Over the last week, I have spent an entire day with my students talking about my trip to Africa, I have had countless conversations about my experiences, and I have shared my love for my sweet Erick.
The things that I have shared barely scratch the surface of my trip. There isn't enough time in the day for me to share everything the Lord has done in my life, in my heart, and in the people of Rwanda, but here are a few things that have touched my heart even more deeply now that I am home.
First, I realized all the more how in control of EVERYTHING the Lord is. A HUGE prayer I had going into the trip was for God to take care of my diabetes and blood sugars. Seriously, this can only be explained by God. My blood sugars have NEVER been more consistent and spot on since I was diagnosed. He is in control. Of everything. All the time. Even when we forget or doubt. It's encouraging, awe-inspiring, and amazing all at the same time. Such an answer to so many people's prayers. Cool stuff people. Thanks for praying for me!
I have also been thinking so much about Erick. How his life is so different than mine. How his concerns are different. How his family is different. How his education is different. How he has so little and is still very happy. It baffles me. How has God given me this amazing Christ-centered love for a child halfway around the world, when we are so different? I have so much and yet I complain about numerous stupid things every day. He sure does put things into perspective for me. I miss him and truly want the best opportunities for him. Changing the world for one. It's why I sponsor him. It has and will continue to change his life, his family's life, and his community's life. Change the world for one and I guarantee it will rock your world.
Another conversation I've had many times this week has been about my job. I was feeling the monotony of lesson planning, grading, kids who don't want to care, listen, or learn, and politics. I needed a break, but not just one away from school. I needed the Lord to light a fire in my soul again of why I love my job. Rwanda did just that. Pouring into others instead of coming home, sitting on my couch, and staring blankly at the countless TV shows I watch every week completely changed my heart for something outside of myself.
When we went to the Africa New Life School and saw how the children craved learning, selfishly all I wanted to do was stay and teach there instead of in the US. BUT, why would I move there when there are plenty of teachers in Rwanda that are great and need jobs. (Ok Lord, I see now it's NOT what you're calling me to...). But, what they do need is training so THEY can pour into their own culture, people group, and raising the next generation to love and serve only Jesus. Being a teacher in the United States, I have SO many opportunities to go to teacher trainings. I am forced to get so many hours every year in order to keep my certificate. I've been fortunate enough to go to Twitter Math Camp (and am going again this summer) to learn more things than my brain can possibly hold. They don't have those opportunities to the same extent as we do in the US.
With all that being said, the biggest thing I have struggled with after returning is do I go back in June. My church is taking another trip to spend time training teachers. We would leave the day after the last day of school, I would have to take some days off of work, and spend even more money than the first trip. All of those things together terrify me. I foresee the busyness that my life will become (even more than normal) if I decide to go back. BUT if this is what God is calling me to, how can I say no. He's got EVERYTHING!
I know he's calling me to go back. That was evident immediately. It fits perfectly with who the Lord has created me to be. My imperfect humanity comes in when I begin to look at the circumstances. My money, my time, my friends, my family...the part that keeps coming up is MY. It's not mine. It's our heavenly Father's. I should trust Him with it. So be praying for the Lord to grow my faith in Him and my willingness to surrender it all to the One to whom it belongs.
The Lord used this tiny country in the center of Africa to totally change my life.
If you're a teacher and would like to come too, let me know.
If you would like to support adventure #2, let me know.