Rwanda Day 5 - July 14, 2019

Today was an amazing day. Our first day in the village and something we will never forget. When we arrived we received an indescribable welcome from a crowd we estimated to possibly be 600 or more. They were clapping and singing and praising God that we were there. All were so friendly and joyful and we were moved by the love that flowed so freely. Each one was anxious to hug us and the children were all reaching to hold our hands. As we walked some of them threw flowers on us. Upon arriving at the church we were given seats together near the front and the building was filled to overflowing for the service. Pastor Marcel and Bishop Theo welcomed us as did the women's and children's choirs. Brian shared a message on encouragement from Romans and each team member had the opportunity to share with the church a little about themselves and the reason they felt God had led them to Rwanda. As the worship ended the adults were dismissed and the children remained and were led by Stacey in Simon Says while Jay, Will, Josiah and Grace prepared to share. They acted out the story of David and Goliath and told the story of the birth of Jesus. The children were given coloring sheets and crayons related to the stories. During this time Brian and Meg were outside showing the woman how to make popcorn. They quickly learned how and we filled bags to pass out to the children. While we had estimated about 150, there were close to 400 children there. It was a crazy, busy scene, but the children all received the popcorn they were so excited for. As the crowds left, we shared a great lunch that had been prepared for us. The love continued as we made our way back to the vans with lots more hugging and waving. As we talked about the day, we found our feelings almost impossible to describe. We agreed that Joy was the overwhelming sentiment. To be so welcomed and to share such a heartfelt worship with our new Rawandan friends was a blessing that we will never forget. We are all excited to return tomorrow to continue to share Gods love and learn more about our new friends

- Dianne Schlegel