February 2017 Newsletter

February is a mix bag.  The first 14 days in the USA was spent seeing doctors, family, and friends.

A special treat was seeing my Rwandan daughter, Lilliane & my friend, Larry while I was in Williamsport during my recovery time.  It was great to hold Lilliane in my arms. Hugs are so great.


My last week in Pittsburgh, mother nature gave me a real show. Snow, Snow, Snow!


Beautiful but cold!

Home Sweet Home

The last days of February were spent in Rwanda at Urukundo Village with my kids.  What a joyful reunion!  Group Hug! In case you don’t know, I‘m the one with the white hair.


Posters welcoming me home.


Paint by Sticker.  The kids created these lovely posters with this Magical Art Form. They really are lovely.


Special event

Graduation day for Serephine.

Serephine graduated from Esther’s Aide School of Culinary Arts.


Please be sure to visit Esther’s Aid Rwanda website and watch the short video clip below. 



Secondary school graduates in 2016

During worship, we acknowledged the achievement of our graduates. That means they passed the National Exam. This is one tough exam. Believe me, I could not pass it.

Cecelia, Dada, Serephine, Emanuel are our most recent graduates.  Congratulations to all. Thank you sponsors! Without you this could not have happened.




Our volunteer from Boston, originally from Jersey Shore, PA, Tshana Jamara is carrying on a family tradition. Tshana is the granddaughter of John and Sally Guiswite. John and Sally were at Urukundo and physically helped build the boy’s & girl’s homes. Now Tshana’s dad and Mom need to pay us a visit to make it a true 3 generations thing. How about it Mike and Shelly?

Precious photo filled with love. Come back soon Tshana!

Visitors from Canada

Dr. Troy, son Kyle, wife Charmaine Michelson and Kyle’s friend Teigan Simpson traveled from Canada to volunteer at Urukundo.

Dr. Troy and Charmaine worked in the dental clinic.  79 Patients were seen & treated in 3 days. Thank you Dr. Troy & Charmaine!  The boys volunteered at the school. We so appreciated their time with us.

They congratulated Serephine and had a photo taken with her.

Teigan and Kyle posed with Mama. Thanks guys.

Tom Sorenson, Dentist & Christa Mather, Dental Hygienist. Their visit was only 3 hours. Although short it was a good visit to meet them and show them our clinic. 




This one is for sale.

Never thought Urukundo school would have this need. Imagine Urukundo Learning Center needs a bus to transport kids safely to and from school and to sport competitions.  Our little school has grown and continues to grow. The bus available to purchase in Rwanda is pictured above. Cost $15,000 USD. Need a school or mission project? JUST WANT TO DO Something TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Please consider donating to this special need. The need is urgent for the safety of the children coming to our school.

Ellen Galloway

Jason and Janette have an escort to keep them safe walking to school.

Ellen is a long time friend of Urukundo. Her's was the first stone on the “Path to Learning”.  She is also editor for the book Mama and her daughter Patricia are collaborating on.  She is editing “Mama’s Memoirs” and “Moments with Mama” more about the books later.

Adventures in mission

Dakota’s team

Visitors in February include these young women.  Shavon, Dakota, Casy from the USA. Mhain from Scotland. Meladie from France. The girls spent 9 days with the children, working at the school and farm. Three of the girls learned how to milk a cow.  Their comment  “Not easy”

Girls walking the kids to school. This is a daily delightful part of being at Urukundo Village. 

Mama & Baby house

Thank you everyone who answered my appeal for newborn clothing for our infants. The supply was completely gone.  Now we can again give the gift of love to welcome our newborn infants.

While giving to the newborns, we also send gifts to the older children in the family. This is an amazing mission outreach.

Rwanda Wedding

One of our farm cowboys, Gilbert married on Feb 25, 2017. It was a real Rwanda wedding with bad roads lovely country and a very long walk. No, I did not go. Many of the younger staff represented me. I thank them.

The very long walk. Car could not get to the site of the celebration so I could not go.

Beautiful bride and groom.

Urukundo Staff presenting gifts to Gilbert and his bride.

The staff honoring their brother in Urukundo Family

Good News of important progress for education.

Pastor Leonard from Impushi Presbyterian Church is a family man and a student aiming for higher education. He has his first very own computer. It will help him do his documents required for school.

He was able to get the computer on credit through a project by the government to help and encourage more older and younger students to go further in education. Leonard will pay for the computer after graduation. Much like student loans in the USA. Leonard has been part of the Urukundo Family a very long time.

He was our very first Rwandan volunteer. Some may remember when Urukundo gave goats to the older women in the congregation.

His daughter was one of the first students at Urukundo Learning center. Leonard is much loved at Urukundo Home for Children.

I was delighted when he came to Urukundo Village to share with me his joy about the computer. He is a good friend.

Worship at Urukundo this morning Feb. 26 was awesome.

We had visitors from USA, Germany, Scotland, France and Peace Corps. We were so blessed.

Lyle the young man in the group is here with Peace Corp serving in another area and came to introduce himself to Urukundo.  He intends to come often and what a blessing “He plays the guitar and is willing to teach our kids. We need Instrumental teachers. We have the instruments but not the teachers.

Angelique Westmark is back. This is her second visit. Many of you will remember Lennart, her guitar and singing son. This time Lennart could not come so Mama Angelique came alone.

Divine is serving as her driver. Yes, Divine has worked hard and has her license to drive. Awesome!

Small photo shoot to end the newsletter for this month.

Benita is all smiles. She has a watch. Pretend one.

David getting tall.

Jennett #1 drummer