Monday, April 28, 2014

Unlikely things start happening when we are not afraid to get skin in the game and we decide to go big.
Passion leads you to do crazy things. For me that looked like emailing a ton of strangers, flying half way across the world,and asking for an opportunity that didn't exist prior.  

A little bit before getting the opportunity to hangout with LWI I had an itching question,  "What is an advertising and public relations major doing trying to help people access clean water? I really don't have the knowledge or tools to actually do so.
But what God brought to light was very important. while yes, it is true that I do not have the skills to physically provide or improve water access, I do have the skills to help those who are the professionals in this area. Serving those who serve.
I think a lot of times we have this idea in our heads that we can just come over to a country for a week, or two and make these crazy impacts on the lives of a community. And while yes that is completely true and God has no limitations, more often than not it's just not that simple. I think I'm realizing how easily problems in developing countries can be over simplified, and while there are benefits to short term solutions, it is always better to think with the end in mind. Many times solutions to big problems take numerous years to play out. And what good is it to come into a country, quickly better a situation in a week, and then leave? It's not sustainable and eventually these issues can arise again. I'm learning the importance of working with country staff, those who live there long term, some permanently. Those who speak the language or have the time to really learn or know the culture; those who are professionals in the area in which they are working. This is the very reason why I absolutely love Living Water International, and it has been a crazy joy getting to know and learn from their Rwanda staff.
I've learned God can still uses us even when we don't feel equipped. He doesn't put crazy desires in our hearts so that he can laugh at us when we look foolish for perusing them. 
He allows us to use our skills to line up with our desire.

.With a background in journalism I was given the opportunity to work with the field staff of LWI, and together we worked on capturing stories and report writing. 
I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to hangout with the LWI-Rwanda's drilling team and other staff  members over the last few weeks; the work they do daily continues to blow my mind. I am getting to collect stories on the staff, community, individuals, and the difficulties encountered in the field. These stories serve as a way to connect people back home in America to Rwandans; to actually people, not just facts and statistics.

I've got to tell the world 
Earlier this week I was talking to a friend from back home, and during our conversation she said, "wow, what you're doing over there is so great!" And while my heart overflows with appreciation for all of the kind words I've received throughout this journey, I need you to know this: anything that I've done during my time in Rwanda should be considered as nothing in comparison to the hard work of the LWI-Rwanda staff. These people are world chargers! And what they are doing over here is truly great. I've got to tell the world!
It is hard to fully put into words the dedication of the drilling team. I've had the chance to spend the last two weeks out in Ruhango with this team, and I must say I've learned more about determination during this time than I have in my twenty years of life.
These are the guys who dig the deep, deep holes in the ground so that a community can have access to clean and safe water. They spend their weekdays in the villages, far from their families and homes. Their day starts around 6 am and doesn't end until the job is finished, rain or shine. Even when the sun goes down, they pitch their small green tents right where they're at and wake up the next morning to continue drilling. It is not an easy job and there are many challenges that arise during the week. The drilling rig truck is large and extremely heavy; it can easily get stuck on the small man-made dirt road, sometimes taking hours to pull the truck. 
These guys continuously make sacrifices in order to help communities have clean water, in order to share the word of God, in order to give people a better hope from their future.  The hard work of every staff member is truly amazing!