Let my life speak louder than my words


Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Their only source of water was a three-hour walk from their huts and homes.

I was eighteen years old and knew nothing about the world, except what I saw in front of me: dozens of Rwandan children walking to fetch their jugs of water, and they had invited me along. Of course I obliged and followed behind them while the blazing African sun seemed to scorch hotter every second. I was feeling too much — too white, too privileged, and far too out of place. I was holding a water bottle in my hands and guilt wrapped around me like a suffocating fur coat.

Who was I to drink water so freely and easily while the kids around me had to traipse for hours to collect theirs?

We didn’t speak much on the walk. Their words were in Kinyarwanda, mine were not. When we arrived back at the village after the agonizingly hot and tiring trip, the pastor of their village came to me, his wife not far behind him. They took our hands and led us to their home, a humble thatched hut with benches pulled around a small table. Huge heapings of potatoes and cooked bananas were placed in front of us, and the pastor’s wife shone hospitality in a way I had never seen before. When she handed me my plate, I almost cried.

They had nothing, yet they gave me everything.

We could hardly communicate with one another — at least not in the typical way I’d been taught. But through that meal where they offered me literally all that they had, the pastor and his wife in a small Rwandan village shared with me two things: their very lives and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I saw Jesus in them, and we barely spoke. They taught me that our lives can speak more than words ever can.

May our lives be a poured out offering, an emptying of us and what we desire. May we love so deeply that we reach out our hands and grab the person in front of us, bring them into our homes and give them all that we have.

That, I believe, is where the Gospel is most evident.

Do you need prayer? Come over to (in)courage and there will be people praying for you. 

Why it's brave to go


I was ten years old when I decided I was going to visit Africa. It wasn't if I was going to go. It was simply when. 

The idea of Africa fascinated me. I memorized every country -- their names and where they lived on the map. I traced my fingers against the round, colourful surface as the globe spun in my hands.

I was eighteen years old when I decided it was time for me to go. I packed two bags and stepped onto two planes. I got four shots on my left arm, and took my malaria medicine. I brought three notebooks and clutched my passport so tight my knuckles were white and achy. I was anxious, but not scared. I had to prove to myself that I could travel across the ocean, and I could do it alone, and I could be okay.

So I went to Rwanda for sixty days, and I encountered Jesus in ways I'd never seen him before. I saw him there -- in deep, dark, ebony eyes that I could've drowned in. I remember being on a boat, riding across a lake, and the wind encased my cheek like it was caressing me. It was Jesus, I knew it was him. I felt him so strongly in the wind that surrounded me.

When I came home, I never wanted to go back to the way I saw Jesus before I saw him in Rwanda.

So many people asked me: weren't you scared going to Africa by yourself? Just an eighteen year old girl? 

No, I told them. It was something I had to do. 

I never would've thought I was brave to go. What I said was true: going to Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills, the heart of Africa, was something I had to do.

I'm unendingly grateful I did it. And somehow, without realizing, I chose something brave.



This is day sixteen of the series 31 days of choosing brave. You can click here if you'd like a list of all the posts in this series. If you want to make sure you don't miss a day, feel free to subscribe below. line1