45 minutes into our Saturday mountain drive, approaching the rocky crevices with the old mining town of Georgetown wedged in between, I asked Goshen plainly,
“…what do you want to do with all this? What is your dream?”
A gifted young man with his own story yet to be told, he commented,
“My dream is to share stories people don’t know…the things untold.”
Goshen is an aspiring independent filmmaker; a US resident for the past 4 years, originally from the Congo, by way of Ethiopia. His mother, whom he hasn’t seen in something like 8 years, is in a refugee camp back in East Africa and his grandmother is residing in Gisenyi, a Congolese-Rwandan border town on Kivu’s north coast. I happen to think Gisenyi is one of the most beautiful places in the world. At least from what I’ve seen.
20 and undeterred, he will go to film school in Denver and continue working full-time to support himself and his brothers.
The whole reason were on a late fall Rocky Mountain adventure in my little maroon Honda?
Mom and I attended a film festival a couple of weeks ago (sponsored by Emily Griffith Technical College) that highlighted local refugee stories. Goshen sat on a question & answer panel after one of the showings, and when asked what he would recommend to Colorado visitors in regards to things to do, he commented, “I’d say the mountains…but I have never been there myself.”
My eyes widened, a spark inside my body lit and God spoke clearly, you will go with him.
I approached him afterwards, before mom and I headed to the small wine bar in the corner, and we exchanged numbers and I vowed that we would find a date to go. He must of thought I was crazy; this random girl who insisted that we go to the mountains together. Yet, when he realized I spoke Kinyarwanda, his demeanor eased and he must have thought, oh, well, this is interesting…
Last Saturday had to be that date to drive up for a mountain joyride; it was just shy of 85 degrees outside and I knew it was meant to be.
You see, God knows us intimately too, and just as Goshen has a dream to tell stories – so do I.
Mine is rooted in writing and also in experiences.
I thrive in doing new things and in them, helping others experience new things as well. Call it passion…vocation…I don’t really know, but it’s always been a source of deep gladness. Ice-skating with Arkansas youth, summer field hockey trainings, reading with my 1st grade buddy back in college, facilitating the arrival of cleats and balls in Ruramira sports, traveling long bus routes for religious pilgrimages, enjoying an African safari alongside my girls, helping them access a sustained and continuous education, and even helping to implement “mindbenders” into my current work staff meetings. Experiencing new things, often with some element of service, but always appreciating joy that can be found in the world is what I want to do when I grow up.
My conversation with Goshen, on our two-hour road trip, helped me realize as much.
With an extra push on my accelerator, we eventually reached Winter Park, walked around aimlessly, took photographs, and later hiked up the moist trails of Berthoud Pass. Living only in the present reality, I loved that day. Goshen’s first mountain trip, he had fun too, I think.
The snow surprised him and the plethora of pine seemed to capture him in awe. Driving home, I anxiously and excitedly put my Kinyarwanda music CD in my stereo and he explained bits and pieces of what the lyrics tell us. I could understand the basics, but Goshen was able to expound in further detail, as he has the ability to speak English, French, Kinyarwanda, and Swahili. Impressive, right?
God couldn’t have orchestrated it any better – and I just beamed in God’s glory and power to give us the people, the revelations, and the stories right when we need them. Goshen certainly wanted to see the mountains, but I wanted a friend that I could exchange cultural stories and nuances with. I wanted someone who could understand – far better than I can – the two worlds I myself have blended together.
I do new things and revel in them because always life can be appreciated that much more. When you do that, God always follows through and provides people to share this with. Life is meant to be shared, after all. All to His glory, amen.
Check out Goshen’s latest documentary piece on youtube: