Monday, August 04, 2008

Gilead House (Rwaza children)

What happened to the Rwaza children?

Many of the children were tired of the constant exploitation and lack of permanent intervention to stop the abuses and suffering they endured. Some of the children were chased away from the orphanage by the old nun as they stood up against the injustices done to them.

It had started with Jean Paul, (see earlier blog entries) who almost died, and other children too were put at the side of the road like bags of garbage.
At first 5 of the children asked Stella where to go as they had no place to sleep nor to be fed. At that point we had withdrawn from the orphanage as all we provided kept being stolen by those we had employed and in order to open a home for the children in a nearby town, knowing they were contemplating escaping the bad people, as they so mercifully call it.

The first 5 arrived in May. In June 5 more followed as they too were chased away. They went to the local government representative and reported the situation. The man offered to help them go home. Do you know where you belong, he had asked. Yes we do replied the children as they led the man to the safe house we had opened for them! This is where we belong, this is our home, they said.
Stella in the center. Stella is amazing and very skilled at what she does. She is God's gift to us and the children.
All 10 children are doing wonderful! They are blooming open and both the child and us are amazed at the inner beauty and character that is being revealed.

They all love to play drama plays and we use it as one of the ways for them to express what they went through. Sometimes we just have to ask them; this really happened? As what they act out is so extreme. Though they laugh when revisiting certain memories, it takes only one question or comment that expresses sadness that they had to go through this all, to expose the true pain of the events. Healing is coming and joy fills the house they live in.
Traditional dancing; the girls cannot get enough of it.

We provide them good nutricious meals. The children are looking healthy and strong.

The safe house is called; Gilead House. Gilead was an area in biblical times where a special miracle tree was found. It's balm was a healing balm. Gilead also means;
Heap/mass of testimony/witness.
We believe that the Gilead house will indeed be a place of healing and of testimony and witness, as God heals, delivers and saves the children!
Proverbs says: Raise a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. A child in those days were those under 12. We believe that this applies also to the spiritual / biblical principals. So we do what God's word says. The children are quick to worship and pray. They hear the voice of the Lord and obey Him. It has been such a delight to have these children. I am so proud of them.
We are still working with the local government to also receive the remaining children that are in Rwaza. Some that were there were brought back to their families. Others are still there. We are ready to receive them. Their beds are made!

We have 3 full time staff to care for the children, one house mom is in training.
Please continue to pray for the Lord's provision for the children and for the building of Heaven Touching Earth, the children's village where they will also live when the village is ready.

6 comments:

Eric & Kyla Sliger said...

Praise God! His love prevails for everyone!!! Thank you for sharing God's glory! Love it!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness!!
Pure joy! So happy and thanking God for his faithfulness!
Great to see Jeanpaul having fun too! Aaaaah... can't wait to see them again! Go Stella! :-) She's amazing! Thanks Astrid for who you are (that's what you're acting out)! Love, Marieke

Anonymous said...

I thank God that you are back home safe and sound. I thank God that I finally had the chance to meet you, Travis and your 4 little ones. The ladies from Thursday nights pray for you and we remember you every time we meet. God bless you and your work in Rwanda.
Michele Latta

Anonymous said...

It blesses my heart that the children are now safe! Praise God!! Thank you so much for the update!
Michelle Corbin

Heather & Aaron said...

Oh Astrid! These pictures make me smile. I'm so glad you guys are back safe :-D I'm always praying for your children and the provisions for Heaven Touching Earth!

Lots of loves!

Anonymous said...

Woooow, these pictures are soo cool! HALLELUJAH God is GREAT!! It is good to see Stella (and the kids ;-)) I miss her very much!! I will pray for you and your family and the kids :D
Lots of love,
Esther (GO-teams 2007)