Our very first meeting was coming to a close. As I looked around I saw 20 very eager and excited men ready to come together and work hard and that's when it hit me; these men know what I am offering. I am offering them a chance to learn, a chance to provide for themselves and their families, and chance to give back to the neighbors in need, a chance to make a difference.
Every time someone stood to speak the first words out of their mouth were "thank you". Every single time. And with each "thank you" I felt a wave. A wave of excitement, a wave of fear, a wave of responsibility, a wave of compassion, of wave of genuine love for the men before me. With every thank you it felt more and more real. With this new reality before me I knew what I needed to say. I took a deep breathe, swallowed my fear of public speaking, and told them why; why I was able and willing to offer them this opportunity.
"I believe in one God, the creator of the world. I believe God sent His one and only son Jesus to walk on this earth and later sacrificed His one and only son so that we, as sinners, may be forgiven and have everlasting life through the belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. As a follower of Jesus Christ I am always seeking after Him and His perfect will. God placed on my heart every single one of you and the idea to offer you this opportunity. From there God has opened door after door making this opportunity a reality for all of us. This house is Gods. This business is Gods. He is the boss. He is the one making this possible. And because of that I want this business to honor Him in every way, giving back all the glory to Him, and Him alone. That is why every day before work we will open in a word of pray. We will also gain knowledge through His word, learning more about the One who has given us everything. I recognize that not all of you may believe in the same God as I do and I do not expect or require you to, but I do expect you to respect my beliefs. If any of you have any questions, concerns, or are uncomfortable with any of this than please come speak to me."
As each man exited the door of our new office another wave hit. This time it was a wave of happiness. Knowing that I wasn't self-seeking but that I was truly being Gods servant, His hands and feet. I left that meeting feeling happy and ready to take on whatever else was to come.
As Foustin and I sat down to wait for our teacher I looked over and saw the biggest smile. “Elise, I am so happy you were talking about God. People here in Rwanda don’t think white people are believing in God. Not all but most white people are too concerned with being happy and don’t care about God.”
I have never heard someone put it so simply. In life we are too concerned with our own happiness, and other people see that! If other people are noticing, imagine what God sees, imagine how God views our selfish desires and ambitions.
More times than I would like to admit I selfishly choose fleeting happiness as opposed to being obedient to my heavenly father. The main reason: I wanted satisfaction in the moment.
Selfishness is ugly. When I am seeking after my own personal happiness as opposed to God's, I am being ugly, intentionally hurting Him, and possibly others. Right here, right now, I am choosing Gods happiness over my own. I no longer want to fulfill my own desires or needs to achieve happiness for a split second. I want to seek after God and His desires with my whole heart to achieve happiness for eternity.
Psalm 16: 2 I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing."
p.s. We are still in great need for financial support to get this thing officially started and we would appreciate if you would prayerfully considered giving. You can read more on how to do that here. Whether through prayer, financial support, kind words or all of the above we love and appreciate all of you!