Back in Rwanda

We are back – in a new house, with a new supply of chocolate chips, and a new set of questions and reactions. We have farm animals this year, which is both delightful (fresh eggs! endless Fred entertainment!) and noisy (goats).

Being home was wonderful. We enjoyed lovely conversation with family and friends who encouraged us and prayed for us. We ate so much delicious food and enjoyed all the comforts of home. Freddy loved playgrounds, the zoo, splash pads, the pool, and the beach. So many people took care of us – lending us cars, cooking for us, letting us sleep in their houses. It truly takes a village to live this ex-pat life.

Freddy and I traveled home together alone as BB had to return early for work. We survived. It was not pretty. I don’t think I’ll do that again if I can help it, and that’s all I’ll say about that!

We are back, and life hits hard. The internet has essentially been non-existent. BB’s work has had some unexpected challenges. Fred is having trouble adjusting to the time change and new environment, and I desperately miss cheese (we can’t even get the smelly Gouda cheese right now since it’s dry season, and the cows are all dehydrated). I find myself spending a fair amount of time feeling like the Israelites wandering the desert asking God if there just weren’t enough graves in Egypt for them.

What I am doing here in Rwanda? That’s the million dollar question that everyone asks me. I don’t know. God brought me here, and I’m wondering the same thing.

I wish I could say that I’m fighting for HIV+ mothers or solving the problems of the poor. I wish I could say that I’m baptizing people and leading people to Jesus. And then I’m horribly depressed that I’m not doing that.

I came here to DO something. And yet, not unlike my life in Chicago, I find myself talking a lot. So maybe my new answer is that I’m doing nothing. I’m waiting. I’m praying. I’m listening. I’m caring for my family (sort of). I’m getting out of bed and sometimes showering. I’m reading books and singing songs to Fred. I want to do more, but God is telling me to wait (as far as I can tell).

So I wait. I keep walking. I grumble. I kick the dust and complain. Sometimes I cry and get mad. And then I make dinner and watch Seinfeld and eat cookie dough. That’s what I’m doing in Rwanda.

10 thoughts on “Back in Rwanda

  1. God is in the everyday, the mundane and is revealing Himself to us in these quiet, slow days here. I too have struggled with this “break” in living here…not “doing anything significant” but I feel a peace that God wanted me to experience Him more in this time, and I can definitely say that I have in a whole, new, exciting and amazing way. Keep waiting, keep grumbling and trusting Him and calling on Him. And I’m so glad that you guys were home to experience all of the goodness and being loved on and getting refreshed to come back. We’ll miss you guys!

  2. Haha! You know what? If God has called you to Rwanda to watch Seinfeld and eat cookie dough then so be it! But seriously, your faith in just going where the Lord has told you to go but you have no idea why is encouraging. That is what this life is about…going where the Lord says go and staying where the Lord says stay and your heart towards Him in that time. Just waiting is hard. I get it. But you sharing about your times in Rwanda and opening our eyes to some hard, uncomfortable issues that you have seen and experienced there is something. I’ve been encouraged and blessed by not only what you’ve shared, but also by your heart’s response to the Lord.

  3. How can you say you’re not doing anything??? You’re writing a book. You’ve helped shut down a corrupt agency. You’re raising a future leader of the next generation. What are you NOT doing? Are you comparing yourself to the world’s (or even the “Christian” world’s) standards or to some inner standard based on performance approval? Not trying to sound harsh, just wondering. I care about you and want to see you have joy and grow where God has planted you. At the same time I have to preach this to myself. I don’t usually know why I am where I am, but I just focus on doing whatever is in front of me at the moment and try to trust God to lead me to the next step. He will and I pray that we both have eyes to see it! Love you, friend!

  4. I actually meant to only reference vs. 32, not vs. 33, too. But hey, it’s the Word, and it’s true, and we should all be reminded of it!

  5. Funny Amanda, I ask myself this same question: what am I doing here in Rwanda? I have learned two things, sometimes it’s the work that God is DOING in me that matters more than what I am DOING. And also taking care of my family (sort of) is a very important thing to be DOING and totally under rated! You are discipling the next generation.

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