It’s a beautiful morning in Kigali, Rwanda. The sun is bright, the sky is blue, and a light breeze fills the air. Today is the big day for the kids of Kigali.
Standing here inside this tent, there is an unpainted Bible college on my far left with a dust walkway leading up to it. Next to the pathway on both sides is a green grass filled field.
Standing here starring at the big empty green field the echo of kids laughing and playing still remains. Directly behind me is a gray and blue building called, “The New Life Family Center.” The New Life Family Center is such an amazing place built just a few years ago by Rwandans for the purpose of serving all Rwandans.
The once echoing sound of the kids laughing and playing over the green field has now faded away and been replaced with a indescribable sound of those same kids singing and dancing songs of worship inside the church on my close right.
As the kids sang and danced inside a line of kids hoping to get in stood patiently outside.
Why not? Inside contains a promise of food, hope, love, and something to smile about.
Knowing that most of these kids are orphans, street kids, without a home, or a promise for a meal; breaks my heart. I wish we could let them all in.
All of a sudden the sound of kids singing came to a halt. A flood of kids came outside and scattered out to where a leader of the festival directed them. One of the leaders brought a group of kids into the red tent that I’m in. This is the music station, where we sing songs of worship that have hand motions that go along with them.
In the beginning of the session I passed out shakers for the kids. It warmed my heart to see the kids’ faces light up when they would receive a shaker.
Time had seemed to fly by when you’re in the midst of children who touch your heart.
It’s now lunchtime and as I walk to the church I look to my left to see that there is no longer a line of kids outside. But, more faces in the sea of kids.
As I entered the church where lunch was being handed out. I came across the Director of the festival Fred having a conversation with a middle-aged American volunteer Traci. Traci had come from America to coordinate the festival. From what I gathered they were discussing not letting anymore kids into the festival.
Fred who is unsure of his age, was born in Uganda, and has given his life to serve the people of Rwanda. While Traci who is on her second trip to Rwanda from America is the mother of a teenage daughter has also been touched by the people of Rwanda. She now spends a lot of her time in volunteering for a local organization back home for which she is now on this trip.
Fred’s argument was that they didn’t have enough room for more kids, where as Traci says that we can make room. He responded by stating, “We don’t want kids to just show up to get a meal, we want them to hear the message.” Which Traci quickly responded by saying, “You don’t know that the kids aren’t hearing the message or one of the volunteers would touch their hearts with the message.”
Moments later Traci added, “I spoke with the people in the kitchen and they said they could make it work with 100 more kids.” Then Fred jokingly said, “Do what you want you crazy mzungu’s (Mzungu means American.)”
The next day, with a new expectation ended with a miracle. At first, we planned for 350 and on day 1 we had 450. But, on day 2 when we planned for 450 we got way greater than that. We reached 780 kids!
Overall, we had 430 more kids than planned.
From this situation I had learned that when you see a need that hits your heart do something. Secondly, to seek out the right people that can give you the right information to make a good decision. Thirdly, when in conflict with others support your position with facts and not just emotion. Lastly, when your heart tells you to do something it’s ok to have faith.