Today was “wrap up” of two full weeks of closing complete with a closing celebration after an early lunch (early especially for them). We always try to get the Pastors on their way by 12:30 so the majority of them can get to their villages before night fall. The only book left on the agenda to study was Malachi, which made me feel relieved because before we came I was beginning to wonder how we were going to teach 12 books in 10 days, but the timing couldn’t of been more perfect. We finished at 11:15, ate lunch at 11:30, held the closing celebration at 12:15, and they headed for the two buses we arranged for complete with 50 pound bags of rice in tow. It was, as it has been every year, a joyous, incredible sight to watch.
But during the Closing Celebration we experienced anew a truth articulated by the Lord Himself – It is more blessed to give than it is to receive. We had come to Rwanda to be a blessing and give…by teaching, by providing new dress shirts, by feeding them well, and by providing a rare treat of rice for their families for their families over the next 4-6 weeks. But in the ways that only God can do, we were the ones who someone how wound up being blessed. Their words of gratitude, affirmation, clear displays of affection and filial connection were humbling. They gave us gifts…nothing to spectacular, but each one symbolizing their appreciation and affection for us. It is humbling and fulfilling. And it affirming of the graciousness and the faithfulness of God.
Tomorrow (Saturday) will be a down day. Some of it is because we are tired. Some of it is due to community work day which is mandated one Saturday per month. This will essentially close most things down…kind of like our Christmas Day. As things open up again early afternoon, we will wander through a few markets hoping to find a meaningful souvenir, which is getting harder to do since all of us have been here somewhere between 6 and 10 times. Sunday will be a day of worship in a rural church down by the Burundi border. After that we will make it back to the city and out to the airport for our early evening flight. In fact, we should be boarding the plane as Hope finishes up its second service.
On behalf of all of us, I will express our gratitude for your faithful prayers. We have seen them at work this week is so many ways. Keep them up…we don’t land in Boston until Monday at noon.