Saturday, June 25, 2011

Reflections - Heidi Janss

Heidi with Judith at Ubizima

I find it difficult to reconcile the highs of our trip (the smiling faces, the joy of the church services, the hard-working, welcoming, and faithful people) with the lows of our trip (kids living on the street because their families can't afford to feed them, the brutality of the genocide, the hopelessness of the refugee camp).  I think it will take me some time to integrate my thoughts and feelings into one "whole" experience.

There are so many needs for the people of Rwanda.  Where do you start?  And what about our refugees at home?  How can we help them?  I hope that I can make a difference:  as one person, as part of a family, as part of the FLY youth group, and as part of the Faith community.  I'd like to start with a woman named Natalie who lives in the Kiziba refugee camp.  Natalie is a strong, smart woman and the single mom of four.  Like all of the refugees, Natalie is stuck and forgotten in the refugee camp.  Even though it seems others have given up on her, Natalie has not given up on herself.  She is trying to better her life and the lives of others in the camp in whatever way she can.  She is the vice president of the camp and serves on the camp's ministry team.  She is also contributing to the economy of the refugee camp by making jewelry.  Her dream is to train other girls and expand her business.  Natalie just needs someone to believe in her and sponsor her.  I hope the Janss family can be that someone for Natalie.

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