IT FINALLY HAPPENED!
As with many others around the world, our schedule for 2020 has been completely obliterated! While we patiently waited for the situation to improve, we received notice in early July from the Rwandan Embassy that Rwanda would be open to foreign travelers beginning August 1—in a matter of weeks. We quickly arranged for and sent out a container with our personal belongings, cleared out our home of 20 years (to put it on the market), said goodbye to family and friends, packed our suitcases and left for Rwanda on August 6.
Traveling was extremely difficult as rules and regulations seemingly changed daily. In addition, limited flight options plus concerns about international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic created delays. Our flight was an exhausting 38 hours long. Thankfully, your prayer support and God’s protection allowed us to arrive safely.
Here, everything is new! New home, new relationships, new food, new smells, new language, new sounds, new ways to do laundry, new scenery as I go on my runs, new ways of grocery shopping…the list is endless. By God’s grace, we found an apartment to call home for the next few months; we’ve reconnected with friends and ministry partners, and with your continuing prayers, the transition has been relatively smooth.
From the day of arrival, we have pressed forward to open this exciting new chapter of His Hands On Africa for which we have been patiently waiting. Initially, we met the Dental Team of HHOA and shared our dreams with one another over dinner. It was so encouraging seeing their faces full of hope and aspirations. The Team is committed to partner with HHOA and to dedicate their lives, gifts and talents as a channel of blessing to heal the people of Rwanda.
The following week we signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nyamata District Hospital. The hospital is located in Bugesera District (similar to a county in the US), a district with population over 400,000. This is where our first Compassion Community Dental Clinic (CCDC) will be established, making our Dental Clinic the only one with a dentist on staff to serve the people of Bugesera District.
As I write this, the building of the clinic has begun! As you know, our vision for these clinics is to provide dental care for the remote and underserved communities of Rwanda. We are also partnering with local churches in sharing the Gospel and providing emotional and spiritual care for those in need.
As we progress, we will keep you abreast of our successes. Please pray with us, engage with us, and invest/partner with us to bring healing and hope to the people of Rwanda and beyond!
We thank you for the support you provide—it’s making all this possible!
Tom & Lita