Friday, March 25, 2016

Between Friday and Sunday.

This morning I sit here as the birds are beginning to sing, my coffee is hot, and my dog is sleeping next to me. The house is still quiet, Andrew Paterson "After the last tear falls" is playing on my phone quietly.

Breathe.......

I was sitting here thinking of all the changes that have taken place in my almost four years in Rwanda. From instant mom, to volunteering at the orphanage, to the orphanage closing, to now a new season of ministry.

I sit her gawking at what God has done. Many days felt like Friday. All hope seemed lost. Things constantly felt at a stand still. One road block after another. I was referring to it as my desert time. No matter how much I clawed at the cracked dry ground, I just couldn't find a drop of water. So many changes in health, in life, in ministry. And everything felt it stayed at this standstill. This desert, which seemed the forest was no where in sight. How long would I wander this desert Lord? In His goodness, He always provides. But many days, I found myself... clawing at that cracked dry ground. I had some even think perhaps the Lord was calling me back to the states. But my passions still were ignited. I still had fight left in me. Fight for those who were closest to my heart. Vulnerable children and infants. I would hear another story from time to time "A baby was left in the field. No one wanted to take the baby, because they have no way to feed them." And my fight was stirred up all over again.

Then suddenly in the last few weeks. Something in that desert happened. A tidal wave swept over it! Suddenly life got busy. REALLY busy! Suddenly things were falling into place. A part of me panicked, because I knew I had to get these kids and babies sponsored. And such a short time to do it.

wait......
wait......
wait......
wait......
wait......

GO, GO, GO, GO, GOOOO!!

It has been the most beautiful crazy busy ever. Looking at houses for offices. Walking down dirt roads, running into babies and kids in the program. Impromptu home visits. Organizing profiles on all the kids and all the infants. Finding where and how we can buy large things of formula, bottles, and porridge. Getting to know names, faces, stories. Praying in the morning hours before another rush of meetings, and paperwork.

Praying over every primary kid by name.....

Praying over every infant by name.......

Praying over every caregiver and mama....

Praying over every sponsor......

One morning I was busy on the porch working on paperwork on my computer. Moses had piled boxes on the back of his tricycle and covered them with blankets. I looked up "Hey Moses, whatcha doing?" "I am bringing milk to the babies!" They watch. They listen. Even if its almost lunch time and said child is still in his pajama's.

I have met so many people who have stepped up and stepped in. Neighbors who have taken in mentally ill mothers, and infants. Mama's that heard of a newborn left by the river, and even in her own need, stepped up and stepped in and brought that baby in. I have seen community at its best. 
As my household and gardner/day guard/ He does a bit of everything guy run play with my kids as I sit on the porch with someone about formula. I have seen my people stay late, show up early, because they see the need, they are invested too. 

Suddenly Friday turned into Sunday. Suddenly the desert was gushing with water and new life. 

This song has so much meaning to me. I still remember driving 
to the trash dump in Ethiopia, and this song came on my iPod. 


Running into kids and babies in the program.

Running into the triplets in the program.
One family is sponsoring ALL THREE triplets. 

One mama, one room home, 2 children, 3 infants, and a sick husband.
Suddenly her story was not just words in a government building,
but an impromptu visit, to start building relationship. 


20 Level 1 poverty primary kids who will get health insurance,
school supplies, shoes, etc. 


The house next door we will rent as an office.
We will have the primary kids come here for games, crafts, lessons.
Time to just build relationship, to do things like VBS type activities.
Where we can gather all the parents for meetings, trainings, etc. 
Interviewing each of the children with the social affairs director. 

So what do you do between Friday and Sunday? 

You trust the time before Friday. You trust what God has spoken before you found yourself in the desert. You trust the time you spent with Christ. You trust the times he lifted up your head. You trust the stones falling around, and the Savior writing in the dirt. You trust when his words calmed the storms. You trust the times you sat as his feet and poured the incense. You trust the time you found yourself walking on water, looking at Christ before you. You trust the word spoken and the healing. 

You trust God is working.... 

In Christ, 
Tina




Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Meet the babies!

