Zachariah and Polycarpe lead the dancing.
I have interviewed 17 pastors and I leave Rwanda in a few hours. Here are a few things that have stuck out to me from their stories. Isaac was a Muslim until he was 27. Denis lives and pastors a church in a Refugee Camp. Etienne has 45 adults and 100 children in his church. Jacques has taken in 2 orphans. Aimee serves a local church and her husband works at a trauma counseling center for genocide victims. Nicodeme’s church building fell down in an earthquake a few years ago and they have not been able to rebuild.
I love that we all have our own story. I loved finding out about these peoples past, their current situation, and what they hope for in the future.
Most of the time, as humans, we live from one moment to the next, focused on the minutia. For me, it is always helpful to take a step back and look at the macro. What is my purpose here on earth? It is to live everyday loving God, and loving other people. How do I accomplish this? Most of the time the answer is to slow down and be present in every moment, inviting God to be apart, and focusing on the person in front of me. Doing this takes away my worries and leaves me feeling free and full of joy. I am loved by my Creator and He will continue to take care of me.
Most of these church leaders make little to no money. They struggle with feeding their kids and sending them to school. They have lost family members in the genocide. They have many widows and orphans in their communities. But they have spent the past three weeks studying the bible and they are full of excitement. They greet me with big smiles. We sing and we dance together. (Above is a picture of me leading them in a song I learned this week from Pastor Theophile’s wife).
Today I leave Rwanda. But I leave with joy because God has allowed me the opportunity to know in a deeper way some of His servants in Rwanda.