March 2008 Newsletter -- Mama Arlene in Rwanda

March 2008

What a warm welcome I received back home in Rwanda. The plane was late and it was pouring buckets of rain. The drive home from the airport seemed endless. As we made the turn at the end of our road to travel the short distance to the gate in the distance stood a crowd. It took me a second to realize they were my children running toward the car waving and shouting. John stopped the car and I opened the door to step into the waiting arms and kisses of thirty-six mud-soaked children. Later Micaela, one of our Mamas, told me she tried to keep them inside the gate but it was impossible; “Mama Arlene was home!”

NEW NAME: HopeMadeReal
We have a new name. Our umbrella name is "HopeMadeReal".
I have a new email address:
The time has come for Urukundo to grow up and so the new name, new email address, and our own web site are currently under construction. I’ll keep you posted so that you can explore the hopemadereal web site along with me. We are filing for our own non-profit status with the U.S. Federal Government.

Spiritworks will graciously continue to work with us as an operating non-profit with their web site, banking, and addresses until such time as we have HopeMadeReal fully in place.

Our National Board of Directors in Rwanda includes Colonel John Bosco, RPF, Rwandan army officer; John Kayitare, business man; Gertrude Mupfasoni, former mayor of Gitarama; Félicité Uwimana, officer of the Genocide Widows Association; and Arlene D. Brown, Founder & Director.

Our International Board of Directors includes Cindy Grieshaber of Bethlehem, PA. as President; Patricia D. Brown of Seattle, WA as Secretary; Terry Masch of Harrisburg, PA as Treasurer; Christian Gloddy of New York City who oversees media; and Laurie Finn of Seattle, WA as a member at large.

March came in like a lion. I arrived home on March 1 and the team of thirteen13 from Bloomsburg, PA, USA arrived on March 4. They came bearing gifts and with lots of energy to work.

They worked on the construction of the first boys’ home and had the honor of breaking ground for the first of the five cottages for girls. They did a fine job.

One volunteer, Carrie, traveled home from the U.S. to Rwanda with Divine. Let me share with you the message she sent afterwards: “I came first to Urukundo Home for Children in December 2007, with a People to People group from the States. We spent a day with Arlene and the children taking them out to eat and playing with them. In January I began thinking about returning to work as a teacher of English and to help Arlene fulfill her dreams of expanding her Home. I returned with her February 29, to begin a two month stay. I have begun teaching an adult English class three days a week and on Saturday a group of pastors. Adult Rwandians are eager to learn English. They speak French and Kinyarwanda. The children learn English in school. A building program is underway for a boy’s home and the foundation for a girl’s home has been started. A Methodist group from Pennsylvania helped to complete the boy’s home. They planted a tree in the garden as a remembrance of their mission trip. The homes are being built on land now owned by Urukundo. I have worked at the site and watched the progress being made.‘God in Charge is the Home’s motto. I am happy to be here and feel I am where God wants me to be at this time. --Carrie M. Schwartz, Johnson City, Tennessee

The first term for the year has ended and the kids now have 3 weeks to play. The report cards show room for improvement. The boys will be moving to a new school in April. The new school is within walking distance from our new home. It will be a while before we all will live there. It will happen “God in Charge”

The second group of Chicks, 200, will arrive on April 10. We will then have 300+. Our older hens number about 53. When another 200 arrive in two months it will make a total of 553. Farah, the hen house manager, and his crew have not lost a single chick of the original 100.

Continue to visit; for updates and information about the Urukundo Home for Children and Mama Arlene.

Gifts for the children and support for the mission may be sent to:
Spiritworks/Arlene Brown
823 West Cremona Street
Seattle WA 98119
United States
Rwanda Fund
Saint Johns/Newberry UMC
2101 Newberry Street
Williamsport, Pa 17701

My address:

Arlene D Brown
BP 179
Founder Urukundo Home for Children
Muhanga District, Rwanda
Office Cell 08769422
Arlene’s Cell 05102964