Time to do the final wrap...Saturday we shopped. Bought some beautiful fabric to make pillows. Ask me in 1 year if they're made yet. Fancy dinner at a beautiful lodge near the gorilla volcano. Jack Hanna has a home on the golf course. Rumor has it that heads of state and celebrities have all stayed at his place.
Early morning on Sunday we began our long trek back home. At this point, memories were fading fast and it's like time was standing still yet moving forward more rapidly than we could fathom. Weird. We spent some time at the Genocide Museum. Sobering. And Sad. And Maddening. Why didn't the world help these people. Where was I when 1 million innocent people were slaughtered with machetes in cold blood?
Then off to the Kigali Airport. Waiting. Boarded a plane to Nairobi, Kenya. 6-hour layover in Kenya. Not a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The airport had a power outage that lasted for a couple of hours while we were there. We shopped. We ate. We walked. We were too tired to talk. I sent an email to Joshua & Alyssa from an internet cafe. We watched an ER re-run and another show full of violence. Not so nice. Then we finally left at about 11pm. Flew all night to London. Large group of Africans on the plane in the rows in front of us. I thought they were on an organized tourist trip to America. One person appeared to be in charge and kept reassuring them and making sure they were all seated properly. Turns out they were refugees from the Congo all seeking asylum in the U.S.A. They were headed to New York. Parted ways with our group in London. Dan and I ate breakfast at TGI Fridays. A proper English breakfast (I assume) complete with baked beans, sausage, bacon, egg, toast. $4 for an 8 oz bottle of water. On our way to our gate, stopped in at Starbucks for a white chocolate mocha and a frappuccino. Boarded our plane for Washington D.C. Back row. Right next to the only bathroom on the plane. Really long flight. Boring in-flight movie. Went thru customs when we landed. Then we waited for our flight to Phoenix. Made a couple of cell phone calls (finally!) Tried (unsuccessfully) to change our seats (very last row, both middle seats). And then we met Eric. I noticed two Africans sitting in the seats across from us. A young woman and man. I wasn't totally sure if they were together or not. Trying to be friendly, I asked the woman what language her Bible was printed in. I was pretty sure it was a Bible - gold edging on the pages, she had a tiny cross on a chain around her neck. The woman appeared to not understand me at all. Then the young man next to her tried to answer my question. It turns out that he had met her in Ethiopia a few hours earlier when she needed assistance understanding where and when to board the plane headed for Phoenix. Since he was headed for Phoenix, he was appointed to be her unofficial "guardian." I asked him where he was from. I was elated to learn he was from Rwanda. His name was Eric. We managed to exchange contact information before we boarded the plane. We saw each other at the baggage claim carousel in Phoenix. Told him we would call and have him over for dinner.
OK, so tonight, we had Eric over for dinner. I am so happy that God put Eric in our path. I look forward to getting to know him. I'm hoping that I'll pick up some helpful phrases in Kinyarwandan. I hope that we can be a blessing to him as he gets acclimated to life in Phoenix. He is here on a student visa, studying mechanical engineering at ASU. Dan showed him the wonders of our computer, including Google Earth and digital photos. We actually pinpointed his home in Rwanda. Amazing. I hope to post a photo of him in a future post. Forgot to take the photo. For sure next time. Eric speaks Kinyarwandan, French and English and Swahili. He lost many family members in the genocide, including a younger brother. Life is not fair.
So, the journey is told and will probably be re-told many times. And Rwanda will be a part of us forever. I feel like our lives are permanently entwined with this beautiful part of Africa. There are so many more people who need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. So many dreams were birthed in this place. We will follow the calling with all our hearts and hopefully mobilize many others to do the same. For Him. Because of Him. It's all about Him.
Soli Deo Gloria.