Every morning we woke up at 5:30am. Dan had a leader's meeting at 6:30am. Then we had worship and devotions in the gazebo with the entire team at 7:15. Pretty cool times. Once I thought I had missed the worship time because I heard all this singing. So I raced out of the room with wet hair, no bug spray on, praying no one would mind my tardiness. When I got to the gazebo, I realized that I wasn't late, I was actually early and walked into the middle of a pre-worship/devotion time. Our Ministry Partners were in the middle of praying for the North American team. Now, when I say praying, I mean all of them pouring out their hearts before God at the same time. It was really beautiful, almost like a song. It started out medium loud, then escalated to gut-wrenching intercession - really loud, then started to decresendo back down to quiet then they were done. It was almost like a conductor led them through a beautiful symphony of prayer, praise, intercession, imploring, surrender, and peace. Amazing. I felt like I was standing on holy ground. Then they broke into praise and worship again.
Every morning our breakfast was the same - plain omelettes, toast, honey, and "margarine." Oh yeah, there was also a platter of tiny bananas, fresh pineapple, and some mysterious fruits, possibly a type of passion fruit. Then we loaded into the vans and headed off to our villages. We had 8 teams - 4 vans with 2 teams on each. Pretty crowded. Every morning I tried to mentally prepare myself for my day. But it was nearly impossible. Every day was similar yet different. We shared the Gospel using the Evangecube from 9am to 1:30pm daily. Then we broke for lunch. Then discipleship lessons at the church plant site from 2-4. Then our afternoon meeting from 4-5:30. Every day was long but fruitful.
The kids turned out to be very challenging. By the end of the week we had hundreds of kids at our site. The loved to come up behind me when I was sitting on a bench and pull down on my curly hair and watch it spring up when they let go. Some of them tried to communicate with me in French. So, now I know 2 phrases in French. We told them Bible stories and used a gospel glove to share a simple story of salvation with them. Gold = heaven. Black = sin. Red = Jesus died on the cross. White = forgiveness. Green = new life. We had them memorize John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except thru Me." We also had a device called The Proclaimer. It's like an audio player that plays the New Testament in Kinyaranda which is their language. It has a solar battery which will last up to 600 times through the New Testament. The battery can also be hand-cranked to re-charge. It is waterproof and virtually indestructible. It can reach an audience of up to 300 people. When we ran out of things to do with the kids, we just turned on The Proclaimer and let it play the Word of God. Most of them sat and listened pretty intently. Adults also listened. We ran across quite a few adults who couldn't read or write so this was the perfect tool for them to hear the Bible probably for the first time.
Every day we shared the Gospel with anyone who would listen. We went to homes, huts, fields, banana groves, over rivers, into places most people haven't ever seen or imagined. God was definitely at work in a big way throughout the time we were there. Every day we returned to the Guest House, sunburned, exhausted, tired of talking, overwhelmed by kids, and thirsty. But God's strength was all we needed to accomplish what He had for us. By dinner time, we were revived and ready to celebrate with the other teams.
Every night, Michelle Parker and I made sack lunches for the entire team to take with them. I believe Nabisco donated a ton of pre-pack snacks so we just had to make 30 PBJs/PBHs and assemble the bags. A lot of us ended up giving our lunches away to those who worked with us during the day. I guess most Rwandans only eat 2 meals per day. So, we'd sometimes have nationals with us all day and they never ate or drank anything that I could see. They were very loving, kind people. A pleasure to work with.