30 May, 2009

My Summer Plans

Fifteen years ago, Rwanda suffered a massive genocide during which a million people were murdered in just 100 days. As we pause to reflect on the horror of that event, and the world’s silence, we can also celebrate the amazing forgiveness and reconciliation that has happened in the country. In light of all that, I am humbled to be given the remarkable opportunity through my church to spend four months in Rwanda. I am planning to leave the States in July and will be in Rwanda through the fall.

The Anglican Church I attend has a sister church in Rwanda. For the last year I have served on the Rwanda Group at church and had the joy of helping to launch an education project within our congregation. My church in DC, partnered with our sister church to send 120 students in the community to school. Our sister church chose the students based on criteria they established and now all the students are enrolled in schools in the area.

I am going to Rwanda to establish a plan for the education project between the churches. I am also going to find out more about these students! I will spend time with their families, go to their schools, and bring the students pictures of the person who has promised to pray for them…These interactions will help significantly deepen the relationship between our churches.

I am also going to be deeply mentored by the women of the Rwandan church. After reading a book entitled Never Silent this summer, along with the numerous books I have read from Christians during the genocide 15 years ago, and having met numerous Rwandan bishops during my time in DC, I have come to realize they have a far more intimate view of God than we in America. It is being said that the leadership for the Church will come from the Global South (aka the “third world”). For while we have lost our way in materialism, comfort and self-centered theology, they know what it is to literally rely on God for their daily bread. They’ve seen the consequences of men’s greed both in the genocide when the church (both in Rwanda and abroad) stayed silent and in the finances of churches in the West, which have used their funding abroad to promote and push their own agenda.

I am humbly walking into Rwanda to be taught to love God and love people. I have nothing to give them and so much to gain. As I have wrestled with God over the timing of going (I have learned patience through this process) I have come to realize that He has been preparing me to receive what the women there have to teach.

Anything done in His name must start on our knees. I would appreciate your prayers as I go and learn more about myself and our loving Father. I will be keeping a blog of my travels so check back often as I go.


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