Glenda in Rwanda – latest update

Dear friends and family,

Presently Olivier and I are working on how to help our dear friends at Treasure Centre implement a venture that would empower and sustain the destitute women of their congregation. As we join efforts and seek God on behalf of these women, their day-to-day needs overwhelm us. Not only have some not eaten, some are being evicted from their homes because they cannot pay their rent ($50/month for two closet-sized, empty rooms). The basics, i.e. food and shelter, are denied these women and their children

“Sophie”

After the testimony of Umugeni, Pastor Marcos from the Treasure Centre contacted us and asked if we would visit more of the women in their community, provide some basic groceries, and pray for them. So, Wednesday afternoon we traveled the precarious roads to visit the women in valleys of Kigali – all HIV positive; all with several children; all with questions about tomorrow. Having left the streets, no longer willing to be victims of prostitution and with little prospect for a decent job, they are unable to pay school fees and wonder about the future of their children. The story is the same throughout the valley.

Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills, is extraordinarily beautiful. From the top of those hills one can see for miles. One is struck by the contrast of the rich red earth and the lush green vegetation. Rwanda is exquisite. But with the thousand hills come a thousand valleys and from within their depths one views a different picture. Streets crowded with women trying to selling the bounty of the land and children running rampant everywhere.

Ralph and I met a missionary to Malawi on the plane last year. He said, “The greatest fallacy in Africa is that it takes a village to raise a child. Children raise children here.” In the poorest communities, this has been my witness, too. No fees for school; no recreational facilities; ailing mothers or mothers who have to work to support their families or no mothers at all – the children wander the streets. There is no judgment of mothering here, this is simply a necessity created by poverty.

Rwanda Vision 2020” boasts of being “gender-biased towards women.” Hailed for his proactive response to women’s issues, President Paul Kagame just returned from the USA having been invited to speak on behalf of this stance. This country is ripe for empowering women; Rwanda gets it! Empower the women; empower the next generation; empower the leaders of tomorrow.

Having had considerable time to ponder the state of these mothers during my time here, I cannot imagine being in a position where selling my body was the only way I could feed my children. Their immense love for their children has cost them their dignity and for many it has cost them their lives.

I truly believe that God, in His unending creativity, will present a very creative way in which these precious treasures of His can be cared for and empowered. Please join with me in prayer about how might best help these amazing women.

Thank you again for partnering with this ministry. We are making a difference in other’s lives together!

With much love,

Glenda

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