Sunday, March 24, 2013

My pumpkin

Been missing my awesome girl so much.
Since I had to be in Kigali today, of course I had to drop into her school
and have a nice little visit, with her.
Isn't she just adorable?!?!
5 days till she is done with exams and is home.
But whose counting?

Thursday, March 21, 2013


You guys have been AMAZING!!!
And the closer it comes to opening the doors of the daycare,
I must admit I am a mix of emotions!
From excitement, fear, anticipation, and everything else.
We are working on the cribs, and attempting to make the crib
mattresses. And YOU guys made that all possible.
Seriously you ROCK!
We have had so many people send or bring sippy cups,
bottles, toddlers plates and bowls, and toys!!
We have some people working on a clothe diaper revolution.
And I am working on just knowing how to do it correctly.
But Moses takes his mommies attempts at learning in strides.
Word is spreading like wild fire about Kwirigira daycare.
Yep, we have a name!
And in Kinyarwanda it means "To believe."
Because we partnering with the famalies in beliving in the hope and future
God has for each employee, each child, and their famalies.
Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you declairs the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope
and a future!"
So as my storage is filling up.
And I have been meeting with people about placing their children in the daycares.
Sipping tea in many Rwandan homes, and getting to know more of the community.
We are ready to hit the next step!!!
Which is getting the finances for the rent of the daycare house.
How exiciting!!!!
That is what 8-365 is all about!
Rent at the house is $250 a month.
12 months in a year. (as you know of course)
Which is $3,000 for a year of rent at the house.
Break that down to a day, and its $8 a day for rent.
So YOU can keep the daycare doors open, for just a day.
You can donate rent for ONE day.
Just a $8 donation, will keep the doors of the daycare open.
365 people, one $8 donation.  
When I look at this in its wholeness, I get overwhelmed.
Like really overwhelmed.
I am a planner.
 I like to know things are going to work.
I like to make lists, organize things, plan my time.
But when I look at one day at a time, it becomes doable for my little mind.
Of course I know ALL things are possible in Christ Jesus.
And often have to remind myself that this is HIS ministry not mine.
This is all about him, this is all him, and I am just getting to enjoy
a front row seat of what he is doing.  
Click the "donate now" button on the right hand side toward the top.
And scroll down, and choose "Tina Zielke" from the drop down menu.
Donate $8. Just $8. And you are helping us get this done.
One. Day. At. A. Time.

365 people. 
A one time $8 donation
"Do something so big that it is doomed for failure, unless God is in it."
~Unknown author
Lots of love from Rwanda,

Sunday, March 17, 2013

When I am only a memory

How I want to be remembered when I am gone.....
Never spoke a bad word about anyone
Gave it my all in all that I did.
Stopped to listen
Loved extravagently
Walked the walk and never had to say a word
Always had a smile for everyone
Didn't always look at reality, but Gods possibility
Invested in people (Because how I treat people is how I treat my God)
Admitted my mistakes
Never counted the cost, before springing to action.
Was a person of my word
Looked for the good in people (Because whatever I look for I will find!)
Laughed.. A LOT.
Gave second, third, forth, and fifth (etc) chances.
Was merciful
Showed grace
Made a difference
Took leaps of faith
Was quick to point out what you are doing great, rather than what you did wrong.
Did the hard things
Was a good friend
Was a good mama.
Took critism with grace
Never raised my voice
Made sure no one felt left out
Saw those who were overlooked
Loved the unlovely
Saw the holy in the common place
Loved God with all my might
Took chances
Was not judgemental
I want to see people how God see's them. I want to give it my all, in all that I do. I want to be a person of love, grace, and mercy. I want to be a person who invests in people. I want to be the person who see's the best in everyone I encounter. And if I fall, I want to be humble enough to ask forgiveness, honest enough to admit my mistakes, and couragous enough to try again. I want to remember that I cannot save anyone, I can only love them. That I cannot change them or convince them, I can only love them.
So the more I think on the person I want to be remembered as, the more I know the person I want to be this moment.
How do you want to be remembered when your time on earth is done?
Lots of love from Rwanda,


Friday, March 15, 2013

In love.....

Psalms 127:3
"Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him."

Psalm 113:9
"He gives the childless woman a household, making her the joyful mother of children. Hallelujah!"
Hosea 14:3
"In you the orphan finds mercy."
Looking forward to all the girls coming home from boarding school,
and the house to be filled again. Missing so many lovelies, who are off
getting a amazing education, thanks to His Chase.
Lord, help me to leave a heritage of mercy,
grace, peace, patience, love, and faithfullness.
Lots of love from Rwanda,

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Happy Birthday little man.

