Rwandan 2011 Trip Reflections

by Debby Tripp

July 7, 2011 was the start of my third trip to Rwanda. Being a REACH supporter and REACH USA board member, I was already anticipating seeing friends, looking forward to the international REACH boards meeting together at the Center for Unity and Peace and the sense of returning home, which I always receive, the moment my feet touch the tarmac at the Kigali airport.

This trip was unique for a number of reasons. One of our daughters, Lauren, joined me. I could not only enjoy all the people, events, the continued healing which occurs through the efforts of the REACH Rwanda organization, but I could experience Rwanda fresh through Lauren’s eyes and heart.

As I said, this trip was unique. It was the fifteenth anniversary of the ministry of Rev. Philbert Kalisa, the founder of REACH Rwanda, which stands for “Reconciliation, Evangelism and Christian Healing.” All the supporting REACH boards from Rwanda, the United Kingdom and America met together, along with a group from Japan, who represent “Japan International Food for the Hungry.” A sense of united purpose resulted from our group meetings and celebration.

We traveled to see how the various churches and groups were doing. All receive REACH Rwanda’s sponsorship and ministry (many of whom had participated in earlier healing prayer seminars offered by the Amazing Love Healing ministry over the past several years). It was very apparent that a tremendous amount of healing had occurred. The victims of the genocide who had been so terribly wounded emotionally, physically and economically were living and contributing to the vitality of their churches and villages; the very fabric of life had shifted. God was so present. The people, whom we saw and met with, this visit, were transformed. Trust had been restored. Their eyes no longer looked at what was lost in the genocide, but were looking to contribute, to serve and to live with a new found zest for the life which God, through REACH Rwanda and other avenues, is providing! The dramatic difference was a meaningful testament to God’s healing power, working through those who are willing to be His vessels. Churches were full of both genocide survivors and released prisoners, who have reconciled and live together in peace. Many of the released perpetrators have built homes for the survivors, and in doing so, have become extended family to the home owners. The difference in attitude, facial expression and joy were both visible and tangible. The dance groups, soccer teams, and choirs (all sponsored by REACH) revealed newfound confidence, delight and, most important, joy and purpose.

Our God is mighty to save, even in the darkest moments. If He healed in Rwanda, with all their challenges and wounds, nothing is too big for the Healer of our souls.

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