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Return to Rwanda

by | Jul 17, 2014 | Africa, Best Family, Mission Trips | 0 comments

In 2012, when I first set foot on Rwandan soil, I had no idea how that place would change my life. For the first time in my life, I met, held, cried over, and loved on orphans. At that time, God placed a seed in my heart about the importance of orphan care. I also got to spend time with my amazing team members who exemplified Christlike love. From the locals, I heard horrific stories of genocide and beautiful testimonies of redemption. One of those testimonies came from a man who now helps other orphans and vulnerable children through a ministry called Best Family Rwanda.

Since that trip, Blake and I have partnered with Best Family through our own stateside non-profit. With God leading us in every step, we have created a sponsorship program for the children of Best Family and are meeting the needs of 80 orphans and vulnerable children. That number will soon grow to 100. In addition to the ministry, its leader Jean Claude is more than a friend, he is a brother to us. In a few weeks, we will watch him get married! That seed that God planted in my heart, giving me a passion for orphan care has led me to completely change careers, leaving the field of education to pursue full-time orphan care ministry with World Orphans. Those team members I met have since become very dear friends, and they all have undergone a transformation similar to mine.

This will be our 3rd trip to Rwanda. But honestly, given the depth of our relationships there, it feels like we’ve been traveling there for years and years. It feels like home away from home. We cannot wait to be back in that land of 1000 hills with our brothers and sisters!

This year, Blake and I will be leading a team of 11 awesome individuals. Last year we served as co-leaders, but this year, it’s all on us! Please be in prayer for us and our team as we prepare to go serve and share the Gospel. Pray that our team will be unified from the very beginning. Please pray for Blake and me as leaders, that we act with Godly wisdom and lead our team in a way that draws them nearer to Jesus. Pray that God would go before us and prepare hearts of the people we will meet. For any team member experiencing fear or anxiety about this trip, pray that God would give them peace. Pray for travel safety and that everything goes smoothly.

Below is our itinerary for the trip. I hope you will follow along with our activities and be in prayer for us each day. If the internet allows, I will be posting daily from in-country as well.

Friday July 25th
About half of the team will fly to Washington DC and spend the night.

Saturday July 26th
11:15am (Eastern time) Our flight departs DC

Sunday July 27th
6:45am (Ethiopia time – 8 hours ahead of Alabama) land in Addis Ababa
11am Depart Addis
12:30pm (Rwanda time – 7 hours ahead of Alabama) land in Kigali
Spend the rest of the day at hotel and have dinner with BFR leaders

Monday July 28th
Visit Genocide Memorial and hear testimonies from BFR leaders
Ministry activities with the Gasharu BFR kids

Tuesday July 29th
Home visits in the morning
Ministry activities with the Gasharu BFR kids

Wednesday July 30th
“Act of Love Day” where we will visit a family in need in the community and assist them through chopping firewood, cleaning home, washing clothes, fetching water, etc.

Thursday July 31st
Ministry activities with the Gikondo BFR kids

Friday August 1st
BFR Camp! All the kids from Gikondo and Gasharu will come together to celebrate and fellowship.

Saturday August 2nd
Ministry activities with the Gikondo BFR kids
Shopping in Kigali

Sunday August 3rd
Jean Claude’s wedding!

Monday August 4th
Ministry activities in the Twa community

Tuesday August 5th
Almost all of the team members pack up and go to the airport to return home. Blake, me, and a couple others involved with the non-profit ministry will stay behind.

Wednesday August 6th
Work in BFR office together discussing various office procedures and how to improve them.
Visit community where 20 new children will be added to the Kunda Sponsorship Program.

Thursday, August 7
Visit businesses of families helped through our projects
Visit sponsored children to pray over them before they return to school for the 3rd term.

Friday, August 8
Discuss details about many different projects and ideas (Community House, Fair Trade, advice, ways to improve Kunda and BFR, partnerships, visits, etc.)

Saturday, August 9
Say goodbyes to BFR leaders and go to the airport
4:30pm Depart Kigali
8pm Arrive in Addis, Ethiopia
10:15pm Depart Addis

Sunday, August 10
8:30am (Eastern) Arrive in Washington DC
12:20pm Depart DC
2:30 (Central) Arrive in Houston
4:20 Depart Houston
6:04 Arrive in Birmingham!