I am going to be very honest: I was really, really hoping the Lord was going to call my family to move to Africa. The idea attached itself to me last fall and did not leave.
In June, Spencer and I actually got to travel to Rwanda and well, I didn’t hear anything. No matter how still I stood or how hard I squinted my eyes, there was no big moment, no lightning strike from the heavens, no loud voice booming from the clouds. Nothing. Nada.
I know. It was disappointing.
Here’s what did happen:
We travelled all over the outskirts of Kigali, mostly up to the hills just outside the city where it takes 30 minutes to bob and weave five miles on rural red dirt roads. We were with with hundreds of children every day, singing songs, making “iffy” which is “fish” in Kinyarwandan, playing games, holding hands, breaking bread, sharing Fanta. We worshiped with our Rwandan brothers and sisters. We watched them dance and march and auction off live animals as a part of their offering in Sunday service. We sang songs with familiar tunes and raised our hands together, one movement with the same meaning in both our languages. We had tea in homes no bigger than my living room and we petted cows and we counted banana trees. We walked through the mud. We waved to children peeking out from behind corners and laughed at the ones running beside our cars yelling, “Mizungo!” (which basically means, “white person!”)
I fell in love. I fell in love with the great hospitality and joy and determination of the Rwandans. I watched in wonder as women toted fifty pounds worth of bananas or yucca or sugar cane on their heads towards market with their babies strapped to their backs. I watched in wonder as tiny feet no bigger than my own childrens’ walked the dusty mile upon mile to get to their school rooms. I wept being in the room with mighty intercessors, not understanding a word, but feeling the mighty sweep of the Holy Spirit. I wept singing with the children. I wept knowing one day we will all be able to understand each other in the presence of the Lord. I wept at goodbye.
Silly Americans, they must’ve thought. Silly, weeping Americans.
So now, back home, I wonder how to come back to my life with no specific calling from the Lord, aside from the desire for more. How do I come back home to iPads and free wifi and free schooling and the option to choose peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese for lunch?
He’ll do a lot with a little
Take the first step and He’ll take 99…
I come back to those words we sang every morning with the children. I close my eyes and see the children’s little blue uniforms, their tiny faces concentrating on our funny language, their dark eyes laughing, their tiny bare feet dancing.
Maybe, just maybe, God can take my desire for more, the small inkling in my mind and make it something big, even if it’s only just for me.
“Jesus knew it didn’t matter how much the little boy had. God would make it enough, more than enough,” Sally Lloyd-Jones writes in the Children’s Storybook Bible story about Jesus feeding the 5000.
So I take my little and I give it to the Lord, like the little boy who offered his five loaves and two fish. I take my desire for more, my yearning for disruption, my desperation to meet with the Lord and I offer it up. I offer it up from my big house in the middle of downtown Thomasville in the middle of Georgia in the middle of my oh-so-American life.
That’s what I took home from this trip. No loud words from thunderous clouds. Just a tiny shift in my heart to always have Rwanda close by. To give the Lord my little and know He will absolutely make it into a lot.
Our last day in Bumbogo (just outside Kigali),
posing in front of the mural we painted in our time there.