Last days in Rwanda and journey home

So on Monday, we visited a place called Kayonza. We had a tour of a school, where children who aren’t sponsored, but go to the school share a dormatory of up to 90 kids at a time.

each day, they have to wash their clothes for school the next day, plus their shoes, and ensure that everything is in pplace in their houses.

we had lunch with some members of the choir, and after lunch, the choir did a short performance for us.

As well as visiting the school, we also visited a lake, which looked amazing the team said.

the President of Rwanda had a lodge there, and we were able to enjoy a drink in some very tranquil surroundings.

On our way back to where we were staying, People wanted some last minute shopping, which we had time for, and then it was time to return, and start packing.

We also did some videoing for a promo video for Rwanda child which will hopefully be available in September.

I was able to bless the team before dinner, by giving each of them a gift for all they had doen during our time in Rwanda which they all seemed blessed to receive.

After dinner, we prayed for all that we had done, and then especially prayed for Cat before she left to go home. We were also able to give her a gift for all that she had done for us.

On our last morning in rwanda, we met with a couple of members of the ANLM team to debrief, share stories, and have communion together. Our time in rwanda seemed to have made an impact even with those we had not met, as many good stories had got back to the ANLM team about our visit which was a point of encouragement to us all.

Leaving was sad, but it was important to reconise that we all had things to do on our return to the UK, so it was important to finish properly, and then to properly remove ourselves from Rwanda.

The journey home was less eventful than our journey there, and we all returned, tired, but pleased to see people at Manchester Airport.

After goodbyes to some of the team there, the rest of us returned to Harrogate where parents collected the last team members and family life started again.

Final reflection

Lives have without doubt been changed from our trip, both Rwandan lives, and team lives. In terms of community, we have so much to learn about life from rwanda, but also, it is important that as we can give, that we do, as lives struggle on, even at the beginning of the 21 century.

Rwanda child, along with ANLM and others are making a difference, but there is still a huge amount to do, and this should never be under-estimated.

For me, as chair of Rwanda child, it was such a belssing to see all that has taken place over the years, and to gain a bit of a vision for the future.

It was an honour to visit Rwanda, and now it is important, to explore how things can look for the future, and all our parts in that, and how teams can properly and fully function to enable Rwanda to grow, without losing any of the godly values they have already got.

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Weekend in Rwanda

So very much a mixed weekend. Saturday morning was the monthly gathering for some of the Rwanda child sponsor kids, known as a centre day!!

Great morning where they have games, food, and this time pctures for up and coming christmas cards for sponsors!

It was great to spend some time with my sponsor child again, and he had worked out that iw as blind, as he came up and straight away put his arm around me!!!

We gave him presents, and he seemed really happy to see us.

Centre day alwasy seems to be a blessing for those kids who are sponsored, an for those who sponsors rememeber them, as they receive letters, gifts, as well as having a full and proper meal.

most of the rest of day was spent shopping, in Rwandan markets, and shops, which were all amazing, and fully of local local lovely stuff!!!

Last night we wnet out for dinner, and had a great time as a team, and were also able to take our interpreters with us, and our driver as well!!! This was a real blessing to them which was great to be able to do. Even being able to be with these gusy is a real blessing for us.

they even gave us Rwandan names with meanings which again was a real blessing!!!

This morning we went to church here on the site where we are staying!!! lively is an under statement for their worship, both english worship and Rwandan worship as well!!!

the band were amazing, lively, brilliant musicians, even if the service did go on for more than 2 hrs!!!

Rwandan language worship was even more excited than the english worship, and it was great to be able to stay for some of that!!!

yesterday we went for lunch at a berito place!!! quite possibly the largest ones I have ever had!!!

today we went for pizza, and again amazing, and all the food together was really cheep, and really nice to eat!!!

This afternoon we went to visit a charity bringing street lads of the street, called play for hope!!!

They teach them, and also train them in Football skills!!

Great to hear their story, and also to share some of ours, plus also be able to give them football kit from Harrogate town which they seemeed to receive as a real blessing!!!!

We then took out a couple of balls and played some football with them.

