Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why hello 2014.


2013 in review
 
 
 
 
This year has brought many ups and downs.
So a little review of 2013.......
 
Moses became my foster son on January 17th 2013.
 
 
Alice moved in, went off to school, got sent home because she kept
saying she had major stomach pain. In a mad dash and one
scared out of her mind mama, we took her into Kigali.
And found she had tumors in her stomach caused by TB.
I paced in front of a OR, for hours on end, cried my eyes out
in hospital hallways, slept in a plastic lawn chair next to her bed
hit my knee's in the most unlikely places. And God healed her!
She finishes her meds next month, and is starting school again this month.
 
 
 
I got a chance to go back to the states for a visit!!!
 
 
We had many visitors come to visit!!
 
My church came, and be still my heart that I got to watch
them fall in love with the kids I fell in love with two years
almost to date when I came on my first trip!!
 
 
 
And many many more!!!
 
Alice Uwera finished her first year at Riveria for H.E.G.
(History, Economics, Geography) with flying colors!!
I am so proud of her, and the leader she is becoming!!
 
 
Flora finished her year at King David Academy in Kigali, and
I couldn't be more proud of her!!
 
 
Doreen was home this year, because the beginning of the year
she had some health issues that we needed to attend too.
Once we took care of them, she was unable to attend because
they already registered all the students for national exams.
Now she is getting ready to attend school in Kigali
this year and is so excited!
 
 
Jeanette started university in Gisenyi!!
And I know this girl is rocking it. She missed
over half of her last term in high school because of eye
problems. But she went and took her national
exams and rocked it! Now she is ROCKING
college!!
 
 
We moved into our new house!!
 
 
The entire year of 2013, Rwanda has been home.
Its scenery still takes my breath away!!
And it has nestled itself into my heart.
 
 
 
I have learned more about myself this year than ever before.
I have cried harder than I ever have before, and laughed even harder.
 
And now I cannot wait to see what 2014 has in store for me, and my home.
But already, a big new change is coming to the house today,
and I can hardly contain the excitement and joy!!
 
Tina
 
 


Friday, December 20, 2013

Love is a good thing.....

*warning- Totally letting down my guard and being venerable.
 
Life, anywhere, is never always sunshine and cupcakes. Hold the frosting though. We so need more cupcakes here, for real! Life has its up's and its down's. Being a single mom too, is anything but a cake walk. Apparently I need more cake, shesh!  I have never before in my life, wanted to be married, more than I have wanted it the last year and a half. Simply to have a partner in life, and to also be yoked together with, toward the same goal, sharing...... life.
 
Some days I try to make sense of certain scriptures. If someone asks you to walk a mile with them, walk with them two. If someone asks for your shirt, give them your coat as well. These scriptures seem to surface in my mind often, esp when I am faced with certain things. And I wrestle with where they fit in the craziness of life. The simplicity of it all, is just so complicated!
 
Sometimes you find yourself feeling bruised, broken, eyes stinging from tears, sleepless nights, overactive mind, and drained. Lately that is how I feel........drained. As if I have nothing left in me to give. Not a single drop left. But in the midst of this, it has drove me harder to my knee's in prayer, than I have been in a long time. Desperate for the Lord to fill me. Desperate for him to then pour me back out. I remember someone telling me many years ago "when the well goes dry, you have to dig deeper." And that's where I have been lately, finding myself practically clawing at the ground, desperately in need of more of Him, to fill me up. Everything else is short lived, everything else is earthly, I have been in this desperateness for more and more of the living water. A unquenchable thirst. That pleading with your loaves of bread and a few measly fish. Multiple it Lord, only you can meet all the needs.
 
And then you are sitting in bed, the house has quieted, and your ipod is on shuffle. And this song comes on.......
 
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, and 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,
Open the wounds that you tried to hide.
And there in the rubble of the heart that died
You'll find a good thing.
Cause love is a good thing.
Oh love is a good thing.

Ooo, take cover,
Ooo, the end is near.
Ooo, take cover,
But do not fear,
Do not fear.

Cause it'll break your will, it'll change your mind,
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 pay. It's a good thing.

Love is a good thing --(Ooo, take cover,)
Love is a good thing --(Ooo, the end is near,)
Oh love is a good thing --(Ooo, take cover.)
Do not fear.
~Andrew Peterson
 
And then you realize, its a good thing. You realize your brokenness can lead to healing, because it drives you into the hands that created you. That not having all the answers, or even half the answers, or heck, a quarter of the answers, because you know the one who does. And you realize when life is shaken up, and you struggle. The struggle itself isn't bad, its the reaction of weather to grow from it, or to be hindered by it.
 
Yeah, I am in a funk lately. A big fat ugly funk. The tears come too easily. The homesickness so strong, yet knowing I don't fit back there, and I can never really fit here. Where in the world do you find your point of reference then? I love watching a British comedy, in Africa, as a American. It's clear I am not very culturally confused!
 
And would I do this all over again, if I knew some of the reflections I would see when I took a deep hard look at myself? If I knew how homesick I would get at times? If I knew how I would be labeled by my skin color over and over everyday? I would, a million times over. Because they are worth it, and this is worth it. Nothing with any worth comes easily. When you put your heart and soul into something, it is never a flawless process. It is a beautifully messy process.
 
Tina


Friday, December 6, 2013

Playing catch-up.


A photography team came from the states,
to photograph the sponsorship kids in my front yard.
We ended up getting some awesome pictures for ourselves too! 

We have been playing a bit of catch-up in the house. The girls who live with me from the orphanage, have been needing some medical, and dental catch up. I sent one of the girls to get a consult for her teeth, and in the examination, her one molar crumbled when the dentist examined it with the pokey metal cavity checker. I am sure that is the technical word for it. So Thanksgiving turned into a oral surgery day for her. She still needs quiet a bit of dental work to get her caught up where she needs to be. (Totaling $350) .


Doreen's first birthday party! <3


We also have one of the girls who has been dealing with some pretty heavy emotional stuff. There is a councilor in Kigali, which she can see, to help her find some full healing.

I wanted to invite you to partner with me, to play some catch up with us, to get them emotionally and physically where they need to be for the new school year! I wanted to invite you to partner with me, that they can study without pain of ulcers, tooth aches, or some emotional healing that needs to take place. (I dont feel comfortable airing her emotional needs on a public venue, but this one is way over me. And something I need to get a professional's help, to help her learn some coping techniques.) I wanted to invite you to partner with me, that they do not miss any schooling this coming year, for a medical need that needs to get taken care of, because it got to a crisis point.


Flora and one of GJ's puppies...


And it goes way beyond the physical and emotional needs of the girls. It also ministers to them, to know that we care about them as a whole. It whispers to their hearts, that we care about their pain, whatever form that it is. That they are loved, and we are not going to have them go to school, with extreme tooth aches. Or brush aside that they are trying to study, with a painful ulcer. It is the care that ministers to their whole being, mind, body, and soul. Would you partner with me, that the girls can go back to school, having all their needs met, and able to concentrate fully on their schooling?


Visiting Jeannette at University. She is missing from the pictures,
from when the team was here, as she was off rocking her college classes.
 I plan to take all the girs for a dental consult on Monday, so that we can make sure no one else is in danger of any teeth rotting, and to get any dental problems taken care of now. Also the girls are all going to go get insurance (which they cannot use for the first month, and also does not cover dental). And hopefully next week, we can start with getting them all to the private clinic, and getting everything else taken care of, before the new school year begins!

All donations are tax deducatable. Just click the "donate now" button on the right side near the top of this page, and when it takes you to the donation page, select my name from the drop down menu! Every little bit helps!

Alice joining some traditional Rwandan dancing.
 
 
Lots of love from Rwanda,
Tina
 
Hosea 14:3 "In you the orphan finds mercy."