Conference

Later in the afternoon, we went to spend time and eat lunch with Eric's aunt, uncle, and family. They are wonderful people filled with kindness, humility, and grace. Eric's uncle was raised in the Congo and fled the country to Rwanda following the halt of Rwanda's genocidal killing spree so many years before. Though his heart is in the Congo...he cannot go back and has become a citizen of Rwanda. Finally, our other team members arrived...we loaded our possessions...and made our way to Gisenyi some 3 ½ hours south on the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On one side, Rwanda resides in peace. Across the border in the Congo...instability and killing are widespread and ongoing as tribal, ethnic, and philosophical issues stir strife among a great people. We arrived into Gisenyi at 9:30 pm Rwanda time Friday January 4th and were greeted by the cities pastors who personally invited and welcomed us to their city as we prepare to commence the conference tomorrow. There is great hunger for God in this place. Likewise, there is a tremendous presence of humility, cooperation, and openness. As I wind down tonight in my second hotel 240 miles from my last preparing to slip beneath my bug net...I anticipate great things as tomorrow dawns. In the meantime, please pray that God will use us all to meet needs, give freely of ourselves, and serve this great nation with the heart of God. We will see many miracles great and small both in the lives of the people and within ourselves. Signing off for the night in Rwanda...
In Jesus,

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