Written by Connie
Picture it. A cool Rwandan morning sitting on the balcony eating breakfast looking out over the beautiful hillside. Suddenly, you decide to ask a question and the person sitting across from you could potentially change your life forever. This was my morning.
I sat talking with Alan Hotchkiss (Executive Director of ANLM) this morning and told him about my history with Africa New Life and the trips that I had participated in. I then shared with him about how the Lord has placed Rwanda on my heart and how much I would love to move and teach here. Let me tell you. This. Is. Terrifying. (In the words of Carol: If its not a little terrifying, it’s probably not the right path.)
He suggested that I spend a couple of months next summer in Rwanda where I wouldn’t have a team, but I would work directly with John Africa to test the waters before making a huge life changing decision. Very wise man. Lots to think and pray about in the coming months.
After breakfast, we went to the Africa New Life staff devotional. I don’t know how to describe this except the most beautiful singing, dancing, praying, praising, and joy I have ever experienced. I think this is as close to what Heaven will look like on this side of it. Within a minute I was in full on ugly crying…and then laughter when Lauren turned around to ask me something and I was already a weepy mess. It also might have had something to do with the words of the song and the conversation I had just had at breakfast.
I truly wish every morning started with Rwandan worship. In an odd way, I feel like this is how I am most fully worshipping the Lord on this earth. Singing loudly, in beautiful harmony, with dancing and clapping going on around.
Going to the staff devotional also meant seeing John (my driver for the last two trips), Cyusa (a sponsored child who has graduated and is now working in the ANL offices), JJ (the team’s mission director last year), and many other sweet faces we recognized. The highlight for me though was seeing John. John has type 2 diabetes, and on the last trip I found out this information. He revealed to me that the only time he checked his blood sugar was when he visited the doctor. When I got home, I mailed a glucometer to him so he could check his blood sugars. The reason this was so critical for him was because on the last trip he drank a RedBull every day. Those things have SO MUCH sugar and I wanted to impress upon him how important controlling his blood sugar is. Today when I saw him, he had lost weight and looked very fit and trim and looked so happy to see me. The rest of the team believes I might have saved his life. I don’t know how extreme we need to get, but I definitely enjoyed playing a role to help extend and improve his life. We hugged for longer than an appropriate time, but I don’t care. This is what true Godly love looks like.
This was all before 9 am. Phew.
We did more observations in the school today, which went very well. I watched a teacher really struggle in her first class of 55 7th graders because of how she was structuring her checking of answers. She had one student show all the steps to a fairly long problem and also check the answer. I could tell she was bored and the kids were bored, and I just wanted to make it better. We chatted between classes when I suggested to her that she could try having one student do a step, then call on another student to work the next step, and so on. I was thrilled to see her immediately implement the strategy. She was more engaged in her own lesson and so were the kids.
It is an encouragement and challenge for me as I go forward to be present and ready for all of my lessons even when it’s hard or its May, and I don’t want to.
After lunch, we went on Ranelle’s home visit to see Ange. She is the sweetest little girl who is 1 of 10 children. Needless to say, there were many children running around. Their time together was perfect and Ange was so excited and nervous that she didn’t know what to say. The one question she did ask was what the football was in the pack of athletic balls Ranelle brought. All the muzungus (white people) had a good laugh.
We shopped some more after that in the crazy Kimironko market. Pro bargaining tip: make a stink face and say NOOOO and threaten to walk away if the price is too high. I have perfected this art a little too much.
A long but beautiful day. Thank you Jesus for blessing us with your Spirit and faithful, loving people.