It’s tough to post just now, here in Rwanda, for two simple reasons: bandwidth.
1. There’s not enough time, because we’ve been on the road meeting, learning from, and praying with people all day, each day, and the nights are full too
2. There’s a ton of footage and pics, but the internet’s a bit slow for uploading this kind of thing, at least in our limited time frames.
Here’s a bit though… from a letter I write to my wife. For those of you who read, thanks so much! I’ll be back with lots to share…sometime soon. Before then though, we’re off to a rural, very rural, higher mountain, village for the weekend, where we’ll meet some pastors. More later
…one example: We spent some time on Thursday with the “People Living with AIDS” group, or some such name. There were 173 of them packed in a room, ranging from teens up, many of them widows, or widowers. They’re dying – and…
They were a group that greeted us, when we came to visit, with dancing and singing, with real joy in their eyes. They are the group that gave us gifts. They are a group where person after person got up and shared how God has given them strength, has healed them, has provided for them. They’ve pooled their resources and bought businesses: BeeHives – a building to meet in, and rent out – a small farm. You can’t believe it, they way they’re biting into life.
And yes, I met with Gahigi (from the movie “As We Forgive”) – we will exchange e-mails. He’s learning english and I have footage of him speaking in english, powerful words to our church – but the internet’s too slow for uploads. I’ll just say this: the power to forgive after seeing 142 family members killed, and then be at the forefront of the reconciliation movement – shows me the reality of Christ’s power in ways I don’t see at home, and only rarely in my own life, though I do see them.
Then there’s the other side. Today we met a young boy who’s coming to youth group because he was invited by a friend. he’s learned to wash his hands after going to the bathroom and before eating, learned to only drink filtered water, learned that God made us to be healthy. He’s 11 – the oldest of about five children. His mom was a prostitute. She has AIDS, and was breast feeding her baby, the very thing that will assure the baby has AIDS too. She’s stigmatized in her village, but we went there today to give the boy a gift for sticking with the youth group and learning hygiene, and trying to teach his family. There’s no running water, no water at all actually – holes in the house and mosquitoes everywhere – no lights, no electricity. We met outside the boy’s house and maybe a dozen women watched (the church wanted to show the community that they were loving to outsiders), and I prayed for the family.
when I think about this family – sometimes it’s just too much. When I see “poverty”, I’m able to discuss systems, theory, strategies. It’s all valuable, and the only way forward. When I see, really see, individuals…I’m undone.