It’s been a full week in Gashora and I’ve waited for this day for many reasons. I’ve been curious to see the Rwandans in a state of mind apart from their job or life as a student. Yesterday we got invited as a group to go to church at the Gashora Girls Academy. We got up in the morning, got ready and waited for our bicycle taxis to pick us up as eight of us went to the other side of town.
The service was student led and held in their community center, which consists of a wide open space with cement floors, basketball hoops and doors that allowed air to breeze through. Lawn chairs were pulled out to form the pews and aisle. And as we walked through the doors, we were greeted and escorted to our chairs toward the front as we waited for more people to come.
I silenced my phone, and watched the girls from the Academy walk in one at a time as I was waiting for service to start. A group of girls started singing in the front, and it brought many of us to tears. They were so eloquent in the way they moved side by side, and their voices were remarkable. I could see passion in their eyes and the words from the song in Kinyarwanda sung as if they didn’t care who heard them.
I felt at home when the second song led into a song I was familiar with in English. But the rest of the service was done in Kinyarwanda. By the third song, one of the students started pulling us apart as she wanted us to sit staggered by their students so the service could be translated for us. I was thankful that they did this for us, otherwise none of us would know what was spoken during the service.
We were welcomed by the head student of the school and were prayed for. Many prayers were done and my translator said, many of them consisted of thanking God for sending his son to die on the cross for us, and giving each student the opportunity to learn in a school that wants them to succeed, and go further into a university. It was a memorable day and we were thankful to have been a part of their service.