Twenty-four hours of airports, airplanes, thousands of faces, and over 9,000 miles of safe travel gives witness to how big our God truly is!
Our time in Rwanda began around 7:30pm Saturday night. We were met at the airport by ANLM mission staff member JeJe and spent the majority of the first evening getting organized and meeting the rest of the staff who run the Africa New Life guest house. They offered us a warm welcome and some freshly squeezed passion fruit juice! A nice welcome to Rwanda after a long day of travel.
This morning we woke around 7am for breakfast and then left for first service at New Life Bible Church. The worship service and message were both powerful times of God's presence. It's hard, if not impossible, to ignore how joyful, welcoming, full of life, and love the people of Rwanda are. They've already offered us hundreds of handshakes, hugs, smiles, and welcomes. It's comforting to be surrounded by the family of God in a foreign country. There's nothing quite like the true brothers and sisters of the faith who, though strangers in flesh, are family in Christ.
After the church service we had a chance to sit down and listen to Pastor Fred (Pastor Charles's brother) share some of his testimony, the history of Africa New Life, and the vision for its future. Pastor Fred spoke highly of The Summit Church and expressed his gratitude over and over for the warm welcome he has received while visiting, the baby shower the women gave his wife, but most of all for the long term commitment the Summit has given Africa New Life.
ANLM currently has more than 9,000 kids sponsored and the best schools in Rwanda since 2010. Pastor Fred told us that the government has actually given ANLM control of three diffferent government funded schools and that all three are the best in their districts. He mentioned, "When kids fear the Lord, honor their parents, honor their teachers, and have food. They succeed." Africa New Life strives to be the church in word and deed and provide the children with everything they need to be successful.
After church and our meeting with Pastor Fred we ate lunch, exchanged money, and purchased fabrics to be given as gifts during the home visits. For anyone who hasn't been to a Rwandan market it's a little like the Wild West as negotiations over price and quantity take place. We returned to the guest house for dinner, a devotion and debrief, and to prepare for the events of tomorrow; our first day with the Summit's sponsored children.
As a team we want to express our thankfulness for all who gave to make this trip possible. We thank you for your support, your prayers, and ask specifically for prayers of good health while we meet with and minister to the people of Rwanda. Not just for us, but also for them.
Here's a little more of what we saw today.