September 2016 Trip: Day 2

September 2016 Trip: Day 2

Written by Henry Escobar

After the genocide in 94, the government implemented mandated community projects for all Rwandans on the last Saturday of every month from 8am-11am, also known as abuganda.
During this time members of the community gather around a common goal and work to improve the neighborhoods. This Saturday, they were digging ditches on the side of the roads to help keep the water from washing the dirt roads away during the coming rainy season.
Theo, one of the workers at the Africa New Life guest house took us with him. Jeff and I were fortunate to be able to participate and get a little warm up for our garden building. We met Celestine who works for ANL and he was graceful enough to translate and explain to us what was going on. After the ditch digging or whatever project the community leader decides is necessary, the neighbors gather in a designated area for a town hall meeting of sorts.
On the walk to the site, we met Julius, a member of the community and a fluent English speaker. They discussed upcoming necessary projects, domestic issues that can be solved without the courts, and they assign community leaders for projects or groups. I was left in awe of their composure and willingness to solve any tensions or issues.
When discussing issues of kids falling into substance abuse, instead of wanting to punish the children, they encouraged the community to love and embrace them because it was likely that these kids did not have the affection of a parent. They talked about the importance of being present in the home as a working father and mother and being intentional with their children. Every \thing they spoke left me in awe. I felt like I was in parenting seminar or a community group with our church.
We moved on to assigning community leaders, and Julius was put in charge of community sports or activities. Jeff spoke up and offered them some of the soccer balls we had brought and they were excited. They thanked us and asked us to say a few words, which caught us off guard. We thanked them for their hospitality and welcoming us into their community. We let them know how we admired the way they live life together, and how they had given more to us than we had to them. Anyone can donate material, but to teach to live life together, embrace, work, and heal together is a valuable lesson us Americans can learn from.
Jeff and I walked away replenished and inspired by these people who have overcome death and betrayal through sweat, compassion and working together on Abuganda.

 

Why Africa?

Why Africa?

“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall for the Lord holds them by the hand.”  Psalms 37: 23-24

With only one week remaining before we head on this journey to the other side of the planet, I find myself still asking the question, ”Why Africa?” One would think this question would be answered by now, but I cannot honestly say it is.

Naturally, when I envisioned my first trip outside of the United States, I saw blue waters surrounding my bride and me on a Caribbean island or my kids bouncing around with some kangaroos on the Australian Outback. I had dreams of indulging in every comfort and luxury I felt deserved for my years of waiting and working hard. Finally, I get the opportunity to go to……….(wait for it)…(drum roll please)…Rwanda!?!

About 10 years ago, I heard of this African country from the award-winning movie Hotel Rwanda. The movie documents the mass genocide that took place in 1994 where tragically between 500,000 – 1,000,000 people lost their lives. Although I don’t remember much about the movie, I just remember feeling really uncomfortable.

Fast forward to Spring 2015. That is when I first learned about this group of men stepping out on faith to build gardens thousands of miles away from their Central Texas families. The thought of Hotel Rwanda, mosquitos the size of Mississippi, blistering temperatures, miles away from my wife/kids and performing manual labor while on my “vacation” from my real job wasn’t my idea of fun. But I have been living long enough to know that God is God and my plan is not always His plan. That being said, guess who trumps this guy? Yeah, God does!

I already know this trip is going to be life changing. There is going to be an encounter with God that has never happened before; that makes the long trek across the globe, fighting monster mosquitos and experiencing the unknown all worth it.

This trip, much like watching Hotel Rwanda almost 10 years ago, is sure to take me out of my comfort zone but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It may not be the honeymoon-style getaway I would have envisioned or the southern-style easy living I’d like to enjoy day-by-day. But just as God has made it clear he called my heart to this mission and He, through many faithful donors, allowed this trip to be FULLY FUNDED, I believe God and all His goodness will grow our hearts and the gardens to flourish beyond our wildest dreams.

So, for that I ask the question, “Why not Africa?

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Written by E.J. Patterson, KGP Team Member

Learn more about E.J. and the rest of the team on our Meet the Team page!

If You Would Like to Keep Up With the Project…

If You Would Like to Keep Up With the Project…

Hey friends! We cannot thank you enough for all of your prayers and support over the last couple of months! Our fundraising is drawing to a close, and we are so thankful for all of you!

Just to let you know, we have an email list. If you would like to receive updates, especially when we are in Kageyo this Summer, simply sign up on this form and you’ll automatically get our blog updates.

Thank you again for partnering with us! We couldn’t be doing this without all of you!

Coming Up!

Hey friends!

We have about 3 1/2 weeks until our fundraising deadline, and we have some exciting events coming up! If you are in the Austin area, we would love to see you and have some fun together!

May 16 Pancake Breakfast in Cedar Park

Click here to buy tickets! There will also be a gluten-free option for $1 more! 

Sewing God’s Seeds Trunk Show at K&N Management Corporate Office

11570 Research Blvd.

Or shop online at Sewing God’s Seeds & comment with “Garden” at checkout. 100% of profits will benefit KGP!

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Thank you for Joining Together We DO!

Thank you, thank you for partnering with us!

All of our friends and family really came through! On May 1, $3,570 was raised through 76 supporters for the Kageyo Gardens Project! The YouCaring page was shared 210 times!

We appreciate all of your “likes” and “shares,” ALL of your prayers and support! Thank you!

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Together WE DO

 

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Today we are announcing “Together WE DO.”

Join with us by following “the rules” below and on May 1, 2015 let’s raise $10,000 for the Kageyo Gardens Project! KGP will build sustainable gardens, providing essential nutrition and economy to one of the poorest communities in Rwanda. Learn more about Kageyo Gardens Project here.

 

 

Welcome to Kageyo, one of the poorest communities in Rwanda. The land is harsh, food is scarce, and jobs are non-existent.

While some of the school-aged children of Kageyo have been richly blessed by sponsorship through Africa New Life, it is our aim to take the next step in helping their families to overcome poverty with the Kageyo Gardens Project.

We hope to build 100 gardens in our first year, providing essential nutrition and economy to this poverty-stricken community.

We invite you to join together with us to make this vision a reality for the people of Kageyo.

On May 1, TOGETHER WE DO.

The Rules:

  • ONE DAY, May 1, 2015 we are joining together to raise $10,000 for the Kageyo Gardens Project!
  • No one can give more than $25… TOGETHER we will DO this!
  • “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kageyo and SHARE one of our posts to let your friends and family know you are joining TOGETHER with the Kageyo Gardens Project!
  • On May 1, give any amount up to $25 at www.youcaring.com/Together.

Change your Facebook profile picture to the KGP Logo:

Make sure to comment on your picture so your friends and family know WHY you changed your picture! Here’s an idea of what you can write:

“I’m joining Together We DO on May 1 to raise $10,000 in ONE DAY for the Kageyo Gardens Project. Learn more at www.KageyoGardensProject.com”

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What else can I do?

  • Learn more about the project, and SHARE with your friends and family on social media! We need your help to get the word out!
  • Pray right now for this mission that God has given to us.
  • Watch this video from a K&N Vision trip in 2012, and see some of the faces and lands of Rwanda, including Kageyo.

 

And, Sign up to receive KGP’s latest blog posts, news, and updates to your inbox!