Hey all. I hope you are doing well! I wanted to let you know that I arrived safely and without glitch on Tuesday. It was certainly a long travel experience…somewhere over 18 hours in all. However, I made every flight on time and arrived in Kigali with luggage in tow. Thank you for your many prayers!
I am really sorry that I am only now able to update you. The internet connection is sparce at best and intermittently comes and goes. When we have connection, we will do our very best to send updates.
This afternoon was pretty emotional. We had the opportunity to visit with a ministry of the Harvest Church called “Bethsaida.” It is an association of women and men who are suffering from HIV/AIDs. Many of those who participate in the association live and work at the residence. Together they weave baskets, sew dresses and make other clothing to make the income necessary to sustain their lives as they battle this disease. I can not fully express what I feel as a result of that encounter. I am struck by their courage. I am struck by their peace. I am struck by their efforts. I am struck by their love. More than once I was moved to tears considering their reality. What moved me most was to look among these remarkable people and watch scores of their children run and play in our midst. Children who will face the pain of loss long before they should. Children who will be forced to learn how to cook and work and toil when they should be laughing, jumping and skipping rope. It is the sobering reality of the destruction that accompanies HIV/AIDs. It is an unspeakable horror.
However, the hope that was present in that room was supernatural. The association provides them with housing, limited nutrition, life skills that create income and mostly, dignity. In a culture that would likely assign them scorn – Bethsaida reminds them that they are children of God, within the loving reach of a compassionate Heavenly Father!
I think I will have more to share about this experience after some time passes and thoughts settle. For now, I would invite you to pray for the efforts being made through the ministry of the Bethsaida HIVAIDs Association!