Tell My Sponsors I Love Them
Hey everyone! Today was an exhausting, but wonderful day. We thought we were tired yesterday, but yesterday can’t come close to how tired we are today! Our morning started at 7:30am, and we didn’t get back to the hotel until 8pm. It was crammed FULL of activities.
We started the day at Gasharu. We knew we would only be there for the morning, and it would be our last time in the village (although we will see most of the kids again in a different location on Friday). So we spent our time singing and dancing and holding little ones. Many kids performed talents for us which was so much fun! There’s a little girl, maybe 3 years old, named Kelly who has been stuck to me like glue for the past 2 days, and she is ADORABLE! Just hearing her sweet voice sing about how Jesus loves her and seeing her infectious smile when I tickle her was a highlight of my day! My little buddy Pas has been hanging out with me too, and I love seeing him stand out as a leader. He sang a solo, danced for the group, and led us in prayer. I’m so proud of how far he has come from the shy little boy last year!
Lastly, we gave out the gifts to the Gasharu kids from their sponsors. They loved it! I have to share a story with you about a special moment. Last year, I connected with a girl named Sanyu and spent a great deal of time with her. She is very smart and speaks excellent English. When we started the sponsorship program, I told my family about her. My aunt and her family decided to sponsor Sanyu! Today, after receiving her gift from them, she went around to several of the team members, asking “Do you know my sponsor?” When she asked me that question, I said “yes! I know them! They are my family!” Her eyes got big and her smile even bigger. She said, “Please tell them that I love them! Tell them that I am very grateful for my gift!” I hugged that sweet girl and told her that I would absolutely pass on that message! I told her that her sponsor family includes my aunt, uncle, and my cousin Shana who is 9 years old, just a little younger than Sanyu. I told her that they love her too! In the next few minutes before we left on the bus, she told me several more times “Please tell my sponsors I love them and also Shana.”
Above is a picture of Sanyu that Shana colored for her. It’s a simple gift, but it meant so much to her. I share this story because I want it to encourage you. If you are already a sponsor, please know that your letters, gifts, and encouragement are changing lives. It might seem like such a small act, but it is so big to them. They appreciate that their school is paid for and that they have health insurance, but that’s not really what love is. Love is making an effort. It’s taking time away from your own schedule and your own needs to show someone else that you care, that you see them, and that they have great value. Your letters and gifts convey that to these children who are so often overlooked. Even though Sanyu is just one example, I guarantee you that every singled sponsored child feels the same way. So thank you to each and every sponsor for taking the time to show love to your sponsored child.
If you’re not a sponsor, I hope that this story encourages you to become one! We will soon be adding more children to the program, and they are all in need of a sponsor to love them and help provide for their needs. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please let me know! You can leave a comment below or contact me on facebook. Our website is bestfamilyrwanda.org and you can go there to learn more about the sponsorship program.
After we left Gasharu, we went to the airport to pick up our final team member, Kim! Then, even though I know she was exhausted, we went straight to our next destination, Nyarungunga Village. This village is made up mostly of handicapped people, primarily former soldiers who were wounded in the Genocide. This is the village where the 20 new sponsored children will come from.
We were quite surprised upon our arrival because we were expecting only the 20 kids that will be joining BFR. Instead there were about 80 children! After some introductions, we had a serious dance party!
It was one of those delightfully exhausting times where we danced until sweat was pouring down our faces. Those children are SO EXCITED about BFR coming into their community. It really speaks volumes of this organization that they are so highly regarded. A
After our dance party, we broke into groups to do activities with the kids. Well…there was no big outdoor space for games, so we were just doing crafts. And we brought enough for about 20 kids…not 80. Also, since these kids are not a part of BFR yet, they don’t know how to act with a mission team. In fact, most of them rarely, if ever, see mzungus (white people). We were the first team to come to that village. So naturally, they went ABSOLUTE BONKERS when they saw crayons, bracelets, stickers, etc. It was basically a mob of grabbing hands and shouting voices. Plus we still had dance music blaring so the already challenging language barrier was made impossible by not even being able to hear anything at all.
To be honest, the teacher in me was LOSING MY MIND! I probably seemed very unkind as I shouted for kids to sit down, wait in line, stop grabbing, and be patient. Especially because out of all those commands I just listed, the only words I know in Kinyarwanda are “oya” and “assi” which respectively means “NO” and “SIT!” So that’s all they heard me shouting at them. There were too many kids, not enough materials, and not enough people translating. We ran out of everything very quickly. I was frustrated and even irritated at how our visit went. This was that village’s first experience with a team, and I felt like it went horribly! But at the end of the day, it’s not about us, or BFR, or the activities. It’s about Jesus. And for the first time EVER those kids met people who cared enough to fly over the ocean and spend time with them. Before the activities, there was so much hugging and laughing and dancing, and I don’t know if those kids have ever experienced something like that. Even though it didn’t all go as planned, I know that the community has something new after today…hope. Today one mother said “wherever BFR goes, darkness vanishes because they bring so much joy.” Wow. That’s a testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit working through BFR. Glad to be a part of it.