Our first full day in Rwanda : Chad, EJ, Wyatt, Henry, and myself. Friday September 23 2016.
Our day started with morning breakfast at the Africa New Life Guest house in Kigali. Chad, Ej, Wyatt and Henry rose early to greet the day and I, haven taken enough Melatonin to put a cow to sleep, found it a difficult to get up. We started the day with a western breakfast of eggs, pancakes, fruits and lots of coffee.
We left the compound at 8:30am with Claude, our driver, and J.J. our interpreter to visit the Africa New Life Dream Center University for orientation. While riding in a bus in Rwanda my only thought is, “How does all this traffic and chaos happen around me and nobody gets hurt? Little motorcycle taxis with two people zipping in and around buses and cars, one lane roads with two lanes of traffic, men and women carrying huge loads on their heads unable to turn their heads walking fearlessly on the busy roadsides.”
We met with Eugene who explained to us that children are the main focus of their investment. The Dream Center Campus is home to: The Africa New Life administration headquarters which receives all the support money, and letters for sponsored children and makes sure the kids get the correspondence and support. These children are throughout Rwanda and the financial support provides them with the means to go to school and get a good education. These kids are supported at $40 a month.
In west Rwanda, near the Congo border, there was an orphanage of 500 children and Africa New Life went to go help these kids. The President of Rwanda made a public plea that “there should be no orphans in Rwanda and since we are all Rwandans we need to open our homes and adopt these kids.” All the kids were adopted! So Africa New Life started a school in the empty orphanage and lots of kids showed up. God provided for these kids. Africa New Life had one church in Indiana that supported almost 400 kids!
Also, On the Dream Center Campus, they have a Vulnerable Children’s Ministry for boys, and now girls, who come from homes in Kigali where parents do not properly care for their children. Some parents work and they lock their children in the house all day and the kids can’t attend school, or the parent has substance abuse issues. The Vulnerable Children’s Ministry basically takes on the parental role. The center provides the child with a safe place to go and learn the basics of childhood like how to dress properly for school and how to keep clean. They are fed a nutritious lunch and it provides the children with an excellent tutoring program at every grade for every course so the child can succeed. And, most importantly, the children are given Biblical training in the Word of God
Next we headed to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center. Honestly, I was not looking forward to this but it is an important, though awful, part of Rwanda’s history. Two points at the memorial I cried, the one I will tell you about is this, the Genocide had ended and a couple years later some young kids were in a rural school in Rwanda, people broke in and said you children need to separate into Tutsi and Hutus, and the kids said we are Rwandans and will not separate. The invaders threw a grenade in the group of kids and killed 6 of them and injured most of the rest. The kids were so brave, so right. Matt 18:3 Unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of God. Sometimes the kids are the best example.
The thought that kept going through my mind is these people are so nice, so friendly, so gracious. How could this ever happen here? And it has happened twice. The second time much worse than the first, but it just seems unbelievable.
We are all well here and God has blessed our steps. Cannot wait to get to the Gardens and see the people there! Rwanda is a beautiful country.