Rwanda will always have a special place in my heart. I have never been out of the country, I had never been on a plane and this was going to be one of the most amazing experiences in my life. I hope to be able share my story and experience with you.
Day 1: The team and I headed to the church service the first morning we were in Rwanda. I was blessed to be able to sit beside our translator and he told me what the kids were singing. He said they were praising God for our safe travels and that we were there. That completely blew me away that they were thankful that we were just with them. I loved all the singing and praying because it was something I feel like we lack in our services sometimes. They brought up a couple who were going to be married in a few months and had prayer over them and their family.
Later in the service, one of our team members got to preach to the church with an interpreter. I realized the difficulty of preaching with an interpreter and finding easily translated words later when I got the opportunity to preach. His message was on Grace and that seemed to be the theme of our trip. After the service we got to give stickers out to the kids and spend some time with the families. The church prepared us some food and it was very good and we had some conversations with some of the members that sat at our “table”(cardboard box).
After the church service, we headed to the genocide memorial. Following such a wonderful morning, we walked through the memorial and it was difficult. As I read through the story of how the genocide began and about the colonization period we finally got to the part about how the church played a role in creating strife between the Hutu and Tutsis. It was hard for me to fathom the fact that God’s people would want to be a part of this. Admittedly, I did pretty well about everything even though some of the pictures and images were hard to get through until we got to the bone room. Seeing small skulls scattered between the other skulls literally turned my stomach. I was fighting to hold back tears as a few others from our group were too. After that, we entered the Children’s Room. What a heartbreaking room the Children’s Room was. I had to go outside to clear my head after I left there. We watched a video about a group of people trying to identify who participated in the genocide killings. It was an extremely emotional day for everyone and we prepared to return to the hotel.