This February, a team of 14 of us from St. Peter’s Church, Yaxley went out to Rwanda in Central Africa. As part of our journey, we recorded our thoughts, reflections and took photographs to share the impact that this truly remarkable country and its people had on us.
Here’s Shane’s story:
I have experienced extreme lows and ultimate highs. I have been face to face with joy and jubilation, death and despair. I have laughed, I have cried, I have felt lost and alone and I have made some good friends. My faith has been tested and it has grown stronger.
This journey was more than just heading to Africa to help some people who need it; it has opened my eyes and made me appreciate the life I lead, it has shown me the real importance of friendship, in family and in forgiveness. It has made me love life and see it from a different perspective; I have learnt not to take it for granted. I have seen beauty in the darkest of places here.
For a country which has been to hell and back, a country which has seen the worst that mankind has to offer, a country that had no hope, yet has risen from the ashes and flourished. The nature of the people of Rwanda is strong, courageous, loving and forgiving.
This journey is something I will never forget; I will never forget the lives I have touched and the lives that have touched mine. The smiles, the waving, the shouts of “Muzungu”, the heartbreaking stories, the uplifting stories, stories of forgiveness, stories or triumph, stories of desperation. I will always remember the singing, the dancing, the laughing, the tears and the love.
I have had my heart ripped out and then – to the beat of the drum and singing of the children – it’s been gently put back in. I thank God for this opportunity and opening my eyes to the real world and for making me a stronger and better person.
If I could sum it up in one simple way I would simply say… Rwanda is beautiful.