***I talk a lot in this post, I prefer to keep it short and sweet...but I can't help love when fashion trends and compassion collide. If you don't like heart-to-hearts you may want to come back next week. (or skip to the conclusion)
My husband and I spent our October in Rwanda working at a hospital. The proper response would be to say that it was "a once in a lifetime experience" or "I was forever changed"...and while it was, it was also the hardest, loneliest thing I've ever done.
The truth is, I went kicking and screaming. My huge-hearted husband (#alliterationforthewin) feels called to medical missions in third world countries; I feel terrified. I wish that I felt differently, but, this is my reality. I am scared. Scared of change, of disease, of my heart being so sad and of actually dying in the act of helping. A reasonable fear, right?
My October was filled with fear, a lot of tears, a good amount of heartache, I felt so alone yet to cared for by my community back home, so uncomfortable but so close to my husband and God. I don't like to cry. I prefer to manage my emotions, but with nowhere to go I was forced to face my emotions. Emails home to my mom, sister and closest of friends encouraged me to realign my perspective.
I hate cliches, but the truth is, months later, I am changed. I can't get my mind off of the people I met, the richest to the poorest. Rwanda has gone through a genocide and they are currently working through reconciliation. Forgiveness looks different when your free neighbor is the man who killed your family. They are raw, hurt, people learning to forgive raw, guilty, repentant people. They are rich of heart, lovely people who take time for one another.
CONCLUSION! A sweet little girl by the name of Josian attached herself to Aaron and myself separately. She is full of a desire to live life! She's got #mad jump roping skills! Her father died and left her mom with a two and seven year old. The children were born HIV positive. We wanted to send her to school but before that can happen she needs to eat a proper balanced meal to stay healthy..before that they need a roof over their heads. We want to raise the $5,000 to make that happen. We are feeling encouraged to put words to action by others who are recognizing the beauty of the Africa...
Anthropologie is featuring so many amazing Rwandan designs this season (see blog post here), as well as other amazing companies such as Connected Goods, no41, and His Imbaraga. We had the honor of visiting no41 in Rwanda and taking some Fuji Instax photos to leave with the girls. Below is just a small snippet of our visit.