By Karina Kittok
With God anything is possible.
As I reflect on our last day in Rwanda and the amazing things God did, I can’t express enough how many emotions I am feeling. I was able to share my testimony about my life in Latvia when I was a child and how God saved me from so many harmful things and he met me in my most desperate, darkest hours – when sometimes I didn’t have food and I was raising two of my brothers when I was seven years old. God helped me to protect my heart and my dreams even though I was beaten a lot for just being alive. My stepdad didn’t like me at the time him and my mother would leave for months and abandon us. I noticed that many kids in Rwanda are raising their siblings ages six and up and they have little babies attached on their backs. I kept wondering what their lives are like. I hope they have parents who take care of these beautiful loving kids.
One of the days we were going to the country farm land and on the way back our tire blew and we were sitting at the side of the curb as cars passed us by with high speed. Traffic here is interesting. We were standing on the side of the dusty gravel road in a little town full of people everywhere. Some were selling eggs and peanuts, some were just chilling and some were carrying heavy things on their heads. My thought was, “Wow, how did they manage to get that on their head and man it looks heavy! I hope their necks are ok.” I think my dad would have hard time seeing this as he is a chiropractor back in the USA.
As we were sitting there we were getting surrounded by kids and people who were curious about us and then my team leader Karen was like, “I think God has a purpose for as we wait for the tire change.” Karen asked if I can share something. I took a minute to ask God, “What do you want me to share Lord?” As I was asking I had a river of emotions filling my heart. I whispered to my self, “Okay Karina, no crying needed here, just suck it up.” But I felt God’s presence and his love for those children is so big. I felt like God wanted me to share how important they are to Him and that just because we have so many troubles and pain in our life – such us being alone and sometimes not having parents or someone who has beat you or you have to raise your younger siblings because your parents are drunks or have abandoned you and your siblings or they too busy – I wanted the kids know I have been there I lived in the orphanage from age 8 to 15 years and experienced pain and loneliness and despair and wanting to be wanted.
But God gave me strength and I was lucky to have my Grandma tell me when I was a child, “My dear, people will come and go in your life and they will do bad things But God never ever leaves us as long as you trust and hold on to him you can accomplish anything in your life.” And that’s what I told these beautiful little children and some who were older but they never heard anything like that. My heart was melting and I was overwhelmed with how strong God’s love was for these people. I told them you can accomplish anything in this life as long as you trust God and yourself no matter how hard and bad your life is and was you will and can succeed and follow your dreams. One of the little boys (I think he was about 10) asked if we could pray for him. He wanted to do well in school and he wants to make a difference when he is older. He wants to be a leader – maybe a president or in politics. I was so proud of him and we put hands on him and prayed and more kids and some adults asked for prayer I just wanted to hold them and say, “You know how precious you are? You are beautiful and so important.” I was also able to share this message in the Faith Village community with the street kids. As I sit here and think, I know God has amazing plans for Rwanda and I can feel how much he loves this culture and I can see why I have fallen in love with them too. It will be hard to say goodbye but I have a feeling I might have chance to come back some day. At least I hope so.