Monday, July 28, 2014

Don't take it for granted

Team members during fellowship time
Isaac talk with one of the Church's pastors
by Kyle Vondrak
Today after attending church, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Theogene. I never thought I would have learned so much from someone, but it was really eyeopening to realize how much you can learn in a short amount of time.

Our conversation began when Andy pulled me over to talk to someone. It was interesting to hear all he had to say about his life and faith.

We started off by talking about the worship service. He had said that this was his first time attending worship there, and it was definitely something he wanted to continue.

The conversation then switched over to me. I told him that next year I would be attending university. He then told me that he is currently in grade 9, and is 21 years old. It was also surprising to hear that he plans to attend university and finish his schooling in the next 10 years. By the time he will be 31. This really piqued my interest. After this, he said how it is normal for people in Rwanda to wait until they finish with school to get married and start a family. This can be a very long time. It made me realize how much we don’t think about how important our schooling is in America.

Going off the topic of family, Theogene took sometime to talk about his family. Both his parents had died before he had turned 5, and he had to move to the city in order to work to help pay for his sister’s school. He said that his sister is more important than him, and this made me realize how important family is in Rwanda, that you would give up your life to help out your family.

Overall, this was a great learning experience for me, in really understanding the culture, education system and faith of Rwandans. They don’t go about things exactly like we do in America. It’s truly inspiring, and I hope to remember Theogene’s story as I go off to university next year, and realize that I have a great opportunity to study, that most people in the world do not have.


  1. Sometimes I wonder if we could benefit from rearranging our timelines here in the U.S. Why do we ship off to school at 18? What if we waited a bit longer? It certainly would be a different world, wouldn't it?

    I finally watched Hotel Rwanda last week (please tell Isaac!). The movie reflected the importance of family, just as Theogene expressed.

    It's fun to see the change of clothes in today's posts. From ties and dresses to bathing suits. Your smiles suggest that the time is good. I pray that you all experience still more good things in the week to come.

  2. Kyle, I have enjoyed reading your team's Blogs everyday. It is so inspiring to me to see how you all interact with a culture different from yours, but all with the same desires. Let us pray that someday everyone will have a chance to share the goodness of God's world. Blessings to all, Grandma Nancy

  3. 31 years old until he finishes his education.... wow.
    You really have to WANT IT. They are so wise to recognize how important it is. I'm excited to hear that he felt strongly about his sisters education too. They are a wonderful group of people.
    I was thinking of all of you yesterday at church. The church feels so empty without all of you there! Our hearts are full though.... so proud of all of you! Tina Rudins

  4. Wow, that really brings back memories. I remember talking to the people of Rwanda and realizing just how important education is. It drives you to want to learn everything you can when you get home because being there makes you realize how special education is, and what incredible opportunities we have in the U.S. I'm sure you have all had this insight after being in the refugee camp and talking to people in Kigali for a few days. I'm so glad that you are all able to have this experience and I can't wait for you to come back so you can tell everyone about it.

  5. Above comment was written by Bryce Dibadj