Rwanda, a year later

It’s been a year.   My husband commented that I am still feeling the effects of my trip to Rwanda.    I think he was referring to the fact that I’ve got a month to go on my INH treatment for dormant tuberculosis.   I have a countdown going to a big forbidden feast involving lots of chocolate and cheese.   Avocados too.     My family is counting down too.  One of the side effects of the meds is irritability.    I’m so sorry.   Fun times.

When you drive into the compound in Gisenyi, Rwanda that houses the clinic and school, children smile and run.   They follow the truck down the dirt road yelling and waving.   I’ve never felt so welcomed and humbled and inadequate and loved and overwhelmed all at the same time.

Thoughts of Rwanda still hit me randomly and with full force.  Travel anywhere does that.  The memories pop up at the oddest times. My life is intertwined with visions of Rwanda.  Last night I was scraping leftovers off plates into the garbage.   My inner dialogue kicked in and was reminding me to breathe deep, pray for a good harvest in Rwanda and not yell at anyone who didn’t eat their full portion.   I know it’s not completely rational.    I recognize that you can’t mail leftovers overseas.   It still hurts to think of hungry kids and food in garbage.

When I held a child who had no parents and who could not speak my language, my heart grew.  I hold my own daughter tighter now.

When I sat in a field surrounded by banana trees baking in the sun and sewed buttons on rags it put a perspective on my own clothing budget that didn’t shift quickly when I came home.

When I ate mangos and avocados ripened on the tree it makes me grin at the inferior fruit here.   I miss the tree tomatoes too.

When I hear Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone, I’m instantly transported to a church with a tin roof and loud rain pouring down.   Choir practice in the dark swatting mosquitoes.   My single most embarrassing moment and a personal triumph over pride.   The term fools for Christ takes on new meaning.

When I see someone who traveled with me, I am grateful.   Their eyes have seen what I saw.    When someone agrees to help with a fundraiser I am grateful.    When I get an email from Rwanda and see progress on our projects, I am grateful.    When I take a shower and the water is warm and clean, I am grateful.

My spouse is right.  I’m still feeling the effects.   Some good.  Some painful.   All worth it.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Rwanda, a year later

  1. Debbie Coutts

    Thank you for your words and perspective Mindy. I am so looking forward to July – my time has almost arrived. Every mission trip I have been on has changed me – I know the effects of this one will be monumental!

    Blessings-
    Debbie

  2. I love you Mindy! I wish I could be there in a month to make you Mac & Cheese homemade of course and a Double Chocolate Cake! Oh and an Avocado Salad! Take pictures when you break free okay! I want you to know what a blessing your blog is to me! I feel when I read your blog we are having a conversation! I have been attempting to become involved at Central Church of the Nazarene. I have joined a couple women’s groups. Encouragement and Prayer Teams! I am having a hard time deciding if I want to join the choir? I miss singing I bet you didn’t know that I was in Choir from 6th grade until 10th grade and the only reason I left was because the instructor said I was to raspy. FFA wanted me and well thats an entire Blog for me to write! I am praying about writing as well! I started a blog a couple years ago and it has been sitting for at least a year if not longer. I like yours though its suttle and not an everyday posting! Now that I have written almost an chapter. Thank you for being you! Praying for you, Rwanda, your family and extended families! Tell Aaron I miss his bread! Give Dillan a hug for me!

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