Great couple of days here in Rwanda! Yesterday was sports camp, leadership and crafts and then our group split up in 3 groups and went to the missionaries houses and babysat their kids while they went on a date! It was so fun and they loved it. They all got dressed up and were so excited to go out- it was a rare treat for them. Jeff, Chandler and I were at the "girls" house. We just fed them pizza, played for a while and then watched a movie. Parker was at the middle boys house and they did pretty much the same, and then Patton was at the big boys house and they got to play on a Wii (at the Robinson's house) so he was pumped! It was a really fun night! Today was my turn to go on a prayer walk. It was A-MA-ZING! Me, Patton and Brooke went with Murphey Crowson, Carol Maples, and Felix- a Rwandan worker of theirs that has an unbelievable story I'll get to in a minute. We went to a small private Christian school in a very remote area outside of Kigali. (Praise the Lord I didn't get sick because it was a crazy ride) When we got there we met the headmaster and a teacher (who were totally different employees than they had met the last time they were there so it was a little confusing at first because they had no idea who we were or why we were there) But they were open to us and we prayed over them and then they asked if they could pray over us) We went into each classroom and prayed over them- Patton said the most precious prayer, I was so proud of him doing it in front of all those strangers and he was the first one to pray. Then we split up and walked around the "neighborhood" and prayed for the people living there. We went up the mountain and literally went as far as we could go. I felt like we really were at "the ends of the earth". The prayers were precious and it was an experience that I am so glad we had the opportunity to do. The children in the street along the way were a little shy around us at first (I really don't think they had ever seen a white person) until I busted out the dumdums and all was good! One lady I gave a sucker to was so excited and immediately started eating it, but then some of her friends came up and she gave her sucker to them so they could taste how good it was. It was a very humbling moment- she had nothing and yet still gave.
Ok- Felix's story. He was 12 at the time of the genocide. He was walking to his grandmother's house when the killing began. We he realized what was happening he ran for his life into a swamp in a valley. He eventually met up with another older boy and they lived in the swamp for FOUR months. (about 30 days longer than the genocide- but of course they didn't know it was over) At one point the older boy said he couldn't live like that any longer. So they decided to leave the swamp, find the first person they could and ask them to kill them. The person they found told them the genocide was over and they were free to go home! This was wonderful news to them but he assumed his mom, sister, and two brothers had been killed and probably didn't have a house to go home to. Amazingly his family had fled to the Hotel Rwanda (the one the movie is based on) and had survived! They all thought he had been killed so it was a wonderful reunion. He said that the movie was VERY accurate. The government here says it is all false because they won't ever say that a Hutu could be a hero but he said that is how it happened. If you haven't seen the movie- rent it! (moms- maybe after we come home so you don't worry about us!!)
This afternoon we got to go to the Peace and Love house (the home where the street boys now live). I am so glad we got to do this-we have really bonded with these 7 boys and it was great to have them show us around their home. They are really proud of it. On each of the walls around their bunks were all the crafts we've done this week hung up on the wall. So precious.
And right now we are at the Crowson's house. They invited all of us over for dessert! It is such a treat! They even have ice!! The kids are all playing, the adults are playing a game and we are all using their internet!!:)
Today I was helping Parker write in his journal and I said "I'm going to write-One of my favorite parts of this trip is....." and his answer was "hearing the whole story of the street boys today". Break my heart! I am so proud of all the kids- it has been great for us to be here! We so miss everyone and we will be ready to be back but we are already talking about when we can come back! Chandler listed the things we will do when we get back- including (among MANY others) see Grami, Bridge, and Chick-fil-a (not necessarily in that order!;)) One thing we will for sure need is some SOS pads to scrub the dirt off of all of us (but especially the boys!) Seriously- the dirt just will NOT come off. I don't know if I come out of the shower cleaner or dirtier! Oh and a toilet seat- I really miss those. Again- Thanks for all the prayers- we are so appreciative of them!
(thank you Mrs. Shantz for taking care of my cheerleaders! I miss those girls!!)