May 4, 2013 ... children at the Mustard Seed Babies' Home in Hoima, Uganda. Under the leadership of ...
Page 2 www. mustardseedproject. ..... nursery school that we would find in the. United States.
Vol 1, No 4 May 2013
The Mustard Seed Project’s Monthly Newsletter Supporting: The Mustard Seed Babies’ Home Hoima, Uganda The Sonrise Schools Musanze, Rwanda Pastor Deo’s Street Children’s Ministry Kigali, Rwanda The Mustard Seed Project is a 501 (c) 3 Non- Profit Corporation, whose purpose is to provide Acts of Mercy and Acts of Mission in East and Central Africa. Mustard Seed Project was incorporated in January of 1997 and currently has three active ministries in Uganda and Rwanda. Our three primary African missions include: The Mustard Seed Babies Home in Hoima, Uganda, The Sonrise Primary and High Schools in Musanze, Rwanda and Pastor Deo’s Street Children’s Ministry in Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali.
Mission of Hope 2013 to the Mustard Seed Babies’ Home Hoima, Uganda
n January 9, 2013, thirteen short-term missioners departed from four states with fifty-six pieces of luggage to begin their journey to the children at the Mustard Seed Babies’ Home in Hoima, Uganda. Under the leadership of Rev. Kathy and Wally LaLonde, the Mission of Hope 2013 Team represented four dioceses and five congregations all coming together to serve the Lord and the children and staff at the Babies’ Home. Of the thirteen missioners, seven members were returnees and six were first-timers...soon to all be returnees in January, 2014! Thanks be to God! In His first resurrection appearance to His disciples, Jesus said ”Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21) Full of excitement, the MOH ’13 Team came together in the Brussels’ airport. After introductions, much laughter and jumping up and down, the Mission Team joined hands in prayer committing themselves to the Father’s will in Jesus’ precious Name, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. With that heart and purpose, the Team boarded the plane which would next touch down in See “Babie’s Home”, page 2
Babie’s Home continued from page 1 Entebbe, Uganda, getting them closer to the children’s faces they longed to see. “It is not the church of God that has a mission in the world, but the God of mission who has a church in the world.” (Short-Term Missions Workbook” by Tim Dearborn) There’s nothing like coming through the gates of The Mustard Seed Babies’ Home! The Team had been anticipating this time from the moment of signing
up for the mission, and as always, they would not be disappointed. The driver blew his horn, the gates opened, and the children lined the driveway greeting the van with smiles and shouts, singing and waving signs. Then running beside the van all the way up to the stopping point, the children and staff eagerly waited for the door to open and the missioners to climb out! Anxious hands and arms reached out to help and hug. It was a “love bug” explosion! The Mustard Seed Babies’ Home is frequently described by yours truly as a “Slice of Heaven on Earth”! It is worth the trip for that one moment of such pure and unconditional love. Could it be like the song says, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love”? Let it be so. After all the hugs, greetings, and introductions, the children and staff surprised us with a party complete with singing, dancing, and refreshments. Welcome signs and banners lined porch railings with the names of all the team members on them! Conversations took place with words, eyes, and hands. Love is the universal language! When it was time to go for the evening on
the first day, the questions began that would become “the questions” of every day...”when are you leaving” and “what time will you be here tomorrow”. For the next ten days, the Team shared their love of the Lord and their desire to serve the children in many and varied ways on the mission. It was pure joy to serve along side the Babies’ Home Manager, Frederick, Mother Fridah, and all the Aunties and Uncles at the Mustard Seed. The children are truly blessed to have such a devoted Family. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus asked the question, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” Then He looked at those seated in a circle around Him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35) Though the Babies’ Home is presently overflowing with babies and toddlers, the beginning years of Babies’ Home babies are now young adolescent girls and boys with different interests and needs. In a desire to meet their needs, Mission of Hope ’13 held two concurrently running age-appropriate programs. Dividing the children meant also dividing the MOH Team. The annual Vacation Bible School was a fourday morning program led by Pat Hurd of St. Paul’s, Mt. Lebanon, Pittsburgh for all the children 3-12. For the young people ages 13 and up, a three day Healing the Orphaned Heart Conference led by Rev. Kathy, Wally, Simon Peter and seven other very anointed trained graduates of Uganda Christian University was offered at missionary Thad Cox’s movie house near the Cathedral. On the fourth day, everyone came together for the last day of VBS and a gigantic Birthday Party! More about that later... The theme of this year’s VBS was Noah’s Ark. Pat and her gifted staff of missioners taught and engaged the children with the powerful lessons of the Biblical story of God’s faithfulness through reading the Word, puppetry, drama, and worship. Bible Bob is still a big hit with his Scripture of the Day! The children enacted the story by wearing animal masks and wearing the colors of the rainbow in their tie-dyed t-shirts made in craft time. The children and staff were so excited each day to fully participate in every aspect of the day, the worship, crafts, games, and snacks. I don’t know who was the most blessed, the children or the missioners! The afternoons were filled with more crafts, especially beading and other art projects, singing, dancing, and the sharing of their lives. “In crosscultural encounters we are meeting long-lost, distant relatives.” (Tim Dearborn)
