Monday, April 12, 2010

Eagle Christians

Yesterday we went to our friends' church to hear and meet some pretty amazing people from Rwanda. Pastor Charles preached; Pastor Charles along with his wife is the founder and director of Africa New Life Ministries, which does just amazing work in the communities of Rwanda. We also had the privilege of hearing the testimony of Enric Sifa. Enric was just a kid when the 1994 genocide hit, and he and his little brother survived by living in the jungle in a pit. His father was murdered but his mother somehow survived, and they were reunited with her in an aid camp after the genocide had subsided. After they moved back into their neighborhood however, Enric's mother was beaten for advocating to get her land and house back (a more powerful man now wanted it), and she eventually died from that attack. Enric became a "street kid" to survive. He described his life and more importantly his mental attitude as a street kid. He told us how when he would get sick he would just sit on a curb and wait to die, because he knew it didn't matter to anyone whether he lived or died.
Eventually Enric's love of music led him to discover a church, which led him to Pastor Charles and Africa New Life Ministry. Now Enric has sponsors here in America, goes to school, and guess what? He tried out and WON Rwanda Idol! (Rwanda's version of American Idol). This kid is incredible. He taught himself how to play the guitar, and has some serious skills. He spoke of how becoming a Christian and having faith has changed his life, and knowing that people KNOW him and care about him has given him confidence. What a cool guy, in every sense of the word. Get his cd's!!
After the service I wanted to talk to Pastor Charles and his wife, Florence. I didn't really know what to say to them. Hi, We're adopting! just sounded so hollow after hearing everything that was going on in their country. What I really wanted to say to Florence was, I want to be you. Working to take care of all these kids, making a real and lasting difference. Working on the ground. But that sounded flippant as well. So we chatted about our daughters and she wished us luck on our adoption.
But I left the service with a heavy heart. The work being done in Rwanda is yielding amazing results; children love going to school there, the community is thirsty for faith, the government is willing to partner with programs that are seeing results, like Africa New Life. I was just sad that I was stuck a half a world away. I told Jonathan that my secret plan is to get him to live in Rwanda one day (sooner than later), which is why I obsessively ask everyone who goes to Kigali how the internet speed and connections are (Jonathan is a web developer). My secret (which I don't think I was keeping very well before) is out of the bag. Who knows where it will take us one of these days, but I hope it takes us somewhere where I can hold babies and play with kids who need love and work in a community like Kageyo or one of the many other communities in Rwanda that is rebuilding.


  1. I was having the same thoughts leaving yesterday! I casually threw it out there to Andy last night. Maybe I'll accidentally buy only one-way tickets when we go in the fall :) Did you read sit-a-spell today?

  2. Enric is the voice behind the 'Speak Rwanda' materials we bought to learn Kinyarwanda too. I love his speaking voice, and he does a couple of songs to help you learn numbers, etc. He must be a busy man! If anyone is interested, the link for the downloadable lessons is They also have a phrasebook just out, with some history, language, customs etc.

  3. I think the internet connection is great! Because I have a facebook friend there now who posts regularly!