Monday, May 19, 2008
My new friend...I gave her my Karma bracelet and it only fit on her ankle.
This day we started out very early going to the refugee camp. This was the same camp that Mom and I went to in November and I was excited to go back again with Taylor, Glacier and all the other team members. I also was very happy to be able to bring Esther with us to share in this process of giving to those in need. For so many years Esther was one of those who needed more than she could give. I was proud to be able to bring to her the opportunity to now give back and to see what work God is doing in these people’s lives. She is a very lucky girl and yet I do not want her to ever forget where she came from and to always understand what can happen in your life if you give back to others. It was fun to see her with Glacier giving out candy and balloons to all the children at the camp and to see Esther protecting and helping her sister when the people started coming to the feeding area. Many times I would catch them being silly together and it warmed my heart to see the love and friendship between them. I was very proud of both of them as they too went amongst the team and worked hard scooping the corn meal to each family. They stuck next to each other all day and I will never forget their smiles and laughter they shared together. It was a day in my life that will always bring me happiness when remembered….my two beautiful girls helping those in need and seeing what a wonderful life they have and the blessings that they have been given.
Glacier and Norah-the third grade sponsors this girl for school
We all started this day rested and ready to go an experience Rwanda. I am never disappointed when it comes to seeing the children at the New Life Junior Academy. They are all so happy to see us and I was excited to have my cousin Taylor experience this for the first time. It is a great introduction to both the need and love that Rwanda holds and I knew the children would be fascinated by her and very curious. I could sense that Glacier was a little nervous as last time she was here they bombarded her all at once and she anticipated this again. But with some strong reassurance she too became excited. It was a beautiful day and the hour long trip again showed me what a beautiful country Rwanda truly is. The hills were glowing in the sunshine and everything was plush and green. I watched as Taylor was quite and just took it all in. I was so happy to see it all again but even more happy to share it with her. With so much devastation that Rwanda has had, the beauty of its country goes unnoticed by those who have not seen it. The land around them is just as beautiful as the people who live on it.
When we pulled up in the van slowly you could see the children coming from their classrooms. Our friends Mike and Lisa McColm were also there with their team and I was very excited to also see them. As we got out of the van the children started to cautiously came up to each and everyone of us to say hello and to hug us with greetings. I could see their smiles and the joy they all felt because we had come to visit with them. Glacier stood very close to me and the children just stood by her and stared at her. A few came up to greet her and many whispered to me in their best English how beautiful she was. Once in a while a child would be brave enough to walk up to her and touch her hair or try and rub her white skin to see if it will come off and expose the blackness in her, with no luck of course but lots of curiosity. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a large group gathered around Taylor and she was hugging each and every child within her reach. She is a very tall girl and she stood way above them but they managed. I myself could not get enough hugs in. They were all so sweet and I was taken back by their love for us all. It is those times when you forget all about the things in your life that may have been hard and challenging and just focus on the moment. It is always an experience I go back to in those times of sorrow. These children love us as much as we do them. I of course asked about Esther first and was told she was in the city and was not there. I was disappointed and especially was Glacier but I knew that night we would coordinate to see her so I was not worried. After many special moments interacting with the kids we all filed into the feeding hall to give the YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL presentation and give out the 1000 buttons that Fran, one of the team members, put together.