Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nov 12 update from Africa

New update from Rwanda, Africa

November 12, 2009

We have been in Rusera, Rwanda for a week. It was a great week!!! I had the honor on Sat. of teaching 30+ ladies how to make donuts. I showed them how, and then had them do it. We had more donuts than Krispie Kream. It was so much fun because they are such an eager group. Some with babies tied on their backs, some old, some nursing babies, and some taking notes. They moved the three stones out into the open for a fire so the ladies could see the demonstration better. (Thank you God) I hate that smoky cookhouse. (I’m probably going to come home with lung emphysema due to all the smoke from the cook house.) Try to envision 30+ ladies on old wooden benches out behind the church house on red dirt with chickens scurrying after bugs and the traditional cow (very big horns) watching us. I have a picture I wish I could post, of three washtubs of donuts on the dish drying rack with the cow with huge horns in the background with the cow saying, “Where are mine?”

They loved the donuts plain, when I put sugar and cinnamon on them they all said, “too sweet.”

Later they all share their struggles and encouragements with each other. They also pray and read their bibles. It is a monthly meeting called, “Mother’s Union.” They asked me to share with them. It was Nov. 7 the day my son, Chuck died so I shared with them about my children and you can never love and encourage them enough. ( I pray God used some of my deep regrets and mistakes for good with them).

I had just read a book written by a Kenyan author about Obama (his dad is from Kenya) and it said in there that at age ten, he had written a paper at school that he wanted to be President. His Mom asked him why? And he told her he wanted to help people. She encouraged him that that was a good reason. His Mom did a lot of things to encourage him and made a big sacrifice when she sent him to her parents in Hawaii around age 10; because she felt he wasn’t getting an adequate education living in Indonesia.

After he graduated from high school, Barack said he was going to college in Hawaii and she said No, you need to set higher goals and he followed her advice. Anyway I told them the biggest gift you can give your children is to encourage them to dream big and pray for them.

Then I showed the women how to play with their babies by picking up a baby and playing Peek a boo and this little piggy and singing Jesus loves me this I know with him. He smiled and they laughed and laughed.

I truly love these ladies and you would to. I wish you could meet them and experience their love.

On Sunday, Wayne and I wore our matching Rwandan clothes they had made for us. Church officially started at 9:30a.m.( but they had been singing an hour earlier). After
many choirs singing, we gave the message. I can only believe God used our attempt and graced it with His words and meaning into their lives.

It was a great honor and a special day filled with lots of hugs.
In front of the wooden pews, they put down mats for the children to sit on and for 3+ hours they sit there without crying, or fighting. They love music and make hand, arm movements and sing along. It is amazing.

Monday we walked 5 kilometers about 3 miles to catch a van taxi to Kabango to build a garden at the Anglican Diocese. I have a wonderful friend there named Gorette, who was at the Pastors conference in Sept.

As usual several ladies showed up dressed as if they were attending a wedding, who pitched right in hoeing, moving dirt, hauling rocks, planting seeds. We made and planted two gardens and also some salmon river pumpkin seeds (which are really winter squash), then we all join hands and Pastor Cosmas pray’s for God’s blessing. Afterwards, Gorette fed us lunch at the guest house which is quite nice. Out behind they are cooking the traditional lunch of rice, beans, meat in tomato sauce, cooked green bananas, and cooked greens. It takes over an hr. while we sip on warm fantas (soda in bottles). For dessert, we get delicious tiny ripe bananas. After shopping for a few groceries, we catch a van taxi to Rusera turnoff and walk home another 1.5 Kilometers.

The next two days, Wayne spends visiting each Pastor’s home, taking photos of their new cows that they paid a % of, the remainder through Roc and Mary Paez, our team leader with Saddleback. This is all done on the back of a motorbike taxi, traveling up and down some of Rwanda’s thousand hills. Some of these places are very remote and Wayne said the kids cry out, “Musunga, Musunga” (white person) as they run out to see and wave with big smiles. These Pastors and wives love their cows and are so appreciative. As one Pastor, John Paul, said, “Cow in life” -milk, manure, meat, and baby calves and money.”

A huge bonus for Wayne is that they all show him their kitchen gardens and compost piles. They took every word that he had taught them and put it into practice. It was truly heartwarming for him. He also saw many Salmon River Pumpkins growing! One bigger plant had 12 small pumpkins on the long vines and our interpreter said that the pumpkins need family planning.

We caught a very crowded bus back to Kigali while waiting in the rain and received a warm and loving welcome home from Adeline and Pastor Straton and their family and extended family.
It blessed our sox’s off. We went out to her new kitchen garden and harvested lettuce we had planted and I made a huge salad for our dinner completed with delicious avocado slices. It was so scrumptious.

We hope all is well with you, our friends and family. We love and miss you ALL. We thank you so much for your prayers and remember that you are also in ours.

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