Friday, January 14, 2011

A Rwandan Adventure

When it comes to my job, I’m a planner. I’ve always been this way. I wish I weren’t. I like to know when things are happening and how they are going to happen. It is how I am wired and I really don’t like to navigate away from the safety of my checklist. About 2 months ago, I received a phone call that would totally shake-up my plan.

My dear friend, Emmanuel, called to ask if I would consider going to Rwanda to shoot some stories about the amazing things going on in the country. My initial answer was NO WAY. Not that I don’t want to go back to Africa, but I was in the middle of another documentary project and busy with my day job at DIY Network. How was I going to take off enough time to travel to a developing country long enough to tell a great story, and who would cover the cost because I surely didn’t have the resources. He then said, “What if I were to give you access to the President? In fact, what if I could get you access to any person you want to talk to from the President to prisoners to the man sleeping under the bridge?” I told him I would pray about it for a few days and get back to him.

A week went by and I started doing some research on Rwanda and President Kagame. He was recently re-elected for a second term in office with 93% of the vote. That seemed like a huge margin to win an election. It also seemed big changes were happening in Rwanda. An unprecedented number of women had been elected into parliament. The President had been aligning himself with CEOs of major US Corporations like Costco, Starbucks, and investment firms. Kigali was awarded the cleanest city in all of Africa. I had heard amazing stories of reconciliation and forgiveness going on between genocide killers and survivors. Something big seemed to be brewing in a nation the size of Maryland. And for a few days I got really nervous. Why was this opportunity being presented to ME? Maybe I should call Katie Couric. She would tell the story so much better.

I woke up one morning scared to death that I was supposed to say yes, but wasn’t sure I was making the best decision. That same morning, my friend Sarah posted this on her facebook wall:

Bible time with a 2 yr old-

"God made Queen Esther brave, didn't he??" "No!!"

"Yes he did! God makes us brave...... Who makes us brave??"

So glad the point is really hitting home... :)

It may not have hit home with Londyn, but it struck a chord with me. If the God of the Universe, who knows us inside and out, can make a scared, plain-Jane like Esther the queen of a nation, imagine what He can do through me if I just step out in faith.

So, I called Emmanuel back and said I would go.

Two months later, my crew is intact. And they are INCREDIBLE. I’m going with some college friends, Brandon Bray, TK McKamy, and a new friend who works with TK, Jesse Gregg. We are doing this mostly on our own dime which makes it all the more risky, but we have no doubt God is in this and will provide.

Here’s where my leap of faith has had to come in. We don’t have a story. Yes, that’s right. We have an interviewed lined up with the president of a nation, but we have no story to interview him about. That’s the terrifying part. And, we’re not going to know our story until we get there and start talking to people. The Lord’s been teaching me a lot about trust through this process. Around Thanksgiving, before this was even a reality, my sweet friend Linda reminded me to relax. The story God wants to tell is SO much greater than any story I could come up with. He’s already got it mapped out. I’ve been living by that. Up until last week, all I knew is that a man named Joseph would be waiting under an exit sign in the doorway of the airport with a sign with my name on it.

Every time I start to worry, God drops another breadcrumb on my path and says, “you’re going the right way… keep moving!”

Would you pray for our team these next few weeks.

-That God would ultimately lead us. That He would make it so clear to each of us the story He wants us to tell. And that we would be one in our decision-making, collaborating, shooting, and storytelling.

-Protection. Pray for safety for the four of us, and protection over our expensive gear!
-Provision for Bishop Joseph who is taking care of all of our accommodations while we are in the country.
-Provision for the documentary. That God would continue to bring investors along the way who will invest in our vision.
-For doors to continue to open and favor to be on our path.
-For opportunities to be the church to the people of Rwanda.

Thanks for standing with us. We covet your support, encouragement and prayers.Looking forward to sharing the adventure with you.


  1. Very cool, Sarah. I will be thinking about you!

  2. Sounds amazing, Sarah! God will guide your footsteps, and HE does have it all mapped out for you. What an exciting adventure! Have a great time!