Monday, 30 June 2014

Music Monday: From Sea to Sea

In honor of Canada Day tomorrow (July 1st) I want to share a very special song with you. It’s not on You Tube so I was unable to embed it, but you can click on the link below and view it. This is Luc Gingras and his wife Nathalie, ministers at La Place in Granby, Quebec, singing one of Luc’s original songs. The song is called “From Sea to Sea” and it is a prayer for the nation of Canada. It is based on Psalm 72:8, which states "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth." Canada is the only nation outside of the middle East whose modern-day boundaries are clearly defined in Scripture.

I hope that this song touches and blesses you as we pray it over the Dominion of Canada. 

Sea to Sea - Luc Gingras

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Joy Comes In Letters

 I’ve received NINE letters from my children since my last update! It sounds like a jackpot, and it is; a letter from my precious Isimbi, two from handsome Mbula, and SIX from my sweet Shakira! The only one missing is Ada… I’m a little concerned that I haven’t heard from her in almost four months, but I’m afraid I may be guilty in her case… I’ve neglected writing to my children in the past couple of months, because my life has been so busy. I’m making it up for it now though, and there have been many bundles of love delivered to the post office lately!
First up, the letter from Isimbi. (Who, by the way, is going to be turning eleven in less than two months. Where does the time go?!)
Isimbi began her letter by greeting me in Jesus’ name and telling me that her family is fine. She shared that it is rainy season in Rwanda and asked how the weather is here? She then told me that she is studying well and she knows she will pass. (That’s my always-confident girl!) She told me to keep praying for her and added, “And I know you do pray for me.” (Of course I do, I tell her that in every letter!) She then told me that her mother, grandmother, and brother are greeting me (the first time she’s specifically mentioned her family members) and told me thank you for the last two letters I sent. “I was so glad,” she added.

Next are the two letters I received from my brother Mbula, who almost always begins his letters with “Hallo my friend?” which makes me chuckle because I imagine a British accent. The one deviation from his tradition was his second-to-last letter, which began, “First I would like to say “Hi” to you.” Isn’t that sweet?
 Mbula is fine and doing well in his “daily activities.” He’s also keeping busy at school and has been promoted to Form 2 (The equivalent of our grade 10.) His school had an athletics competition and they “participated very well although the game was tough.” They are preparing for football games in the next term and he requested that I pray for their team to win. He then asked about my favorite game and why I like it. Mbula and his family recently harvested their crops and have already replanted in preparation for the next harvest season. He also shared some interesting Bible verses with me.

Some of you might remember  me mentioning that there was a mix-up with the post office in Rwanda and Shakira wasn’t getting my letters. Thankfully the problem was resolved, and she received every letter that I’d sent her, about six or seven in total! I was worried that she might be overwhelmed, but I guess she wasn’t… since she wrote six separate letters back! She commented on all of my letters, shared details of her life with me, and asked some great questions! Her letters are too long to share in full, but here are my favorite quotes. What a personality this girl has!
“I was so happy for the photos you sent me, which are a souvenir to my friend Hannah.”
“Now the sun is shining, but in a few minutes is sunset.”
“I like dancing Rwandan dance type, I wish you could come and I teach you how to dance this kind of dance!”
“Rwanda is beautiful because so many people like to worship God.”
“They call me at home, Uwimana. I like your names Hannah --------- (She used my full name here.)”
“Now the sun is shining, it’s neither hot nor cold, if you hang your clothes outside they will dry.”
“I am writing this letter at 8h in the evening. Tell me, what time is it in Canada when in Rwanda we are at 8h in evening?”
She also shared news and greetings from her sisters and her mum, told me about her church and the youth choir she sings in (They have six choirs at her church!), told me her school results (She was second in her whole class… I am SO proud of her!), told me about the holidays they celebrate in Rwanda, shared some great Bible verses with me, and told me some more about the children in the “Shelter Them family.” (I’m so glad she sees all the other children as her family!)
But it was her next words that melted my heart and brought me to tears right in the middle of a lecture hall at the university where I was sitting with friends and reading her letters while waiting for the speaker.
She said, “My sisters expressed love to you that you have much love. The love you showed me I will also give to others because your love to me really amazed me. I am going to sleep and I hope to see you in my dreams. When I think about you, I rush to do my activities so that I can get time to write you a letter. I love you so much.”
If I had any doubts whatsoever about whether letters make a difference, these letters from Shakira cleared them right up. Through the power of a pen and paper, a fifteen-year-old girl halfway around the word has gone from being a face and a name to being a sister… a real, living, loving friend whom I love and value… and whom I also hope to see in my dreams as she hopes to see me in hers.
Before I end this blog post, I want to share a lovely song with you… This is a song called “Uri Umwami” (You are King) sung by the one of the choirs at Shakira’s church. It’s a beautiful worship song that turns into a joyous celebration of praise; I know you will enjoy it as much as I did!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Music Monday: When Life Gets In The Way Of Living

I can’t believe how long it’s been since the last time I shared a “Music Monday” post with you all! Life has been a little crazy lately, with twists and turns and ups and downs. I have high hopes of getting back to blogging regularly though… be on the lookout for a LONG post with lots of updates!
And now, since life has really gotten in the way of just living lately, I have a really good song to share with you all… “When Life Gets In The Way Of Living” written and performed by my friend Blair Lane. Blair is a Nashville recording artist who lives right here in Newfoundland and has written some beautiful songs. This one is off of his second album, also entitled When Life Gets In The Way Of Living. I hope you all enjoy this wonderful song… and don’t forget to take some time to just enjoy life to the fullest; it goes by far too quickly!