Rwanda, 2010

“Because of the things I have gone through, I had lost hope of my destiny and I thought my situation was not repairable…”
We can probably all say that we’ve felt that way at one time or another. I’m so grateful for the time that He gave my friend, Jen, and I in Rwanda to speak His words of life over the destinies of such beautiful women from all over the world!

If you haven’t already, please check out the previous Rwanda updates. They share some thoughts and stories. Thanks to my sister, Stacy, who posted the updates while I was gone.

It’s so challenging to encapsulate the trip that I just experienced. I wish that you could’ve seen the faces that told such stories without a single word spoken, the embraces that communicated that His Word had resonated so much with their hearts, the tears that God graciously brought to our eyes throughout the conference, the prayer of blessing that was shared from one generation to another.

Rwanda, a land that was torn apart by horrid violence, is in the process of rebuilding. Our time was focused in the capital city of Kigali…a city decimated by the genocide in 1994 when 800,000 people were brutally killed in the span of just 3 months. More people than that were killed in the history of the war and many were displaced and forced into refugee camps. The buildings in the city don’t show signs of war anymore, but the hearts and the faces of some of the people still do. I have the utmost regard for these people who have lived through such atrocities and survived. There are efforts to rebuild this nation – and it’s happening. There is outward rebuilding and by God’s grace, there is inward rebuilding and restoration!

The trip was very multi-faceted and included speaking at the host church, leading worship, getting to pray and talk with individuals, spending time with beautiful people at their homes and cell group, visiting the Mercy Homes – homes for women with AIDS, helping students at the school with an art project, speaking at the Shine Women’s Conference, and a quick trip to the beautiful Lake Kivu.

I posted pictures and captions that will better describe the trip.

Let me share a few highlights:

One girl came up to me after I spoke about Joseph and the development of his destiny which included forgiving his brothers after being separated from his past for 21 years. We looked at the fact that this leader in Egypt allowed himself to weep and go through the process of forgiveness. She said that she would weep, but didn’t understand that it wasn’t good enough to just weep – she had to forgive!

After speaking on the development of destiny in Naomi and Ruth’s life, I asked the young women 35 and under to come up to the front. About 75% of the women in the room came to the front…more than half of the room was under 35 years old! Because of what the nation has been through, it is full of young people that need the influence of the older generation. What an amazing site to see the older women come forward and grab an arm-full of young women and begin to pray for them, and then for the younger to pray and bless the older. We need each other!

A woman shared with me that God had recently spoken to her that He wanted to “rename” her life…a life that had been so marked by death, He wanted to change its name. She asked Him to confirm what He was saying. One of the sessions included how God renames our destinies.

Getting to pray with women who felt like God was far away from them and they didn’t know if He intended good things towards them.

Getting to pray with a woman – that God would open her womb and give her children!

I saw a precious older woman sitting at the altar, wiping her tears with the beautiful fabric from her dress. I knew that those tears were costly!

God allowed us to share lives, stories, moments, and memories with incredible people!

“…But I thank God that He has used you to restore my hope. Now I am determined to move on and wait on Him to empower me…” (continuation of the letter at the beginning of the entry)

Here are some thoughts that I had written to some of my friends before I left Rwanda…

“To sum it up….I am overwhelmed at how amazing this trip has been! Every single aspect had His fingerprint on it!

My only dilemma now…saying good-bye (for now at least) to a place that He has put in my heart! I don’t know how, but He’s given me an even deeper love and burden for this place and these people! We met so many incredible people and I would even say made some true friends…from all over the world.

In a few minutes we will head out for one last meal with some of those new friends. Our bags are packed, but part of our hearts are somehow being left behind.”

Till next time…

Posted by: steph on