Life

I went back to work (temporarily) so that’s my excuse for never publishing anything – that and the fact that my internet is so bad that I haven’t been able to log into the site for over a week. Nothing too exciting to share here but a few glimpses into life in Rwanda.

We live in Rwanda. Like, we seriously live here. And I hope that someday we have something to show for it other than sun damage to my skin.

But really, that’s part of why we are here, right? We want this to change us. It’s not that something was wrong before, but something was missing.

A friend once said that if we don’t set spiritual goals for our lives (like financial, physical, career goals), then we wake up each year the same.  As a Christian, I believe we are on an eternal journey toward holiness – becoming more Christ-like. It’s not attainable in this life of course, but it’s where God seems to be calling us.

So Rwanda is a piece of that, for us. Every part of our lives should be a piece of that.

I’ve been humbled in awe at some of the memories we are creating as of late. Last Friday night, we had about 25 kids and a teacher in our driveway teaching a Bible class. Freddy crawled in the middle, poking their faces, saying “hi,” clapping along with the songs.

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Now that I am back at work, Freddy spends his days with our three Rwandan staff members – Phoebe (“BeeBee”), Mugenzi  (“Mu”) and Adrian (“Abada”). I watched him running in the yard with them laughing and cheering him on.  He dances when they arrive and yells “bye bye” from the window when they leave.

BB spends his days learning how to become a manager and then how to be a manager in Rwanda. I’m not sure how he will ever be able to capture his education from this time period into a resume (not that he would ever consider actually working for someone!), but the lessons he is learning are priceless. And his employees are being challenged and encouraged in ways that I am positive couldn’t have happened without him taking a chance on them.

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And me. Well, today I’m a high school English teacher preparing to give a test on Beowulf. This most certainly could not have happened anywhere else in the world.

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God continues to confound and amaze us. We’ve struggled a bit financially with starting the business. In America, it would not have been different, but feeling so separated from all that is familiar makes normal struggles seem scarier. And yet at every turn, God has provided for us (and so so much more!). He provides not in just the financial way, but he provides friends who listen, family who encourages, and neighbors who have us over for dinner when we are tired.

This experience has both shaken and deepened my faith in Jesus as Lord. My faith is being refined. I’m learning to discern the true Jesus from the false, the fundamentals from the false fundamentals. I’m letting old beliefs about the world fall away and fade into gray.

At the same time, I’ve never been more convinced that God is real and that he loves me. I think being far away from most of the people who love me makes me crave his love more.  I see his person in the beauty of his creation and his people. I see the way he provides for the broken-hearted and the broken in body and spirit by sending his people out as missionaries.

So we are accumulating things in our backpack that we will take with us on the next journey, wherever that might be.

We are here in Rwanda until January. Lord willing, we will return to Chicago for a mild winter and be adding one more little joy to our family sometime in late February or early March. Our plan is to return as a family of four in May.  Whether these are God’s plans, I cannot say. But we will keep walking through the open doors and are happy to share the journey with all of you.

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