Yesterday we got to celebrate your first Birthday Moses.
I think I will someday look back on that day and laugh.
At the power and water that were not staying on for the day. 
(Who knows were we will be on that day!)
The power was off most the day, except it came back for two hours,
just enough time for me to finish the last cake, and to make dinner.
I think I did pretty good, considering the limited ability to decorate!
Your Aunt Diana came for the weekend from Kigali to come
celebrate your birthday with us, and you just stared at her for a good hour.
Not talking, not playing, but were completely intruiged with Aunt Diana.
Josee and Chantal came home from Gisenyi, where they are going to college
also to celebrate. You were a bit confused at all the people in the house,
there to celebrate your life and the blessing you are to all of us.
Alice also came from Gisenyi to celebrate with us,
mama met here in Imbabazi orphanage back in 2011!!
I randomly ran into her on a bus one day, and she often comes to see
all of us at the house now, and will whip you up a hat or scarf,
with her amazing crocheting skills.
Tara, Alison, Elise, and some interns also came for the celebration of your
first year!! When we brought out the cake and we all sang to you,
you just stared at everyone and was wondering what in the world
was going on. Mama blew out your candle as you just stared and wondered
why all these people where here, and why we all were singing and this cake
was in front of you. You had no idea what the cake was, but once you tried
a bite, you were in love with cake. Still the power was off, but thankfully the
camera has a flash. And mama put out some laterns around the living room
and kitchen so we could all see and not be bumping into each other.
Are you sure its alright I just make a mess of this?
Going for the big guns spoon.
And then the girl's did some traditonal dancing, some calipso, and other
random dancing and drama's. ;)
Then mama wrapped you on her back, because you were definetly coming
down from the sugar high from the cake. And you feel asleep, having
been celebrated in how much we love you and thank God for you
and your first year of life. I pray your second year just blesses
your socks off!
Sweet Moses,
I wonder if someday you will be looking back at this blog post. Seeing how we celebrated
your first year of life. I hope you know just how loved you are, how celebrated
and treasured you are. I hope you know how adored you are by so many people
here in Rwanda, and all the way across the Ocean on another contient. I could
not imagine my lfie without you. I love everything about you. I love how when you
are cranky and we try to get you to smile, you scrunch your face up, and try so hard
to maintain your crakiness. I love how excited you get when I walk in the door.
I love how you look shocked and agast when soemone takes a bite of your food.
I love how you tap my back when you are wrapped on my back. I love how
you use your fingers like chop sticks. God has amazing plans for your life,
and I am so thankful I get to snuggle with you everyday. I am so blessed to have you
in my life. And my life is so much better with you in it. You have brought so much
joy, laughter, and silliness to my life. I wouldn't change a single minute
of it for anything. And I cannot wait to see the man you will become.
Strong in the Lord, and mighty in Christ's power. You my little man,
are going to change the world. You sure have changed my world, and made it
a more beautiful place.
When you were three weeks old, in the orphanage.

The happy growing ever so quickly boy you are today.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Taking off the mask.....

So, can I just put down the mask for a moment, and be open, raw, honest, and vunerable. I knew when I moved here, there would be a honeymoon phase. I knew my first two trips were honeymoons. I knew after awhile the newness would wear off, and I knew at that point life would become pretty much life. What I was not expecting and what I didn't know that what would be left after my security, all I knew, was gone, I would be left with some pretty ugly stuff. Some ugly stuff inside me. Like metal put through the fire, the impurities come to the surface. And then, when it is right there at the surface, the dissapointments, the hurt, the lonelyness, it can be scooped away. Don't get me wrong, this is no easy process. It hurts, and you wrestle a bit. And there is a reason the purer gold and silver is worth more money. Because the process of producing it is so gruling and tiresome. Job said "For He knows the way that I take, and when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold." Let's be honest, the path to come forth as gold for Job, was anything but roses and sunshine. He was stripped of everything, EVERYTHING. And he didn't dance around, in joy. But he shaved his head, put on sackclothe, wept, and even rolled around in the dirt. It wasn't pretty. Thankfully through this process, I haven't had friends like Jobs. Seriously Jobs friends could have taken a few lessons on mercy, grace, and love from my friends back home. I seriously have some of the most amazing people in my life. Friends who stand next to me, through the miles, and encourage me despite my pretty ugly moments. Then again my ugly moments, are no surprise to them. They have seen me through some ugliness in the past.

