When I think back to each day I had in Rwanda, it was such a short trip but filled with so much. God had prepped my heart to go. He had given me deep inclinations I couldn’t explain. He had given me the freedom to go and receive what He had for me there. He was gracious to allow my time there to overlap with specific individuals that spoke into my life. He let me spend time with the Rwandan staff with whom I had many similarities. He revealed why He planted the vision for FBB in me when I was pregnant in Corpus…and gave new visions of what the future might look like. He even gave me a taste of how our little family might be connected in Rwanda aside from FBB.
Day four we ventured out to Kyonza, the original school Charles started when ANL began. The school has grown and is such a beautiful campus. Many students board here and live in homes together on campus. They do their laundry (apparently it was one of my favorite things to photograph) and hang it out to dry. If you go to here you can learn more about the school and all about the food campaign FBB is joining to boost the feeding programs at the school.
The pre-k kids sang to us (shake shake the mango tree) and I couldn’t get enough. So sweet. And did I mention that all the uniforms are made by ANL’s tailoring school called New Life Threads? You could even go online and buy something great. We bought some beautiful aprons for FBB’s kitchen and had a bunch made to sell…to feed even more kids. I’ll post about those later but anyone reading this is going to want one. Seriously. So beautiful.
The sweetest part of the day for me was meeting Irene (pictured above). We ate lunch with all the “student gov’t” leaders and got to visit with them about their future, their dreams, and what they do to serve at school. From the time she walked into the library, Irene stood out to me. I could sense her confidence, her intelligence, her leadership, and her beauty. She told us she dreams of being Rwanda’s first brain surgeon. After lunch I inquired to the headmaster about the sponsorship for all these students. I asked how many of these older kids are sponsored and which ones were not. Not by coincidence I learned that Irene is without sponsor right now and I quickly made it known we’d love to sponsor her. John, the headmaster, was so excited and proceeded to tell me a tad more about her story. Irene’s parents are not living, she has no siblings, and her grandfather, who was a respected pastor in their village, is raising her. However his health is failing and her tuition and board are rarely completely covered. There are many other details but John shared how much potential Irene has and that her love for Jesus, her brilliant mind, and her tender heart are so evident of God’s work in her life. We’re waiting to hear if we’ll be able to sponsor her but before I left, I wanted to hug Irene and speak some truth into her life…to keep dreaming and working hard…and that God has not forgotten her. We pray for Irene and hope all the details can be worked out for us to become part of her family that supports and encourages her through HS and beyond. Who knows, maybe part of our ‘family’ is truly in Rwanda…
Its hard for me to articulate all the deep emotions of this day…but I am even more confident that God, in his time, reveals how all the deep longings of our hearts are woven into this incredible story He’s writing. I love that we are invited to be a part of his story and that he delights in all the details.