Recap of Sunday, August 3 (Post by Peter Schmidt)
After the previous four days I would say many of the team members had become well acquainted with and now held an emotional bond with the children of Kimisagara orphanage.
The past days were filled with laughter, hugs, smiles, and many fun activities starting with the children receiving their letters and gifts from sponsors, playing football (soccer) on a turf field that the orphanage overlooks, as well as small crafts like making bead bracelets and maracas. The smiles were infectious.
We began our Sunday morning by attending a church service at the New Covenant Church. Having been a part of last years VO trip I had an idea of what to expect, however I knew that many of the new team members would be in for a very special experience.
As I listened to the beautiful praises being sung and the moving sermon I not only found myself becoming lost in the moment, but also observing my other team members as they were giving praise to God. Multiple team members were moved to tears as we heard the testimonies from members of the congregation, many who were new members to the church.
The message delivered was about the gifts that God gives to us, the greatest of which is our youth. Which I believed was a perfect message given our mission here at Kimisagara. The sermon was delivered in a very powerful and passionate manor that may have caught some of the team members off guard. Although I noticed that as the service carried on each member of the team was becoming more comfortable by the minute. We received a very warm welcome from the Pastor and congregation, as it did not take long for the team to feel right at home.
The service also included a choreographed dancing routine which was led by Ferdinand, one of the older boys from Kimisagara orphanage, who was beaming with happiness as he lifted praises to God.
After the service had ended we stopped at a restaurant, Janis, to refuel before our afternoon at the orphanage. Our plans for the orphanage were geared toward celebrating the Sabbath and less about playing games & doing crafts. Leah, a new team member this year, played her guitar as we all sang a few songs of praise for the children.
For me the special part of the afternoon was what followed. The children danced and sang songs of praise in Kinyarwanda, their native language. Hearing and seeing their praises was a truly beautiful experience. I look forward to the next and last two days we will spend these children, as I am sure all of the team members do. Time has flown by since we first landed in Kigali 5 days ago and I know that the coming days will prove to be just as special, if not more than the previous.