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Leaving Kigali

I received this email from the team this morning. We’ll see them soon!

Hey Owen!
wanted to let you know we are saying our last goodbyes at Bourbon Cafe with the staff, and will be heading to the airport in the next hour! We will let you know when we are back in the U.S.!


Home Soon

Hello, friends!

After three weeks in Rwanda, the team will return to the States next Sunday.  As you prepare to receive them, here are some things I hope you’ll think about to help the team make the most of this trip.

For those of you meeting students at the airport, here’s flight information:

  • Katie, Zach and Jessica return to Seattle on September 2 at 11:15 AM on Lufthansa 490.
  • Maddie and Mark return to San Francisco on September 2 at 12:20 PM on Lufthans 454.

As the group returns, they’ll continue to think through this experience and its implications for their lives.  It’s likely that this mental processing will involve at least some of these elements:

  •  Relief upon returning to familiar surroundings,
  •  Frustration with aspects of home culture that appear less desirable than the cultural values experienced during the SPRINT experience,
  •  Sadness and joy over relationships and memories developed during the trip,
  •  And hopefully, Resolve to incorporate the learning from this trip into daily life as life moves on.

It’s our hope that SPRINT participants will return to “life as usual” with expanded worldviews and a clearer sense of God’s work in their lives.  The learning process continues after the trip experience; students will participate in a debriefing gathering in October, and will be encouraged to continue meeting with their SPRINT team to share the story of their host’s work and encourage future generations of SPRINT participants to serve.

I encourage you to give your student time to catch up on sleep, then set aside an extended period of time to share pictures and stories.  Don’t expect completely-formed opinions immediately; the reflection process takes time.  We remind returning SPRINTers that not everyone will have time to hear the whole story, but that they should find a few people with whom to share the longer, more in-depth account.

I’ve mailed team members some discussion questions and a copy of the Global Citizen Journal, published by the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship (, to help them think through their experience as they move forward.  If you’ve got time, I’d encourage you to talk though some of these materials with your student.

Thanks for your support of students on this team!   Please let me know if you have questions.



New photos

The team sent these photos this morning.  As you can tell, they’re learning a lot and enjoying their time with Rwanda Partners.

Photos include food, time at the orphanage, prayer time for a woman with an injured foot, scenery and a fun team photo.  If the team photo were their band’s album cover I’d want to listen, wouldn’t you?

A conference call

Allie Wallace from Rwanda Partners’ Seattle office sent this photo during a Skype call with the team. Here the team is pictured with Michel and Theo, Rwanda Partners’ in-country directors.


A photo from the orphanage

In this picture Mark enjoys time with children at the orphanage.


Another update

The team didn’t have Internet access at the orphanage – now that they’re back at their main headquarters, here’s a quick update.

Hello, it is good to be sending this to you now, we have not had much Internet. A quick update on what we have been doing: we went to an orphan home over the weekend and visited the 13 kids who lived there as well as hosting a worship service for them.

-we have been learning some Rwandan songs!
-lots of driving!
-learning some about the genocide
-we visited a pineapple plantation where Rwanda Partners helps run a co-op
-some of us have gotten a little sick, but things seem to be looking up.
-we visited the beaders and saw how they make the beads and necklaces
-went to a church service!
-And these last two days we have been attending a reconciliation workshop at a primary school

Also, We love avocado

The trip is going good and there is still a lot to learn. Keep praying for strength, health, safety, sanity, joy and love. We will eventually be sharing some of the people we have met here with you; they are a huge blessing on us.

Off to a good start

Hello all. Zach is writing from his iPhone on Friday afternoon. We have had a good week, spending a lot of time getting used to the culture (kind of trying not to be tourists) we went to the genocide memorial on Wednesday and yesterday we helped pack baskets and tag bags with Rwanda partners, this weekend we head to an orphanage!

It’s been a joy to struggle with the language, and even more to meet the team at Rwanda partners and the locals and kids we see in town.

As always, your prayers are very much loved.

Zach (& Mark, Maddie, Katie and Jessica)

Ps. The picture shows Rwanda Partners shoulder bags and a classroom where they are made in Kigali.