As I sit here to type this blog post. This song started playing on my playlist. This song went on repeat and became a prayer for all the kids and infants in the program.

But let me tell you a little of where this came from. This program. When I used to volunteer at Noel orphanage. I was often in the infant room. And the mama's in there would tell me what brought the new babies into the orphanage. From mothers with mental illness, or the death of the mother. Malnourished moms who could not nurse and feed their infants. Knowing that they could get those basic needs met in the orphanage, often they were left there.

After the orphanage closed, I had heard about babies being abandoned. Struggles. But let me just say, I have met so many hero's in this. Relatives, neighbors, friends, stepping in and stepping up. I met so many people yesterday, who are real hero's of the faith. Warriors. Champions. You will see, when I introduce you to the babies accepted into the program.

It is $75 a month to support one of these infants. What that looks like for each is different. Each have different needs. I wish I could give you a total and complete overview of this. But since this program is so new, I cannot do that. We are choosing to band together, to support these women and babies. I will be doing weekly home visits to all of these families in the infant program. Some to bring much needed food to nourish a mother, so she can nurse. Some it will be formula and bottles. Clothe diapers. Medications. They all have different needs. I will be sending bi-weekly reports to the sponsors of the infants to let them know how the infants are doing, and what needs where met, where there finances have gone too. And to watch these infants GROW!

This is orphan prevention. This is family. This is stepping in and forming relationships. It is sharing tangible hope and eternal hope to these families. It is loving them, and walking with them.

And with no further ado.... meet the babies.


UWIDUHAYE Ester (SPONSORED)

 Age- 12 months 
Abandoned at birth by the river. 
Found at 2 days after abandonment
No medical needs except initial dehydration and weakness

Foster mother-  Claire 
Foster mother took her in when she had an infant of her own to nurse both babies at the same time. 
Single mother 


Biggest need is clothes and food. 

Still in need of a sponsor of $75 a month for a year commitment. 


IRAFASHA Noella (SPONSORED)

 Age- 2.5 months (bday 12-25-2015)
Triplet #1 

With the birth mother Valentine 
Husband is present (health issues)
2 other children in the home
All 7 rent one room for 5,000FRW a month 

Mother has not been able to produce enough milk for triplets 

Major need- nourishment for the mother to nurse 3
Formula and bottles

All infants have had persistent cough



IRADUKUNDA Kevissa (SPONSORED)
Triplet #2

















AKEZA Giselle (SPONSORED)
Triplet # 3



All triplets are in need of individual sponsors.














GIRANEZA (SPONSORED)

 Age- (guessed 1 year)

Abandoned 3 months ago 

Foster mother- NYIRABASARE

Infants health needs- 
Vaccines
persistent cough
one leg turned and significantly shorter than the other

Foster mother is widowed
One biological child (14 years old) 

Foster mother is a traditional Rwandan dancer
so work is not persistent. 

Immediate needs- 
Food, clothes, porridge, and fruits for infant 



ITANGISHAKA Moussa (SPONSORED)

 Age- 2 months
Birth mother- Jacqueline 
Birth mother- orphan, severe mental illness
Became pregnant by rape. 
Was 7.5 months pregnant before pregnancy was discovered

Was taken in by a neighbor-
Neighbor - Clautride 
Clautride is widowed and has 4 kids in the home. 

Clautride tries to put the baby to the mothers breast to nurse, but it is a struggle with the mental health issues. 

Greatest need- 
Formula, bottles, and clothes 




MUPENZI JEROME (SPONSORED)

 Age- 6 months

With the biological mother 
Mother- Zainabu 

Biological mother fled to Congo during the 1994 genocide. 

She has four other children. 

Returned to Rwanda 6 months ago, with nothing. 

Currently has no housing for her and her children. 

Infant medical issues- umbilical tumor 

Immediate needs- 
housing, clothes, and food. 




TUMUSIFU Nadine (SPONSORED)

 Age - 1 month 
Twin #1 

Lives with the biological mother - Beliique
Has another child of 2 years in the home. 

