Chryston Parish Church

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July 17, 2010 @ 7:43 am

Healing and reconsiliation day 2

Day 10

I apologise in advance for this post. Towards the end it discusses, in detail, the horrible things that happened to a genocide survivor. If you don't feel you want to read that please skip paragraph 5. It is included so that, those who want to, can get a taste of the horrors of the genocide. It is not included for shock value, but more so that we can see God working in this place.

1. We started today by setting off to visit the high school that pastor paul's children attend. It was their last day of term, and the kids were having their last exams before breaking up for their school holidays.

2. When we got to the high school, we were told that the kids were just finished their exams and were waiting for their parents to arrive to take them home. The head teacher met us and took us on a tour of some of the classrooms. We then stood out in the courtyard talking to a group of the school kids. Some of us were talking, others singing and some others took the opportunity to kick a football around. The kids were wonderful to talk to and to sing with. Pastor Paul had told me that a group of the kids met up for worship on Sundays, on campus, because they didn't go home at weekends and because they prefered that than to walk to the local church. He told me that this was something they arranged themselves. I felt really challenged by this, because it's not something that I would have done when I was their age. I think I would have convinced myself that I would walk into town for church, then, when the alarm went off on Sunday morning, rolled over and went back to sleep. It was a great testiment to their faith, and their hunger for God, that they were keen to do that.

3. Having finished at the school, we then went to the house of another person who was part of the healing and reconsiliation project. We spent the rest of the afternoon, and the start of the evening, helping martha cement her floor. Men arrived and dumped a truck load of sand and a truck load of cement which we had to carry to martha's house. It wasn't very far that we had to carry it, but there was a lot of sand and a lot of cement that needed to be moved. It was good, enjoyable work, but very very tiring. Everyone was working together as a team to move this sand and help Martha as much as possible. The sand was heavy to move, as was the cement, but everyone on the team, and a lot of kids from the community, were all helping - which meant that the job got done reasonably quickly. To put it in context, had you tried to move all of that sand and cement by yourself - using nothing but shovels and bags - it would have taken you weeks. Instead, it took the group of us a few hours. It was brilliant to think how great an effect this would have on martha's life - and all it took was a couple of hours of our time. It was also an excellent feeling to just be practically helping someone in such a meaningful way. (with that said, my t-shirt is completely ruined!)

4. I was touched today by the willingness of everyone to give of their time, and their energy, to help this lady out.

5. During reflections this evening pastor john told us a little of martha's story. He told us that during the genocide almost her entire family were killed. She was left with no one except her two grandsons. She was also brutally raped by a large group of men and who then cut into her head and left her for dead.  As a result of the rape she contracted HIV. I think This was such a stark reminder for the group of what we are still dealing with here, and the pain and suffering that people have endured. It is also a huge example to us of the kind of obsticles that our God is able to overcome! This lady was raped, repeatedly. She contracted a deadly desease because of this. Most of her family were killed. Yet she still praises God. Yet she still dances and sings with delight for what the Lord has done in her life! Stunning!

6. I think the feeling from the group today was that we were all exhausted, but that it felt awesome to do something practical to help someone.

7. Please pray that we continue to be a blessing to the Rwandan people and that our fellowship remain strong.

Comfort Rwanda team

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