for the healing benefit of many more to come. Now back to the big BIRTHDAY PARTY...Each year, the Mission of Hope Team throws a big party for the children and staff and many invited
guests. This year we decided to have one gigantic birthday party for every child and staff member. Because of the generous outpouring of support from our wonderful sponsors, we were able to provide the first birthday celebration with gifts and cards for everyone at the Babies’ Home! With the help of the children, the Team decorated the compound with brightly colored banners and crepe paper wrapping of all the porch railings in the Uganda colors. We had beautiful birthday cakes and sodas, singing and dancing, and lots of celebrating! The children were so excited to receive their birthday cards and gifts from their sponsors. All school age children received very sturdy back packs filled with school supplies, and the preschool children received a cuddly soft toy animal and a precious new outfit! Thank you’s were being shouted out to all the sponsors for their faithful love and support! We thought the sound may have carried across the ocean; however, we pray you may have felt it in
your hearts. Bless you and Thank you! As Mission of Hope 2013 was coming to a close, every spare moment was spent loving and continuing to build relationships with the precious ones, children and staff, at the Mustard Seed. The huge smiles which had welcomed the Team were being challenged with the reality of the “last day and evening” approaching! Eyes were straining and searching and hands were holding tighter...it’s the time no one looks forward to. However, the conversation soon turns to next year and hope rises in all of our hearts as we prepare to climb in the van once again to drive through the gates; though, this time the van will be continuing on to Entebbe and the long trip home. Amidst tears and laughter and the sharing of stories, talk begins of the date for MOH ’14, fundraising, themes for VBS, and other possible projects. “God will not call us to do something without also giving us resources to do it.” (Tim Dearborn) It was a wonderful blessed mission. All the Team Members of MOH ’13 extend their enormous appreciation for all the prayers and support for the mission, but especially for the faithful support and prayers of the sponsors and donors for the children at the Mustard Seed Babies’ Home. If you would like to have a presentation in your church or if you would like to have more information on how to help the children, please contact the Mustard Seed Project at 724-2666688 or Rev. Kathy LaLonde at 505720-0632. Remember always, “Faithful is He who calls; He will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
The Healing the Orphaned Heart Conference for the Mustard Seed youth was a powerful time of God’s love poured out for His children. This ministry was founded by Janet Helms of Pittsburgh, PA who first fell in love with the children at the Mustard Seed Babies’ Home through Oliva, her sponsored child, in 1999 while on mission in Hoima. God gave Janet a heart and a healing vision for the orphaned children of Uganda and for all of East Africa. Janet said, “The purpose of this conference is to bring emotional and spiritual healing from the suffering of the effects of abandonment and rejection, especially resulting from the wounds of being orphaned at a young age, even as young as when you were a baby.” God moved so very lovingly and powerfully through the seventy conference attendees, healing them, freeing them, and filling them with hope for their futures. Those in attendance included the Diocese of Bunyoro-Kitara leadership, MSBH Board Members, some MSBH Staff Members, the youth of the MSBH, and some of their extended family members. The Mustard Seed and its children are truly blessed to be the first orphanage in Uganda or anywhere to be the recipient of this anointed ministry of healing! Great thanksgiving is given to the Lord, to Bishop Nathan Kyamanywa, Canon Sam Kahuma, Canon Nangera, Rev. Julius Caesar Nina, MSBH Board Chairman Justice Bagambe, and to MSBH Manager Frederick Karamagi, and to all others in the Diocese of Bunyoro-Kitara for inviting and welcoming the Healing of the Orphaned Heart Conference into the diocese for the sake of the children and
Sonrise High School Bible Reading Group Offered A Challenge! T
his group is composed of 75 members. They meet with the intention to study the Word of God .The study is followed by a time to pray, a sharing of prayer requests among themselves. The deputy principal asked them how they felt about receiving prayer requests from the Mustard Seed Project? They loved the idea, saying that, “as Christians they need to always carry out the burdens of their brothers and sisters in Christ.” The group meets every Sunday from 2:00-3:30pm, and every single day from Monday to Friday at 9:00-9:30pm for night prayers. These young people take this time of speaking with God very seriously. In praying, they are submitting their lives to His will, saying yes to our God. At the same time they are respecting His authority and receiving His love. What joy it will be for us to know that these young people that are physically so far away from us are so spiritually close to us and our Father. They believe as Romans 8:26 says,” the spirit intercedes for us in accordance with God’s will”.
