Rwanda day 5

God’s house is big. Today we joined our Rwandan friends for worship in a local church here in Butare. This is not like any church I have been in before. It was open air, on the top of a small mountain, with a gorgeous view. One of the Zoe staff told the church leaders we would be coming, so they graciously welcomed us and provided interpreters as well. But, I found the interpreters were not necessary. When the Holy Spirit is moving you can tell what they are saying. You know when they are praising God or singing songs of love for him. They did sing a few songs in English, including one that states, “this is your house, this is your home, we welcome you, we welcome you today.” It was a beautiful song and I was overcome with joy that God is truly everywhere. This is his house. Here in Rwanda; at home in Texas; everywhere. God is big enough.

We also visited a few homes of orphans who are in the second year of the program. One young girl remembered Pastor Mike and Teresa from 2 years ago. When they met her last she was new in the program and still struggling quite a bit. She is the caretaker of one sibling and a grandmother with mental illness. She told us stories today of having to sleep on the ground and being bitten by snakes before Zoe ministry. Now she has a home and a business selling avocados. Her grandmother is still sick, but is getting better with proper nutrition.

We were privileged to witness a few children graduate from trade school today. They had been trained in sewing, knitting and construction. Each group received tools for their trade along with their diplomas. It was a special ceremony.

Tomorrow we will see children in their first year of the program. We are preparing our hearts for the sadness. These children may still be struggling to adapt to the program and survival will still be at the forefront of their minds. Please pray that our presence will provide encouragement and love.

Snuggle time

My children are 14 and 11. These last few years have been the ones I dreamed of – they are both able to dress themselves, fix their own snacks, handle chores around the house, and hold intelligent conversations.  We are able to do all kinds of fun things as a family. It is a great age. The one disappointing thing about the teen and pre-teen years is that the snuggling days are almost over. You know, when they hop in your lap  or snuggle up to you for no reason at all.  They both will still snuggle up sometimes, but it is less and less.  I wonder how many more years I have of those special moments. So I treasure each one when it happens.

I was reading a devotion about the Sabbath recently and the writer suggested that maybe God wants the same sweet moments with us. Of course he loves all that we do – especially when we do it for him. Just as we love to watch our children demonstrate their latest accomplishment for us. But perhaps what he longs for is for us to sit quietly in his arms and let him hold us tightly. The imagery gives me such a peaceful feeling. In the midst of the end of school craziness, I encourage you to spend a little time in your Father’s arms. Don’t feel guilty; it is what He longs for.