Well we just got back from Rwanda, and after sleeping a little and eating some "real" food, I thought I might tell you about a few things that happened on our trip. If you don't know, Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills, but for those of us from Georgia, they were more like mountains. And we were bounced all over the dirt roads and had to trek all over a few of those thousand hills.
If you haven't sponsored a child with World Vision, I strongly urge you to. Until I saw with my own eyes, I didn't understand how big a difference $35 dollars makes in a child's life. When you sponsor one child, it impacts a whole community. We met a family who had 3 children still at home and only one child was sponsored. The mother was found with 2 of the children living under a tarp in 2000. The father had been taken to prison in 1997 because the authorities weren't sure if he had taken part in the Genocide in 1994. It took ten years for them to figure out he hadn't and let him go. When World Vision found them, they registered one of her children and when she was sponsored, began to build a house for the mother and children. But the mother didn't just let them do everything for her. She asked if she could work on her own house to earn money so she could feed her children. She also saved enough to buy some goats. When they multiplied, she bought some pigs, and when they multiplied she bought some cows. So because someone sponsored her daughter, Devota, she was able to save her other children. She had received a letter from her sponsor and proudly showed it to us. It was written in purple marker and her name was on the outside in gold glitter. While visiting this family, Devota's 7 year old brother took a liking to me, and now Juan and I are sponsoring him also.
When you sponsor a child, you are most assuredly impacting that child for life, but because of your money that is designated for that child, it trickles down to impact the whole community. Because children were sponsored where Devota lives, all families in the community have fresh water to drink and all children can go to school. It's really incredible to see how the plans that World Vision has implemented in Rwanda overlap each other which results in the most frugal stewardship of money I have ever seen.
This is one of the many beautiful children in Rwanda. She is a child a mother who has HIV/Aids, and the inter-church committee was building a house for her while we were there. Pastors of different denominations were working together to help this family. Oh what an example they are of what we should all be like. The testimonies I heard from World Vision workers made it obvious that they were people who love Jesus and love people too. Everything we did was bathed in prayer.
We also visited a World Vision school where they performed some traditional dances for us, and also swallowed Hector and I while we were taking some pictures. Can you see us?
The last picture I want to tell you about is the man you see alone on the hill. His name is Emmanuel and he was a victim in the Genocide. He was shot in the head and if you are up close to him, you can still see the bullet hole. He was at the Murambi genocide memorial which we visited. The pictures from there are too graphic to put up on this blog, but I can tell you that I have never experienced anything so terrifyingly evil in my life. The sad thing is that each one of us is capable of that kind of evil without Jesus in our hearts.
I pray that I may be able to represent well the children and families that I met because of their great need. But also, I think about the families in America who are not that far away from us who are just as much in need. I can't take care of them on my own, but with your help, we can do something big! Don't fail to do something, just because you can't do everything.