Lately, I have felt kinship to David the Psalmist. One Psalm he is ready to throw in the towel, just take me now Lord, take me now. And in the next psalm, David is rejoicinging and dancing before the Lord. I get it David, I so totally get it. Even last night, I told the girls they could choose what they wanted for dinner for me to make. There choices? Pancakes, omletes, or grilled cheese. They kinda think I am a master chef, these things can be impressive here. And as I flurried around the kitchen making omletes. The girls might have eaten 2 three egg omletes each! With my worship music going, and singing and dancing around the kitchen. The next morning, I was so frustrated. Moses sitter was there, and I grabbed my bible to head to the lake, to go escape. Because I knew I was at my wits end, and at home, you cannot really get away with the Lord, to really dig in.

If you haven't noticed, I have been really lonely lately. I miss my friends, I miss what I know. And seriously most days if I could take my girls and Moses on the plane and bring them back home with me in America, I would be packing right now instead of writing this. I don't doubt I am not right where the Lord wants me to be. Not because I have some big thing to give to Africa. But because God apperantly has a lot of work to do in me. A lot of things to scoop off the surface. I could say it until I am blue in the face, that these kids, girls, and Moses have taught me more about God, his love, and his character, than I could ever teach them. And honestly I know where ever you are, life is no walk in the park. If I was back home, I am sure there would be plenty of things that would be frustrating me, trying me, and testing me. It doesn't matter where you go, you are still there. But sometimes God leads you to a place, where all you know is gone. And then he can get down to the core of things. I am sure I am just talking in circles right now, but thats fine.

If you think I am some big amazing person because I moved to Africa. Stop. Just stop. Know that life becomes everyday life here as well. You still run errands, change dirty diapers, pay the bills, and try to juggle your responsiblities. I am seriously NO DIFFERENT than you. You who are living out your faith everyday. You, who get frustrated, because it seems like nothing is going how you expect or plan it to go that day. You who have your good days, where you walk on the clouds. You who pray fervently because you know inside you, is ugly. Isn't it for all of us? Our selfishness, our frustrations, our expectations when they are dashed? The only difference is, I am doing it in another location. I am nothing special. Trust me, I miss the mark everyday. Romans 3:23 is true for all of us.

And can I just step up on a soap box for a moment. Stop. Just stop. Stop asking me if you can adopt Moses. Stop telling me how much you want to bring him home. Moses has a home now, he has a family. He is fine, well, and good. Just a few houses down in a orphanage, is hundreds of kids and babies who have no family, no home. Right there in your neighborhood is children who need a home and family. 163 MILLION orphans in the world. MILLIONS! We are not talking a few here and there. We are talking MILLIONS. And they need a family, they need a home, they need someone to put all the chips in, put it all on the line, put their faith to the limits, and bring them home. Everytime someone says they want to bring him home, my heart shatters. My heart shatters for those kids who are desperatly crying out for a family and a home. So please, for the love of purified gold, stop mentioning how much you wish you could adopt him, or bring him home. And seriously LOVE YOU, like love you, love you, love you. And I beg you, don't look at the happy smiling baby on my timeline, and look at the blank stares, look at the crowded orphanages, look at those kids pleading at night for a family. I am not trying to be a meanie here, but I am trying to be real.

So dropping the mask here, I am pretty spent, pretty lonely, and being refined. And more days than not, I feel like a toddler who doesn't want their mom to go to the store, and has thier legs wrapped around them, and is clinging so tightly on. I feel like thats me and Jesus somedays. Well most days. But I feel like I just have to cling tighter and tighter, as the fire brings those impurities to the surface. Where, all I know as comfortable, all the security I know, is gone. And I am clinging to Him for dear life, because there really isn't much else to cling too.

Malachi 3:3 "
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver"

He never leaves in the process of purifying his children.

He will never leave us in the fire longer than we need to be.

He never takes his eye off the gold or silver as it is being refined.

And how does someone who purifies gold or silver know when the precious metal is done? When he can see his reflextion in it.

God is not surprised by my impurities that have surfaced. And we can choose to let ourselves cool down, and leave those impurities there in the gold, or we can choose to let God scoop it off. Peice by peice.

Lately I have been listening alot to this song, by Andrew Peterson, called Love Is A Good Thing.

