It’s Not About Us
Today was another long day of ministry. I know I say that every day…but it’s really true! Now that we’ve been going at it for 4 days straight, the team is definitely starting to feel exhausted. Spirits are still high, but it’s definitely taking some effort to get up early and be energetic all day long. Please pray for us to all feel well rested and energized. Tomorrow will probably be the most exhausting day of the entire trip because we will have ALL the Gasharu and Gikondo kids together (about 90 in all), and we will go from dawn to dusk with no lunch break. Then afterwards we will be fitted for dresses and suits for Jean Claude’s wedding. The fitting we did on Wednesday night took quite a long time, so we are expecting to not get back to the hotel until later at night. So please keep us in your prayers as we tackle a super long day with already tired bodies!
So about today, we began the day by visiting the new BFR office. Emmanuel wanted to show us where he and Jean Claude work during the week and handle all BFR appointments and meetings. So far the day was going well, but then when we returned to the bus, Kim realized her bag was missing. She had left it on the bus next to an open window. The bag included her phone, a couple hundred bucks, and her really nice, brand new camera. After searching, we concluded that it must have been stolen through the window. Thank God her passport was not in the bag! Needless to say, that is NOT a good way to start a day (especially because Kim just got here last night and this was her first full day in country!). We all felt so bad for her. I was proud to see the team rally around her to give her encouragement and offer any assistance needed. There was no hesitation for others to offer her their own money, and their own supplies. I am especially proud of how Kim handled it. Of course, she was disappointed, but she was determined to not let it ruin her trip. Tonight she told us, “It’s just stuff. I couldn’t help but think how silly it is for me to be mourning something as replaceable as stuff. I realized that this trip is not about me anyways, and I wasn’t going to let it stop me from being happy or serving others.” How true is that. If only more people could have such an attitude! We get so wrapped up in our things and our homes and our clothes that we neglect the deeper needs of others. I’m so proud of Kim and this team as they have handled this really difficult, stressful situation with positive attitudes, and a mindset of glorifying Christ no matter what.
After that rough start, we headed to Gikondo to visit the BFR kids. These children are mostly older than the ones we were with at Gasharu Village. It was a morning full of dancing and singing (like always) as we worshipped together. I love our BFR dance parties. Even though it’s hot and we’re all sweaty and the room smells TERRIBLE, it is still SO MUCH FUN! We dance until we are out of breath and sing at the top of our lungs. I love that it feels like a judgement free zone. You could be the worst singer or dancer in the world, but they would still embrace you with open arms. Here is a picture of the children’s choir singing (more like shouting) the song, “Our God is an Awesome God.” That’s my Belyse towards the left in the black shirt with her mouth wide open in song!
You’ll notice some older guys in the picture too. Those are the “firstborns of BFR,” aka the leaders. I love how they are so passionate about BFR and their younger brothers and sisters in the program. They assist Jean Claude, Emmanuel, and Salomon with taking care of the kids, visiting with them and their families, and even teaching/tutoring them. They believe in this program. They believe in these kids. It is so beautiful to see them playing with the younger ones, leading them and instructing them. It really is like a family. I am so impressed by these young men! We spent the whole day playing with all the kids and building relationships. Some played Uno, some made bracelets, some played soccer, and it was just so nice to have a chance to talk to kids and get to know them. I even ripped my pants and had to get Jane (our guide) to buy me some fabric to wrap around my waist. Cuz I’m that cool.
As I mentioned before, we have a lot going on tomorrow. Please pray for the team’s continued strength, energy, and health. Pray also that we will not allow Satan to steal our joy because of what happened today. And, we would love it if you would pray that God would work a miracle and that the police might find the thief and return Kim’s stuff. Pray that all the preparations for Jean Claude’s wedding go well. He is very busy with all the planning and preparing as well as hosting our team at BFR! Thanks for your prayers. We really appreciate it!