It was more than 25 years ago. I went to one of those college meetings about going to Africa. It was to Zimbabwe, and Kent Allen was leading the group. I so wanted to go but I was timid. I had just returned from the Vienna Studies Program at Oklahoma Christian University, where I had met that handsome feller, Stan Shelton. I was tapped out financially on adventure. It wasn't the right time, I guess. And I was ABSOLUTELY certain that I would be a world traveler.
Aug. 2006, our first Sunday with Alain. Look at my tiny kids!
In 2006, God gave us a new son. Alain Shema! He was among the first ten Presidential Scholars to come to OC from Rwanda. And we "adopted" him as a local family who would look after him. He spent Christmases and breaks with us - including a couple of trips to Michigan. We had chats about Jesus, X-Men and how to cook cassava. We navigated WalMart together to find lotion for his skin and hair products - and milk and bananas. We got him some eye glasses thanks to the love at Cross & Crown Mission.
I fretted about whether he had a warm coat and whether he had friends. So we got him a coat, and I joined Facebook to stalk him (it was 2006!).
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda,
Left to Tell and Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life in Rwanda.
We were sort of advised not to badger him with questions (or that's what we thought was communicated to us). Later, Alain told me that he didn't think we cared much about the genocide. Sigh. But the deep conversations happened eventually.
|first time to ice-skate. Alain in green hat.|
Asian and didn't speak English. So we had Stan, Alain and the gentleman working together and then nodding heads at each other and shaking hands. It was beautiful.
|The graduates: Alain and Placide, and top,|
Rwandan Pres Kagame shaking Philibert's hand.
My children LOVED and LOVE him. And he worked SO hard at OC as an electrical engineering major. He graduated with TOP (the toppest!) honors. And, he was accepted to Purdue to pursue graduate studies. A rockstar!
|We moved out to the Back Forty right after graduation.|
Dreams Come True