Like mother, like daughter.

In our line of work, we meet so many individuals that we don’t get to spend nearly enough time with.  Its encouraging to know that they are out there, doing really interesting and amazing things, but we would love to be able to spend more time with many people.

When we left Blackfalds in 2012, there was a great group of students, but we only spent a little time with them.  But, while in Canada this winter, we got to visit with one of them in Blackfalds.  During the short visit, we found out she (Selina) was going to Kenya with a team for 2 weeks.  I told her, “Kenya is so close, you should come see Rwanda”

So she did!

Selina arrived just a couple days after Mike left, and stayed for 2 weeks.  I arranged a few opportunities for her to work with different ministries, but mostly she came with me for the things I was doing.  We visited friends here in Kigali, we went to the market, we helped plan a Valentine’s party, we visited the genocide memorial (more on that later), she came with me for encouragement as I tried to drive a standard with opposite hands, we did umuganda, went to Nyagatare, and visited a friend in her village who is getting married soon.

Betty is getting married soon.  This s her in front of her house.

Betty is getting married soon. This is her in front of her house.

(sidebar: I’ve just learned that there are at least 3 words in kinyarwanda that mean visit – one is to see incidentally, one is to visit for a reason, and one is to visit for the sake of friendship.  It speaks of the importance of visiting.)

Betty's village is off the main road...

Betty’s village is off the main road…

Selina is a fantastic young woman who has a heart and ability for missions.  It was good timing for her to come, because I had time to spend working with her; to encourage and be encouraged by her.

Only one thing made it a little difficult:  everyone thought that she was MY DAUGHTER!  Have you ever laughed at the idea that all white people look alike?  Well, other cultures use different cues to recognize people… so to many Rwandans, all white people look alike.  I’ve encountered it quite a lot in the last weeks -but still, my daughter!?!

See the family resemblance?

See the family resemblance?

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Returning

We are back in Rwanda!  (Ok, well, technically, am back in Rwanda, but more on that later.)

We had such an incredible time in Canada – we had much quality time with our family, many opportunities to speak and show pictures, ate a lot of meat, got to make espresso at After the Grind, and we were able to visit with many dear friends.

Two days after we returned to Rwanda, Mike went to Kenya.  He is in Kitale, taking a one-month course with Organics 4 Orphans.  The course focuses on different aspects of agriculture that will be helpful to us in Mutara: increasing yields, nutritional education, compost, using natural medicines, and income generation.  It was a difficult choice for him to go, but we believe that it will be the best thing in the long run.

I am in Kigali for now, travelling back and forth a few times to the village in Mutara to find out what is going on, and start to make some decisions regarding the ministry and our personal accomodations.

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“In my culture, you can’t let someone go on a trip without giving them food”
So Amiss & Marieth made one more yummy meal before I came back to Kigali from the village.

Most of what I am doing right now is visiting people – listening, talking, praying, and helping with small things.  The women in this culture do not become friends quickly, but through persistence and working together (and a lot of grace on their parts), I have made several good friends in the last year.  In addition to the benefits of friendship, these women help me learn more about how to act in this culture, and friendship enables me to help and encourage in the incredible work they do. I wasn’t sure what would happen after being gone for several months – would I be starting over?  

It has been wonderful to discover that these relationships can be picked up where we left off, that I haven’t been forgotten and I am still trusted.  I am so thankful for each of my friends, and for the ways that we can help each other create change in this world.P1000050