Here are some general prayer requests, that we would love for you to be praying over:
1. Safe and uncomplicated travels – pray that our flights will be on time, that we will make all of our connecting flights, and that our luggage all makes it there when we arrive.
2. Team unity – pray that our team bonds quickly, and that friendships are forged in the service of Christ. Pray that everyone gets along the whole trip, even when we are tired and cranky.
3. Pray that the message of the Gospel is apparent in our actions and our words, and that the people we meet will be drawn to God through us. (even after sitting in an airport for 13 hours, without having had a shower in over 48 hours).
4. Pray that God uses this experience to change lives — both of the people in Rwanda and our team members. Pray that this trip incites a change in lifestyle and becomes the catalyst for living life as James 1:27 tells us to.
5. Pray for Blake and I – this is our first time leading a team, and we are feeling the pressure! Pray that God gives us wisdom and guides our every action as team leaders. Pray that the team members will respect our authority as it has been given to us, and that we have no major crises we have to handle while we are there!
This itinerary might be a bit more detailed than you’re looking for, but I thought some of you might like to know when we are in the air, and what our flight schedule is like. I’ve notated whenever there is a time change, and in case you’re wondering, Rwanda is 7 hours ahead of the central time zone. Our brief time in the Ethiopian airport is 8 hours ahead.
Throughout the post, I will be mentioning ministries whom we will be partnering with while we are there. All of these organizations do a wonderful job of serving the orphan and living out James 1:27 on a day to day basis. Please click on any of the colorful buttons on the side of the page to learn more about these ministries and how you can be a part of the amazing work God is doing in Rwanda!
Tuesday, July 2nd, we will get to the Birmingham airport and say goodbye to our family. We fly to Houston where we have a SUPER SHORT layover when we’ll have to jog across the airport to get to our next flight to Washington DC. We will stay the night in DC, and spend the rest of the evening at our hotel, meeting some other team members who will be flying in that day as well.
Wednesday, July 3rd, we get to the DC airport and meet the remaining members of our team and begin the looooong flight overseas.
Thursday, July 4th, we land in Ethiopia where we have a layover for a couple hours and then board our flight for Rwanda! We’ll spend the rest of this day recuperating from our many hours of travel and getting to know one another on our team. Blake and I might also get to have a brief meeting with the leaders from Best Family Rwanda to learn more about their ministry’s future, and how we might be able to help them through The Co-Mission (the non-profit for which we serve on the Board).
Friday, July 5th, our team will visit the Genocide Memorial in Kigali. It is a somber site, dedicated to the memory of the 1 million people who were slaughtered unjustly. The leaders of BFR, who all suffered a great deal of loss during the genocide, will lead us through the memorial, and provide a firsthand account of the horrors of genocide and the glory of God’s restorative power. Afterwards, we will go to the BFR campus to have lunch with the children and then spend the afternoon playing with them and loving on them.
Saturday, July 6th, we will spend the entire day with the kids of BFR! This day will be full of soccer games, face painting, blowing bubbles, singing, and dancing! Our goal is to love them like Jesus.
Sunday, July 7th, we will attend church with the BFR kids. This is something I am SO excited about! Last year, we did not get to visit a church in Africa, and I can hardly wait to experience it! It is so exciting to praise Jesus in another culture, in another language, on the other side of the world. There is just something so holy about The Church, the universal Body of Christ, joining together in worship of our Lord and King. After church, we will again eat lunch and spend the rest of the day with the kids of BFR.
Monday, July 8th, we will visit the village of Gasharu, just outside Kigali. This village is comprised of society’s poorest, many of whom are outcasts. A large percentage of its population includes widows, orphans, and teenage mothers, and many are also HIV positive. We have learned that many young girls in Rwanda are raped or taken advantage of by men. Then when the girl gets pregnant, the men pretend they don’t know her, and the girl is left to care for herself and her new life on her own. These girls are often shunned by their community and have no way of providing for themselves, often ending up in the exceedingly poor Gasharu village. BFR, “adopted” 30 children under the age of 10 from this community to be a part of the Best Family and to help meet their needs. We will be visiting the homes of many of these children and sharing the Gospel with their families.
Tuesday, July 9th, we will take a 3 hour bus ride through the beautiful hills of Rwanda to the town of Gisenyi. Here we will have an afternoon of rest before dinner on the shore of Lake Kivu.
Wednesday, July 10th – Friday, July 12th, we will spend these 3 days at Noel Orphanage. This is the same orphanage we visited last year, and we are so looking forward to seeing some familiar faces that we’ve missed so much! Again, our days will be full of playing and loving. We will also visit 2 other ministries in Ginsenyi called No. 41 and His Imbaraga. They employ orphan artisans to make bags and jewelry. The profits go to help supporting these young men and women and also to feeding children in school. Check out their website from the buttons on the side of the page!
Saturday, July 13th, the long and sad journey home begins early in the morning in which we will arrive back in Alabama late Sunday evening.
I couldn’t be more excited!