*We spent day 7 at Akagera National Park in eastern Rwanda. This is the Rwandan version of Yellowstone where you can see wild animals in their natural habitat. There will be footage and images from this day in the film, but no post.
We began the day with a tour of the Africa New Life church and school in Kayonza. The last time I visited this school was in 2011 and the campus has expanded quite a bit since then. The school now includes a large three story building with multiple smaller buildings that house science and physics labs. The big notable from this school is the large computer lab available for use by the students.
A unique feather at this school is that it has homes for both boys and girls. Each has about 18 students with either a mentor (for the boys) or a house mother (for the girls) who acts as the parent in the home. Meals are cooked in the home and eaten as a family. This provides the students of these homes with a sense of belonging that provides some much needed routine and stability.
After the tour we had a home visit for Ron Crooks's sponsor child Joseph. Ron has sponsored Joseph for about 9 years. I don't know that I've mentioned it before so I'll mention it now. During each home visit the sponsor brings a food gift that equates to about a month's worth of meals for the family. They also bring a gift of fabric for the mom and a gift for their sponsored child. The photo of Ron and Joseph walking was taken by Cecilia.
When we returned to the bus we found Lisa and Mary surrounded by children from the community. They were handing out stickers and talking with each child. This has become a pretty routine aspect of our time here and it's been so cool to see them extending the love of Christ to every child. In fact, without Lisa and Mary our team wouldn't be complete. It's good to have a team of people who love so freely!
After the home visit we returned to the school for the sponsored kids' party! This party was such a fun group of kids. The team served a meal followed by Bingo with Mary and Lisa. Ron facilitated the packets as usual and every child really enjoyed the time. It's pretty awesome to see how far such a small amount goes here. These kids were grateful for the gifts and asked questions about their sponsors.
As the party came to a close our guide/translator/question answering machine JeJe said we needed to end so the kids could walk home. Without a moment of delay Ron Petersen hugged Jackie, his sponsor child, and said, "No daughter of mine is walking home!" He then arranged to have us drop her off at her house on our way back to Kigali. I personally witnessed this moment and it was incredible to see how happy this small gesture made Jackie!
This kind act of Ron helped me better understand the love of God the Father and the fact that in His love, we are safe! Just as Jackie was safe. Overall it was a really good day. Here's a little more of what we saw.