By Lydia Brubaker
Alleluia, Praise God!
Hello to everyone at home – we are having a wonderful time! We are trying to adopt some Rwandan customs such as including the phrase “Alleluia, Praise God!” which people answer by saying, “Amen!”, as well as picking up some Kinyarwanda words and phrases. Our focus over the past few days has been found in Psalm 116: 12, 17, “How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me? I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord.” In conversations with many people of Rwanda, we have witnessed them giving God thanks for what he has done for them. People with much and people with little have expressed great gratitude to the Lord for His blessings and have acknowledged that all good things come from the Lord. Charlie has asked us to give thanks to the Lord as we go throughout our days and to remember to call on His mighty name.
I thank the Lord for the opportunities we have had to build relationships with people here. The FVA staff has so warmly welcomed us, saying that we are now hosts here and that this is a new home for us. We have had the opportunity to spend time in prayer with Sandrali and Immaculee, as well as been blessed by their son Ivan being willing to chauffer us around and hang out with us. I thank God for all of the members of the FVA staff who have been helping us learn more about the culture of Rwanda and who are sharing their lives with us.
I thank the Lord for the opportunity to do some landscaping work at Faith Village. We learned how to use new tools in order to complete the yard work, like machetes and sharp hoes. The people that taught us to use these tools were very patient as we worked to figure out how to use them and I thank the Lord for the gift of laughter that accompanied our learning process and an opportunity to learn humility.
I thank the Lord for the groundwork that has been laid within this community by FVA and past teams that have come here with New Mercies. We were able to visit the home of a woman named Genevieve. We saw the progress that has been made in her home thanks to the provision of the Lord and the hard work of past team members and FVA workers. Genevieve is an example of someone who gives all glory and thanks to the Lord and has great courage as she raises her two children, Erik and Irudukunda, as a single mother. The joy of those children is contagious and our team loves spending time with them.
I thank the Lord for songs, games, and crafts that are wonderful tools that can bring children together. I thank God that we had the opportunity to share the Bible story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den and for Gerald, who made this possible by translating the story into Kinyarwanda so that the children could understand. I praise the Lord that He is the living God who rescues and saves, just as he saved Daniel from the lions and just as Jesus saves us from our sins. I am thankful that Jesus set the example of opening his arms to the little children so that they could come to him, for children are such wonderful fountains of joy and examples of love. I am so grateful that God’s love is not limited by language and that He is able to minister to the hearts of children and to our hearts despite our inability to speak the same language.
There are so many things to be thankful for: Life. Fresh fruit for breakfast prepared by our house mom, Kaitezi. Drivers that bring us where we need to go. Blisters that are the mark of a good day’s work. When a child comes up and grasps your hand as you walk down the road, allowing you to catch a glimpse of the beautiful innocence and trust of a child. Witnessing the product of past hard work that has gone into putting a roof over someone’s head. The grace, hope, and love of our God. Laughter that erupts from children when you tickle their stomach. Opportunities to have my eyes opened to the suffering as well as to the joys of people here in Rwanda. I thank God for the things that He has yet to do in the future – for the way that He will continue to work in and through the lives of the children, women, men, FVA staff, and others that we have had met in Rwanda, for the way He will continue to teach me and my team members new things, and for the way he will transform hearts in Musanze this weekend at the evangelism meetings. We pray and believe that the Lord will do these things.
When we attended the women’s Village Finance and Loan meeting on Tuesday, they closed their time together by singing a song proclaiming that the things that have been done are good, and they are from the Lord! They sang that it is good for these visitors (our team) to be here, and it is because of the Lord. Thank you, God, for bringing this team to Rwanda, for revealing yourself to us, for the people here who are teaching us valuable lessons of perseverance and faith, and for the way you are able to use us as your hands and feet.
While life at times may feel difficult or as though we cannot go on, we can find hope in the fact that our God is good, all the time. He calls to Him all who are weary and burdened promising rest, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. We take heart for we have the assurance that if we believe in Jesus Christ and confess with our mouths that He is Lord, we will one day live with Him in heaven, forever, with no pain and no suffering. We give thanks for these things, rejoicing in the Lord.
Alleluia, Praise God!
I pray that you will have the opportunity to thank God for what he has done in your life, call on His name, and that He will fill you with His grace and peace.