Follow our team as we prepare, travel, and serve alongside Acts4Rwanda and Africa College of Theology in Kigali, Rwanda this summer!
Heart-aching goodbyes, tinged with joy and hope. That’s what we experienced as we bid farewell to our Rwandan family, reflecting the goodness of God and the unity of His Spirit that we experienced over the last two weeks.
Following one last delicious breakfast at the Tea House, we started our morning with our final team devotion out of Psalm 98, asking the Lord to continue aligning our hearts with His eternal purpose to bring glory to His name through global worship…even as we prepared to return to Little Rock. We finished packing up our bags and made a couple of last-minute pit stops at our favorite coffee shop and artisan jeweler (we had to be a little bit touristy, after all!) before heading to the Transformation Center, where we enjoyed our final lunch prepared by the Acts4 staff and the fellowship that always accompanies it.
After lunch, we joined the 130 Acts4 Achievers for our official farewell ceremony. While this ceremony is not as exuberant as the welcome ceremony we experienced 12 days earlier, it’s even more meaningful. Child after child came forward to tell the team what they had learned that week, the impact our presence had made in their lives, and to offer their sincerest thanks. The only things that flowed more freely than their hand-written notes and gifts were the embraces and tears of all those present. These holy moments were testimonies of God’s faithfulness to unite His people in His love and to answer the prayers that had been prayed over this trip!
After just about as many goodbye hugs as our hearts could handle, the team headed back to the Tea House to grab our bags, then head to the airport to start our 35 hour odyssey back to Little Rock. In typical Rwandan fashion, the Acts4 staff loaded up as many kids as the bus could handle to accompany us to the departure terminal for more heart-felt embraces and farewells. As we took our final leave of them, we couldn’t help but feel so fully loved, appreciated, and honored to have played a small role in the life of this ministry.
During the next day and a half of travel, we had plenty of time to reflect individually and corporately as a team. Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude as we look back at what God has done, not just over the past two weeks, but over the months of preparation, as well as the years that we were unable to travel to Rwanda. His faithfulness was on full display every step of this trip…through highs and lows, sickness and changing schedules, He met us again and again to the praise of His name! He reminded us that these are HIS ministries that HE sustains for His glory and that we are simply blessed to come alongside, build relationships, invest the loaves and fishes He’s given us, and respond with heart-felt praise!
We made the most of our trip back. Croissants, espresso, and waffles in Belgium…pizza in Chicago (during a 7 hour layover)…but I think most of us would have traded these for the beans and rice we shared with our Rwandan brothers and sisters over the last weeks. You know a short-term trip has been impactful when you can’t quite decide if you are happy to get back home or sad. As we deplaned in Little Rock, it was a blessing to be greeted by family members and a relief to shower and get into our own beds…and yet I think most of us felt that in some way, part of our hearts were still back in Kigali. But we are trusting that the same God who was faithful to walk us through every step of this trip will be faithful to lead us back together again!
To each of you who have labored with us in prayer for this trip, please accept our most heart-felt THANK YOU! Your investment has made an impact for eternity in the lives of our team and those we ministered with in Rwanda. We are honored to have travelled on behalf of C3 and every person who has played a role in supporting this trip…all to the praise of our God’s great name!
FOR HIS GLORY,
-Will B., Team Lead
PRAY WITH US:
Our last full day in Rwanda was absolutely incredible, marked by God’s presence and blessing! We started with another wonderful breakfast at the Tea House, then started our team devotions out of Psalm 139. As we began, we saw a familiar face walking into the Tea House and were so surprised to see David Alireki (the co-founder and former country director of Acts4Rwanda)! David has become a dear friend over the years, but moved back to Uganda in 2020 to formalize his own ministry in his native land. We had certainly missed him this trip, and were so grateful for his willingness to travel 13 hours by bus to connect with us!
After finishing our devotions (with David), we headed to the Transformation Center and were able to meet with the women employed by Women’s Initiative International, most of whom have children in the Acts4Rwanda program. These women have have received training as weavers and seamstresses, allowing them to provide for their families as they produce exquisite products for retail. It was such a blessing to see the impact this organization is having in the community and the way that these women are growing in their love and support for one another! We are thankful for the staff and volunteers (both in Rwanda and the US) who continually support these dear women and give them a future and a hope!
The Acts Achievers were overjoyed to see “Uncle David,” so we had an impromptu welcome ceremony in his honor. We then transitioned to staff worship and Bible study, discussing God’s design for us to wait on Him (out of Psalm 62). We spent some extra time in prayer for the ministry and for each other to close this time out. We were able to help serve an extra-special celebratory meal to the Achievers (complete with eggs, beef, chicken, fruit, rice, flat bread, and Fanta) before we spent the afternoon playing and fellowshipping.
Back at the Tea House, we changed our clothes and headed out on the town to host the Acts4 staff for a special dinner. This time was marked by so much unity, encouragement, and mutual appreciation…what an answer to prayer! We have truly been able to connect with these dear saints in a meaningful way and are looking forward to many years of ministry together in the future.