VBS Rwanda is complete! What a day it was. Almost 2,600 children showed up today, the most so far, and every last child was fed an egg -- talk to Chuck Halford about his amazing egg story from today...it's too long to discuss in the blog but it will give you chills. We began the day once again with songs of praise and worship. The Rwandans led the singing today, and the children loved it. Next, we were visited by one of Jesus' followers (again, Rachel Meis), who told the story of Christ's death and resurrection. Today's craft was the salvation bracelet, but many of the classes had to improvise with coloring books and written prayer requests. Our object lesson was the Evangicube. The tool really helped the children understand the Gospel more thoroughly, and that feedback was so encouraging. In addition to the eggs, toothbrushes and Bible School certificates were handed out to every children. The kids love to receive items -- anything -- and you could see the joy in their eyes as they were handed their gifts.
The children were dismissed after class, skipping recreation today because they were to return at 3:30 for the finale of VBS. The children returned on time and were once again led in song by the Rwandans. They also danced and performed and were then treated to a beautiful dance routine performed by Deborah and Rachel Meis. The children loved the routine, and Deborah and Rachel taught the children some of their moves after they had performed. About this time, the children were shown a slide show of all the pictures Beth Phillips took throughout the week. It was a joy to hear the 2,000 children giggling and gasping when they saw themselves in the pictures. After this, the IPCers left but not before saying goodbye to our dear Rwandan friends with whom we have grown so close this week. There was not a dry eye. After we left, the Jesus Film was shown. Tom Phillips stayed and reported to us that the children loved the video, cheering when Jesus performed miracles and weeping upon his Crucifixion. Sadly, the power went out just as Jesus died and did not come back on. Some of the chidlren were heard sobbing, "Jesus is dead!" Not exactly the outcome we wanted, but the children have heard the Risen Christ preached all week, and it is now in God's hands.
As has been reported all week, God is at work here in Rwanda in deep ways. There is such joy and hope here despite the poverty that exists and the horrors that were perpetrated a mere 18 years ago. We are witnessing a beautiful redemption story playing out as we speak in this breathtaking country. Those of us who have been able to serve here this week have been forever changed, and Rwanda will forever be in our prayers. We ask that this country will always be in your prayers as well, because God loves Rwanda!