Tonight I finally finished a list of 70 potential prayer & financial partners for Michael & Steven. They are going to Kenya with Dan and I on an e3 Partners campaign in June. Actually, a group of 23 of us from Fellowship North Church are going together. We'll meet up with a similar group from Alabama. We'll help plant new churches within walking distance of several villages. Our youth will focus on the youth and children we encounter. We hopefully will have activities, games, sports, etc. that will draw a lot of children and teens.
Well, since I'm still up, I thought I'd try to upload more thoughts and memories of Rwanda.
To be brutally honest, after 2 wonderful days of working as a team and sharing the Gospel with so many people, Wednesday came in like a roaring lion, promising destruction, pain, and disruption. Let's talk about all the kids first. It seemed that the kids grew in numbers exponentially each day. By Wednesday, we had at least 150 kids at our site. We were definitely under-prepared with resources to deal with that many kids. Don't get me wrong, I loved the kids. Having worked with kids this year both at Ventana Academy and Rancho Solano, I've realized that I'm not as scared of kids as I used to be. I've actually started to enjoy the time I spend with the kids at school. So, I tried to take some of my real life experience into the situation. Tried to break up the kids into groups. Had one group listening to the Bible being read out loud on The Proclaimer. Tried to read a story out loud to a group of kids. Shared the gospel glove. Taught them how to sing Kum Ba Ya (who knew this song would be a big hit). Worked with them on memorizing John 14:6. And then 30 minutes later, we were out of patience and activities. I would have given just about anything for a big screen, a DVD player and a stack of movies to play for them. Dan was also extremely annoyed by the kids by this time. Although we both know the New Testament gives many examples of Jesus reaching out to children, Dan and I were perplexed and overwhelmed by the sheer numbers and as a result this was definitely interfering with our best laid plans to disciple new believers and continue our gospel presentation to the villagers. It was hot outside, my scalp got extremely sunburned so that I had little blisters on my head that itched and stung. The kids kept coming closer and closer to me, invading my personal space. Those of you who know me know that I've got a hula hoop sized personal space issue. But in Rwanda, I had kids almost nose to nose with me, sitting next to me, standing behind me, literally everywhere, sneezing in my face, touching my hands, holding my hands, pulling my hair, watching my every move, dying of curiosity to see what I'd pull out of my backpack next. I was pretty quiet on the van ride home. Back at the room I was in tears and frustrated. This ultimately led to a meltdown between Dan and I. Yes. You heard it here first. Our first cross words in 21 years (jk). I think that maybe, quite possibly, I overreacted and took out my anger and frustration on Dan. I quit his team. I quit the trip. It was all over. After we both calmed down, it appeared that there could be solutions to all issues. The storm was over. We regrouped. Apologized. Refocused on our purpose and mission. Ate dinner. Celebrated with the other teams. Slept soundly. Started again the next day. God is good. He sent us help in the form of some wonderful volunteers from YWAM. More on YWAM tomorrow.
Randy talked about Anger at God today at church. I could really relate. I think my main anger and frustration that day really was with God. Why so many kids? Why so little resources? What about the pre-teens and the teens? Where do they fit into everything? Why orphans? Why are there kids sleeping on the floor of the banana plantations at night? Where are the dads? Where are the moms who let their 6-7 year old daughters spend the entire day alone with a young baby strapped to their backs? Why are their little feet already callused and worn? Where are the sandals or shoes? What about affection? Who tucks them in at night? Why do they just get up and leave school when we walk by? Who cares about them? What do they drink? What do they eat? If their clothes turn to unwearable shreds, are there other clothes available for them to wear? Do they really realize what we're sharing with them? Is their faith real or are we just providing a forgettable distraction from their everyday lives? Does God really have a plan for their lives? (Jeremiah 29:11)