Our link with Rwanda
Wies Landheer is a CMS mission partner who has gone to work as a doctor at Gahini Hospital in Rwanda. Jesus words in Matthew 25:40 continue to inspire her in her work: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
These are some extracts from Wies' first link letter:
During the first three months I have mainly been struggling to learn as much Kinyarwanda (the language spoken in Rwanda) as possible. Mugabo, a teacher at the secondary school, was my official teacher. However, many others are still helping me and encouraging me. Also, I have had time to get acquainted with Rwandan culture and Gahini society.
Some things that I had to get used to were:
- People (mostly children) shamelessly staring at me
- The children shouting “good mor-ning tea-char!” at me at any time of the day
- The enormous respect and obedience people have for people in higher places
- The not so well planned, relaxed and carefree working style
- Taking time to shake hands with everyone I greet
- Meeting people for the first time and being asked right away for my age, marital status and phone number
- Praying before drinking tea or lemonade
- The length of the Kinyarwanda church service (three hours sitting on a wooden bench without understanding much of what is being said) because everyone gets an opportunity to verbalise their view
Building a house
I am very grateful for the household God has been building around me over the past months. You could say I am living alone, but there is hardly a moment during the day that I am alone. There are a few people who are helping me. Edisa is here during the day, cleaning and cooking and chatting in Kinyarwanda with me. Gatete helps in the garden and Alexis watches over the house at night. Often we are joined by other friends who drop by. It seems that people feel welcome here, and enjoy coming and visiting.
Wies with children
Wies has a wonderful rapport with children and has started helping with the Sunday School. She felt they needed a starting activity and decided to introduce the children to making clay models. But where could she find clay? As usual this was no problem to the local people who found some on the other side of the lake and brought it across fro her. But how to bring it to the church? By wheelbarrow of course!
Give thanks and pray
A small group has been set up to be the main focus of support for Wies and to communicate her requests for prayer. Currently we are asked to give thanks and pray for
- Thank God for helping me to feel at home in Gahini
- Thank God for new friends and old friends who try to stay in touch
- Thank God for many ‘teachers’ in Kinyarwanda who stay optimistic about my ability to learn the language
- Pray for continuous progress in language acquisition
- Pray for God to show me where and how I can serve Him best in Gahini (in and outside the hospital)
- Pray for a good internet connection and time to communicate with link churches and other faraway family
If you would like to read Wies' latest newsletter you can download it here.
If you feel able to help Wies financially there are three ways to do so. It is possible to give a one off gift, or make a monthly standing order, and these can be done through Kathleen Knight, our church Treasurer. If you would like to use a CMS Money box these are available from Vivian Culwick. They come as a flat pack and can be returned to Kathleen Knight periodically.
Those interested in supporting Wies and learning more can contact Vivian, on 01933 318025.