Kigali is a city of many hills–which means it is also a place of valleys. Our first day began with mists rising from the low places, as people, animals and machines awakened to greet the morning. The days are long here, with the Muslim calls to prayer beginning before daybreak, and people gathered on streets and in neighborhoods until late.
Being in Rwanda means sharing time with people–those we know well, and the new faces that intersect with our already established relationships. Brandon Walsh and his family are recent arrivals–a newly minted Duke Divinity School grad who is here with his wife and 9 month old daughter, to assist Archbishop Rwaje. We had lunch with Brandon then tea at their temporary home–the Hanlon’s house. It was good to meet them and sense their excitement and freshness at their new assignment. But it was strange to be at the familiar Hanlon house and not be greeted by Dan and Kari, Josiah and now Norah. However, they’ll be back soon enough. Besides, Gracie the Wonder-Dog greeted us with enough enthusiasm for everyone, and seemed to remember us. Dogs always know dog-people.
Later in the day we met with Archbishop Rwaje, who leads the Anglican Church of Rwanda, as well as serving as Bishop of Gasabo, a new diocese in a growing area of Kigali. In addition to that, he is also oversees, through bishops in the States, PEAR-USA, the group of churches that are in relationship with the Anglican Church of Rwanda. It’s a lot of responsibility, and we were glad for the opportunity to meet and pray with him. Rwaje is one of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, a wise and godly man, who is one of the most senior bishops of the Anglican Church throughout the world (in terms of how long he has served as bishop).
The evening found us with the Abrahams, one of our Redeemer families living in Rwanda. Renjie teaches at the Kigali International Community School, and Heather is now working part-time and caring for Francisco (Frank). It was great to connect, to see them in their place of life and work here, and give thanks for the ways God has formed our journeys. Frank was especially taken with ‘granpa’ Jay, and spent a lot of the evening sitting on Jay’s lap and smiling. It doesn’t get much better than that. Please pray for all of these people, and for the work we’ll do on Thursday.