by Kelli Vieke (Team Member and Volunteer Leader Women of Grace)

The days have been long but not overwhelming to the point of break. In Rwanda, I've been able to observe, listen and live from my heart instead of my head. I've had freedom away from "getting it right" to simply resting in "getting it”.  Yes, receiving...I've had a front row seat, free from all outside distractions to see God at his absolute best. Which, has always been there, but muddied by all the uninvited white noise, distractions and schedules our western culture crams down our throats and deceives us as normal. I’ve learned our western pace is the antithesis of normal. Our rapid pace is unsustainable and dangerous to our mind, body and soul.

Some of my African favorites: the pace, the people, the beauty of the land, the acceptance and the love these people offer to a white American female is/was unexpected and endearing. I didn't expect to love these people or this place so quickly.

I loved waking at dawn and hearing the most beautiful music being sung near and far in a different language…nearly every morning.

I loved to listen to the birds singing, the roosters crowing and zero traffic noise…priceless!

Their faces, this place, their stories are etched into my heart. Their strength and dignity woven into their pain and sorrow has inspired me beyond words. I want to remember this pace, this place, and the faces of strength whom I've had the privilege to observe and learn from.

I've learned that in order to receive best, I simply need to be quiet and open my eyes and heart and let God…