Rwanda 8/12/2012

We drove about two hours outside of Kigali toward the Congo. What my eyes saw on the way was like opening a social studies book in third grade. I saw everything in the villages and streets that I have always imagined about Africa. People were dressed in the typical colors of Aftrica; from the clothes to the implements for work, it was like going back in time. The road to the Rahuha (straight wind) was the bumpiest road I have ever travelled in a car. It brought new meaning to off roading, except that it was an actual road! I was reminded that the Hebrew word for spirit or wind is Ruah. When we arrived, we were taken into the Pastor’s home for a quick breakfast, and then taken over to the church. I had no idea how many people would be there or what to expect other than I was expected to bring the morning message. When we arrived, we were led down the center aisle in the midst of over a thousand people gathered for worship. It was a long tabernacle style building. When we finally reached the front platform, there were ten to fifteen other African pastors already assembled waiting for Pastor Denys, (President of the Baptist Union of Churches of Rwanda) my translator for the week, Pastor Samuel, and me. Needless to say, it was incredible to look out over that crowd. The Africans are not overly concerned about time. Isn’t that refreshing? We began the service at 9:00 am and finally left the building at 12:30. There was over an hour of introductions and worship music before I was asked to preach. All of the pastors on the platform had been in my seminar during the past week, so I knew I needed to deliver on the goods of at least everything I had been teaching them! But the Lord greatly blessed the message. I preached from I Peter 1:22-2:2 on “Loving the Brethren.” There were fifty people who stood up after the service to “repent,” in their words, for allowing the hindrinces to Christian love in 2:1 to be in their lives. The Africans who responded to the message in this way may very well have been asking God to heal their hearts from animosity for the perpetrators of genocide. For me it was humbling to be a part of that, expecially because Christianity here is not casual business for African Christians. The service ended with a procession of three African women walking up the center aisle carrying gifts for Pastor Denys, Pastor Samuel, and me. I will be bringing this home with me for our house. It wa a handmade African basket with a lid. Inside were fresh chopped peanuts! Pastor Denys has given me his, so I get to bring a pair of them home. They look like they were manufactured, but they were made by hand, absolutely beautiful! As we finally left the service, just outside the building, a young African boy came up to me and asked me in perfect English to speak to him in English because he wanted to become fluent but had no one to talk to in order to keep sharpening his skills. I instantly loved this boy. I told him that he would become fluent in English and that God would bless him. As we talked I noticed that I was now completely surrounded by over fifty African children touching me, holding my hands and trying to hear what I was saying to one of their own. I don’t think I will ever forget that moment! We then went into the pastor’s home for lunch, all of the pastors, Pastor Denys, Pastor Samuel, and me. The pastor’s wife herself then fed us cooked cabbage and carrots, boiled plantains, roasted chicken and bread. Before we could start, we were all to wash our hands in a large bowl while the pastor poured over our hands to wash. The same thing was done after the meal was over. We left shortly after the meal which ended about 2:30. We finally got back on the road at three oclock with many thoughts and memories to drown out the hazzards of the road. We will prepare for the trip to the Congo on Tuesday and leave on Wednesday morning.

 

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