Monday, September 14, 2015

Along God's Path Pt 2

Whenever there is an event about Rwanda, I attend. And I did that a few years ago when a faculty member at PSU Altoona spoke. I introduced myself and we shared our stories. That faculty member shifted her research to another country and we lost touch.

Then this spring I received a call from Nanette Anslinger saying the faculty member directed her to me. It had been several years but she said "call Carol Falke and she will answer questions about Rwanda." You see Nanette had been so touched by Rwanda working with the faulty member and wanted to continue sending items her church and others made for children. God had plans for us to connect and in fact Nanette a retired high school drama teacher is planning to go with me to Rwanda summer of 2016 or spring 2017.

Through Nanette Anslinger we are forging new church partnerships with Trinity Episcopal Church, Tyrone and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Hollidaysburg, along with family members and friends of these parishes. They have sewn 85 "little dresses" and donated them, along with 251 pairs of children's underwear to Hope Made Real’s Urukundo Children’s Home in Rwanda. Two suitcases full will be given to kids at the home, in the community and children in a refugee camp nearby.

"What began five years ago as a Lenten project of sewing "little dresses for Africa" has resulted in over 900 dresses being sent to Rwanda, the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Jamaica and parts of West Virginia. This year we added a "Cover Your Butt" campaign collecting over 350 pairs of kids' underwear. The project is now year-round!" ~~Nanette

*Nanette Anslinger and Sally Cupp
*Kids in Rwanda receiving the beautiful dresses.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Along God's Path Pt 1

I am always amazed when God places people in my life that want to serve the ministry in Rwanda. Helen Fleck, from St. Paul's United Methodist Church, is just one of the many people I am in awe of that have found me. Their gifts and enthusiasm always come at the right time!!!

For two years Heather has been an advocate for the Urukundo Sewing Center in Rwanda. Throughout the year she shares the needs of the center with residents at the Village of Penn State, encouraging them when doing their spring cleaning, to give their excess sewing and knitting supplies. Suitcases full of much needed items have been such a blessing. Thank you Heather!!!

*Heather Fleck
*Donated Sewing Supplies
*Sewing Students - training for 1 year
*Student graduates July 2015!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Kappa Phi

Little did I know what Sara was planning. And wow what a surprise it was when I received a text from Adrian the former Present of Kappa Phi at Penn State.

Kappa Phi is a Christian sorority at PSU and 28 other universities, uniting young women in a common purpose of fellowship, service, worship and study. They meet at St. Paul’s.

Sara Cobern ~~ "Working with Hope Made Real this past year through Kappa Phi was truly a great experience. I had a lot of fun selling birds and baskets for education for Lucie and the kids in Rwanda. As summer and Kappa Phi's National Council of Chapters approached, I found another opportunity to help Hope Made Real and their girls attend university. Each year, a small part of each sister's dues goes towards the Active Tithe to then be given to a non-profit chosen by the active sisters. Wanting to help raise more money, I submitted the organization and their mission. During National Council, all actives in attendance voted and selected Hope Made Real to receive the Active Tithe for the 2016-2017 school year. I am thrilled that Kappa Phi is able to continue to help Hope Made Real in such a big way."

It's amazing how God works through people and puts a light in their hearts to bring hope to children and people throughout the world.

*Sara and Riley selling birds that raised $700 last Christmas for scholarships
*Kappa Phi with Nativity figures they made with St. Paul's Sunday School
*Lucie and Cecelia who will receive scholarship funds for university

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Danielle and Dave Pt 10 Last Day

Day 13 (Last Day, Friday)
This morning I spent 2 hours digging dirt, swinging a pickaxe, and throwing rocks to cover up the silo with 1 meter of dirt. This covering helps to prevent rot in the feed and hopefully keep the water out of the silo. The rest of the day was spent resting, as I have never worked so hard in my life. My body ached and it wasn’t until long after lunch I could crawl out of bed to play with the kids one last time before dinner.

Our last time playing was great, I taught them hand games and I finally found an ingenious way to ride on one of the playground equipments I was too big for. Dinner was sweet too, there were last attempts to convince me to stay and it was almost like the dogs even knew I was leaving. The male dog, Simba, who is always aloof, but content when I pet him jumped up to give me a hug and tried to lick my face several times before dinner.

Devotion is especially special tonight, Mama Arlene comes up to sing with the kids and give them a lesson on God’s greatest gift. She announces our departure to all the kids and we are bum rushed. Every kid is trying to play one last game with me and give one last long hug. They say they’ll miss me and I promise to come back. I have to come back, Rwanda is now my home far away from home.

Danielle and Dave Pt 9

Day 11 (New Faces, Wednesday)
Many new faces at Urukundo today. First, a woman visited who works at a university located close to where I live. She talked about her work in health and how she plans on helping the children's home in the future. She promises to bring two graduate students who accompanied her to Rwanda tomorrow.

Mama Arlene, the woman who founded and runs the Urukundo Children's Home came back today after visiting America for 2 months. Everyone at the orphanage has been talking about her arrival since we came to Rwanda. The past two days were filled with cleaning and preparing decorations for when she arrived. There were flowers prepared and ribbons cut to welcome her home. She received everyone warmly then spent the rest of the day worrying about her children and arranging the contents of the many suitcases she brought back from her trip. We had a party with all the teachers from the learning center, the other mothers at the orphanage, and the kids; handing out cookies and juice for over an hour in the Hope House, celebrating her return.

For dinner, Grandpa Howell and I meet up with a medical student from Denmark who is spending a year in Rwanda. We talk about living in Rwanda, her medical work, traveling, and a wide breadth of interesting topics. Before we know it, it’s long past the time we usually go to sleep.

Day 12 (Thursday)
Later on in the day the woman from the university is back. I accompany her and her two students to the Sewing Center, inadvertently working as Theresa’s salesperson by talking about her amazing craftsmanship. One of the students buys two bags and the university woman asks to get a whole outfit made. Even my new school bag is finished and it has a perfect design. Again, her handiwork amazes me, as it seems every bag is different.