“……pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 And who is more righteous then the children of God.
They know that the Father wants to bless us far more than we ask, so they ask. Would you like them to ask for you? It can be accomplished through a very easy process: • Please send your prayer requests to [email protected]
• On the subject line : Prayer Request • The request can be simply stated or as much detail as you see fit. • If the request has a time frame please advise • Please it is vital for us to follow through with updates and our thanksgivings • If it is an emergency situation, I will pass it on immediately
by Joyce Wingett
s reported in the April 2013 issue of “SEEDLINGS”, we are hoping to bring Pastor Deogratias Gashagaza to the United States in the fall of 2013 for a series of preaching / speaking opportunities to various groups and churches. As Executive Director of Prison Fellowship Rwanda, Pastor Deo has had first-hand experience of working with both prisoners and surviving victims of genocide crimes. Through the Gospel message, Deo’s charge is to facilitate the process of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation between perpetrators and surviving victims of the 1994 genocide.
While we are most grateful for the donations we have received thus far for Deo’s travel and living expenses, we still have a ways to go and we encourage you to help us if you can. Pastor Deo’s speaking schedule has not yet been finalized, but we do know that he is scheduled to speak in the Pittsburgh PA and Washington DC areas in September. Deo has a profound story to tell and he is most anxious to share it with your church, group or organization. If you
Rescued, Remembered, and Not-Forgotten
would like to have him speak to your group, kindly contact the Mustard Seed Project Office by phone (724266-6688) or email at: [email protected]
PASTOR DEO’S 2013 USA MISSION
Jesus said, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5: 23, 24
A new baby boy, Christopher Atumanya, about four months old arrived at the Mustard Seed Babies’ Home on April 4, 2013. Frederick Karamagi, Manager of the Babies’ Home reported that the baby was named by a Police Officer on the day of arrival. Christopher was found abandoned by the road side about fourteen kilometers along the Hoima-Kampala highway in the very early morning hours. The case was reported by passers-by at a nearby Police post. The baby was transported to the Hoima Police Station and later brought to the MSBH by a Police Officer and the Probation and Social Welfare Officer. The young mother was found and insists she does not want this precious child. It was agreed that the baby stays at the MSBH as the Police and proper authorities proceed with the case. We thank the Lord for His rescue of baby Christopher and for the provision of the Mustard Seed Babies’ Home for orphaned and abandoned children in Hoima and in the Diocese of Bunyoro-Kitara. Baby Christopher joins all the children past and present at the Babies’ Home who have been Rescued, Remembered, and Not Forgotten! Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
Smiling Faces and Crowded Classrooms On the first day of our recent visit, Pastor Deo Gashagaza and Guma Alexandre enthusiastically took us to see the new nursery school that had opened the week before in the Mbyo Reconciliation Village in Myamata, the Eastern Province. The school was in an old cement building. There were openings for windows, but no glass in the opening. The building held four rooms. The rooms were bare, except for the rooms rented by Pastor Deo and Guma and they held handmade desks that could seat 3 or 4 children on a bench. There were no toys or balls for the children to play with, no story books, and just a few wall decorations that had been made by the teachers. The outdoor area that would be the playground was barren, no grass, no swings, just dirt. It didn’t look like any nursery school that we would find in the United States. Pastor Deo and Guma shared that they were only able to rent two of the rooms for the nursery school and they planned for 60 children ages 3 to 5 to attend. (I was overwhelmed that
there would be 30 little ones in each classroom) On the day they opened 116 children showed up to be enrolled in the school. Each day since the opening more and more mothers were bringing their children to the school and through tears begging that they be allowed to attend. While we were
there a young mother with a baby on her back and a little one holding her hand was in tears because her child had to be placed on a waiting list. We visited with the children and the small staff and came away with heavy hearts wishing we could do more to help this small school. When I got back to my church I shared my adventure in Rwanda with my Women In Discipleship Class at Christ Episcopal Church in the North Hills
of Pittsburgh. I told them of the need at the nursery school and for the street children in Kigali and our Sonrise School. But the need that echoed for each of them was the nursery school. They too were concerned about these little ones. Several of the women spoke up and said, “well we can do something ! We can help rent another room for these children.” And week after week they donated money for that ministry. Small amounts, large amounts, whatever they could afford and we were able to collect enough money to open another classroom for one year. Praise the Lord! I thank the Lord for His protection and guidance as we traveled in Rwanda. I also thank the Lord for these women at Christ Church, who although they did not go with us caught the vision for this ministry. We are all given the ability to help others, sometimes one person at a time and sometimes one classroom at a time. Please consider how you or a small group that you belong to can help. Joyce, [email protected]
mustardseedproject.org, at the Mustard Seed office can provide you with a list of needs great and small. Yours in Christ, The Rev. Christine McIlvain
It is always a joy to visit Rwanda. We are always greeted with love and respect and smiling faces, yet as we visit our various ministries we also see such great need.
