Friday afternoon we had a celebration service at the New Church Site. It was so much fun. Tons of singing and praising. A challenge from Dan. Final sermon from me! We also received some gifts...the mother church, the new church, each of the pastors & their wives, beautiful tokens of their appreciation. I especially was touched by the carved wooden picture of a shepherd with sheep gathered around him - that was in direct reference to the message I gave one day. Then John Peter (a super cool guy from the mother church who worked with us all week) said he had a gift for us. So we stood up to receive a Rwandan flag on a little stand. Very nice. Then finally, a woman who prayed to receive Christ on Sunday at the mother church, said she had a gift for us. She was standing there holding her young baby in her arms - so we stood up to receive whatever gift she had to give us - I assumed she had something in her hand just underneath the baby - to my amazement and shock, when I reached for her hand, she handed me her baby. I had no idea what to say or do. Then she hugged me and her picture taken with me. Then she took the baby and handed it to Dan and hugged him and had her picture taken with him. Then she took the baby back and sat down. You know, that could have been very awkward. I guess she wanted to give us something of value and maybe her child is the most valuable item she has. Not quite sure what she was thinking but I'd like to think of it as a sweet gesture. Then it was all over. We got in the van for the ride back to the Guest House. The kids, as usual, followed the van, running & racing as far as they could. We saw so many people lining the road that we recognized. I saw Jacqueline, the young woman who asked me to be her spiritual mother. I saw the teenage girl who was an orphan who had many promises broken to her in her young life, yet through Christ she now had new hope and renewed sense of purpose and was determined to share the message of Christ with as many children as she could. There was the man dressed in white who was in charge of disbursing water to villagers at his little water station...now he had received the gift of living water and would no longer thirst. There was the young man dressed in his work clothes - he's a guide at the Gorilla excursion - now he's a follower of Christ and so hungry to learn more about the Bible. He completed all of the discipleship lessons and wanted more. We saw groups of teens and pre-teens and young adults, all with a new-found faith -- this faith and the boldness to now share Christ will hopefully change the course of this entire village for eternity's sake.
We had Pastor Japhet and Pastor John D'Amour in the van with us. We were all pretty quiet on the ride back. So much had transpired. So many miracles. We started the week with a big, green, grassy field. We ended the week with a church - not a building but a living, breathing organism. People who were lost but now were found. People who were blind but now could see. Amazing.
Back at the guest house, we hung out in the gazebo next to our room. Finished up some paperwork. Then went to the celebration wrap-up for the campaign. All the teams along with the pastors and the YWAM kids were there to praise God for His mighty work that week. Each team also was able to present a lot of discipleship materials to the pastors, along with a Proclaimer (suitable for large gatherings) and a smaller, similar device, can't remember its name, (suitable for small gatherings) that had "The Story of God" on it. We also gave them all the contact information we had gathered over the week for all the people who had prayed to receive Christ. Then Robert Mutijima announced that we were also able to give 5-6 impregnated goats to each site as part of the Unity Goat Project.
More on that later.