Urukundo (Loves) Home for Children

Newsletter #2 Volume 2 May, 2007

City of Gitarama
Easter week I lay in bed sick. I am well now having recovered from a sinus and ear infection that would not let me walk or breathe well and left me with a cough that will go away in time. Along with nausea caused from the middle-ear infection-- I walked like a drunken woman. I am taking better care of myself now.

Our dream of a guesthouse has become a reality. And it has been more of a success than we anticipated. No, we are not making a fortune but it is paying its own utilities and rent with a little extra to replace money used from the “general undesignated mission fund” for furnishings and start-up costs. It is small with nine rooms. It sleeps eighteen. We have had to turn down larger groups because of space available.

Originally it was conceived as a place where we could welcome visitors traveling to work at the Children’s home and not as a profit-making business. We don’t have room in the children’s’ homes to sleep visitors and I wanted visitors to spend time with us in comfort – or, as comfortable as possible in Rwanda. Living in our home with twelve rambunctious girls is fun but not restful. It then occurred to us that we could rent rooms and provide meals to other visitors coming to Gitarama. Other non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) heard about us and called to see if we could pick up the overflow from their houses. We have been delighted. Then the local government officials called to ask if they could hold their meetings at our house. This too was good, as they wanted us to serve breakfast and lunch to their group. “Slowly by slowly” (a Rwandan figure of speech) we are being known and guests continue to come from Belgium, France, England, Canada, USA, Kenya and other areas of Rwanda. In time I pray we will be able to help support the Children’s home from this hospitality venture. “Praise God.”

There have been no more snakes and thanks to the vitamins brought by the team from Central Pennsylvania our girls are in better health. They take one each morning with breakfast. Oh yeah. I take one too as do each of the staff.

Favorite Birthday present
Bilese recently celebrated her fifth birthday. Her best friend Annah, six years old, is in kindergarten thanks to a gift from friends in Wrightsville Pennsylvania. Bilese loves having eleven sisters and looks forward to welcoming twelve new brothers. The home for boys began on May 1. John, our Urukundo administrator, and his wife Hope are serving as house parents. Hope is a cook and also a certified teacher. John will be an important father figure for the boys and as my assistant he helps manage the employees, the homes, and the Guest House. We do not anticipate any other new employees at this time.

Urukundo Home for Children continues to grow. The addition of a house for boys makes us truly a home for children and not just a home for girls. The house we are renting is on the same street as the girl’s home and the guesthouse. We sit in a triangle. Someday this street may all be the Urukundo Christian Home for Children; “The Street of Joy and Love.” Who knows what God has in store? The new house has three large dorm rooms. Each room has space for three bunk beds and a desk for study. There is a large room for eating and group activities. An outside charcoal kitchen, the traditional Rwandan kitchen, will serve up nutritious meals to each boy.

I welcome any donations to help furnish the home for boys. We are excited about this opportunity and already have two orphaned boys waiting to come to us as soon as the rooms are prepared.

Remember to pray for the vulnerable children in Rwanda and through out the world. There are so many. If you would like to be a partner with me in mission I would be happy to welcome you as would my Lord. If you wish to work with one particular project add a note to your letter stating your request.