By Cindi
City Hill Trip Participant

We had our next to last meeting for Rwanda last week. The last one will be the week before we leave and will consist mostly of packing up supplies and so on. I can’t believe we will be leaving one month from now. When I signed up to go on this trip, it seemed so far away! I blinked my eyes somewhere and now we are preparing to leave…time is a funny thing.

The team from City Hill is very excited and seems to be working well together. We are all women except Charlie (he and his wife are our team leaders). So there is lots of emotion and many laughs about things most men would probably not find very funny! I am looking forward to being silly with these women (and Charlie), and to learning from them and growing with them. I really believe we can accomplish great things for God because we all have different strengths and things we can bring to this endeavor. Together we make an awesome team!

I think everyone has had their shots (I had to get 6 of them!!! At once!!!) and I got a volume of paperwork to read from the clinic…things to not do while I am in Africa…don’t even brush your teeth with the water from the faucets; wear lots of bug spray with DEET in it (malaria is no fun); and so on. The nurse scared me a bit, to be honest. I am thankful that Karen and Charlie are so practical as their confidence (and the fact they have been in Rwanda before) inspires me to put aside my fears.

Now we are all in the planning stage…what to take on the plane, what to pack, etc. No shorts allowed (it should be in the 70’s during the day) and jeans are not recommended…they weigh down the suitcase and are hard to clean if you get them muddy – which will likely happen. Shopping for clothes seems to be in my immediate future. I made a trip to the thrift store the other day and found a really cute outift for $14. I figure it’s cute enough to wear and keep…but if it gets ruined that’s fine too. Or maybe someone there will really like it and I can just leave it in Africa (leaving more room for souvenirs in my suitcase!).

We got a list of words in the local language (Kinyarwanda). Some are quite funny to me. The word for “No” sounds very much like “Oh Yeah” in English…so I might be saying no when I mean yes! Something to keep in mind. Sounds like fun…and I hope to be able to add a few of those words to my memory banks to be used while I am in Rwanda. Hopefully in an understandable and appropriate manner!

I am excited…and I am scared. I’m afraid I won’t be up for the task…that I won’t be able to keep up with the other team members…that I’ll accidentally insult someone I hoped to encourage. I recognize most of that thinking as coming from the enemy. It’s hard to remember that if I am willing, God will work through me for good. My heart is willing and I pray that I will be able to put aside the circumstances that are not my ideal and focus on the eternal things that will happen around me. I am praying that lack of sleep will not interfere with my desire to work hard and accomplish much. I am praying that good things will happen in the hearts of the people we will interact with, the people on my team, and the people watching us as we will be, I am sure, easily identified as “not from around here” in the city of Kigali.

I believe I can make a difference…and that a difference will be made in me. And for now, that’s enough.

Cindi


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