Wednesday, June 29, 2011

we will see

so, since I kept up with my blog in Rwanda I thought maybe I could try to do it in America. But, from this point on it will be able little things i like and fun stuff in my life so Rwanda can get out now if you want! I won't be offended. ;)

Today I was feeling a bit blue. And, I've just heard on the news that people are more likely to die on payday so you guys be careful! But, I wanted to share a few things that I loved today. When I was in Rwanda I bought many necklaces to give out to my darling friends and mom that were made of paper beads. Well, I had never seen paper beads before. I thought they were awesome! Now I notice them everywhere! So, yesterday when I was shopping at Anthropologie ( i noticed these!


So, i looked them up online on Anthropologie's website and found out that these are made with recycled paper and the website has necklaces made by the bluma project ( (yes I know i can link these but am having trouble lol) which actually has their necklaces made by women in Rwanda. So it really made me smile to think that these companies are selling products that help my people in Rwanda! love it. Also, since I'm on the subject, check out the Anthropologist ( for some amazing pictures of nature and such. I love photography and these photos reminded me of the awesomeness of God. So while I was feeling blue about whatever insignificant thing is weighing on my mind, God used something as simple as online shopping to bring it back to Him! Go God!

A personal prayer of mine is to see God's works around me and also to listen to what He's saying to me.

hope y'all enjoy!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 7??!

So...we're still here. Our flight was cancelled last night after sitting in the airport for 4 hours and then today we were told we can't get out of here until Tuesday. There are no flights out on Monday. So, we have a few extra days here in Kigali and feeling a little bit discouraged because as much as we've loved this trip we were all excited to come home! Al (our team leader), Debbie and Anna Grace somehow got on the flight tonight so they will be leaving us girls behind (Me, Sara, Webber, and Janet (our client) ) with Dan our Compassion team leader.

Pray that nothing else happens in the meantime to delay our flight home on Tuesday!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 5

Today we went to visit another Child Sponsorship Project in Nyamata where they also have a Cottage. The Cottage part of this project is for kids who have become orphans and need a caregiver to look after them. We met 7 kids in age ranged from 15 years old to 22 years old. These 7 kids became orphans as a result of the genocide that occurred in Rwanda during the 1990's. They have a caregiver and all go to secondary school (high school). I would ask that you pray for all of the children that we've met on this trip, and especially for these. These kids seemed to have heavy hearts because of the circumstances that brought them to living in the Compassion Cottage. The picture below is the group with the kids, caregiver and project staff.


We also met a beautiful little girl that we estimated to be about 3 years old. She had some spunk and a face that would just make you smile. The first time we saw her she was carrying a load of firewood bigger than her on her head. I think we all wanted to bring her home with us. However, we met her mother, and I'm pretty sure she wouldn't let us have her!


After this we had lunch with some college students in the Leadership Development Program that Compassion has for college age students that can't afford to go to the universities here. Warren, Averett sponsors two of these college kids and we visited one of their homes today. The pictures below are of houses in the area where Jean Paul, the LDP student lives.



The picture below is Webber with Jean Paul, WAKM's sponsored LDP student. Jean Paul has an incredible story of survival. You might notice that he has white skin and he was born this way due to a condition with his pigmentation. Please pray for this young man! I won't include his whole story here except to say that you should ask us to tell you about Jean Paul when we get back. I don't think I could do his story justice in this small amount of time.


These kids were children that lived in Jean Paul's neighborhood. They were excited to see us. We draw crowds everywhere we go because people are curious about the white folks. I taught these kids to say "bye bye" and blow kisses! They were so sweet. Look at their little clothes and you start to get a feel for the level of poverty here in Rwanda. Pictures do not do this justice.


This is a picture of the many "shanty houses" that we have seen every day here in Kigali. There are miles and miles of homes like this that basically sit on top of each other. Please pray for the people in Rwanda!


We also got to tour the Rwanda Trading Company which is a coffee exporter. The owners of this company are in Arkansas I think and Dan with Compassion set this up for us. It was very interesting. The pictures below are of the coffee processing. The women hand pick the coffee beans for quality and the men in the picture load trucks with the coffee once it's ready for export. These bags weigh 132lbs each. These men were singing and very excited and I asked why and they said because it's Friday afternoon! I think we can all relate!



This will probably be my last post until we get back. We are taking our sponsored kids to an amusement park tomorrow (a first for the kids!) and then we will do some shopping in the local market and head for home! Our flight leaves tomorrow night at 8pm Rwanda time (which is 7 hours ahead of you guys back home so at 1pm think about us!) Pray for safe travels and for God to give us strength on the loooooong flight back to the US. We have had a great week and all feel so blessed to have been here!

See you guys soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 4

I wanted to start the blog today with what I think will now become our theme for the trip. Today Sara and Eugene were talking while we were waiting and Eugene said to Sara, "Two different colors. One Kingdom. One God" and this is the picture I snapped of the two.


Some of us went on home visits yesterday and some today. I went Julienne's family today and her mother told me that they pray for my family and think of my family as their own and she is thankful to God for bringing us all together. Here are some pictures below of the visit.



Cow - made possible by Kaci Tidwell! lol it made me happy to see that my contributions helped buy this cow for the family.


The family members that were there today. Left to Right: Betty (older sister) Julienne's mother, Julienne, Me, Josie Anne, and the cow of course!


Me and the girls in their room


Me and Debbie feeding the girls iced animal crackers! These have been my favorite since I was a kid.


In the front room of the house. You might notice that above us are all the pictures that I have sent to Julienne!


Janet, Al, Anna Grace, and Debbie sat in on a secondary school class today and told them about where we are from and what we are doing. Debbie isn't pictured but is there also.

The group with the Compassion project staff and church leadership.


This is Eugene (Rwanda Compassion), Gigi (our van driver), and William (Rwanda Compassion). Eugene and William are the ones that have been interpreting for us and having fun with us all week! Gigi is also having fun and he has been driving us. Gigi is a very skilled driver!


After our home visits today we met a group of people in the Child Survival Program that Compassion has where expectant mothers in need can come and get nutrition and medical care. This lady told us her story about her pregnancy. She said that when she became pregnant with the baby pictured she was ashamed because her family could not afford anymore children. But when she came to the center and got the help from the CSP she then felt this child was a blessing and was touched by God! She said that she believes this is her blessed child now.


That's all for now! I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Days two and three!!

Hi friends! Sorry I didn't post yesterday but it was very late when we got back and we had to figure out what was going on with our bags so I didn't have a chance but I will post some pictures of our trip. We met the kids yesterday for the first time and it was AMAZING!! These kids are so awesome! I love them so much! Below is a picture we took today of the kids waving and saying "Hello America!! Hello Alabama!!" We also had the kids saying "ROLL TIDE" and "WAR EAGLE"!!! I tried to discourage the War Eagle but we had to give both teams fair representation. Al got the ROLL TIDE on video though!! :D


This sweet little boy met us today when we got there. He is not a sponsored child and as far as I can tell does not go to school. He was just a village kid and was so sweet I had to take his picture.


This is welcome we got yesterday! The little boy in the middle is Sara Wilson's sponsored child Kizito. He was playing the part of a mighty warrior!!


Here is Sara and Kizito!!


Webber is showing her little guy Samuel how to take pictures. The kids LOVED to take pictures with our cameras.


Janet and Claude, Claude is a little charmer. Just look at that face!


Mrs. Debbie Murray taught all the kids (and me!) how to blow Jesus "fat sugars!" those are big kisses. We have this on video!


Dan (our Compassion man and now part of the family) was wearing my sunglasses to shield his eyes from the sun and he got a big hug from Julienne!!


Al got a big laugh out of me for trying to take pictures with my lens cap on. After it was off I snapped this shot!


Our lunch which was very good!


This little boy was enjoying his lunch. We served them today rice, greens and beans. It smelled wonderful!


Sorry for the flood of photos but I think that's what you really want to see most! Hope you enjoy them!


Monday, June 6, 2011

In the land of a thousand one


Today we started our day with breakfast at the hotel which was a buffet of baked goods, bacon, cereal, fruit, sausages, etc. Here is a picture of our breakfast buddy...


After breakfast we went to the Compassion Rwanda office and met the management team there. Everyone was very nice and we met the people who handle our letters when we write to our sponsored children. And I found some kindred spirits....




Jon, our Compassion guide told me that the Rwandans feel the same way about auditors over here. lol these guys weren't the favorites.

After we left the Compassion offices and had lunch at the hotel, we went to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center. It was heartbreaking. After our tour of the center we met a lovely family!


And I got to hold a sweet baby


Then my camera stopped working!!! We went to see the hotel where the actual events in the Hotel Rwanda movie took place. However due to the fact that my camera stopped working I wasn't able to take any pictures. It was very interesting to see the hotel.

Then Jon our guide saved the day and fixed my camera!!

So here's a shout out to Jon!!! My hero!


Well, the day is almost done here. We are having dinner in a short time and then I think we will all crash because we are still exhausted from travel. Hope you guys enjoy the update! Talk to y'all tomorrow! Tomorrow we see our kids!!

p.s. still no word on the bags, but they are still expected to arrive tomorrow..keep praying!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

We're here!

We've made it to Rwanda!! Short a few pieces of luggage. So everyone pray that our bags get here soon! They told us Tuesday they should be here, but these are the bags with the gifts for our sponsored kids (and my clothes!!) so pray that we get them soon. We are all very tired so this will be short. It's 11:48pm here but I wanted to let y'all know we made it. Here are a few pictures!


Our fearless leader, Al Murray, leading us in a devotion while in the Birmingham airport before we started our travels. It was about not worrying.


Mine and Jan's room! Note the mosquito nets above the beds.

Well we are about to go to sleep. Talk to y'all tomorrow and I'll hopefully have more photos and an update about our bags! :)

halfway there!!

We are in Amsterdam right now! We have a few hours of layover and then we will be back on a plane for another long flight to Kigali. We are all a little weary. Keep praying for our safe travels and for all our luggage to get there!

Friday, June 3, 2011

practice makes perfect

So, I am practicing uploading pictures from flickr to my blog so that when I update while in Rwanda I can post high quality photos! I am not at all experienced in these things, but I have a blogging mentor named Lauren who is showing me the ropes. So here goes my test for posting a pic!


THANKS TO LAUREN!! she's the best! this is sophie, my pup. she's sad i'm leaving her with her granny and paw paw

I guess it works! We should be read to rock and roll.

Also, shout out to my team!! Al and Debbie Murray and their lovely daughter Anna Grace, Sara Wilson, Webber Woodruff and Janet Stanley (who is my roomie and hopefully I don't snore! sophie hasn't told me if I do) Pray for us! I think you'll be hearing from these guys this week if I can get them to pipe in on the blog!

Rwanda here we come!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Well, the blog didn't get revamped. It was a pipe dream. But seriously...two followers....I am going to REALLY blog!!! At least for a week! I'm going to Rwanda in 3 days!! So...i need to probably change the name of this blog again. I don't want to blog about being single. It's too exhausting. lol