As we conclude our Youth Ambassador trip, the girls would like to take the opportunity to share their overall thoughts and experiences of Rwanda.
"Rwanda, how do I possibly sum you up? I have travelled and had the opportunity to go on a handful of school mission trips but Rwanda took it all to the next level. We were able to fully immerse ourselves in the culture and it was incredible. Rwanda is a land filled with beautiful views and even more beautiful people who have stories to inspire nations.
I found reading about the Genocide paired with hearing firsthand the stories of Genocide survivors hard to handle, to the point of anger at the injustice of it all. However, in seeing the people who actually experienced the atrocity choose to only look to the future and to do so through a lens of love, hope and forgiveness, has inspired me to put the anger behind and leave Rwanda with a heart full of hope for its bright future. United, the Rwandan people are seriously going places and I simply cannot wait to see where they end up, and help them, in the small ways I can, get there. So I don't say goodbye, instead simply thank you for everything and until next time, Rwanda." - Amelia
"For me, this trip has opened up my eyes to see how God works for the greater good everywhere. This is heavily evident in the people of Rwanda. Despite the horrors of the Genocide, I am able to see a nation rise above it all and people choosing to forgive and live with peace and joy. I have learnt through many smiles and beautiful testimonials that I should live my faith with joy and mercy.
I have loved coming to Rwanda and meeting the wonderful people here, it is something I will treasure forever." - Tanisha
"Rwanda for me ha been nothing short of life changing. Completely and utterly transformative. I came on this trip as a sheltered 18 year old who had never travelled anywhere. I have left feeling challenged, stretched but most importantly enriched by the beautiful culture and people we encountered along the way.
The Genocide Museum, as horrific as it was, opened my eyes to the heart of forgiveness and grace the nation has chosen to emulate. In the words of our dear friend Elsie (HOPE: Global Project Partner), "forgiveness sets you free", and I believe that is the driving force that has propelled Rwanda to where it is today. The stories and visions we were blessed to hear from our Rwandan friends, were inspiring and full of God-driven passion. Seeing the seeds God planted in their hearts for the future of the rising generation and watching firsthand their dreams becoming a reality, truly touched my heart.
The children we encountered throughout the journey, spoke volumes to my heart, even if i didn't understand everything they were saying. Their love and eagerness to absorb the message we shared challenged me and made me re-evaluate the things we so easily take for granted in Australia.
The team and I have shared so many special memories together over the course of our adventure, not only have I been totally touched by this beautiful country, but I have made some truly special friendships. So if I were to sum it all up, I will never forget you, Rwanda." - Maddy