In less than 2 weeks, 37 people from around the US will be embarking on a great journey...the first ever All Day FORE Africa Mission Trip!
It is with great excitement and anticipation that we prepare these last days for our time in Kibeho, Rwanda.
As we look back over the last 4 years, it's pretty incredible to see God's hand at work thru the many people who have been inspired to make the world a better place. It was in 2010 that we held the first ADFA event which raised over $10,000 which was used to build a water system at Blessed Stanislaus School in Kibeho. At that time there were 200 students at the school that Fr. Leszek had worked so tirelessly to rebuild after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
And now after many ADFA events around the US (including golf, music concerts, biking, disc golf and various other events) we can fast forward to today...where this primary school now educates nearly 700 children grades 1-6. With the addition of the school, restrooms, sports area and other amenities, much prosperity and hope has descended upon the village!
And this past April, thanks to the many generous donors to All Day FORE Africa, a small Medical Center was opened and now our Rwandan friends have the medical care that we often take for granted.
The other day a friend asked me, "Why are you involved with the children in Rwanda? There is so much need here in the US...what about doing something to help here?"
What a great question! It's true...there is much need here in the US. Among many things, one of the great problems that exists in our society today is that many have become self-centered and very comfortable feeling entitled to all that we have. It's so easy to get caught up in thinking only of our own needs. What can I do to get ahead? What is best for me? I will be happy if I have more...
Jesus taught us a different way...in his short 33 years here, he taught us that the true way to joy and freedom is to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. In Galatians 5:12-14 we hear the Apostle Paul instruct us:
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love."
This passage gives us one of the keys to living FREE. When we serve others, we experience a freedom that only Christ can give. As I thought about my friends question, I recalled many of the ADFA events over the past 4 years where I have had the blessing of witnessing first hand the great transformation in many kids who have been involved in the works of All Day FORE Africa. It is incredible to see the "heart change" when they realize that they have impacted the world for good. It is almost like they are beginning to grab on to and experience the "freedom" that Christ offers to us.
I couldn't help but think about this past week when 15 high school girls gathered to help organize all the medical supplies and crafts for our Mission Trip. These girls aren't going to Rwanda this summer, yet they spent many hours working and talking about the needs of people across the world. Each one came with an open heart and wanted to learn more. They gave of their time to share the love of Jesus with children that they will likely never meet. As they bonded as friends, I thanked God for each one of them and for this opportunity to grow in their love for each other and for Christ.
I also recalled the ADFA event where a 10 year old boy gave his total savings ($100) to the children at Blessed Stanislaus School. He had been saving for 2 years to buy an XBox. When he heard that he would have the opportunity to contribute to kids his own age who had very little, he decided not to "indulge the flesh" and that his XBox could wait. Pretty amazing for a 10 year old boy...can you imagine the smile on the face of Jesus? I can.
So my answer to my friend was this..."I believe that ADFA strives to do something to help both in Rwanda and here in the US. Not only do we celebrate the water systems and medical centers that have been built , but we also work very intentionally to empower kids here in the US to use their passion and energy to make a positive difference. And when they do, they are thinking outside of their own needs and developing the skills they will need to become compassionate, caring adults. Our hope is that ADFA can give them an opportunity to shine and become all that God created them to be."
So as we pack our bags and set out on our first Mission Trip, we invite you to pray for us. Please pray that our hearts will be open to what God has planned for us and that we can learn to serve one another humbly in LOVE. Pray we can be a beacon of light to all we meet. And that we can unite with our hearts with our new friends in Kibeho so we can be inspired to live a life that is full of joy and pleasing to God.
Your friends at ADFA