We’ve had a very busy week! We started the week on Tuesday and were planning on going back to the catchup school and spending most of the week there with the kids. However, there was another group that had come from the UK, who had been preparing a curriculum for the students for a year. We felt very good that their program was exactly what the kids needed, and we didn’t want to be a distraction to what they were doing.

Even with the change of plans, the week was great! We went to a couple museums and a couple genocide memorial sites.

On Wednesday we did a teaching on spiritual gifts and community development, based around the story of Joseph. We taught it to two co-ops that sew bags with Rwanda Partners. The sewers are all orphan head-of-households. They are young and so full of joy. We had such a blast getting to know them, hearing their stories and doing a lot of dancing and singing with them 🙂

July 4th (Thursday) was Rwanda’s liberation day, marking the end of the 100 days of genocide 19 years ago. On that day, we visited a memorial sight at a church where 7,000 people were killed during the genocide. We also visited the home of four women who were widowed in the genocide. It was an emotionally charged day, but hearing the women’s testimonies and seeing their strength and faith was inspiring.

On Friday we did our teaching again, but this time to a co-op of basket weavers. They were another fun group to work with–women who are so wise and were so welcoming to us (and they make beautiful baskets). When we got back to Kigali we walked around our neighborhood, meeting people (which mostly consisted of children, who always seem to find us–we don’t mind). 🙂

Saturday we drove to Kigeme refugee camp, where 18,000 displaced Congolese live. We met with the committee of the camp and got a tour, visiting the new co-ops that they are starting, and ended by hearing some people’s testimonies. It was another inspiring visit.

On Sunday we went to an Anglican Church in Kigali with one of the Rwanda Partners staff and were (as always) very welcomed. The rest of the day we road on motos and went to markets and roamed around Kigali a bit.

Today is the third and last day of a Reconciliation Workshop put on by Rwanda Partners. We have spent the last two days with a group of about 30 people, and we are all learning about forgiveness, Christ’s love, and the sacrifice Christ made for our suffering. It is a difficult and emotional process, but one that is so necessary in a country that is still wounded from the genocide.

We’ve been learning and loving and have felt so welcomed into this country. Rwanda and Rwandese people are amazing!

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