Rwanda #2 - What Are You Busy Doing?



by Erika Shapiro, for the team

There is nothing like sleeping in a real bed after traveling to the other side of the world! We rested well under our mosquito nets at the guest house in Kigali. We got up for some individual quiet times, as the rain fell on the tin roof of porch outside of our rooms. Our theme verse for the trip is Luke 5:1-11, and today to help identify with Simon who was busy fishing in this passage, we answered the question: what are you busy doing?

After our quiet times, we had an awesome breakfast: boiled eggs, omelets, passion fruits, mango, bananas, pineapple, oatmeal, and toast. It was so yummy!!

Kind people from the Kanombe congregation picked us up and took us to church, where once again we were very warmly received. People welcomed us with hugs and handshakes and big, beautiful smiles. They were also unafraid to practice their English in our presence! Their worship service was inviting and special. So many people offered gifts of song and dance and prayer. It was passionate and very engaging, despite the language barrier. Ebralie introduced us to her Rwandan church family, telling them that she loves to bring people from her church in Nashville to her church in Kigali. Parish taught us a song in Swahili that we sang for the people as an offering. Ebralie did a wonderful job preaching the sermon, also on Luke 5:1-11. She spoke in her native tongue, but the translator told us some of what she was saying about the Lord using whatever you have (in this case, Simon’s boat) to do his good work. Her story is certainly a beautiful witness to that truth, and it was a privilege to sit under her teaching today.

After church, the pastor and his family welcomed us and several other guests into their home for a delicious lunch. They made us feel so welcomed, and it was there that we were able to connect with the pastor’s children and a few other members of the congregation. Following our yummy lunch, we headed back to the church for the big worship concert. We enjoyed some passionate performances by young adults who are very gifted! Their singing and dancing were amazing and made us want to move as well! They were very literally jumping for Jesus and it was a joy to witness such unreserved worship. We were invited to sing as well, and though our songs were lacking in the movement department, they were rich in truth. We sang “Come Holy Ghost” and then did an encore performance of the “Amani” song that we sang this morning. They clapped and cheered as we sang and afterwards said we had the best Swahili around, which was very kind. We laughed hard when they asked for four more songs and said we were very tired but flattered. We ended our day with another delicious meal at the guest house and some family time with our team. What a blessing. We have full hearts. God is so good.

Erika Shapiro
First Presbyterian Church, Nashville