By Teri Hively
(Words from Micah 6:8)
These are the things that are required of us as we walk with Christ in our Christian life. These are also elements that we must live by as we go out to other countries to do mission work. Just to come to countries like Rwanda and see what little some of these people have and to see where some of these people live is humbling in itself. I know that most people in the US would not be comfortable in a small hut with dirt floors, or with cooking facilities that are outside the back of the hut.
Rwanda has been thru a lot with the Genocide happening 20 years ago and healing still going on here and the rebuilding. Before our trip we had the opportunity to watch the documentary “Will the Scars Ever Fade” and also upon arriving here we got to see the Genocide Memorial. Seeing the documentary and then the memorial made all of this so real. This is more than a humbling experience in itself. It helps us to understand what these people have been thru so that we can better relate to these people.
You always hear about the challenges of missions and of course there really are challenges that do go along with these trips. The biggest challenge that I have faced up to now is adjusting to the culture here as they are very laid back and easy going. If they tell you 8:00 it might be 8:30 or 9:00. I have had to ask God to grant me patience with this as I am very used to being on time or early, but once I accepted that this is the way the culture is and that I am not going to change this it has been better. As a group in the mornings we take this extra time for devotions and time for praise and worship. We are fortunate to have Laura with us and her musical gifts that she can share with all of us. These time have been a blessing to all of us.
I had the misfortune of tweaking my left hip the other day playing with the kids and unfortunately ended up not getting much sleep that evening and was quite sore the next morning. During our devotion time the group prayed for me and prayed again, and again until my hip was feeling much better. There were other words for me during this time that really touched me. As I said to one of the team afterwards, I came on a mission trip to Africa to help others and ended up being ministered to myself. We need to allow those around us to pray for us when we need it, but greater yet is that we need to open up our hearts to receive all that is offered to us. We have an awesome God!
As far as our trip goes we have had many amazing opportunities to interact and help people down here. Today was a day for many of the team to do a lot of heavy labor.
We are working to help build a new toilet and kitchen at the home of Genevieve who lives just down the hill from the Faith Victory site. (just a walk down thru the pasture, and down the mountain road) We need to get 750 large bricks (25-30lbs each) to her home for this project. There are many from the area that gather to watch and it doesn’t take long for us to draw a crowd. Some of the locals also dig in and help us carry bricks, some of the women down here make us look like wimps! They would carry anywhere from 1-3 bricks on the head and they did it fast, almost a run. These people are definitely survivors.
On a final note, our group had the opportunity to attend 2 church services yesterday. We had interpreters so that we could understand the message. Charlie delivered the message at the morning service on “Our God is a Living God”. This is so true and He is so good to us. We were warmly welcomed to both of these churches. The praise and worship at both was awesome, and the morning service was so free and the people sang with great joy to the Lord and lots of dancing. The people here are very free and don’t hold themselves back. It was just an awesome experience!