Monday, April 1, 2013

Unspeakable Joy

I've tried several times to sit down and write about my trip to Rwanda.  I felt like I needed to do it quickly while everything is fresh in my mind...but the more I waited the more I remembered.  Little things, but things that had a big impact on me.

I have a feeling there will be several blog posts over the next few weeks with things that I learned, things that I saw...

I've read many many books about orphan care, attachment, missions, you name it. I knew the statistics, I knew the effects of institutionalism...seeing it is completely different.  The statistics I read about now had faces that belonged to them.  Powerful.  I held them, I tried desperately to make eye contact with them, made it a point to touch them, their arms, their faces, talk with them.

We went to a revival one day in a community where a church is being built.   We sat on the ground where one day a building will be.  As we sat I watched...people just kept coming and coming, some walked miles and miles and miles, some with babies on their back, I saw old men with canes walking, everyone was coming from near and far to hear about Jesus.  They were calling villages out, telling them to come and hear, and people just kept coming.  Children climbed into the trees to be able to see what was going on, you could feel the presence of the Lord.

The pastor (a local man) began to preach, he told his story, he spoke to the people in situations similar to what he had gone though.  He began calling people out, telling them to trust God with their lives, quoting scripture, then he said these words "God tells you not to worry about what you will eat!"



We've all heard that verse before, but in all honesty how often have you ever worried about what you will eat.

These people, that was a true and very real concern.  Some people eat once maybe twice a day.

I remember the feeling of tears in my throat. You know that feeling? Where you know you're trying not to cry?

"Do not worry about what you will eat or drink"
Matthew 6:25

If I could sum up my trip quickly, I'd say I've come back with a passion stronger than before to 

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,

    for the rights of all who are destitute.

Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy"

-Proverbs 31:8-9

They're God's children too. 

They may be "poor" compared to what we in America have, but they have a joy unlike anything I have ever seen, and a kindness to strangers that is unbelievable. 

The pictures below were taken by my good friends Becky Fisher and Rachel Wurzbach
they did an amazing job at capturing the pure joy of the people of Rwanda...



Ferial Trammell said...

Praise God! I can't wait to hear more about your trip, Stephanie.

Anonymous said...

LOVE this! Beautiful pictures!!