Today has been an incredible journey, surpassing all my expectations in terms of impact, inspiration, and raw emotion. Our day began at the Genocide Memorial Museum, an experience that touched me deeply. Witnessing their unwavering honesty, compassion, and dedication to reconciliation left me in awe. They're not only educating Rwandans but also setting a global example in preventing genocides.
After our museum visit, we enjoyed a hearty lunch before heading towards the village we hold dear, Rugarika. The journey, though challenging due to the winding roads, was worth every bump and turn. The stunning beauty of the landscape was only rivaled by its remoteness – now I truly understand why Paterne, our dedicated team member, advocated for a motorcycle to navigate these tricky roads efficiently. Motorcycles are indeed a game-changer here, allowing quick and nimble travel.
We had the privilege of visiting the village clinic, where we spoke with both medical personnel and patients. Brigitte got her blood pressure taken from one of the medical workers. One brave mother had recently undergone surgery after childbirth, battling complications and infections while caring for her newborn. We were able to talk to her and she let us take her picture. Her resilience is truly remarkable.
Our excitement grew as we reached the new plot of land made possible by your generous contributions. Seeing the near-completion of the chicken farm and community room and the construction workers sense of accomplishment made me so proud and happy for them. To give you a closer look, we've captured some raw videos with Brigitte, Paterne, and myself – a small attempt to make you feel like you're right here with us, witnessing the progress you've facilitated. I apologize for the rawness of the videos. I will add subtitles to better understand us later, but wanted to get you these so you can see the progress being made in real-time we are witnessing together.
Meeting the construction workers, mothers, and the vibrant children was heartwarming. Their enthusiasm, happiness, and curiosity about us created an unforgettable bond. Their gratitude for the opportunities this project brings to them, their children, and future generations resonated deeply.
Below shows the edge of the plot of land and Brigitte, Albert and I looking down at where the construction workers have to go to get water.
We then moved just a stone's throw away to the primary school, where your support has a direct impact on 20 children. Across the street lies the secondary school, where your support benefits 50 of the students, along with Rugarika's central church – a hub of activities, including the mom sewing group. Pastor Faustin Ruhirwa greeted us with a warm welcome while beautiful music played in the background. We soon realized it was the choir practicing and we get to go inside and listen. It was such a beautiful surprise. After a couple of songs we got to talk to the choir members and I recognized a couple people from testimonials Paterne has given us in the past. They told us how grateful they are for our support and how they are asking God to be with us helping direct and guide us. I was overcome by their warm welcome, interconnectedness, and kindness toward us as well as each other. Conversations with choir members revealed the profound appreciation they hold for our involvement and the connection they feel to us. It was a beautiful reminder of the shared humanity that unites us.
Our day concluded with a visit to the new mom sewing room, brought to life by your contributions. We enjoyed watching Paterne and Brigitte show us how they work which ended in a bit of a competition that I believe Paterne won ;). Watch and decide for yourself by clicking HERE.
It was one of the most beautiful, emotional, life changing days of my life and made me excited for many more.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to serve this communtiy with you.