Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ending our time in remera

Today was another full day.  We headed back to Remera to dedicate the three house that our team helped build.  We presented the women with a mattress, a set of sheets, a new bible and hymnal, a lighter, a bag of sugar and a wind up flash light.  I was able to be at 2 of the 3 dedications.  It is hard to put into words the conditions of even their new houses, let alone their old ones (if they had one).  I have to say, to them, what was built was a dream come true.  We prayed for the women and their children and sang together.  We choose a song that they could sing in Kinyarwanda and we could sing in English.  It was a sweet sweet time together.

After the on-site dedications were done we went to the church to have an official ceremony for these women, they were give a key to the pad lock that was put on their door.  There was also a time of handing out certificates to the women that completed the beauty training school.  Speeches were given.  They danced for us to show their appreciation for our coming.  This group is very excited about continuing a relationship with us from the US.   

Next we moved onto the goat distribution.  Each person was given their goat ahead time and they brought it to the church, all 50 of them!  We took turns taking the goats and actually handing them over to those that were receiving them.  A great experience for sure. 

After the goats we passed out t-shirts to the kids that are in the church choir and then gave them out as far as they would go to the others.  There may be 50 kids at the church when you arrive and then over 300 within the hour.

We had lunch and more speeches and then we went to the Remera-Rukoma hospital that is run by the church.  This hospital is heartbreaking.  This sector has 400,000 people in it and this is the only hospital that serves this community.  It has been without an x-ray machine for 3 years.  It has 3 labor and delivery beds.  We were able to visit the women that had given birth that day.  When there are more people than beds they just give birth on the floor.  We also visited the pediatric unit.  The low lights and smells are tough to handle.  There is much work that needs to be done there.  The government wants them to replace much of the roof that contains asbestos and it is going to cost about $85,000.  There are dedicated doctors and a dedicated director.  They all live in the community.  We were grateful that they took time to give us a tour and show us around. 

We headed back to Kigali, wiped the dust off of us, got back in the bus and went to the EPR in another sector so Rivers (the song writer) could play some country music.  They sang for us, he sang for them and the kids choir sang and did a little dancing.  Jay (the pastor from Covenant) spoke briefly during the service.  They served us drinks and we headed back to the guest house for dinner that had been prepared for about 3 hours! 

Each day brings with it new faces and adventures.  Each day here draws you in a little closer and you feel less and less like you are an outsider.  There is so much need here and I am thankful for William and Ebralie and all they have done through Legacy Mission Village to support the Rwandan people in great need.  This ministry is touching so many people and while we helped with construction they still hired local masons to work and made sure that they used local resources to help the economy.

One thing that I have noticed about these kids verses the kids we saw on our last trip is that they love to run and chase the bus but they don’t call out for gum or candy.  They just yell muzungu or muraho, hello.

The only thing I would do differently on my next trip would be to bring Rusty (or at least someone I know pretty well) to share this experience with.

The building on the left is the old house, the right is the new house.

This little guy would come and find me everyday.  He would hold my hand, rub my arm and ask me to take a photo of him.

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