After 12 hours across the ocean on a very large plane, we touched down in the small Middle Eastern country of Qatar. Felt like 135 degrees on the tarmac, and it was immediately clear, we weren’t in Kansas.
Our eyes met travelers from Arabic, Asian, African and probably a hundred other nations. Beautiful people, all made by God. But very different from a stroll through North Hills.
And we weren’t there yet.
Several hours more, and our eyes finally met the bright-faced, mild-mannered people of our host nation. Getting our passports checked, the Team began butchering and blundering some basic Kinyarwanda vocab. That produced some smiles from the otherwise stoic passport screening officials.
Then finally, familiar faces! Eugenie. Celestine. Claudine. And many more familiar faces appeared, eager to greet us and welcome us. We sat down in the room where we’ll share meals this week, and enjoyed fresh crepes, fresh fruit and hot tea while the mellow sun sank beyond the rolling hills outside the window.
As I type, most of the Team is playing Bananagrams in the dark because power is out. Something that happens almost nightly. We’re tired but looking forward to what’s ahead.
And what’s ahead is more faces of people made by God, loved by God. We will lock eyes with old friends and new friends in Gikomero tomorrow. We will sing, maybe dance and definitely seek the Lord with them in worship Sunday. And the week will continue from there.
Our aim is to pray with people. Sounds thoroughly unproductive in some ways. And yet, the point of our journey, the point of being linked with these folks is relationship. And there aren’t many more things that link you closer than praying with someone. So, our hope is to pray. To pray a lot.
Pray with the Shyogwe diocesan staff. With Pastor Alfred, who is Gikomero’s new pastor, and his family. With the mothers of the Healthy Mums Project. With the Health Center staff and patients. And hopefully with some families of the church.
And the Lord only knows what will happen as he hears and answers these prayers we pray with our brothers and sisters. But hopefully we will walk away closer to them, and them to us.
We’re on our way. Pray for us!