August 1, 2019 Volunteer and Rwanda Update


It's been a while, but...

We're Back From Rwanda


Wow, what an adventure!  This year, Reuben and I traveled to Rwanda and around the country with a couple of good friends and Lift Them Up supporters, Wes and Keith.  It was a blessing it was, getting to show them the work that LTU and are partners are doing there!  We visited 2 of the 5 churches: the Nyaraguru Church, where we do the Nutrition Program and the Cyanika Church, where over 30 of our Sponsored Kids live.
But to get from one church to the other, we had to drive through the Nyungwe Rainforest National Park, so we also got to see baboons, do some hiking, and cross the famous Canopy Walkway, high above the impenetrable wall of trees.  It became a mix of blessed ministry time and seeing some sights of a lifetime!

In Cyanika, we got to spend time with our sponsored kids and we even got to play soccer- with a REAL soccer ball!  Wes got to meet all of his sponsored kiddos and then help them blow up the ball for the big game against the village kids.  Afterwards, the sponsored kids all got to take home their monthly rice and hygiene supplies. 
The next day, we attended church with the community and Keith brought the Word and prayed healing over several folks!  Some deaf ears were opened and backs healed! Hallelujah!  Then we treated all of the pastors, including Pastor Jacques (pictured with Kendra in Reuben in front of the huge VOLCANO) to a nice lunch at the hotel. 
The kids did such a great job taking their Annual Update Pictures that we needed to take a break and do something fun- so we made Gospel Paper Airplanes and launched them throughout the church!  So much fun!  Lots of big smiles :)
At the Nyaraguru Church, because of a generous gift of $500 from one of our donors, the church was able to serve a meal to over 400 children!  The meal was served on a school day, so these were all the village kids who were not in school.  On a weekend, over 800 children would show up to this program!  Pictured below is our regional coordinator, Diodonne, serving the children.  They also got gummy vitamins!
This was one of the biggest highlights of the trip for me, because we got to hear testimony after testimony and see with our own eyes that our Nutrition Program is working!  It's actually making a difference: in the lives of these children, this church, and in the entire village!  Not only are these kids all showing fewer signs of malnurishment, but the pastor testified that they haven't had any die of starvation lately.  And the part-time jobs created to serve the meals bring hope to the community too!  
So while our 22,000 meals served at this church seems like a 'drop in the bucket' sometimes, it has been enough to make a real difference in the lives of this rural village in Rwanda. So to all who have given to make this possible- be encouraged!  You're doing good work here!

More on the Rwanda trip in in a couple of weeks!
In Other News:
Our website will be offline and getting a re-design on the evening of Tuesday, August 7th, but should be up and running again by the 8th.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we are excited about the added ease and user-friendly options that are coming, along with a more modern look!
Do you ever look at the situation in the Middle East and wonder what you can do to help?  Here is an opportunity for you to be a blessing in post-genocide Iraq. 
Our wonderful friends and partners in northern Iraq are needing our help!  We partner with them monthly to host home "Good Book" Study Dinners for Syrian refugees, 20+ weekly home visits where they pray with people and help meet their physical and spiritual needs, a Monthly Women's "Good Book" Study Meeting with 30 attendees, and also to provide transportation and translators for those events. 
Another charity was providing 'Nutrition Packs' (groceries items) that the team would deliver to refugee families during their home visits, but the other charity is no longer able to do so.  This is a vital part of this ministry.  Meeting physical needs opens the door for developing relationships and opportunities to lead people to the Lord. Can you help us meet this need? 
We need 8 people who are able to give $50 a month!  If you feel the Lord asking you to help, you can sign up for recurring gifts to this project by following this link:
Monthly Partnership- Operation Iraqi Blessing
ATTENTION MIDLAND FRIENDS: We need your help!  If you're free this Thursday evening @7pm, come and join us at Higher Grounds Coffee Shop to help us tag our latest shipment of Rwandan jewelry to get it ready to sell!  Food and drinks will be available for purchase; they have a pretty big menu with lots of healthy options.  Hope to see you there!  

What's Coming Next?!

In our next update, we'll have more information on:

  • The massive Rwandan church closures and what we plan to do about it
  • Stories of how LTU's Child Sponsorship has changed lives
  • News on the Kurdish Miracle School
  • Updates on our work with our partners in Pakistan

Thank you so much for your time and for your kindness!  The world is a better place, because of you and all that you have done.  It's a blessing and an honor to be partners with you in this life-changing work, of being the hands and feet of Jesus in post-genocide countries around the world!

Kendra Willard
Executive Director

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