Monday, 31 May 2010


I just finished debriefing Kaitlyn, Ruth and Danika's first day of tutoring. They survived!! Actually I think they more than survived.
They are our current interns and into their first week of full on ministry. I, well sort of, pushed them over the edge today, knowing that they'd do just fine but that it would stretch them - probably a lot. I love doing that! Mmmm.... is that bad??!! :-) Thinking not. I believed they could do it.

We have five homes in which we have former street kids. They are all in grades 1 - 6 and range from 6 to 15 years old. Some of them are doing just fine in school and others definitely need all the help they can get. They split 14 kids into four different groups, each lasting about 3 hours.

A couple threads of our conversation...
Kaitlyn says...'I do think that some of the kids know more than what they are saying or they are just very slow with the answers.'

My response...'They are in government schools and it is still common that when a kid gives a wrong answer that he/she would be punished. Therefore they don't give an answer unless they are completely sure that it is correct. I also relate that when Prince first came to live with us and we were sending him to school - grade 3 - he looked at us as if we had three heads each, when told him that he would not be beaten at school. He just couldn't believe that was possible.

Danika then has an 'aha' moment... she related how she had went to give one of her girls a high five because she had got the correct answer and the girl cringed away from her. Now she understood why.

As we chatted more about their day I did my best to make it clear that it's not about how much they actually teach them but how they instil value, worth, dignity and confidence in each of the kids.

With these interns... they're great... I know they can do it - learning along the way!

God will help them and we will try to guide their way.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

It's the Small and Simple Things in Life...

I'm always amazed when the small things in life surprise me or make me happy.
Really by this stage of the game they shouldn't, but they still do most of the time. Guess I am glad that the small and simple things in life do still surprise me as I think that is where God likes to show a lot of the time.

Today, it was a box of Cheerios.

Beni is coming out of a bout of sickness and I'm at wits end as to what to feed him as he's refusing about everything besides his bottle. And then there they were.

I have been looking for Cheerios in Kigali for over a year and then there they were today. I bought a box and tried them on Beni for lunch. He LOVED them! There is hope.

Thanks God for showing up in the small and simple things today.
May I always see you, God, in the small and simple things of life.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Circus!

Well.. affectionately dubbed, 'The Circus!'

This is the household of Auntie Bijou and her five kids in Belgium. Serge and I, along with Adolph - Serge's brother, are hanging out at her place for three days. It is great fun but a bit crazy at times. We took them to their favourite place to eat tonight - Quickies. It was something like McDonald's - good hamburgers, DIET coke, SOFT ice-cream... mmmmmmm.... wondering if I enjoyed it more than the kids!?!?

Auntie is a single mom to five kids in the range from 9 to 15 years of age. On top of that, three of them have a muscle degenerating disease. I know a few wonder woman's in the world, and Auntie Bijou is one of them!

As I write this, it is well past midnight. Serge, Adolph and Auntie are having a very animated conversation with I don't know how many languages flying around... and I am way past tired, so I'm thinking I am headed to bed. Who knows when they will decide that they have had enough catching up for the day... night...

We'll see another auntie tomorrow and a cousin and her family. Think we are headed to Brussels.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

From the Camp to the City!

Just read an email tonight... and need to share this as it's some of the greatest stuff ever!!
I LOVE how God plans, works and moves!
Chantal is Rwandese and lives in Hamilton, ON. She was part of a short-term team a couple of years ago which came to Kigali to minister with us, and is part of a Rwandese Church in Hamilton. She wrote to say that she heard of a family of EIGHT that had just arrived in Hamilton and they wanted to come to church this past Sunday. She contacted them and arranged for transport to the church.
Ready for the great part... the family is the former president of the Kiziba Refugee Camp where we work in!!
We KNEW that he was going to Canada but out of many places in the country they end up... Hamilton!
Hamilton has many connections to IT and a thriving Rwandan church community.
This will be a great place for them to be connected. Pray for the family... they have been in Canada now about three weeks and there will be much to adjust to. They are seekers... pray for that they find a personal relationsip with God.
Another cool thing... in August, we will host a short-term team from Philpott Church in Hamilton who has connections into the Rwandan community and church there.
Sometimes we can clearly see God moving and sometimes we can't... I LOVE it when I can!
Can't wait to see what comes of this all... :-)

Thursday, 13 May 2010


Serge and I caught a train yesterday morning and headed for Paris. Trains are fun... really they are! You just ride along and see the countryside.... The Netherlands, Beglium and finally France... all in less than three hours! Gotta love it!!
Paris was great but COLD!!! Temperatures are about 10 degrees colder than they are supposed to be in Europe this time of year... we we are cold! Thinking it could snow. YIKES!!! Was a great excuse to indulge in Starbucks though. Yummy!

Just one pic to share with you out of the multitude we took... great city!
Nothing cheap though! Serge went down to get us some water and came back with two of the smallest bottles water I think I have seen in my life - 200ml. They were FOUR euros EACH!!! CRAZY!!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Meltdown in IKEA!

I was SO excited to go shopping at IKEA!!
We don't have any shopping malls, let alone any department stores to do any shopping of the sort in Rwanda, so if you know me at all... I was excited!! AND I thought that I would be just fine with it all. I even had a list - kitchen timer, vegetable peelers for my friend Chrissie who is looking after Beni and Isabella, candles, coffee bodum, cutting boards.... and my list went on.
Well, I got to the section with all the candles and I got completely overwhelmed!! I was trying to make choices and I just couldn't. I would hold two scents in my hand and couldn't make a decision.
Feeling completely incapable of making a decision and just wanting to 'get out', I informed Serge that I was done! He was like... 'You're not buying any candles?' My reply... 'I can't even think... I can't make a decision. I just need to get out of here.' Serge, bless his dear heart, just gave me a hug in the middle of IKEA, assured me that it was okay and to just take my time. I did end up getting candles... can't remember the scent right now, but I know I got them!
This was the first of many experiences this week... SO many choices to be made when you go to buy something!

Monday, 10 May 2010

After NINE Years!!!

A really fun thing happened today... Serge got to see his brother Adolph whom he has not seen for nine years. Talk about a reunion. (Actually, I just sat, smiled and listened to them talk as fast as they can in whatever language... they both speak at least 5!... came the fastest in the moment. Crazy!)

We will spend the next week in Europe, hanging out with Adolph, catching up with some Aunties, doing some shopping and sneaking in a two day trip to Paris! Woohoo! Then it will be high time to get home to the kids! Missing them...

Sunday, 9 May 2010


After a week of long hours in general sessions, workshops and lots of side meetings, we got a chance to go to Ephesus. It was an incredible day!! Just thinking that we walked where Paul, John and others walked... was a bit mind boggling.

All I can say is... if you EVER get a chance to go... or are remotely thinking about it... GO!!!

Just a few of our many pictures.

Tim and Angie with their kids Avalene and Moses... they are dear fellow missionaries and friends working with IT in Soroti, Uganda among the poor. We really need to go and visit them sooner than later... Angie and I walk similar roads in ministry - 'working' mom in ministry among the poor.

Many people at the ILF wondered how we deal with daily life?
How do we process all we see and are involved in?
Those were hard questions to answer. We just do... somedays are easier than others... many days we wonder if we made the right decisions.... and every day we pray for God to go ahead of us... and we try to see God in the people. Again, easier said than done most days.

Saturday, 8 May 2010


Was SO great to see him! He served as an intern with us in Kigali three years ago and has now started IT in Cameroon. It was wonderful to catch up with him. We are were humbled to hear of his journey and know that we had a part in furthering him in ministry and being with IT.

We figured out that it had been about 7 years. Ken was the first youth pastor who I helped to lead a short term team with to Jamaica in the summer of 1995. He has been serving in Santa Cruz, Bolivia with IT for a number of years, working with street kids. So lots in common and lots to catch up on.
Hamid is married to Debbie and they minister in Austria with IT among refugees. Was wonderful to hear news first hand of their family and ministry. Hamid introduced Serge to Turkish saunas... and thinking they are kindred spirits! SO missed seeing you Debbie...

The Ladies!!
Was SO great for me to hang out with Tillie and Yvonne! They are dear friends who love on us, encourage us in the work we do and are great fun. So great to see them again!


Serge and I just spent six days in Izmir, Turkey - Smyrna from the Bible.
A side note... I have always wanted to go to Turkey, since my sister friend Lisa went there a number of years ago.. God is the deliverer of dreams :-)

We were at the International Leadership Conference with IT. It was an incredible blessing for us to be there. I have been to many of these gatherings over the years but this was the first chance that Serge has been able to attend one.

IT gathers its leaders from around the world every second year to encourage and challenge the leadership through general sessions, workshops and worship. It is also a great chance to catch up with friends and others who are in similar ministry.

There are many highlights but I think the session that touched me most was one on 'Soul Care'. I know that I need to take better care of my soul... and this session was a great encouragement to me. I saw LOTS of myself in the presenter and her story... inspired me that life change is possible - even at this stage, and in the ministry life I am in.

We arrive home on Tuesday, May 18th and head into a very busy couple of months. God help me to look after my soul so I am more alive in you and in the world around me.