“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever” (Psalm 30:11-12).
Life is tough. No matter where we live around the world, life can seem overwhelming and difficult. Rwandans have experienced some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable, and many have witnessed horrible atrocities with their own eyes. After living in a rural Umudugudu (local village) this summer, Kimberly and I have been dumbfounded by the sheer joy expressed by so many in our community.
Specifically at Hope Haven, the overflow of joy is attributed to faith and finding God’s purpose. This joy is often expressed by dancing, and I will be highlighting some more types of dancing in future blogs so stay tuned…
Traditional dancing is a significant display of Rwandan culture. As part of our efforts to continually reach out beyond the walls of our campus to transform the entire community, Priscillah, our family director, recently created a cultural dance troupe. This troupe is training to perform at weddings, ceremonies and special events throughout Kigali. This training provides an income source and a sense of purpose for youth who may have experienced life without purpose. Some of these young people spend their days as caregivers, housekeepers and unskilled day laborers with little hope for a brighter future.
Now, this group of young people practices several times together each week. Synchronizing their movements with precision and passion, they work together to create beautiful masterpieces of movement. Their joy, zeal and community bonding is extraordinary. As others on campus hear the beating drum and see the dancers move, they are drawn to celebrate too. The playground is getting crowded!
How often do we set aside our troubles and praise God for His provision in our lives? Even in the simple things, like a joyous dance, we can reflect eternal joy, hope and togetherness!