Babies were born premature. 

Health issues of infants- 
Flu, coughing, and under developed optic nerves 

Mother is malnourished and has been unable to produce milk
for the twins. 

When asked what her biggest struggle is she replied- 
“I am so tired. I cannot sleep because I am hungry, and the babies cry because they are hungry. My breast bleed because the babies nurse but nothing comes for them. I now know what it is to be really tired.” 

Biggest immediate needs- 
Nourish the mother so she can nurse the infants
Formula and bottles
Clothing for infants (they have 5 outfits for the twins total) 
Clothe diapers 


BOTH BABIES IN NEED SPONSORS






GATO Iriraneza & GAKURU Alice (SPONSORED) 

 Age- 2 years 

With biological mother- Clementine 

Both twins have had malaria multiple times. 

Poverty level 1

Immediate needs- food, clothes, porridge. 

SPONSORS NEEDED 
For these two, we are grouping them together because
of age and the level of need. So one sponsor at $75 a month for both toddlers. 
























This day, was so special in my heart. As the Lord ignited this passion in my heart over a year ago, and to see that come to fruition. I cannot explain! God has a way, that the ones who he places on my heart, and praying for them. To one day be sitting there with one in my lap, in my arms, and it hitting me. "For this child, for this baby, you have prayed! This is face of the one, you never knew, and pleaded before my throne for." Oh my heart! 







If you are interested in sponsoring an infant please email me at 
thenannytina@gmail.com
or 
TinaInRwanda@gmail.com 

I was blown away, at the widows, the ones who took an abandoned infant into their own home. Those who took in a neighbor. These Rwandans are the true hero's and warriors. And I am so excited to walk alongside them, and to help them with these babies. 
To ensure these babies have the essentials they need to have the best start possible! 

I was also so impressed with the social affairs officer in the sector. How well he knew the needs, the stories, and the hearts. God has surely made a way for these babies. 


In Christ, 
Tina





Thursday, March 17, 2016

Isaiah 43:19

Hey.  It's been awhile since we chatted! So much has been happening, and I wanted to clue you in as this blog springs to life with all kinds of posts soon!

This has been a long ways in the making.



















After many meetings, much prayer, and lots of dreaming......

Starting April 1st, we will be starting TWO sponsorships programs.
We are going to offer sponsorship for level 1&2 poverty families in this area.
Which means, the families in the most poverty.
We will be helping them primary (grade school kids) with school.
Getting all of there school supplies, school uniforms, shoes, etc, so that
they can attend school! We will also conduct home visits, so that we can
minister to the families spiritually, emotionally, educationally, and physically.

The second sponsorship program will focus on infants in the area.
There is currently 28 infants in immediate need.
Rwanda has shifted from orphanages to foster care.
When a mother dies, or is unable to nurse and/or care for their infant
for one reason or another. Most often a relative like an aunt or grandma
will take the baby. The big issue is, formula is so expensive, and often
costs more than an average monthly income!
We will do home visits once a week to these infants 0-24 months to
provide the essentials they need. Formula, bottles, and so forth.
Obviously the older infants, we will be providing fruits, porridge (like a cream of wheat cereal)
This will help ensure the infant stays within the family,
and has all of there basic needs met for those critical two years of life!

























Last night, me and all my kids gathered together in the living room.
We praised God for these babies and children.
We talked about how amazing it is God has opened these doors.
We prayed over each and every name on the list's.
20 children accepted into the HELP program for primary school.
10 infants in immediate need of assistance.

I cannot even explain to you how God has opened these doors,
and how well this is all going!!
And I cannot wait to introduce you to these kids and babies....on Tuesday!

A one time $100 donation will sponsor one of the primary children for a year!
And  a commitment of $75 a month, will sponsor an infant to provide the essentials
for them to thrive in their first two years of life!

Isaiah 43:19
"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it spring up; do you not perceive it?"

If you would like to go ahead and jump on board, you can donate at www.cten.org/tinazielke (all donations are tax deductible)

Cannot wait to introduce you to these kids and babes on Tuesday!!

In Christ,
Tina