To Rwanda on Friday, the 28th where we spent 5 full, non-stop days ministering in and around Kigali. What a wonderful country with wonderful people. We were greeted at the airport with a full contingency of people from DOVE Rwanda - with flowers for both of us. That was just an inkling of the gracious hospitality we were shown.
Rwanda is called The Land of A Thousand Hills. It is a very clean country. On the last Saturday of every month the country has Community Activity Day. From 7 AM to 11 AM the entire country is engaged in cleaning up the streets and/or doing community work such as helping to build a house for an underprivileged family, or painting rooms in a hospital, etc. People receive their assignments at work among other places. On that day, people must stay at home if they haven't been assigned a project. If one ventures on the streets at all during those hours they are subject to being fined.
On Sunday as we were getting ready for church there was a knock at the door of our room in the hostel. Upon opening we were greeted by Pastor Levis Kagigi and his wife Abia and they had a Rwandanese dress for Marty. The men were quickly ushered out and Abia re-dressed Marty. What a lovely outfit. Of course when she was speaking in church she modeled it for everyone. Here you see Marty and Abia. Aren't the colours and patterns wonderful?
CHURCH IN A HILL
No, that's not a typo. DOVE Rwanda has 4 churches and one of them in literally IN a hill. There were two small houses which were combined and so part of the church building is up the hill and the other part is lower. Inside it is gradually terraced in about 3 levels and the pulpit is at the bottom. It is quite effective.
THE TREE NEXT TO THE CHURCH
Next to the church, at the top right side, is an old tree that is gnarled and twisted at the bottom; however, the top of it is growing straight and overshadows the church with lovely shade (see top photo). That tree captured Marty's attention. After a lot of prayer and then some direction in searching the scriptures she was able to trace a wonderful history of the tree where Jacob buried his father-in-law's idols. Those idols caused that ground and tree to be cursed. years later God made a covenant concerning the land with Abraham - at that same tree - the oak or terebinth at Shechem. Abraham built an altar at that tree and worshipped the Lord. The ground and tree went from being cursed to being holy. Then, many years later, just before crossing into the promised land, Joshua made a covenant with the Israelites, wrote it down, then set up a "stone of witness" - a monument that "heard" the covenant and the oaths of the people - under that very same tree at Shechem, which by then was next to the sanctuary of God! She shared all of this with the leaders of the church and gave them a few points to pray about comparing the tree next to the church in Rwanda with the tree next to the sanctuary in Shechem in the Old Testament.
DANCING WITH A PURPOSE
During the worship a group of men and women began a dance of welcome. They made a semi-circle around us and danced right in our faces. It was really neat. Of course Marty joined in with them. Which seemed to surprise them. They were made aware that she is 70 and couldn't quite wrap their heads around a woman of that age being able to dance like that. We think it was some type of tribal dance.Then a bit later we were told that they were going to dance to chase away any demons that might be around. WOW! What a dance! The men were all over the place jumping and doing warlike moves, etc. It was truly tribal and very exciting. The photos here don't really do it justice, for you had to see the moves they were making.
SO MUCH HAPPENING
There is sooooo much happening this first week and a half in Nairobi and Kisumu that we will need to be updating the blog every couple of days.
Bye for now!