This past week as I was walking with friends, we spotted a red robin near the lake. Some say that this simple sign means that the promise of spring is definitely on it’s way! The sight of this small bird seems to bring feelings of promise, rebirth and HOPE!
It’s been a long, hard year for people all over the world. Unfortunately, COVID knows no boundaries. There isn’t a country that this destructive virus hasn’t touched...including Rwanda.
Many of you have reached out and asked how our friends in Kibeho are doing through it all. And while it’s been challenging, there is also evidence of much resiliency and a push to move forward.
The loss, struggles and difficulties for ALL of us are too numerous to count. COVID-19 has left it’s cruel and ugly mark on the world. We continue to join together to pray for all of those who have been devastated by this virus. And our faith tells us that God hears our prayers. He is in control. And He is a good, good Father. And if we look/listen closely, this year has been full of unexpected blessings, too!
There are many stories of families spending more time together with their young children. Family dinners, game nights, zoom calls with Grandma and Grandpa, time for prayer are just some of the small ways that people all over the world were able to take a slower pace and appreciate what we sometimes take for granted.
The words “SHOW KINDNESS” keep popping up in my news feeds and I can see it all around me, too! There are countless stories of people reaching out to help their neighbors and friends in need. When people are beaten down, it seems that humanity has a way of coming alongside one another and lifting each other up.
That’s the kind of blessing that you have been to The Abana Foundation and the people in the village of Kibeho, Rwanda! We can’t thank you enough for sticking with us during this unprecedented time.
The students in Rwanda have had a very difficult year as they were not allowed to attend school for over 8 months. Unfortunately, the village of Kibeho was not set up to do any kind of distance learning. This has resulted in a real step backwards in learning for our students. They need The Children’s Academy more than ever!
Through it all, our faithful donors have kept their support going and we have been able to continue to offer HOPE. This past year, hope came in the form of distributing bread to not only the students but the entire village when they needed it most. It also came in the form of sustaining jobs during the pandemic. There are no stimulus checks or unemployment benefits in Kibeho. When people are out of work, there is no source of income for their families.
We are so grateful to those who helped us financially so we could continue with construction of The Children’s Academy during the pandemic. Many jobs were sustained and this allowed those workers to continue working and providing for their families. It was a tremendous blessing for them.
We also made the heartfelt decision to continue to pay our Rwandan team/staff throughout the pandemic and they are so very grateful. This was made possible because of our partners, especially the Friends of The Academy, our monthly donors. We were even blessed to have a few donors who shared their stimulus check with Abana. How fun is that?
Today, Rwanda is slowly re-opening and students are back in school! The Children's Academy is open, the staff is ready and all the children are more than eager to learn.
All of the Abana high school scholarship students have also returned to boarding school and are grateful for the support. God is good!
Although there have been periods of darkness and days when we weren’t allowed to continue some of our programming, it is the constant presence and reassurance that “WE STAND WITH YOU” that offers the most HOPE for our friends. Because of YOU, we can continue to do this.
So as we see the sweet robin return, the trees start to bud, and we look to the cross for our Risen Savior, we rejoice with all of you that we are able to continue this work in Rwanda!
Our prayer is that you feel the joy in knowing that you have SHOWN KINDNESS in a very tangible way through your support of Abana.
“I am so happy to partner with The Abana Foundation so we can continue to offer HOPE, especially during this difficult time. I haven’t actually been to Rwanda, but over the past couple years, I feel like I’ve connected to this small village and the beautiful people there. It’s fun to hear that the students are back at The Children’s Academy and ready to learn!"
- Abana Friend of the Academy
If you’d like to become a Friend of the Academy as a monthly partner, click here!