In about a week one of the doctors who traveled with us to Rwanda in June 2010 is headed back to that great green country. He will be spending some time in the clinic doing ongoing training for the local doctors and nurses. He’ll also get to attend the official medical clinic and community well dedication. It took a year and a half and an incredible amount of red tape but now The Ndengera Clinic is officially certified with the governmemt. The well also had more bumps and twists than we ever imagined but it too is up and running. To celebrate they are having a ceremony. I had the great priveledge of writing a letter to be read on behalf of our church and team. This whole project continues to be one of my greatest joys. Here is what I wrote. I wish I could be there to read it myself.
Greetings from Liberty Bible Church and the medical partners in the United States. It is an honor to be here at the dedication of the Ndengera Clinic and well. On this happy day, we echo the words of Paul in Philippians 1: 3-5
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
We honor the commitment of our brothers and sisters in Rwanda as you invest in this clinic and well. We trust that your efforts will continue and broaden in support though out the community.
It is our hope that this clinic will provide compassionate care to the people in Gisenyi and to the children of the Ndengera Foundation. It is our desire that the clean water from this well will support the good health of the community.
More than that though, it’s our prayer that all who come in contact with this facility will feel the love of Christ and the encouragement of being served by those who love Jesus.
We have been blessed by your friendship and thank you for the opportunity to partner with you in this great work.
I hope they take a lot of pictures.
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.