Arlene in Rwanda: October 2007

Volume #6 September/October
Urukundo Home for Children
The vision is a Children’s Village on a beautiful hill in the heart of Gitarama. Rwanda, Africa. This mission is truly a dream that will become a reality with “God in Charge”.

built with love
dedicated to nurture children
There is no limit to the number of children who will pass through our gates in the years to come. Think of the difference you can make in one child’s life… and multiply it by the hundreds. I invite you to make God’s dream a reality.

Each child is a future leader of Rwanda. To that end, it is my dream that every child in Urukundo Village will be given the gift of unbounded love, learn to honor a God of peace, and receive an education that equips them for a better future.

"God in Charge", has been the motto for this mission since my return to Rwanda in April 2006. I am in awe of a God who answers prayers even before they are prayed. Only “Divine Intervention” explains the accomplishments of the last 17 months; a girls’ home, a boys’ home, a guest house, a chicken farm, and a small house for me. We currently rent these houses. But now, with the land God has given us, we can use rental money toward a permanent home for the children.

I all began with a need to house the chickens and provide a play area for the children. I had some money in a mutual fund in the U.S. for “my old age” and decided that this was “my old age”. I figured there was at least $10,000 in the fund. After all, I wasn't saying to God, "Okay, I trust you. But just in case you fail I have some money in reserve.” How is that faith? As I prepared to sell my stock to buy the parcel of land a friend e-mailed me that if I promised not to cash in my mutual fund for the $10,000 and save it for my old age that she and her husband would personally give me $10,000 to purchase the land. We excitedly purchased land enough to build chicken houses, a garden, a Children’s Chapel, a nursery school, and ten cottages to house 100 children.

As the vision grew, so grew our need for more space. The property beside us was to be developed into a 4-star hotel complex. I met with the project manager to ask if they might sell us the hilltop. Without hesitation he declared we could purchase the entire lot and they would sell it to us for what they paid. Unbelievable! I asked for a hill and God gave me a mountain. Now I knew God was in charge. This doesn’t happen in Rwanda, but it did.

The cost of the land was 70,000 US$. Now, we needed $35,000 in two weeks to secure the sale. I spent a lot of hours on my knees. And I contacted my bank about my mutual funds. To my surprise there was $45,000 in the fund. It is my turn to show faith—as well as keep my word to my friend. I had the $35,000 wired through Spiritworks for the land and kept $10,000 in the account for my old age. The money was wired through Spiritworks and the land is secured. We have six months to come up with the remaining $35,000. I don't know where the money will come from, but I always remember, “God in Change.”

Chicken House and Garden
It is the rainy season in Rwanda and so we have already planted our first garden that will give us vegetables for the season. We started our chicken business with sixty-three Chickens and fifty-three chicks. Rwandan chickens are small and produce very small eggs but the eggs sell for $1.20 each locally. The new house has been constructed to house 500 chickens. These will be imported chickens and will cost $2.60 each. The larger eggs from these chickens will sell for much more and the market is the hotels in Kigali. The market is available as soon as we can produce. The projected income after expenses will be $7,973 the first year. We have a breakdown of expenses should anyone want to see it and advise.

Children’s Home Cottages
Each of the ten cottages will house thirteen children. Inside is a central room for relaxing, an family eating area, a kitchen, 3 bedroom each housing four girls or boys and one room for the house mother. Each will have big front porch to play upon in the sunshine or the rain.

Play Grounds
The children will have a place to play. To this end a grassy area for tag and soccer and another area for basketball hoops will be prepared Fencing will protect the children in our care.

Central Kitchen
A cost effective main kitchen will supply the children nutritious food three times daily.

Day Care
When the community leaders were told we would have a Day Care one of the leaders asked "can I bring my little girl to your school." I did not take her seriously, but said of course, it isn't built yet". She replied "I know. But I need a safe place for my child while I work". Three weeks later we transported her little one to the hospital. She had been abused and rape. We can prevent this from happening to other children by providing a safe place. I have the blue prints and the cost estimate for the Day Care is 16,719687 rwf or $33,000 USD

Chapel/ and Flower Garden
We need to care for the spiritual needs of these lovely people. Setting in an area easily accessed by the children from inside and the community on the outside will be a Children’s Chapel surrounded by a flower garden. This house of worship will invited all to come.

Staff House
We have staff members, such as our medic and cooks, who need a place where they belong and can call home.

Missionary House
A house must be built for the mission person(s) who will come to serve after me. I will use it as my home base while I am here. It will also house the medical clinic for the sick.

Learning Center
A library and computer room will be the center piece of our English Primary School. Yes, English is the international language and we need to equip our children for the world of tomorrow.

Guest House
Presently we rent a guest house complete with Wifi to welcome international guests. This business employs and provides healthy insurance for two Rwandan families. Now, we need to build our own guest facility so that work crews and others can come who wish to respond to the great needs of the world.

Children’s Chapel
This interdenominational house of worship will be a place to praise God for all the Spirit has done and will do. I have the blue prints and the cost estimate for the chapel is 16,719687 rwf or $33,000 US$

Other Visions and Dreams
With the additional land, dreams are endless. Could there be a College or University to train community leaders and pastors for the future? Incredible as this may sound, today we started an English class for pastors in the small classroom at my house. There were four students. The seed is already planted. We cannot limit God but pray for wisdom and guidance.

Bit by bit the plans are being drawn and coming together. I sense that there are others like myself who feel the tug of God to work here in Rwanda. Could it be you? I also sense that this dream is just the beginning. We cannot limit God, knowing all that is possible.

In Closing, my love to you all. Please remember to keep the vulnerable children throughout the world in constant prayer. Will you consider becoming a partner with me with the Urukundo Village for Children in Rwanda, Africa? Blessed be, Arlene
Gifts can be sent to support this mission through: Spiritworks-Rwanda Fund, 823 West Cremona St., Seattle, Washington 98119,;
or Rwanda Support, Saint Johns-Newberry UMC, 2101 Newberry Street, Williamsport Pa 1770. If you wish to work with a particular project add a note.
Support for Arlene’s personal expenses can be sent: Spiritworks-Missionary, 823 West Cremona St., Seattle, WA 98119.
Spiritworks is a non-profit Christian Foundation. Statements are sent on a regular basis and these can be used for exemptions on your tax returns.

Chicken HousesChildrren on the hill top of the new land.