It knocked me down, it dragged me out
It left me there for dead
It took all the freedom I wanted
And gave me something else instead

It blew my mind, it bled me dry
It hit me like a long goodbye
And nobody here knows better than I
That it's a good thing

Love is a good thing, it'll fall like rain on your parade
Laugh at the plans that you tried to make
It'll wear you down till your heart just breaks
And it's a good thing, love is a good thing

It'll wake you up in the middle of the night
It'll take just a little too much, it'll burn you like a cinder
Till you're tender to the touch, it'll chase you down
Swallow you whole, it'll make your blood run hot and cold
Like a thief in the night it'll steal your soul

And that's a good thing, love is a good thing
It'll follow you down to the ruin of your great divide
And open the wounds that you tried to hide
And there in the rubble of the heart that died
You'll find a good thing, love is a good thin

Take cover, the end is near, take cover but do not fear
It'll break your will, it'll change your mind
It'll loose all the chains of the ties that bind
If you're lucky you'll never make it out alive

And that's a good thing, love is a good thing
It can hurt like a blast from a hand grenade
When all that used to matter is blown away

There in the middle of the mess it made
You'll find a good thing
Yes, it's worth every penny of the price you paid
It's a good thing

So there you have the mask ripped off, and me being raw and vunerable with y'all. God is scooping away.
His eyes have never left me.


I am lonely as I miss my friends and family thousands of miles away.

Scoop, I am all you need.

I am frustrated.

Scoop, I will calm you, I will be your rock.

I feel all alone.

Scoop, I am always with you.

I loose my cool.
Scoop, I am slow to anger and quick to love. Mimick me.

I am feeling pretty sad.

Scoop, I will be your joy.

I am a mess Lord.

Scoop, I use messy people.
I am so tired.
Scoop, my joy will be your strength.  

"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." (Revelation 3:18)

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:7)

Lots of love from Rwanda,


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Im so thankful for....

Fresh pineapple juice
The most beautiful 3 hour bus rides from Nyundo to Kigali.
Singing in the kitchen with the girls while you make dinner or lunch.


Moto rides in the rain, because Taxi's are just too expensive.

Getting the guard a cup of coffee everynight before bed.

The first 15 minutes with Moses in the morning, laying in bed
with him coo'ing and giggling over everything.

Full nights of sleep.

Walking the halls in the house singing in the middle of the night with Moses.

Meeting friends in Gisenyi for dinner and laughter.

Making new Rwandese, Kenyan,Ugandan and Congolese friends.

Sombusa!! (I am a bit obsessed!)

Watching things come together for the daycare. <3

African tea.

Movie nights with the girls....

Our new house, which we are kinda in love with.

The power randomly going out for hours.

Hot water!

Moses growing like a weed!!

Phone calls home and feeling so encouraged afterwards.

Bath time for Moses and him becoming a prune and never wanting to get out.

Sitting on the porch with reading early in the morning.

Amazon gift cards, and getting new books on the kindle!

Knowing your friends and family are praying for you.

Planning a mission trip to Rwanda for your church.

A hour uninterrupted. ;)

The water randomly going out for days.

A amazing water filter system so you dont have to buy bottled water anymore.

Two crazy and fun African puppies.

Visiting days at the boarding schools.

Missing Alysse like crazy while she is away at school.

Wearing sweat pants into town and having 3 people tell you, you look great!
(Hey it was the only dry pants I had that day!)

Lake Kivu.

Trips out of the country every three months, and the rest or adventure that ensues.

Count downs till you get to see your family and friends back home.

Planning a daycare in Rwanda!!

The most amazing avocado's!

The most beautiful scenery outside your window.

A garden in your front yard that is so relaxing and refreshing!

Snuggling babies in the orphanage.

The random song the toddlers and I sing, that we made up randomly one day.

Joining hands and praying together everyday before meals.

The mac n cheese dinner nights.

Hearing your name as a army of toddlers run full speed toward you.

Piggy back rides. (for the kids, not me, of course!)

Moses wrapped on my back, before naps and bedtime.

Dorine looking for her message from God every morning.
(I have been leaving a scripture everyday in her room, she says
it is her message from God everyday)

Singing Yes Jesus Loves me in English, then in Kinyarwanda.

Time with friends outside of the house.

Planning for a new room-mate moving in from America coming this summer!

Getting to play with Moses everyday!

Times on the back of the moto, when I think I pray the hardest looking
at the rolling green hills of Rwanda.

Procrastinating (Which I may or may not be doing right now!)

Starting a Book Of Blessings for me and the girls.

The note one girl left for me after watching Soul Surfer and what it taught her.

A friend coming to stay in March for a few weeks at the house.

A stove and fridge. (No more cooking over fire, booya!)

Friendships that are concrete despite being in two different contenents.

The love of your church back home, who prays fervently for you.

A God who is in every detail of everything.

A God who encourages you just how you need it, right when you need it.

A God who redeems.

Today, I am thankful.........