Okay, here comes. Ryan and I have a new venture and we are ready to officially share (no worries, family, we aren't adding another child to the entourage). The two of us have been approached, interviewed and have since accepted Rwanda Team Leader positions for an organization called Visiting Orphans. Next June, 2013, we will be leading our first team to the Land of a Thousand Hills.
The Land of a Thousand Hills. Rwanda. I can't describe to you the heartache, the beauty, the depths of joy in the faces of this country. I can't tell you how it broke my heart in ways I couldn't imagine. I can't tell you how my my mind's eye is always full of the story. The rich history of blood, suffering, reconciliation, forgiveness, grace. Mercy. Healing.
The secular world is quick to criticize "mission trips" and I don't like the term. Us Christians got a bad rep somewhere along the lines and rightly so. A true, gospel centered Christian is going to tell you that the best way to demonstrate the power of God's unbound love is by living it. Walking in those worn through sandals. Sharing that dirty play room floor. Living beside the broken and the weary. This is not a mission trip. This is a get perspective, break-your-heart kind of trip. We want your heart to break over and over again.
East Africa isn't my first brush with a developing country It is the first time that I have seen suchf hope in despair; that I have felt true contentment in the face of suffering. And I want that for everyone that I love. You can't go back to work, to school, to your daily grind the same. And you shouldn't. Not everyone should or can adopt an orphan. Not everyone has the money to sponsor a child. But everyone can become an advocate. Everyone can be changed.
This trip isn't about "saving" orphans. It's about living as Christ lived. Some of you we have already talked to about joining us. For some of you, this is absolutely nothing you have a desire to experience. That's cool. To each his own. But don't say no because of fear or uncertainty. Talk to us.
The trip isn't yet posted, but will be in the next few weeks and it will fill fairly quickly. Our goal is to connect with children with the knowledge that not every child will get an earthly father, but every child deserves to know that they are worth far more than the sparrows (Matt 10:31). You don't need a skill. Just feet to kick a soccer ball and a lap to hold a child. If you would like more details, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org Once our trip is "live" there will be a button on my sidebar.
I'm grateful for my "blog" friends and I want to share this with all our loved ones that have cried, prayed, brainstormed and laughed with us on this journey....
PS If you tell me you can't go because someone in your family thinks it is dangerous, lame-o. Send them to us and the http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1007.html to do homework. Africa is HUGE. Each country, it's people and story are vastly different. And, as Blake says, "Duh, God is already there."