There's a lot that's going into my decision to take this trip, as before, but I won't get into that right now. What I'm thinking about at the moment is Numbers 13 and 14, which we have been asked, as team members, to reflect on at this time.
In these two books of the Bible, Moses is a leading the Jews out of Egypt and into the "promised land." They've been traveling for a while, and he sends a team of scouts to survey the land below to see if it is livable. They find that it is, and full of great produce and such, but several strong groups of people are already living there, and that freaks a lot of the Jews out. Caleb, one of the scouts, is not afraid, because he knows the Lord is with them.
Moses intervenes on behalf of the people, asking God to forgive them (again) despite their ignorance and rebellion. God does forgive them, but says that those who did not trust him all died before they see the promised land, and those who did the scouting and spread panic among the people will be struck down of plague. Moses tells the people this, but the people still do not understand. They decide to go into the land anyway, saying, "we are ready now." Moses says they should not do this, because the Lord is not with them, having told them to go a different route. Predictably, the people who ignore this instruction and go down into the country all fall.
So what can we learn from this? Obviously that we should follow God's lead, but also that we need to be aware of when plans change and our expectations fall short, or are not even applicable. Adaptation, in life, is as important as — if not more important than — having a plan to begin with.
As I prepare to return to Rwanda, with this new team and a higher level of maturity on my part (as well as more life experience, since most of our team is made up of high school girls), I have to remind myself of who I am, both historically and at present, the "good" and the "bad," in Christ and as a teacher and artist. I think I'm pretty aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a person, but I pray that I would know in the moment, in Rwanda, what is God's will and what is not.
If you are interested in helping to fund this venture of mine, you may do so by following this link. Or, you can purchase some of my recently published books of poetry (one of which includes a poem I wrote about a moment in Rwanda!), the proceeds from which will go toward my trip for the next 2-3 months :)
Turongera (See You Later)!
P.S. Here's a silly picture of me in a plastic poncho at Favor Guest House in Kigali when I was really sick but on the mend...so everyone found it pretty hilarious.