We had the honor of eating breakfast with Pastor Charles (ANLM founder) and hearing first hand how he approaches ministry.
He explained how important child sponsorship is and how hard the organization works to keep it affordable. My favorite quote from this morning's meeting was, "God has designed us to serve each other." Pastor Charles also stressed the importance and power of prayer. Cecilia asked how we can help Africa New Life when we return to Boise and Charles said we need to share the stories of what we've seen here. I'll be the first to tell you, we saw a lot today.
And it was all about the kids!
After breakfast we picked up Elvis and Alphonse. Elvis is sponsored by Mary Kolbert and Alphonse is sponsored by my parents, Jim and Judy Steiner. Both young men were extremely excited to see us. Alphonse hugged me more than anyone in the history of my life, and I loved it. He is such an intelligent, good looking young man and I am proud to call him my brother. It's incredible how a $39 monthly gift has formed the foundation for an unbreakable bond that will surely last a lifetime (and even into eternity).
Our bus driver John drove us to visit Alphonse and Elvis's families. We spent a good amount of time with both families. It is customary to bring a gift of food when you visit the families and these visits were no different. Typically this food gift is enough to last the family for a month. Though both of these families appear to be doing well the gift of food helps illeviate some of the monthly expenses which provides them with the opportunity to take care of other needs.
I hope everyone reading this will one day have the opportunity to visit the home of their sponsor child's family. It is a life changing experience and the amount of gratitude and genuine love the family extends you for the support of their son or daughter, brother or sister, is beyond compare.
After the home visits we threw a party for the children of Kigali who are sponsored through The Summit Church. The parties are an opportunity for us to show the kids that they're loved and valued. I took a portrait of every child and had a chance to show them the image on my camera. I tried to compliment every single one with a genuine observation of who they are. It was obvious that some of these kids probably haven't seen many pictures of themselves before and even more obvious that compliments are rare as well. I could tell that each child was impacted by their photo as well as the compliment because they'd light up wth a warm smile.
This experience demonstrates how much power our words truly hold. Which leads me to encourage those who've sponsored a child to be sure and write them. These kids cherish their letters as if they were made from gold and the impact a sponsor letter has on them Is immense!
We've had a long day and our power has been going on and off. Not a big deal but just know that the posts may come intermittently depending on when and if the power is on or off! We've had a long day and have an even longer one tomorrow as we head to Kageyo so I'll be signing off here.Please continue to pray for us! The commitment you've all chosen to make in the lives of these children is paying off. In this life and the one to come!
Jesus is made known here and God receives all the glory due His name. We are His hands and feet and we were made to serve, so serve we shall! Good night.