The size of the areas covered by each diocese here is staggering. As we head off to visit the home of one sponsored child (Ian’s) we are told the journey is 2 1/2 hours each way.
The rain has damaged many of the hill roads and the journey was not easy, even in the 4 wheel drive Land Cruiser we have been using. Thanks to the skill of Jacques, our driver for the last few days, we arrived safely.
Ian was pleased to meet Gedeon his sponsored child and his family in their very basic home.
It was explained to us that sponsoring children in these remote areas is important to show the people living here that they are not forgotten and to give them hope and encouragement in their daily struggle. Once again it was our visit more than the practical support that had been given that meant so much.
After an unscheduled stop at the pastors house for a meal, the rain arrived before we left. The drive back was more than challenging and it was dark before we left the hill tracks and arrived back. If we were tired it is hard to imagine how Jacques felt.
This morning a mercifully short drive found us taking the footpaths to the homes of Paul’s two sponsored children
The first a remote location that was not served by a road, where we met Placidya – a charming young girl who proudly showed us the hens she had bought with the gift she had received.
There were some vertical challenges for those of us who are not too keen on sheer drops!!!
The second location should have been a drive but the rains had made the road impassable. Eric has been sponsored since 2003 and it was clear to see how his life had improved as he proudly showed us his cows, hens and pigs as well as the plot of land he was cultivating. He hopes to be a farmer when he leaves school and we think he is well on his way to success. We not only met his mother and brother but also his 98 year old grandmother. It is hard to imagine all the things she has seen in her life.
All together we walked about 4 miles at around 8000ft, up and down the hills of Byumba. We considered the need for a base camp and oxygen was required by the time we returned..
Then it was back to the church to meet with a number of the sponsored children and hear their testimonies. Once again CHI stood for Causing Havoc Intentionally as we distributed the remaining tennis balls.
A quick cup of tea and we headed for Kigali. Said farewell to Jacques and settled into our rooms for the last two nights of our trip.