Greetings Family and Friends:
It has been a long time since my last post but I am so happy to reconnect with you all. I am greeting you with the love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
So what’s new with me?
Well during the months of November -December I was without my iPhone and my laptop. This made it very difficult for me to stay in contact with you all but I’m confident this was apart of God’s plan. I learned a valuable lesson about being present during those 33 days. It was also during this time that I was given the opportunity to birth “Letters To Our Fawe Sisters” (LTOFS), which is a pen-pal system between Rwandese students from Fawe All Girls School in Gahini, Rwanda and African-American girls and women in the United States. This project is definitely God-given and I am so excited about it. LTOFS will officially launch March 6th , 2017 during Women’s History Month. Please stay connected to my social media handles for the latest updates.
Although my electronics were down I managed to find some photos. Here are some stories I would like to highlight from the past couple of months.
I Don’t Cook
I spent the Thanksgiving holiday with my YAGM cohort, Rwandese and Tanzanian friends, and our Country Coordinator. Collectively we cooked a traditional American thanksgiving meal and it was fun. Although I don’t really cook, I had the best time snacking on Kenyan trail mix (super tasty), setting the table, and smiling for photos.
When Your Bennett Family Becomes Family
During the Christmas holiday my Bennett Sister, Niquia, came to visit me. Bennett Sister is a term of endearment we use at my alma mater. We are not just women who attend an all women’s’ institution. We are sisters. I was beyond grateful that she visited me for the holiday and helped rejuvenate my spirit for the last half of this journey. We grew together, laughed, cried, bonded, ate, traveled and conquered fears. She is one of the best travel buddies. She isn’t just my Bennett Sister, she is family and for that I am extremely thankful.
“My Worship Is For Real”
By: Bishop Larry Trotter
You don’t know my story
All the things that I’ve been through;
You can’t feel my pain
What I had to go through to get here,
You’ll never understand my praise
Don’t try to figure it out;
Because my worship is for real
Because my worship is for real
I’ve been through too much not to worship him
When I hear this song, I think of Amnia. She is a member of my church here in Rwanda and her worship is for real. Every Sunday she praises God with everything in her heart. It doesn’t matter if people are sitting still. Amina is constantly moving her lips, clapping her hands, dancing with her feet and weeping to the Lord. I don’t know her story but I can see she loves God. Amnia means Amen in Kinyarwanda. Her praise always says Lord I touch and agree with whatever you are doing in my life. Her praise says “amen”. I love Amina because her worship is for real.
Amnia and her 2 children live in the back of our small church. Currently, she is unable to provide a home for her family. Yet despite her circumstances she praises God with everything inside of her. THIS makes me smile. In the midst of what we perceive as trials, she still manages to find God. She manages to say “Amen”. She manages to say, “Lord, I touch and agree with whatever you are doing in my life.” I love Amina because her worship is for real.
School is Back In Session!
Oh, how I’ve missed my students so much! It’s been a long 90 days without them and I am ready to get back to work. Several of my graduating seniors from Fawe have applied for a prestigious scholarship that may help them get into an American university. Please add my girls to your prayer list.
My vibrant students from G.S. Kayonza
Babies Got Books
While my electronics weren’t working I began to read more. The host brothers saw me with books and have now developed the same habit. My babies got books!
Dancing Through The Storm
In the midst of her storm, she danced. While visiting my “cousins” one day I played Beyoncé’s Sorry and instantly this girl became alive. She moved like she had oil pumping from her legs, her smile became radiant like the hot sun, and her problems became distant.
The 14-year-old girl in this picture had just returned from Burundi where she found her parents and siblings dead. They had been killed in the war. She is 14, homeless, and an orphan.
I kept playing the song for her. I didn’t want her reality to reset itself.
“Shemiah, tell the Americans I want to go to school. Just tell them I want to go to school.”
“Okay. I will.”
I walked home and cried. I cried for her.
(Muheri, Teta, Keza, & Sedi )
Pay attention to the girl on the far right. Yes, her. She’s dressed in a long white blouse and her arms are folded. This is Belyse. She is 9 -years -old and one of my best Kinyarwanda teachers from church. I know she isn’t smiling in the photo but she’s afraid of the camera. One day I’ll figure out why she is so afraid. She always greets me with love is and is ready to teach me something new. Sunday she walked me home from church after not seeing each other for 2 months. She said, “Shemiah, I missed you. “ I smiled and said, “Belyse, I missed you too.”
Many of you read my story about my experience with Bantu Knots. If you missed it, you can scroll below.
Well I took the Bantu Knots down and I miss them. Although people looked at me crazy and talked about me, it was such an overwhelming confidence booster. I will return to the Bantu Knots very soon and I anticipate building my confidence even more.
To my supporters and sponsors, thank you so much! A huge thank you to my 3 Evangelical Lutheran Sponsors: Shekinah Chapel Lutheran Church (Riverdale IL), Peace Lutheran Church (New Lenox IL) , and Christ Lutheran Church (Palestine IL). I am so grateful to have this village constantly holding me in your thoughts and prayers. As always, my love is with my family, friends, Bennett College, fellow Chicagoans, and my NC community. I could not do this without you all.
If you have questions, you can email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or message me on FB @ Shemiah Curry. Due to low broadband signal, FB messenger always gets you a more immediate response :).
Letters To Our Fawe Sisters! Coming MARCH 6th, 2017!