Saturday, December 29, 2012

First Christmas in Africa.




Wow, I am sitting here trying to rack my brain of all the details from a few days ago of my first Christmas in Africa with the girls. It was surely a whirlwind of activity. And I loved every single moment with them, and the blessings that was showered on us. Alysse kept saying "I will die, I do not trust this day!" No worries, she woke up the next day, and was glad to see she did not die, and could enjoy all the goodies from Christmas.

We started the evening on Christmas Eve, reading the
story of Jesus birth in English, Kinyarwanda, and Swahili,
while the girls had bottomless cups of hot cocoa, and a few
candy canes. I think the hot cocoa went to their heads,
immediately following the time together reading the
story of Jesus!
Bridgette and Alysse.
 
The next morning, I woke up bright and early at 5:00am.
I waited....and waited....and waited.....
Finally I decided to be a bit passive aggresive and turn
up the Christmas music. Still I was the only creature
stirring in my house.
So at 7am, I went room to room, to wish everyone
a merry Christmas and get a moving!
And the girls opened their first stockings from
the amazing Crystal Decker and family!
 






 



 .

 






Then the girls got ready and they all went to church. I was not able to go, as I had been having this stomach something happening, and could not see myself making it through a 3-4 hour church service. But once they returned home, they had stocking to open from Jeffrey and Brenda Kim.
 
 
I do not think I would get any good pictures,
if I did not promise they could do a silly one
directly following the good ones!
 
Some stockings from the Kim's!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Then we all hopped on some moto's and went to a hotel
in Gisenyi to get some lunch!
 
 
 
Then we went back home, and relaxed a bit,
The girls where busy painting their nails.
Decking out in necklaces, bandana's, and munching on
candy they still amazingly had room for after lunch!
 
Then it was the two presents in the evening a few hours
before bed. (Which some pictures are blurry or missing
because they where all screaming and dancing and
jumping up and down!)
 
First slippers from the Decker's...
 
 
 
 
And then the girls opened their pajama's from the Kim's...
and then...
 
 
 
 
...
 
Dancing in excitement wearing their new pajama's
and slippers they got for Christmas.
It just wouldn't be a celebration in Africa without
some (more) dancing!
 
Passy and Diane came the day after Christmas.
They are living in Kigali now, going to a AMAZING college,
and living with some amazing people, they just adore.
I love their expressions when they were able to come
and open their stockings and presents!
 
 
 
 
THANK YOU!!!
 
THANK YOU!!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I have to say this Christmas had to rank as my favorite. I am sure the more to come in Africa will also continue to be my favorite!! I got a stocking and pajama's from the Kim's, but couldnt really take a picture of myself. But first in foremost my best present was God coming to earth. And knowing that when I am tired, exhausted, and all the earthly emotions, I have a God who understands. He understands those days I wish I had a boat as well, to just paddle somewhere to be alone to recharge my battery.



And this Christmas it could not have been better, than to watch these girls, who I am so honored and blessed to live with, dance, scream in excitement. To see them feel covered in love and blessings from people on the other side of the world. And as they opened them to scream "THANK YOU BRENDA!" "THANK YOU CRYSTAL!" "THANK YOU JEFF!" and so forth. Those where the best presents.

To get to dance to celebrate Jesus coming to earth. To get to REALLY celebrate his birth. To celebrate his birth to the extent of falling on my bed on Christmas night, with the biggest grin on my face, and filled with joyful exhaustion. And to really celebrate the reason for Christmas.

Thank you so much for those who have loved us so well from the other side of the world. Who made this Christmas unforgetable in so many ways! You have blessed the entire house way more than my words could ever begin to express!

Lots of love from Rwanda,

Tina

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Loved extravegntly!

Hey!! So I have had people wondering why I haven't updated. My laptop decided to bounce across the floor and I sadly report has died. (RIP, Short was our time together but oh you were loved!) So now to access internet I have to run to Gisenyi, and hop on wifi on my Kindle or Android phone. (which is worthless here as a phone, but alas... can use for wifi!) In the midst of a few more complications/hurdles thrown in their for good measure. I have been blessed like you would not believe!!! After my laptop broke, my team leader posted about it on facebook. The amazing Carmen Lindie, who was my awesome room mate on my first trip, her soon to be husband donated one. To make the blessing even MORE amazing. Katherine from my first trip comes back with Visiting Orphans at the end of this month, and will hand deliver the blessing. (I tell ya, I am bursting with blessings!!) Other than that, my house has been a flurry of activity! As donations come we keep getting to do more. I cannot  wait to blog about that when I get my laptpp. The house is plastered in paper snowflakes, we found a Charlie Brownish Christmas tree in Kigali. (In which I carried back on my lap on a bus filled with Rwandese people, staring at me wondering why in the world I had this fake tree on my lap on the bus!) Which we decorated in ordaments I got in Uganda. And we put a banana leaf nativity scene next to it. I think I have broken some Rwandan package record at the post office. I rode NINE packages back to my house on the back of a moto last week! And I have presents hidden all over my bedroom. The girls are so excited to open presents and have a stocking this year for Christmas. We finished the shelter for our guard, we have the garden prepped to be planted. This week we start the shelter for the goats, we got outlets put in the kitchen for the fridge and stove. We are fencing in a area of the yard, for the goats to graze. Two of the girls, my vet, and Fidel went into East Rwanda to look at goats about two weeks ago. Needless to say, it has been the most amazing flurry of business. I find myself running into Gisenyi often to access wifi, so I can keep working on the amazing things coming together at our house. I sit here writing this sipping African tea, in Gisenyi, switching from my Android to my Kindle. (neither is easy to write a blog post on!) But hey, I am in Africa, and writing a blog post on wifi. So the amazingness of that is far from lost! We have been LOVED EXTRAVAGENTLY this month in Rwanda. And I feel the blessings wash over me, and sometimes I am overwhelmed by your love, and could simply BURST! THANK YOU!!! There is still more to get, and donations could so be used in a myrid of ways. We are awed and AMAZED by you! Because seriously, you are the ones who love us so much from afar. I never cease to be amazed at people who love these kids, who have never gotten to talk to them, hold them, play with them, laugh with them, and cry with them. It makes me think how Jesus said how blessed are those who believe and have not seen. I think a special blessing is for those who have loved those from afar they have never met. So in short, you all are loving us so extravagently. And at the end of this month, I cannot wait to show you all that has happened at my home. All that has happened all over this place. For you to see the girls ripping off wrapping paper off presents. And see all the blessings you have lavished upon us. I think I might just burst, from feeling the extravagent love.