Well, this week has been remarkably ordinary. There have been a lot of small moments that helped remind us that most of the things we want to participate in/accomplish aren’t glamorous in the day-to-day, but the long term outcome is worth it.
We were greatly encouraged by a visitor from Tanzania who, after being here for a few days, remarked on how much it blessed her to just see us working: peeling bananas, doing dishes, etc.
Mainly, I (Amanda) worked on typing and editing a student handbook and helping organize a staff Christmas party; Mike planned a menu and cooked teriyaki stirfry for the party (that made him happy!). We also started kinyarwanda classes.
One of our goals is long-term discipleship: we want to see deep beliefs changed, so that actions change too. One of the things we encounter often is something I call “Christian fatalism.” What I mean is the belief that whatever happens is God’s will (and there is nothing you can do about it). This affects large and small decisions people make. There is something beautiful about being content in your circumstances, but this goes far beyond this to a kind of apathy in life direction and problem solving.
One situation arose in the last few weeks where several buildings were without power for 2 days. This can happen for a few basic reasons. 1.) The power is out, and will be until the power company restores it. It happens. 2.) The cash you paid up front for the power has run out, and you need to pay more money. (You never know when it could happen. It can happen anytime.) 3.) The breaker has blown and needs to be reset. Now, if its the first one, there is nothing we can do. But if it is the second or third, it should be within our power to fix, right? Well, after investigating, the staff member supposedly responsible for these kinds of situations, doesn’t have a key to the room where the breakers/”cashPower” is… SO: after many conversations with various people, encouragements, waiting, then more conversations and encouragements, the particular staff member was lent a key to the room with permission to copy it! I kept telling him: “You have to have the authority to carry out the responsibilty you’ve been given.”
And then… it was beautiful!
We had many guests here for a conference that same evening, and the power in most of the buildings went out. Someone was attempting investigation, so I said, “So-and-so has the ability to fix this!” A few seconds later, he went running by, and in about 10 minutes, power was restored! It was so amazing to see his work, conversations, and perseverance immediately rewarded because he was necessary, and capable of fixing the problem. Its a very small thing, and honestly partly selfish on my part (I dislike being without power for no good reason), but it was a small step in helping someone solve a specific problem, and gain confidence for problem solving in the future.
Tomorrow we are going to a wedding, we’ll tell you more about that soon.