A great weekend, full of blessing, plus great food, and engaging with local shopping!!!!

so the meanin fo the names we were given:

hannah: favoured and lovely;
Chloe W, had the meaing of beauty;
Chloe S: had the mean of calm;
Naomi: was princess;
emma: was happiness;
Heather: was goodness;
Nick: was blessing;
andy: man who does good;

Just when your mind wasn’t blown already by Rwanda

So just before dinner yesterday, thursday, once the luggage had arrived, we got all the shoes out, and one of the cooks where we are staying saw this, and we managed to get her some shoes, i have never seen a reaction over receiving a pair of shoes like, this, arms in the air, dancing, smiles, squeals of excitement and elight, it really was truly something to behold!!!

Today we did 6 home visits!! what a day so many stories, so many lives struggling, and yet so overjoyed to see us, to receive us in their houses, really does bring a whole new meaning to blessing, hope, love, and so many other words!!!

Such small houses, that hardly anyone could fit in them, people struggling to work, not able to pay rent, even when in our understanding of rent it is so small, like 3 or 5 pounds a month.

Families being chased from areas, not able to stay where they are, so children can’t be registered to go to school, and by the age of 14 have never been to school, and will never get the chance to go to school!!!

Lives, where kids have to go and get water for the family, and bring it back from a lake, and then leae the house at 5.30 am to go to school!!!!

One life, of a man now, but as a child growing up in the Jungle, close to death, losing his dad, losing brothers, having to leave Rwanda to go to Uganda for months, if not years, but yet, due to sponsoership coming back to Rwanda, getting educated, adn now wanting to bring hope, life, love, compassion to people around him!!!!

It is impossible to understand these lves, and to some extent i have given up trying to understand why these lives are the way they are!!! I just know that being around these lives, has challenged me, blessed me, inspired me, and provoked me to see so much more happen!!!!!

We are seeing lives changed here, even by giving out 10’s of paris of shoes today, children, adults were so blessed, and encouraged just ismply to receive shoes!!!

Playing Frizby and leaving them in communities, along with bubbles, brought excitement joy, laughter, in a way i don’t think i have seen for quite some time!!!!

In one respect so much is being done in this count, but yet, there is so much, overwhelming amounts stil to do, and we cannot stop to let these injustices carry on!!!

Wifi sadly doesn’t allow me to put pics up, not stable enough, but there will be loads going up on the return to the UK!!!

I hope the words give a little picture, but the real pictures will blow your mind and I hope pray, that you see something that you know you can do something about!!!!

The day of extreme mixed emotions

Thursday, saw the beginning of the day with the girls of the team having their nails done!!! surprise surprise, the blokes didn’t want theirs done!!! But i know one of the dads who would have been straight in there if he was here!!!!

These girls are brought in to be trained in beauty theropy so they have some knd of trade for later life, as well as having Bible study.

They are an amazing group fo girls, and are learning so much!!

After that we did 2 more home visits!!! doesn’t get any easier as the week goes on but it is so important hearing the stories of people’s lives!!!

One story from this morning, where a young lad was brought up by his Gran because, his dad ran away when he found out that his mum was pregnant, and then his mum ran away when he was little!!!

Gran can only work during the wet season, so now it is dry season, she hasn’t worked for 4 months, and is 4 months behidn on rent.

2 small rooms, for them to live in, cook, eat, sleep, and generally live, not much room at all, and a gran who is getting older!!!

James the boy, has scabies, adn the gran had no idea on how to stop it, until our visit, which also took her 50 kg’s of food!!! she was overwhelmed by the food!!!!

Again a community of selflessness, as she has lived and ate with others over these months, but will now give to her community as she has received, how much have we to learn in the west about proper community demonstrated out here!!!!!

After having baigles, for lunch, we came back to the centre where we are living, and worked with a group of tutor lads this afternoon. amazing bunch of lads, enjoying games, fun, worship song, and the cross being made out of paper!!!

So from the toughness of the lives here, to the other extreme, where all our bags have now arrived, bubbles have leaked, but apart from that nothing seems to be broken, damaged, or lost!!!! Thanks again has to go to Mike Langford, who has been so good at getting this sorted for us!!!

Tonight, Cat, one of the directors of Rwanda child, and I meet with charles the President of ANLM, to chat through how the charities work together now in the future, and tomorrow we head back to where we were yesterday, to belss more families, and engage with more tough life!!!!