Imana Ishimwe! (I have really enjoyed learning some new phrases with our translators. This means "Praise God".)
We were a little anxious this morning, not knowing exactly what to expect. I walked out of my room, looked up at the volcano and was reminded of Psalm 121 - "I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." And, indeed, he helped us today.
The unwed mothers received a lesson on one of the most beautiful passages in scripture, Psalm 139:14, which says, "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." What a precious reminder for all of us and especially those struggling like these young Rwandan single mothers...that we are made in God's image with care and attention. He makes no mistakes when he knits us together in our mothers' wombs.
Speaking of knitting, our afternoon session was the economic development project we brought with us - knitting! We were particularly anxious about this because we had no idea if we would be able to teach effectively. Only a few of us feel comfortable with knitting. In God's good providence, almost all of the 130 women in attendance already knew how to knit. We are so thankful for such an incredibly generous answer to our prayers! They young women were very excited to get needles and yarn. We are hoping some of them will be able to take this skill and make things to sell so they can support themselves and their children. Many of them cannot or are not allowed to work outside of their homes. One of our translators said you can by a dozen skeins of knitting yarn for 3000Rwf and most people sell scarves for 12,000Rwf. We were 24 sets of needles short. Please pray we can round up enough sets for all the ladies. We went to the market to find them and one person was out and the other had left for the day.
Please pray for this particular group of young women. They are so young and they are struggling. They seem to have community, but many of them have families who are unforgiving of their situation (babies out of wedlock). They were very curious about single mothers in America. We hope we were an encouragement to them and that they saw we struggle with many of the same problems and feelings as they do.
The women love seeing their pictures on our phones!
We had some time to play with the kids from the elementary school this afternoon. We blew bubbles and inflated a couple of beach balls. Then Kristen and I sang several children's songs for them. It was funny to watch them watching us be silly. I loved it. (I think Kristen did, too!)
The guys finally received their painting materials! This morning we prayed for super speedy painting skills and they were able to finish over 2/3 of the wall! Yay, Kelly, Jeremy, and Phillip! I know these men have really enjoyed renewing old friendships and making new ones at Sonrise this week. How wonderful to have friends here in Rwanda!
We finished our day with dinner with the Bishop and Chantal. It was a beautiful evening full of laughter and fellowship and really, really great food. We were all inspired listening to them speak of their lives' mission here in Rwanda. They are two amazing people. Again, God is good to give us such loving friends half a world away.
Tomorrow is our last day at Sonrise and Gitare. I know we will all be a little sad that the mission part of our African adventure is over. Pray for travel mercies as we head back to Kigali.