I (Erin) can’t believe that Monday at 6am I leave for my mission trip to Rwanda! When I decided to go on this trip it seemed so far away and here I am just four days until I leave.

God has already been teaching me so much through my preparation for my trip about myself and the people of Rwanda. At our last missions team meeting we watched a short documentary called “As We Forgive.” It tells the stories of five people that were greatly affected by the genocide. Three are survivors and the other two are men that had done killings during the genocide. Their stories are so encouraging to me, stories of hope and forgiveness. Stories of how God has changed their lives and their hearts even after all of the pain in their lives. One of the ladies that they interviewed chose to forgive the man that had killed her husband and four children during the genocide. The man that did the killings helped build a new home for her and now they live in the same neighborhood.

It is so amazing to me the amount of forgiveness and repentance that these people had to have for living in the same neighborhood to be possible. There are stupid little things that I hold grudges about and here was this woman choosing to forgive the man that took everyone she loved away from her. Now that is a true picture of forgiveness. I am so excited to meet the people of Rwanda, to hear their stories, to see the reconciliation happening there. God has already done amazing things in the lives of those who have repented of the horrible murders that they committed and in the lives of the survivors that choose to forgive in the midst of their pain. I think sometimes you go on a mission trip thinking that you are going to make such a difference in the lives of the people that you help and though that may happen I think I too will be changed by the love that I see in the people that have been healed.

Pray for me and my team. Pray that God uses us how ever He so desires and that we come back changed people for the better.

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