God With Us - Day 2

The African sun is arguably the best way to wake up! A big, bright, warm and daily reminder that God is always with us.

This morning we met the ANLM administration and staff who manage sponsor relations and gained a better understanding of the incredible job they do. Africa New Life Ministries has over 9,000 kids in the sponsorship program and desires to maintain a strong relationship with each of them, including their families, through face to face interaction with ANLM social workers. Each worker has anywhere from 250+ kids under their care at any given time. This is no doubt a huge undertaking, but one that is lovingly done with a heart of compassion and a desire to build a real relationship with each and every child. 

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Next we were given a tour of the Dream Medical Center which is still under construction. Upon completion this facility will have some 60+ beds, two "emergency care" rooms, multiple delivery beds, a state of the art lab, as well as Rwanda's only CAT scan. Dr. Sam Kagali is the physician in charge and a man who's love for the Lord, and the people of Rwanda is an obvious part of who he is.

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After our tour of the Dream Medical Center with Dr. Sam some of our team was measured for custom tailored clothing while the rest enjoyed an iced or hot drink from the ANLM coffee shop. The proceeds from both benefit the women's ministries here at Africa New Life.  

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The highlight for myself was the opportunity to see my brother and my parent's son in Christ, Philemon Mugenzi. It's been over 5 years since the last time we saw each other but it was as if a day had never passed. Such a kind, loving young man who seeks the Lord and desires to use his life for God's glory. Today when you pray please ask God for a special blessing for Philemon. I am so thankful that the staff at Africa New Life have not only pursued an education for my brother Philemon but a relationship as well. The fruits of their labor are paying off in his life!   

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We returned to the ANLM guest house and had lunch with Philemon and some of the staff. These candid times are always such an honor for us because they allow us the opportunity to glimpse the heart Africa New Life has for the ministry they do here in Rwanda. And let me tell you, it's a big heart!

Susan, Leslie, Lesley, and Donna reported during our debriefing this evening that they've already begun to see breakthrough in the women they're meeting with. The big success for today was establishing trust and an understanding that locking our past away in silence can be a bondage that prevents true healing and forgiveness from taking place. I plan to speak with the women's team more in the coming days so I can offer a more thorough report of their progress. But for now, please continue to lift these women, and the women they're meeting with, and the ANLM staff in your prayers.  

The rest of the team spent the afternoon with the Dream Center Kids. These are children that come from broken homes or homes where parents either can't provide, won't provide, or in some cases, aren't present to provide for the needs of their children. I spoke with Ida, their teacher, and she explained the difficult circumstances facing these kids. To provide a little perspective, for some of these kids the only meal they get each day is the meal they eat during the ANLM program they attend. Regardless of the harsh reality these kids face, they're some of the happiest children you'll ever meet.

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We played lots of games, hugged, high fived, sang, dance, and genuinely just loved on each other. These kids were the highlight of our day and children who God loves deeply. It can be difficult to meet children who face such an uphill battle in this life because, as Americans, we're so used to solving problems. But not every problem these children face can be solved so easily by men. Because of this it is so good to know that ANLM is here to advocate for them. To remind them they are loved by Jesus. To show them they are not forgotten by God.

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As I sit here and reflect I am reminded that these are the kids who's entire life can be changed by a $39 per month commitment to ANLM. These are the children for whom God has a future and a hope! These are the children we can advocate for by sharing the opportunity sponsorship provides with our family, friends, and acquaintances. Today was a gift for each of us, but most of all, today showed us that God is a God who loves His children. Each and every one!

Here's a little more of what we saw... 

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