Rwanda Blog 3: Beverly Thompson, Alumna ’17
My experience in Rwanda is life changing. It was heartbreaking, yet inspiring to listen to stories and testimonies of the people on how their Christian president uses knowledge, gender equality, unity, and forgiveness to heal wounds that could have left many hearts bitter. Instead, they pull together for the better. Their stories may have started with separation, pain (emotional/physical), and anger, but as they turned each chapter I could see forgiveness and love working together as they (the survivors and the perpetrators) united in rebuilding their country.
As a minister of the gospel and a registered nurse, my duties and responsibilities were to work in four different communities for two days ministering to their health needs and giving different gifts to the children. We served 472 adults in screening for high blood pressure and diabetes. This resulted in the findings of 20 adults with very high blood sugar and fifteen with very high blood pressure, and they were advised to see their physician as soon as possible. Many were recommended to go immediately. Two hundred and thirty received reading glasses. It was incredible to see the brightness in the eyes as the villagers gave their testimonies on how they could read their Bibles immediately.
We served two hundred children in the villages, donating toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste, pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, and other treats. We also visited the children unit at the hospital where we gave pens, pencil, pencil erasers, and treats. There were over fifty children in an overcrowded unit with two kids in one single bed. This was devastating for me, but the children’s smile and their “thank you” brightened the moment. I was so amazed at the love that I experienced and the appreciation that was shown to us (ABSW students Kwee Say, Peter Ngong’s wife and myself).
You should have been there. Please plan for the next trip, next year; I will see you there.
ABSW Graduate 2017
Master of Divinity Program