Spiritual Hunger – On Mission in Rwanda

Spiritual Hunger – On Mission in Rwanda

I am not a missions girl.  In fact, at the risk of having you think me un-godly, I will confess to you that “Missions Sunday” is my least favorite Sunday of the year. If you haven’t been to one, allow me to describe it for you.  Your pastor (whom you love to hear preach) takes the week off and guest speakers (usually missionaries) come to speak at your church. They talk about their mission; the specific work that they do, where they do it, and the people they meet there. They usually throw in a story or two about how people’s lives have been transformed through their mission.  

This is all great stuff… Right?  Worthy and important work… for someone else.

While I am glad there are people willing to go to the ends of the earth to tell people about Jesus, I personally have never felt called to serve on the missions field…. until last year.

Photo Cred: Marilyn Gneckow

A friend of mine, Beth, and her husband started a girls school in Rwanda. I began hearing Beth talk about the school and the work being done there to teach these girls about the love of Jesus. Being a Bible teacher myself, the thought “I could do that” crossed my mind But, that’s all it did – crossed my mind.

So, I took one of Beth’s flyers, hung it on my office bulletin board and began praying for the school.

And then I entered one of those seasons of life where everything gets uprooted. The trees get pruned, the old brush is painfully raked away, and new sprouts are suddenly free from the old debris that previously had kept them stifled and hidden.  God started doing a new thing in my life. He began to make some changes in my thinking, my priorities and my deep rooted ties – in order to draw me closer to himself. He was preparing me for the next season.

So when Beth announced she was taking a team to Rwanda in March of 2018, I said YES to Rwanda and to Beth. I said YES to God. I stepped into the new season God has been preparing me for. I put my faith into action.

Photo Cred: Mendie Skarp

When I stepped out in faith, God showed up.  He provided every penny of the cost of the trip from generous people who sponsored me. He provided health for me while on the trip. He provided for my husband and two sons (13 and 10) who were at home fending for themselves. (By the way, mamas, it is possible for your family to survive 11 days without eating a vegetable. Just kidding… my husband did an amazing job.) And most importantly, God provided the exact words and scripture I needed as I spoke to the people of Rwanda and we discussed very difficult and deep questions.

Photo Cred: Marilyn Gneckow

I learned so much while in Africa, and I will forever be changed because of it.  Most importantly though, I learned that God can and wants to use me in ways that are far above anything that I could ask or imagine. My years of Bible study and listening to sermons and devotions have equipped me with all I need to go forth and teach the gospel NOW.  Even though I don’t think I’ll ever fully feel equipped, God showed me, He has called me TODAY.

God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called. Rick Yancy Share on X
Photo Cred: Marilyn Gneckow

The people of Rwanda are spiritually hungry. They wanted to know everything I knew about Jesus. They long to know our Savior more intimately and they are willing to sacrifice for it. Just in my eleven days, I saw people make incredible sacrifices to come and hear our team teach; some traveled (on foot with children) in the pouring rain, some sat for 4 or more hours (with children) in a church service, some traveled two days journey (including 6 hours on foot).

(Would you do that? Would I?  How hungry are we for God? What would we give up in order to hear the Word of God preached?)

Photo Cred: Marilyn Gneckow

Friends, I want you to know that this is the world we live in. Our WORLD is spiritually hungry. You don’t have to travel to Africa to encounter people who need Jesus. They are all around us; in our jobs, in our neighborhoods, in our schools and at our kids’ baseball games.

The question is, will you put your faith into action? TODAY.

Will you be bold in your faith? Tell people why you follow Christ? Will you speak freely about what He is doing in your life? Talk about your church family you love so much? Or share your opinions and not fear judgment from others? Will you trust that God will show up when you get the hard questions? Can you believe that you have enough knowledge NOW and know that God will do the rest?

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! Romans 11:33

We are spiritually wealthy beyond belief. Let’s share the wealth. Let’s step into our faith, be the women God has called us to be, and trust that HE will do the rest.

Want to read more about my experiences in Rwanda?

Heartbroken for the Hungry

Spiritually Hungry

Eager for God


Photo Cred: Marilyn Gneckow


2 thoughts on “Spiritual Hunger – On Mission in Rwanda”

  • Beautiful Mendie, I love that you went to Rowanda. I can see the people loving you and listening to you because you have such a calm personality. With your personality you can be the voice and personality of God. Keep up the good work. God is equipping you for a mighty work.

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