As you read this post please keep in mind the torrential rain we experienced yesterday.
Today we were heading to Ndego Parish, where goats have been provided for a number of families. But first the puncture needed to be fixed!!!!
After the obligatory omelette for breakfast and already an hour late leaving we set off on the one hour drive to the parish church. This area is one of the hottest, driest regions in Rwanda. We were welcomed by Pastor Jean Pierre and invited to share food and drink. A large roll and boiled egg later we headed off to visit some homes in the local area, then on another 45 minute drive to a sub parish close to Lake Nasho, once part of the Akagera National Park but now given to the local population. The landscape here is totally different to anything else we have seen in Rwanda. It is relatively flat, very dry with minimal vegetation. 98% of the local population are subsistence farmers and providing goats gives a good supply of manure for improved crops and some income. Many are now attending church as they see God’s love in action through this provision. Pastor Jean Pierre told us how he had baptised 250 people in one ceremony due to the distribution of goats and the opportunity it had given him to evangelise.
Rain is scarce here and drought is a constant challenge. That is until Carmen visits but we had to get there first!!!!
Thankfully the strategic positioning of some rocks and dried banana leaves together with the appearance of a couple of local men with muscle and we were free, if a little muddy!!! In the middle of nowhere, not a soul in sight, where did these men come from??
We arrived for our 11am meeting with a local government official at 1.30pm.Thankfully a very short stop before visiting the church and the homes of some of those who had received a goat. There is no doubt the gift of a goat is changing lives and we were welcomed wherever we went.
The daily thunderstorm arrived as we left, although we only felt a few drops of rain and it was back in the car and headed for the pastors house……. for a 3.30pm lunch…… which turned out to be a full traditional Rwandan meal.
We were scheduled to visit a second parish this afternoon. We arrived at 5pm! The light was beginning to fade and an hours journey on hill track roads lay ahead. We agreed a quick visit to meet another family before we headed off. Pastor Alain told us he had baptised 141 people in September as a result of the distribution of goats. Then an invite to enter the pastors house revealed another full Rwandan meal laid out for us. We did our best but couldn’t do justice to the effort that had been put in. We hope they forgive us.
It was dark by the time we left and many a prayer was offered as Emmanuel negotiated the treacherous road home. We had to decline the meal that had been prepared for us at the guest house. You can only manage so much of a good thing!!!
As we post this blog the rain is once again blessing us!!! Please continue to pray for journey mercies as we visit another parish tomorrow.