Friday, July 25, 2014

Little Kids with Little Hugs

 by Kyle Shiring 
Kyle performs "I'm Yours" in the GCM Library
This morning, we drove to Kiziba waving our hands and everyone waved back. The view of Lake Kivu is beautiful which made the drive a very incredible journey. When we arrived, there was a crowd of kids surrounding the bus and we said “Bite” (Bee-tay), which means “Hello" for little kids. When we got out we were swarmed and stared at, which was interesting. I taught people how to fist  bump and later that day adults were even fist bumping. We were taken down a hill/mountain to the library where the youth group, which was a group of adults from 18-34 years old,  welcomed us. Initially, they laughed when we spoke because we were so young (In their culture, we’re still considered children), but we quickly formed good relationships with them. 

They gave us a tour of the camp, which was more like conversation with a man who told me about his life one-on-one. He talked about the difficulty to go to university and to pay for school to get an education. He continued talking about how he wants to go back to the Congo and how he was 4 years old when he came here. I gave him my facebook and I hope to keep in contact with him. While we were walking around the camp, the little kids grabbed our hands. I had 5 kids on one hand, and 3 on the other.  

The highlights of the day were when the youth starting to sing in english, french, Kinyarwandan, lingala, and Swahili. I finally learned what it means to have music unite nations. I don’t think I have ever learned so much in one day. 

Later, we walked back from the camp and the pure beauty of the country amazed me, whether it was through the hills, the people, the lake. I felt like I was in a postcard and it is magical. The culture amazes me everyday  and that is where the true beauty is, not just in the country but in the culture and people. At the end of the day, we were walking and this little girl saw me. Without even saying “hi" she gave me a hug in one of the neighborhoods of Kibuye. I think this was the moment of the trip that may have changed who I am and what I want to do with my life.


  1. "I think this was the moment of the trip that may have changed who I am and what I want to do with my life."

    That. Right there. That's what God is doing. Through hugs and fist bumps and scenery and music and hills. Incredible.

  2. I laughed out loud when I read that you taught them to fist bump, that's definitely something you would do!! It's so cool that you guys get to experience the beauty of Rwanda-in not only it's nature but in it's people.

  3. I fully realize that I used it's instead of its...oops !

  4. I was so touched by all three posts today. I wish I could have heard all the voices in different languages raised in song. I would have wept too. The image of the children holding your hands was amazing. The lake sounds beautiful and so refreshing. It seemed like this day meant so much to all of you. Thanks for sharing.

  5. The affection of the children is so touching. Soak in all the stories. Thank you for sharing your day and I hope you enjoyed the lake.

  6. What an absolutely perfect day! Your stories have put a smile on my face and tears in my eyes. Melanie, don't you worrying about welling up! Isn't it funny that none of you knew what to expect at the camp and yet your expectations were exceeded and then some. That's the power of connecting with people. I hope the images and emotions of your day carried into your dreams last night. Blessings to you and the people of Kiziba.