HE makes a way when there is no way -unpacking rwanda

i’m journaling through my images & thoughts from my recent trip~ you may begin here if you’re joining in new today.

~unpacking rwanda, a short series of simple thoughts~

the height of one’s resiliency is not limited by the depth of one’s tragedy

we all piled into the van & headed to meet a very special young lady for lunch. earlier that morning we heard jamie’s story and i’m certain i can speak for the group when i say i knew this was going to be one of the most emotional times on our trip. what i didn’t expect to see was the joy in jamie’s smile & the hope in her eyes.

if i close my eyes now, i see her somewhat bashful grin. i can see her eyes sparkle as she looks at the women who have counseled her & been a true life changing support for her these last several months. i don’t see bitterness and anger. oh. i have no doubt she remembers every horror she endured. and she’s just a child. i’m betting she remembers the faces of the men that took her innocence from her. i’m sure she remembers the smells and noises of that dark night. instead i see in jamie a spirit of resiliency that despite the depths of the horrific tragedy she endured is rising up.

jamie looked us in the eyes & asked us to tell her story. while her name has been changed for as we do just that, i can tell each of you, i have never seen bravery like this.

i have a daughter almost exactly the same age as jamie. they both have bright eyes & can be bashful in a group of adults.they both like rap music & coke. and they both love their converse hightops. there’s something about distancing ourselves from pain & tragedy that we view from the news. often times taking place in countries that seem so very far away & that we’ve never visited. it’s almost a protective mechanism for our hearts to almost want to close up and not really digest events like this that we can’t believe even occurs. i know i have. i know the “news” and stories like this i can hear and yet keep on with the details of my day. but this story, this sweet jamie’s face-her bashful smile & her bright eyes, this story…it won’t ever leave me. and while i’m certain my words aren’t eloquent nor powerful enough to do this story justice …her’s will be.



01paigeknudsen rwanda02paigeknudsen rwanda03paigeknudsen rwanda04paigeknudsen rwanda05paigeknudsen rwanda06paigeknudsen rwanda07paigeknudsen rwanda08paigeknudsen rwanda

you won’t want to miss jen hatmaker’s post about jamie, find it here.

and for more information about international justice mission, go here.

August 14, 2014 - 8:29 am

Alyce - Beautiful, Paige. You are right– we read it in papers and online. We view it on the news. Then we go about our day. I’m guilty. So guilty of it. I’ve never stepped foot on a plane, so I’ve not been to the places where this is real. Although, I’m also aware that these horrors can happen in our communities. I try to remember that everyone has a story and to just love on people.

August 14, 2014 - 7:54 pm

Linsey @ Bravehearted Beauty - I wish we could rock on my porch enough hours and days and weeks for me to hear all your Rwanda stories. So much open hearted love in them. xo

August 15, 2014 - 9:27 am

Karen Barnes - Thank you for sharing Jamie’s story, your beautiful pictures, and your heart!

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *