Parent Vision Trip - through the eyes of my momma:
I never dreamed Rwanda would steal a piece of my heart. I had a lot of anxiety and anticipation of the Parent Vision trip, but God showed up in mighty ways.
I could not believe after 7 months that I got to finally wrap my arms around my daughter’s neck... hold her tight and kiss her sweet cheeks. I could tell right away that God had been working in her life and the lives of the other racers. Caitlin’s spiritual growth and her passion for others were different... something that I was curious to know more about. Why was Caitlin’s heart so open and loving to a group of people with such a lack of resources that we in America are accustomed to?! Poverty and over population of the people and villages were very evident. It broke my heart to see the poverty of Kigali, but God reminded me right away to look at the happiness and love that the people of Rwanda had deep in their hearts. He told me not to focus on our cultural differences and the material things that I was so accustom to.
Our week went by very fast... We stayed on a small compound that was very quaint. The racer’s had a tent city set up on the premises. They were sacrificing so much for us. At night it was so hard for me to lay in my bed with comfort, knowing Caitlin was just outside the doors sleeping in a tent. God kept reminding me that He is calling her to do His work. To be still and and trust in Him, that He is in full control. To trust Him even when I witnessed so much poverty and thousands of people in small villages that had no running water or electricity. Family’s that had zero resources and very little food and water. It was breaking me inside, but God showed me right away the love, joy and happiness the people of Rwanda had in their hearts. He kept telling me to love on them and to allow them to love me back. I felt they needed me but in reality I needed them. I thank Jesus many times for the love that I felt in my heart for them.
I asked myself, how can these people embrace and give so much back when the genocide of 1994 effected the majority of their families? They lost everything. Generation and generations of family members. 100,000 of Tutsis that were killed by the Hutus. You could see the effect of this horrible event. But again their hearts were so humble and they embraced life with gratefulness.
We got the privilege to visit a school in the village and play duck-duck-goose with the kids. To see their smiles and hold their hands and kiss on their cheeks, was heart warming. Singing songs about Jesus and sitting quietly and looking at the differences that God had created. It was such a humbling experience to dig drainage ditches for miles for the community.
Attending church and praising and singing to our Lord Jesus. Worshiping and letting the Holy Spirit move in our lives. We sang and jumped and bowed down to our Lord Jesus. I was so moved by the Spirit, it seemed like hours had gone by worshipping with the 100 of us in a small concrete building with no AC, dirt floors, and plastic chairs. Bowing down on our knees to praise our One and only Jesus. The locals in the nearby villages joined us in singing and praise to our God and we all were moved to tears. God again showed up in a big way.
The culture of Africa is an experience that I will never forget. I am so thankful for this experience. Psalms 28:7 comes to mind when I was preparing my heart to say goodbye: “The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in him, and he helps me, my heart leaps for joy, and with my heart I praise him.”
Thank you for supporting Caitlin in her journey. Please continue to lift her up in your prayers. My prayer is that everyone will know that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Remember even thousands of miles away, we still serve the same God.
“For yet there is only one God, the father, From whom all things and for whom we exist, And one Lord Jesus Christ through whom all things and through him all things exist.” - 1 Corinthians 8:6