This is my blog where I hope to update everyone on my adventures with YWAM. :)

"He has shown you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and
to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

Monday, December 19, 2011

Muraho from Rwanda!

Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills. It is so mind-boggling to me that I am finally here, thousands of miles away from home on a completely different continent. I am in Africa! It is so absolutely beautiful here, the way the bright orange and blues of the buildings mesh into the lush green hillsides. Our home here is so much nicer than we had anticipated. There are 8 of us living in this house (7 that makes up our team plus our Rwandan translator Amable) with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms! I made a video that gives a tour of the house so you can get a better idea but the internet here is really slow, hopefully I will be able to upload it at some point. Rwanda is usually a very safe country but our house has extra security in that we are surrounded by walls and to get in you have to go through a gate. Every door (even cupboards!) in our house has a key that locks it. The thing though, about the walls in our backyard is that when you climb up and look over them you are greeted with poverty. Our neighbors on the other side of the wall live in dirt floor homes and cook their meals outside over a fire. It is so humbling, and the fact is that if we hadn't climbed up to look over the wall we could easily still be living unaware in the luxury of our home. It makes me feel guilty but grateful at the same time. It is such a strange mix of emotions.

Our team is still getting used to the time change (we traveled at least over 40 hours to get here) and the culture difference but I'd say we're doing pretty well. We're starting to get the hang of cooking our own food and taking taxis around. Surprisingly things aren't cheaper here like you would think, in fact prices are a lot more like that in Hawaii so we have to be consciencious of how we spend our money. It's a great learning experience. The one thing that I wish I had brought was nicer clothes. Everyone here dresses so nice, especially in church! Coming to Kona I only brought one nice dress as the style in Hawaii is very casual. I've picked up a couple things since then but I definitely feel lacking in the fashion department here.

Almost everywhere we go we are constantly stared at. It is so hard for me because even in America I hate being the center of attention. I dislike crowds because of the fact that strangers I don't know are looking at me. Here, there is no avoiding it. In church yesterday I was stared at by a particular girl for most of the service, no smile, just staring. I don't know how to react to that. I smiled and got no response so I just tried to ignore it. It's something that I'll just have to get used to living here though, as many people have never seen a white person before. I'm told some children may even cry! I do hope that doesn't happen though.

We went to the Kigali Genocide Memorial the other day. Over 250,000 genocide victims are buried there. I felt such a heaviness being there and going through the museum. It's so hard to fathom that something so terrible and horrifying could happen, but I thank God for the great work He has done in this country restoring it and for the strength He has given Rwandans.

This week it is planned that we will be doing door-to-door ministry visiting people in their homes. I am so glad that we have our wonderful translator Amable with us as the majority of people here don't speak English but Kinyarwandan. I made some flash cards of words in Kinyarwadan before we came which was helpful but I am eager to learn more. We are told that we will have times put aside for Amable to teach us the language and I am very thankful!

In our bathroom we have a small window and in the mornings when we're getting ready we can hear the children that live next to us singing. It is one of my favorite things of being here, I could listen to them all day. There is just something so precious about hearing children sing!

We will typically be doing ministry Tuesday through Sunday and only have Monday off to go downtown to an internet cafe. I don't have my own laptop so I have to borrow one of my teamates, so we'll see how it works out but I am hoping I will be able to write updates each week. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, they are so appreciated! :)



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ready for Rwanda

Lecture has officially ended and tomorrow I will be boarding a plane for Rwanda! It’s crazy how fast time has gone by, it’s hard to believe the lecture phase is really over! Words can’t aptly describe all that has happened in these past 3 months. Our lectures have been on topics such as worldview, the father-heart of God, relationships, the fear of God, giving up our rights, intimacy with God, destiny by design, spiritual warfare and global missions, and weeks filled with bible study, intercession, prayer, and worship. God’s been greatly working in me and teaching me new things each day and I know He’s not finished. It’s a life-long journey I’m on with Him.

I again apologize for the lack of updates. I think most of my problems with blogging are that I am a mostly internal processor, and since a lot of new information, revelations and emotions have been hitting me each day I struggle with having time to simply process them myself let alone put it into writing on a blog! I hope with time I will get better at it though since I truly do want to share with others what is happening in my life.

I am nervous but also excited for Rwanda. The things that I am nervous about are typical (unproductiveness, health problems, disunity etc) but the things I am excited about are seeing all that God is going to do because the possibilities are limitless! When praying about Rwanda I got a “picture” or “word” about the country that it is going to be a wellspring/fountain of living water spreading out to the rest of Africa bringing God’s love, hope, and healing! I believe that God is going to use the devastation that happened in Rwanda for His good. He is doing a mighty work in healing them and in turn they are going to be able to bring that same healing to the nations! That He will “…bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” I believe that God has amazing plans in store for this nation and I am excited to be a part of it, no matter how little.

  • Team unity; that we would not let anything come between us and that we would all have servant hearts and humble attitudes towards each other
  • Health; that all of us stay healthy and won't get sick or hurt 
  • That we would effectively be able to minister to those that we come across and speak boldly with no fear
  • Time; that we would use our time to best honor God and bring Him glory. Not wasting any opportunity that He gives us

I have been so blessed by all the support that has come in for this trip. I am truly blown away by the generosity that has been shone. The day before my outreach finances were due I still need $2,700. I was worried and starting to stress out, wondering how on earth I was going to get that much money in one day! But God works in wondrous ways and by the end of the day I had all of my funds! God is so good and so faithful! The next thing that I am trusting God for is my airfare coming home. I have yet to buy a ticket to fly home to Washington after outreach as I don’t currently have the money to do so. But I know that like the rest of the money, God will find a way to provide. What’s in store for me after this DTS, I don’t really know. I am praying that God will reveal to me what step I am to take next and where He wants me to go. Either way I know that God has something amazing planned for my life as I follow whole-heartedly after Him.