Some of you may have seen the button I placed on my blog and wondered what that was about. We are traveling with the His Chase foundation and if you aren't familiar with their story you should watch the video "Letter to Chase" on their website www.hischase.org. Mark and Chelsea are one of those rare couples that just radiate with God's love and wisdom and we are so privileged to travel with them. To say that they are inspiring is an understatement.
Here is a little background about the orphanage:
The Orphanage Noël was founded in 1955 by Mgr. Bigirumwami, bishop of Nyundo from 1952 until 1973. It got the name ‘Noël’ because it received the first children on Christmas day. It was meant to take care of sick children, who didn’t have a mother anymore.
During the war in Rwanda from April 1994 until September 1994 the children and the headmistress Athanasie remained in the refugee camp of Goma (Congo). Thanks to the dedication of Athanasie and the help of friends, the children of the Orphanage Noël escaped the genocide. Athanasie had fled with 59 children and when she returned to Nyundo in September 1994 there were 230 orphans. In November 1995 there were 550 orphans. In 2010, there are nearly 700 orphans being cared for by the orphanage, as well as a number of physically and mentally disabled.
We are a part of the medical team going down July 20-28. There will be a second team coming the week after us to put together a sport court where the children will be able to play soccer, do gymnastics and run track. We hope to get assessments on all 700 children living there and help organize their medical records so that hopefully, in the future, this orphanage will gain certification and be allowed to have children adopted in various forms.
We will be selling some handmade materials including paper bead necklaces and bags that were made a group of Rwandan widows hoping to supplement their income. I'll keep you posted when we receive those. Also, as we become aware of donations that our group needs, I'll post a list so you can get involved, too, if you like. Please pray for us, our team, and especially for the children there that they see God's love in us reaching to them. We can't wait to see what mighty works the Lord performs through us during that week!
James 1:27- "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress"