A talk about Rwanda

I recently met with a friend, Cynthia Gill, over tea to discuss her recent trip to Rwanda. What really stood out to me after talking with Cynthia is the Rwandan people’s ability to receive teaching and their hunger for direction. Most of the people her team worked with grew up without adults to model for them or to teach them because of the genocide. They are hungry and willing to receive, and nothing you give to them is wasted. They work hard to make use of every resource at their disposal.

For instance, there was a man down there who made it his goal to serve everybody. He opened doors for people, brought them tea, and did what he could to make them comfortable. This man, however, does not have the use of his legs, nor does he have a wheel chair. He gets around by wearing flip flops on his hands and using his arms. It really made me think about how much I serve others. I have the use of my legs. How much more could I be serving others like he is doing?

I guess I assumed that with great tragedies such as genocides, there comes a bottomless pit of need. But it’s not bottomless. Everyone is working together to pick up the pieces, and it’s beautiful. Cynthia even said that the people she met there had developed a wonderful sense of humor. That’s how they survive the overwhelming sadness of what happened and its effects.

While in Rwanda, Cynthia and her team helped counsel lots of people and gave them as many teaching materials as they could. They and their partners are continuing to help by translating more material into Kenyarwandan and French, building an orphanage there, and funding the construction of a house for the man without use of his legs, his wife and his three children.

Thinking about everything that’s going on over there, then thinking about my life here in America, has really made me aware of how I use my resources. The Rwandans have been put under pressure and exposed to the needs of their own people, and they have responded. I am not under as much pressure, but I’d like to think I can still be motivated to that level of strength. Or at least spend my time more wisely. It’s so easy to forget here in America that someday we might be called upon to be that strong, to weather a crisis, or to serve others even when we ourselves are facing difficulties.

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