Slowing Down in Remera

I had a visit Friday morning with Augustin Simparinka. the General Superintendent and Legal Representative of the Rwanda Yearly Meeting. He was on his way out of town. I learned about the Evangelical Friends Church of Rwanda. Afterwords, David Thomas gave me a tour of the missionary kids’ school in the compound.  I discovered that the Friends Church in Rwanda is quite young, only dating back to the 1980s, with the pioneering work done by missionaries Willard and Doris Ferguson. I also learned about the Friends Peace House, an outreach program of the church here, to connect with others in this country who are committed to peace and reconciliation work.   If i get the opportunity to return to Kigali, I would like to visit the Peace House and learn more about the projects and activities that it has undertaken.

I also met Gary and Wendy Baxter, the parents of Aryn, the director of the Go Ed program here, and hostess at the house where I am staying.  Gary and Wendy are from Houghton College in New York.  I learned from them that Houghton is very active in sending students to international sites, both short term during a May term, and for longer, semester study abroad programs.

Saturday was umuganda, the monthly Saturday morning of community service that all Rwandans participate in.  All the shops and other businesses were closed until early afternoon.  People are organized by small neighborhood groups (about one hundred households) to do one morning of community service a month.  This is an old tradition in Rwanda and is mandatory.  I spent the day packing, reading, reflecting on my trip and my journey home.  I shared pictures of my family with Aidah and Imanuelli.

I pray that God will bless the people of this household and the other friends I have made here in Kigali.  I am grateful for them, their lives and their kindness extended to me.  My life is richer for the people I have met here.  My life is rich in relationships with fine people.  I think of my family, my church family and my colleagues and friends at home.  I look forward to getting back during Christmas week to celebrate and enjoy with them.

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