HOPE. IT CONQUERS:
So I admit. Leaving Kimisagra, I couldn't help but feel that recognizable feeling of hopelessness. Just driving through the city and during our 3 hour drive to Gisenyi, all I could think about was... how are we going to get these children fed? How are we going to help these children from sleeping on the cold, wet concrete floors? And how...are we going to do it from the United States when I have to leave in a few days?
I was letting that spirit of helplessness win over any feeling of HOPE.
God has been speaking loud and clear to me lately, and it was before this trip I promised that I would do my dang'dest to listen. I would try and really hear Him when he's telling me, "No."... We can't do it all. We can't do everything. In fact, He doesn't WANT us to.
That's never been his intentions.
I've been hearing Him tell me that it's his desire to see these people, native to their own countries, rising up as leaders and role models for generations to come. That we might be able to guide them, but ultimately, we're supposed to empower them to find the way, sustain it, and then flourish it.
And growing up in a 'fix-it fast', 'we can do everything' western culture, this is a hard lesson to learn, and sometimes I don't understand why he doesn't want us to just Jump In. Fix it.
... until we visited Best Family in Kigali.
There isn't any other word that can describe the work they're doing here, other than Remarkable. oh... and of course, full of HOPE.
The 3 leaders, no older than myself but wiser beyond my years, lost their families in the Genocide. Growing up as orphans, they were fed with the lie that there was no other way, and that suffering and poverty was their inheritance. And their will to survive was no stronger than the enemy's will to conquer.
But these 3 men had a choice.
They began to pray. And pray. They were filled with Hope. They were filled with determination. And they then began to grow and build and ... flourish.
And today, these 3 young men run one of the...well, probably the most inspiring programs I've yet to come across in the mission world. The children at Best Family are given a place to live, eat, sleep, and study in safety. They are given the tools and resources to succeed in school, and most all the children are testing first in their classes. Upon graduation, everyone has an opportunity to return to Best Family to work. Should they choose the workforce in the outer community, they willingly commit to a promise that a percentage of their pay goes back to the mission of Best Family.
These men are raising these children as their own. Teaching them, inspiring them, empowering them that taking and receiving free handouts will not get them anywhere in the long run. That they must learn to do it themselves and become resourceful and useful....and HOPEFUL. Unlike the children at Kimisagra, these children have someone. A family that supports them, encourages them, laughs with them, smiles with them, provides for them and just truly loves them...
And it's their LOVE that makes anything possible.
Because it's their love that gives them hope.
The children at Best Family are some of the most beautiful angels I've seen--and it's because they have HOPE and it shines through their smiles. You see, in Rwanda... the word SMART means beautiful. But the family at Best Family claims the definition of both. They are the smartest and most beautiful role models for so many people. Especially the US. Especially me.
During our short visit, not once did any one of the children or leaders ever ask for anything. Not once did they tell us they were in despair. Not once did they offer a tour--as a way to show us their 'poverty-stricken' ways. Not once did they make us feel obligated to do ANYTHING.
And it only made me want to do SOMETHING more...
And I literally felt the spirit of helplessness and hopelessness immediately leave my heart.
See, when HOPE -- everyday, CONFIDENT HOPE, is at the foundation of anything... Everything will be okay.
Everything can be done.
And everything will be done.
All we all need is a little HOPE.
Best Family showed ME how.....
|Through HOPEful eyes|
|We can... and WILL... do anything.|
A founding brother. An inspiration to follow