Five little ones
waiting on a caring sponsor at the Mustard Seed Babies’ Home!
Catherine Enoch Do you have room? Only $33/month
Activities at Sonrise
News taken from the Shyira Diocese Second Quarter Newsletter 2013
The Media Club at Sonrise is an exciting new extracurricular activity for students. Under the guidance of the Diocese’s own Eugene Mutara, the media club trains students in journalism, interviewing, and multimedia. Students are excited to have such a valuable resource.
Parent and Guardian visiting is always an exciting opportunity for students to see their parent/guardian and parent/guardian to see how their children’s education is progressing at Sonrise. The most recent Parent/ Guardian day, however, was very special as the students prepared traditional dance and song performances. It was a loud and joyous occasion!
Debate Champion, was recently admitted to Choate Rosemary Hall boarding school, and will be headed off to the United States. Additionally, Kevin Mucyo was admitted to Newbury College in the USA, and numerous graduating seniors were admitted to prestigious Bridge2Rwanda Scholars, a college prep program. Additionally, Amoni, a recent graduate and musical artist, has recently released his first gospel CD, and is using his gifts to praise the Lord.
College Prep Class You might be seeing some Sonrise students in a neighborhood near you soon! Thanks to a new class taught by the Diocese’s Trent Fuenmayor, the top Sonrise students are being prepared in the SAT and TOEFL tests, as well as being prepared to write college level essays. Sonrise students are some of the best and now they are being given the tools needed to make it to the top global universities!
Student Achievements Students are making waves on and off campus as well. Georgette Musezero, the National
Mustard Seed Project
Board of Directors Chairman Terry Thornton Aliquippa PA Executive Director Robert Dwyer Fair Oaks PA
1305 Merchant Street Ambridge, PA 15003
www. mustardseedproject.org The Mustard Seed Project Is A US Not-For-Profit Corporation Formed In 1993 To Provide Acts Of Mercy And Mission In East And Central Africa. The Ministry of The Mustard Seed Project is to; LOVE THE CHILDREN REACH THE SOCIETY AND PREACH THE GOSPEL!
Treasurer Richard Fossum Woodstock GA Director Of International Missions Joyce Wingett Leetsdale PA Dabbs Cavin Little Rock AR The Rev. Kathy La Londe Kitanning PA The Rt. Rev Laurent Mbanda Musanze Rwanda Sheila Skiles Dripping Springs TX The Rev. Jay Greener Highland Park IL Stacey Halota Potomac MD Dorene Freese Los Lunas NM Dean Payne Columbia MD
Donna Payne Columbia MD
Beautiful Children of Africa by Nate Heidengren
! S D E E N T S E T A E R G OUR ze Rwanda Sonrise School Musan !! LATE BREAKING NEWS! van or 000(USD) to purchase a ived a 0, $5 y el at im ox pr ap st It co School. We recently rece mini-bus for the Sonrise s offer of up to $25,000(USD) to wonderful matching fund ality. make this purchase a re a Home – Hoima Ugand Mustard Seed Babies’ rship - Sponsorship • Sponsorship – Sponso ildren – Kigali Rwanda Pastor Deo’s Street Ch e Children – Food for th r fo od Fo – n re ild Ch • Food for the the Children and ent flyer miles for travel USA qu fre or d/ an ns tio na • Do or Deo’s September 2013 living expenses for Past Mission