It began with a prayer.
“God, make me a part of something bigger than myself, something my family can be invested in that will bless your kingdom, something that can only be explained by saying, ‘God is in this.’“
That prayer came after years of hoping I was making a difference. I mean, I did all of the “stuff” I was supposed to do as a Christian woman. I made meals for the sick. I attended church and Bible studies. I kept my family fed and my house clean. (Okay, semi-clean.)
But, my heart wanted more.
I wanted to truly know that my actions were making a direct impact on the Gospel, that my tiny life would stretch beyond what I could see or imagine, and that it would all be for His glory.
The yearning was deep. And it never seemed satisfied.
But, God hears our prayers.
Literally, the day after I prayed that simple prayer, I logged on to Facebook and noticed a dear friend of mine doing mission work in Rwanda. I had passed over his posts before, but that day, I felt compelled to read what he had written. God laid it heavy on my heart to check out the website link to an organization he had apparently started called Rwanda Children. I clicked “play” on the homepage to watch a short video.
I began to weep as I watched the images in front of me and knew immediately in the depths of my soul that this was the answer to my prayer. I have never felt such divine confirmation before. My heart felt drawn to this place and the only thought I kept coming back to was, “God is in this.”
Rwanda Children began in the heart of our founder, Serge Gasore, Jr. He is a genocide survivor from Rwanda who came to the United States on a track-and-field scholarship to Abilene Christian University. After meeting my friend, Vann Conwell, they developed a friendship, and Vann was able to restore Serge’s faith in people. More importantly his faith in Jesus Christ was restored.
Serge began to share a dream with Vann. He felt a deep desire to return to Rwanda to help the young children who, like him, were forced to fight for survival. After much sharing and praying, they formed the non-profit organization, Rwanda Children.
The main goal of Rwanda Children is to meet the needs of children from birth to eight years of age.
In Rwanda, this age group is the most at-risk for malnutrition, neglect, and disease. The lack of money and food leads many families to have a “survival of the fittest” mentality. Naturally, the younger children suffer the most from this mindset. Serge wanted to give these children a fighting chance by providing them with a home, a family to care for them, and the resources to allow each of them to reach their God-given potential.
Once Rwanda Children was a reality, the first goal of building a home to care for a small group of Rwandan children was soon realized.
The six children they took in were all from horrible situations and some even at the point of death. Now, just over a year later, they are thriving. The house parent, an amazing, godly woman from Rwanda, cares for these children as though they are her own. They are all healthy, happy, and now have hope for a future. They are learning about God’s perfect plan and how loved they are by a Savior.
That’ll make you smile!
We have also been able to give over 2,000 Rwandan children health insurance. Health coverage is only $5 per child for an entire year in Rwanda. Without it, children are denied medical care. They often die from illnesses simply because they are unable to pay their bill. My two sons love saving up $5 and sending it to Rwanda Children. They get true satisfaction knowing they quite possibly just saved a life!
Another part of Rwanda Children is to provide families with water filters that give them clean drinking water for up to ten years. In that country, many children die each day due to water-born illnesses. How can we preach the love of Jesus while ignoring someone’s most basic need of life?
These water filters are just $50 each and are a vital part of this mission. <<Click to Tweet
Our newest project is our “Build a House, Create a Home” campaign. God has blessed us with the land to build ten more homes in Ntarama, Rwanda! Our prayer is to have them built by the end of 2015. Once completed, we will be able to give more than 70 Rwandan children a loving home. We will need families to sponsor these children once this dream is realized.
“God is in this.”
To say I am humbled to be a part of Rwanda Children is an understatement. Each day, I look at the picture of our Rwandan family hanging in my kitchen. When I see Momma Denise and the bright-eyed children all huddled together smiling, I see redemption at its finest.
Rwanda Children has been a blessing to my entire family. It has brought a deep sense of purpose to us, knowing that six kids in Rwanda are sleeping soundly in the love of Christ because of our simple support. It is a cause we are thrilled to share and be a part of. Knowing that our efforts have eternal consequences make our days seem anything but ordinary.
At Rwanda Children, we are constantly asking God to raise up people with a heart for this ministry. We would love to have more families partner with us. I encourage you to check out our website at www.rwandachildren.org It is easy to navigate, and you will love seeing all of the smiling faces.
Also, there is the link to a short video below. I promise it is worth your time. You will be encouraged and blessed.
If you would like to know more, have questions, or would like to help us spread the mission of Rwanda Children, I would be thrilled to talk with you! There are many different ways to volunteer and help us. Not everyone can financially contribute, but raising awareness and spreading the word of our small organization would be such an amazing gift to us!
If you would like to donate, you can do so on our website. All of your gifts are tax-deductible.
The greatest gift you can give us is your prayers. I have no doubt that our prayers are effective and that God hears us when we call on him. His Word says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14
I am honored to be joining the team on an upcoming trip to Rwanda in just a few short weeks. Please pray for my family during my absence. (My husband will thank you.) I can’t wait to share my experiences with you when I return.
To God be the glory!
Brianne Hendrick is the National Volunteer Coordinator for Rwanda Children. She is from Alabama but resides in New Jersey with her husband and two boys. Determined to be salt and light through the messiness of motherhood, she occasionally gets a complete thought and blogs at www.briantics.blogspot.com.