I have some really good excuses as to why there haven't been updates. For better or for worse, we haven't had a lot of free-time. My battery is on it's last legs. Yeah, and that whole lack of power issue in villages. I didn't think about that beforehand.
I have so much to say right now. My head quickly starts to pound when I consider what to type. I'll give some highlights, and probably use the next few weeks to post some reflections on what I've seen, heard and felt.
This is a good summary picture. I've felt the newborn hope in the midst of great sorrow. For many reasons this is significant. The child I'm holding up is named Jena Lee. She's the namesake of our Blood:Water Mission director, who was visiting the village last year at the time this sweet little girl was born. The way they honor people is no where on the grid of what I understand as an American. The depth of grace, gratitude and passion these people have for life and community is like none other I've ever experienced.
Lis jumped in with both feet. This was a momumental shared experience for us. We were glad to be together to experience this. Many times we can live parallel lives, and appear together, but not actually living and sharing life together. This was a sweet time for such things.
This was a bridge we crossed to visit one of the only people in the surrounding community that was living publicly with HIV/AIDS. We had to walk a while to find her. The stigma attached to HIV/AIDS looms large there. People are abandoned by the community. I have many stories of great hope to bring to this, however. We finished late at night and had to cross this bridge by the glow of Dan's ipod. Note the sludgy water below.
She has 9 children to care for, including her husband's other wife's kids. They had both died of HIV/AIDS.
This is a shot from the inside of a village church. One of the genocide sites in Rwanda. We were there with Gary Haugen, of IJM, who was working for the state dept. in 1994 when the genocide occured. He says he no longer asks "Where is God?" in times like that, but "Where are God's people?" I lack the words to explain that day right now.
Our plane leaves Heathrow in moments. I want to say more, but that's to come. There is great hope in this land. It is the hope we share in America, though it's not as clearly marked for us, it seems. I leave with the gracious gift these people's stories, and I will carry them with me to America, to share in the larger story of our redemption and restoration as the well-loved of God. I'm so glad He knows me.