Mission Trip: Rwanda #2

Below is information from Elkhorn Hills UMC member Jessica Zelfel, about her mission trip to Rwanda with Africa New Life Ministries.  

Jessica and 20 other women from across the US went to Rwanda, Africa, from July 4, 2017-July 14, 2017.  She has returned safely after a very rewarding trip.

 Here are some of her experiences:

(This is from a post of Tanna Donalson, a member of the mission trip posted on July 12, 2017.)

Day 7:

We’re all pretty sure that never in our lives have we experienced the lowest of lows and the highest of highs all in one day. Today was the most awful but then the most redemptive and amazing day. Meet the town of Bugesera, Rwanda. I’ve never been apprehensive to visit a village here but today I certainly was. I didn’t want to go. 70% of the people here were killed in the 90’s during the genocide. Details flood my head; the way the government was so corrupt and entirely involved and had in fact planned this genocide, the mass graves we have seen, the stories that are never ending. No one can understand it. No one can fathom the truth of the horror. No one can ever make it right. There’s a reason Bill Clinton regrets not getting more involved. The last thing I saw before we walked away was the church where most were murdered, the building covered in bullet holes and filled with pews draped with carefully placed piles of the clothing taken from the deceased, young and old.

I felt numb. No picture is bad enough to adequately depict the truth.

Baptismal Pool

Still in Bugesera, we went by one of the areas where Africa New Life built a church. There’s a church and they are working hard on a new high school with the help of Builders without Borders. There was a beautiful garden there and everyone seemed to happy to be working hard whether it be in the garden or on the new school grounds. As we were walking back towards our bus, we passed by what looked like a giant storm shelter in the ground. We asked the pastor what it was and he explained that it’s the baptism pool that they first used to baptize 22 people just last Saturday.

My new and sweet friend Lauren who has become so precious to me began explaining her recent visions of being baptized. It’s like God said, “say no more” and things just fell into place. The pastor from Kigali just happened to be there and wanted to baptize her, the choir at church just happened to be at practice and the children, oh all those beautiful children had just gotten out of school and were passing by on the way home. God knew. He helped us navigate through the obstacles, made the water flow, brought all the witnesses and right then and there with the serenade of angelic voices, she was baptized. It is no mistake that in the darkest of places in the middle of Africa that has suffered one of the worlds greatest injustices, death was buried and He brought my sweet friend life. Love you to pieces Lauren. I loved that we all got to walk through this together, as sisters. I’ll never forget all those tears and our wet hugs. #africanewlife #IFRwanda2017 #iloveafrica

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