May 28, 2015

Africa on My Mind

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress
and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:27

This time last year, my family and I were nearing the end of our trip to Rwanda to visit my parents.  This time this year, we are awaiting the arrival of the Watoto Children's Choir at our church this afternoon.  So today I feel the need to share with you about Urukundo Children's Home, which we visited in Rwanda, and Watoto, which we will meet tonight!

For the most part, I will let you click those links to read more to learn about those ministries to orphans in Rwanda and Uganda.  They have similar philosophies and ways to creating a home for children who do not have the privilege of living with their immediate family, because disease, war, or poverty has taken their parents or rendered their parents incapable of caring for them.

The Watoto Children's Choir travels the U.S. performing (song and dance) to raise awareness and funds for their ministry in Kampala, Uganda.  As they move from church to church, American families have the opportunity to host a few of the choir members in their home.  We will be doing that tonight and I could not be more thrilled!  What a difference Watoto has made in these children's lives.  They are alive, fed, loved, in a family, and they know Jesus loves them, too!

Right now, Mama Arlene, the founder and matriarch of Urukundo (which means love) in Rwanda, is traveling around this part of the U.S. on a fund raising trip.  She moved to Rwanda permanently in 2004 and has never left.  We got to tour Urukundo, play with the children, and learn about Mama Arelene's ever-expanding, God-given vision.  Her life is a challenge and inspiration, because her retirement was the beginning of new work!

Here are a few pictures of what is happening at Urukundo:



Job Training!


Medical and Dental Care!

Infant Care!

Food Production!

 And Lots of Laundry!!

With our Watoto guests arriving tonight and remembering the year anniversary of our trip to Rwanda, I have orphans on my mind a lot.  Oh yeah, this quote has popped up on my Facebook news feed several times this week, too.

"If all the orphans were a nation, they'd be the tenth most populous nation in the world."

Not sure if it "means" anything, but in response to the theme I'm seeing, I wanted to share with you about these great ministries to the least of these.  I wonder if God is trying to tell our family something through all of this.  I'm trying to listen!  May God guide each of us as we consider how to use our resources of prayer, money, time, and energy to care for the orphan, widow, and alien for the sake of His name and glory.

Have a great weekend!

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