Tim and I had the opportunity to visit a child we sponsor in Rwanda, Africa early this spring. We had just begun sponsorship in Oct. of last year. To be honest, child sponsorship had never been on our radar. Africa New Life and our local church ran a campaign to fill a huge need in Huye, Rwanda. The campaign goal was to sponsor 250 children in 2 1/2 years. We exceeded that goal in 2 weekends. There are 282 children sponsored at the time of this writing. Amazing!
What Tim and I didn’t anticipate is learning how child sponsorship not only affects the child, but also his/her family, the community, and then eventually the entire country. It’s a holistic process affecting the mind, body and spirit.
Sponsorship helps families by assisting them with school fees. School costs are unreachable for families who struggle to keep food on the table. Sponsorship frees up the parents to feed the family while the student receives an excellent education. The students receive a school uniform and school supplies. They are encouraged to attend monthly Center Days, where they enjoy a meal, play games, and hear about Christ, as well as a yearly Christian camp. Additionally, sponsorship covers basic medical needs so sponsored students have greater access to health care.
While in Huye a couple of weeks ago, Tim and I took part in Vacation Bible School that was hosted for 261 aged 4 – 7 years, sponsored children. What really stood out to me was the local Rwandan young adults that are interns for Africa New Life. These young adults were busy translating and leading the new sponsorees and serving. What struck me was the history of these young men and mostly young women who are now university students. They had been sponsored children, too. Now, they are studying to become a bookkeeper, a lawyer, and a heart valve specialist among other professions. This while reaching out to another generation of children and their parents. Giving them hope. Hope for education and a great future of changing lives.
To sponsor a child in Huye, Rwanda go here. www.africanewlife.org/easthill/