When many people think of Rwanda, genocide, war torn country, danger, etc. all come to mind. I want to change that image for you!
Rwanda is a country filled with hope, forgiveness, restoration and redemption. Not to mention it is one of the most beautiful and clean countries I have been to. It is called "Land of a Thousand Hills" and that name could not be more appropriate.
I am glad one of our team members took the time to write down some of the facts from the museum. You can follow Elise's journey on her blog.
There was a part of the museum called the Children's Hall. The plaque above the entrance read:
In memory of our beautiful and beloved children who should have been our future
There were countless pictures of children with their age, favorite food, favorite subject and the way they were killed...
"Ariane Umuton. Age 4. Stabbed in her eyes and head."
"Irene Umuton and Uwamwezi. Age 6 and 7. They were sisters and Daddy's girls. Killed by a grenade thrown in their shower."
"Aulore Kireizi. Age 2. Burnt alive at the Gleondo Chapel."
"Fillette Uwase. Age 2. Smashed against the wall."
"Thierry Isimive. 9 months. Killed by a machete in his mother's arms."
It was utterly heartbreaking. And hard to really comprehend. But remember, Rwanda is now a country of redemption and forgiveness and you can actually feel that there.
After the museum, we went immediately to Kimisagara Orphanage.
This is Anthony. He is amazing! He now devotes his life to raising up and caring for Rwanda's next generation.
We found that at every orphanage we went to, the children pick you. The second we arrived I had two children on my side holding my hand. And they did not want me to let go. They craved touch and affection.
We danced so much! It was awesome!
We were able to leave a brand new sewing machine and lots of burlap for the older girls so they can make bags to sell. They plan on using the money to buy lunches for the children when they are at school.
We then had a tour of the grounds where we found some puppies!
I don't have any pictures of what happened next but somehow all us white folk were pulled into a Rwandan choir in the gardens where they were shooting a music video. We had no clue what was going on and what we were supposed to be doing but me just lip synced and smiled as we swayed with all the lavender dressed people. Only on a Visiting Orphans trip....
The Director's house. The cutest cottage covered in vines.
The gardens in front of the cottage.
I mean really?!? We were in paradise. It was unbelievable.
Now off to Noel Orphanage....