K e n ya
had been teaching at an orphanage in Rwanda* for two months, and everything was going smoothly. The food no longer seemed strange, I had learned a bit of the language, I could navigate around town by myself, and I even enjoyed being woken up at six o’clock every morning by kids wanting to play. I had gotten past the initial struggles of loneliness and culture shock and was beginning to adjust to life. Then suddenly, I was informed that the Rwandan government had changed their visa policy due to a new law that required incoming teachers to have a university degree. Since I didn’t have a degree, I sadly prepared for my last month at the orphanage, understanding that
I would be allowed to stay in the country for three months. However, when I double-checked my visa, I noticed that for some reason it expired the very next day! I called the president of the Rwanda Union Mission to ask what I should do, and he told me that I would need to evacuate the country immediately. That evening I packed my belongings, trying to come to terms with the revelations of the past 24 hours. The children and I spent the remainder of our time enjoying each other’s company—taking pictures, talking, and recalling some of the fun times we’d had together. At five o’clock the next morning a car arrived to take me to the airport where I would fly to Nairobi. Holding
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back tears, I hugged the children and said goodbye, trying to put a smile on my face and a positive spin on a situation that none of us understood. I arrived at the airport with no ticket and very little money. When I approached the check-in counter, I explained that all I knew was that I was supposed to fly to Nairobi. The woman at the counter printed a
I had been relying on God completely, and now my faith that He had a plan for me was increasing.
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Mission 360 Magazine - May 2014