We are finishing up the mix for the album, and are re-entering summer in Minnesota. We hear from our friends in Rwanda, and ask for your prayers for the FH office in Kigali, and for the community of Gesanga as they continue to work so diligently on community development and care for these kids and their families.
Visit Part One - Getting there We just got an update from our sponsored child in Rwanda, and it was so strange to be able to picture the backdrop to that letter. I could picture Remy, the interpreter, helping Iranzi with his letter, and wondered if he had worked on this particular response at school or during one of his home visits. Iranzi's home is well off the beaten path. You have to have some pretty good shoes to get down the side of the hill that he and his family lives on. Or in the case of the children leading us down, you need no shoes and a lifetime of experience. When we went to visit Iranzi there was a lot of expectation, and I was trying so hard to take mental snapshots of what was going on without missing actually being in the moment as it was happening. In Rwanda, you do not have to be rich to have a great view. It is called the Land of a Thousand Hills, and whether you are perched at the top of one of those hills, deep in the valleys, or anywhere in between, the lush green, rolling views are breathtaking.
Iranzi's family was about three-quarters of a mile down one of those 'hills'. There is no road to speak of, just a foot path that goes from house to house. Moments before we got to the house, Kirby fell and scraped his knee. Cameras were rolling to document our visit as FH advocates, and I knew Kirby was not going to be able to pull it together by the time we reached the house. He was the focus of things because he and Iranzi are about the same age. I knew he was okay, but with all of the attention, he was overwhelmed, and was having a hard time calming down. I had one of those parent moments where I wondered if I should sternly command him to pull it together because we needed a good picture of him, or if even here on the side of this hill in Rwanda, I needed to take the time to hear him out. Kirby and I walked away from the group a bit and I could tell his knee was okay. It just took him a minute to regroup, and then we were ready to meet the family.
I am in that position a lot where I want my kids to act a certain way because we are in public, and have found that my expectations can be like poison to my whole family. I have to really check my motives. I want them to be kind, gentle people, but if my motive comes from my wanting to look good, my kids will figure out that my correction was ultimately about me and not about them. I have to admit that I was on the verge of hissing in his ear, but later I was glad that I had an opportunity to show Kirby that he is important to me even when we are doing other important things.
Sara and Kirby embark on their journey to meet their sponsored child Iranz.
The Groves family, with Food for the Hungry coordinator Remy, traverse the terrain to Iranz's house.
Kirby with Iranz's last letter he got back in Minnesota.