R&R and safari days - by Linda & Sarah

Day 6 
Today we were heading to the village of Gasarabwyi, the third village we would visit this mission trip.  What a blessed, loving, amazing day we were to experience.  We arrived at the church, greeted by so many beautiful, loving people, dancing and singing.  As we entered the church, we were surrounded by so much love and the presence of God.  We were surrounded by so many beautiful children.  It was quickly evident and clear why our Pastor Bruce leaves a piece of his heart here every time he leaves.  The service was amazing!  They have 3 choirs: children, teens and adults.  Their voices all sound like angels and their compassion and love for God was audible.  

Once service was complete, we were served a beautiful lunch provided by Pastor and his wife.  We were then able to spend some time with the children.  Each and every child that was there was so loving, happy and shared God's love with us.  We only had a short period of time with them, but promised that we would be back in just a few days to spend more time.  

Next, was fittings for our dresses/skirts/bags that we were going to have made by Rosa and her co-op of seamstresses.  They were so quick and thorough as the 8 of us ladies handed over our material!

It was then time to lave and head to the Ruzizi Tented Lodge, where we would stay one night and have a "recharge" day on Monday, exploring Akagera National Park by going on a 5 to 6 hour safari... stay tuned for more exciting updates!

-Linda Hubbard

Day 7
After a week of travelling across the country attending different villages every day, with early morning expeditions into remote areas until late afternoon, it felt so reassuring to take a day of relaxation in Akagera National Park. Not that visiting the villages isn’t amazing, it is easy to say they are the best experiences I’ve ever had, filled with love and compassion towards others like I’ve never seen before. But this safari gave the team an opportunity to regroup and be our best possible selves in the villages. It gave us the chance to be as present as possible with the villagers in order to have the best experience, sharing God’s love.

To find this sense of relaxation, we ventured out to the Ruzizi Tented Lodge. Team Ineza had an early start this morning, a bright and early seven a.m. to catch the jeeps for the safari. Once we took off and started down the road, I was overjoyed. It had been my dream for so long to simply come to Africa, but now visiting the beautiful countryside villages and an African safari all in one week. It is more than I could ever ask for.

The safari was spectacular, and the next six hours seemed to fly by. Animals were scattered throughout the forest, crossing the roads and staring at our jeeps as we drove by. Zebras ran through the pastures, hippos grazed the waters, eagles perched on tree tops. It’s amazing to see all kinds of species living in harmony, all abiding by the circle of life. It truly is beautiful, being able to observe all of God’s creation in the foreign continent of Africa. I felt as the breeze blew in the wind and the birds flew across the hilltops, God was truly present in the nature we were surrounded in. It was an unforgettable experience, and after the day of rest and relaxation, I can truly say I am beyond excited to get back to the villages that I adore so much in the days to come.

-Sarah O'Neill