Update from Glenda Sept 2011

September 10, 2011

To my dear friends,

I have returned to Rwanda to take care of some pressing issues regarding the ministries we are supporting in this nation. Even though we have yet to obtain official International NGO status we feel very connected to several ministries that are doing amazing work with very few resources. Our relationship is growing and though we are not yet registered in this nation HOPEthiopia/Rwanda has been offering support through various means.

One such ministry is the Treasure Centre, led by amazing men of God who left their homes in Kenya to serve the destitute in an urban community of Kigali. With poverty rampant in Rwanda uneducated women turn to prostitution to feed their children. Sacrificing their bodies for the sake of their children, they fall prey to other’s desires and all that entails, including HIV.

Yesterday, I had the extraordinary privilege of visiting one such woman. Umugeni (meaning “Bride”) was abandoned by her husband, leaving her penniless and with hungry children. An uneducated genocide survivor, Umugeni turned to prostitution to provide for her family.

Pastors Marcos and James met Umugeni and her children while doing street ministry in Kimironko. As she came to know the Lord, the dehumanizing effects of objectification and victimization she experienced from her patrons and her circumstances were shed and she began to realize the truth of her worth; she is precious in His sight.

Olivier (our Country Director in Rwanda) and I accompanied Marcos and James to Umugeni’s home. How do we share this humbling experience? This stunningly beautiful woman graciously and gratefully received the meager gift of rice, beans, oil and sugar and offered us a seat. Umugeni and I spoke of our children. As I told her the ages of my children I joked about being old. She reciprocated stating that she too was old. Astutely aware she is only a year older than my eldest daughter, in comparison, I would have to agree with her statement. Her twenty-eight years of life have been so difficult we in the western world cannot imagine; it is a life that has aged Umugeni beyond her years.

As we continued to visit, Umugeni began to cough. HIV has taken its toll. Despite Anti-Retroviral medication, her body is giving out. Recognizing the mother-heart within, I could not help wonder what her dream for her children would be, so I inquired. She responded that she longs for them to have a better life than she had and that they would be educated. Money is hard to come by and that forced her to withdraw her 12 year-old and 9 year old from school last term. Her hope for a better future for her children likely seems impossible to her.

Before departing Umugeni’s home, we prayed for her and her children asking that God would heal her and provide for her wee ones. Furthermore, we prayed that her children would be motivated by their circumstances to become the world-changers Rwanda is in such desperate need of. And, Umugeni wept. There is never a language barrier when we pray – by the Spirit we know.

We just learned from her Pastors, that Jesus had appeared to Umugeni in a vision yesterday, prior to our visit. He told her she would be fed despite the fact her cupboards were empty. By providing for some very basic needs, we got to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Please, allow me to clarify the word “we” … “we” = you and me. I feel your support, your love, and your prayers with every step I take, for which I am eternally grateful. I pray you are as blessed as I am to know you play a role in the restoration of individuals like Umugeni and their families.

Though we await official status here in Rwanda (the application was submitted on June 16, 2011), we are sowing into ministries that not only love disenfranchised Rwandese but also “do life” with them. These ministries know the needs of those they have been called to serve and have committed to share their burdens with them.  And we get to partner with them! Thank you for journeying with us.

With much love and appreciation,


Blog, Current News, Mission Trips

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