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A New Chapter for Hope for Life

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As we turn eight years old this month, we intentionally pause to celebrate God’s faithfulness and our accomplishments together. We never imagined that advocating for our friend’s release from prison would spark and sustain such an incredible movement of sacrifice, transformation, and hope. Because you joined us in this mission, together we have enabled 75 children to escape homelessness or imprisonment, enrolled 133 children in school, and reunited countless families.

To celebrate, we are excited to announce that Hope for Life has applied to be our own 501c3 and can now receive gifts as our own organization! After eight years with Breakthrough Partners, who faithfully served as mentors and our fiscal sponsor, we are prepared to operate independently. This decision reduces funds spent on administration and maximizes each donation towards empowering families to rise out of poverty in Rwanda.

Please note that if you are a recurring donor, you should have received directions on how to transfer your subscription from Breakthrough Partners. If you did not receive that or have any questions, please email admin@hopeforlifeministry.org.

If you give via check, please begin writing them out to Hope for Life. Our new mailing address is:

Hope for Life

PO Box 75864

Seattle, WA 98175

Breakthrough Partners has been gracious and will ensure that any donations that come to them over the next few months will be forwarded to us.

Thank you for your continued support of Hope for Life as we begin a new chapter in our history! It wouldn’t be possible with you.

With gratitude,

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US Executive Director / Co-Founder

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Marching Upward

School Success

In Rwanda, after students complete primary school (the equivalent of elementary and middle school), they go to secondary boarding school.
This includes the children who live at HFL’s rehabilitative home. Each year is bittersweet; we celebrate as a family when students continue to progress in school, and yet we also experience sadness when a HFL child graduates to boarding school as we no longer get to see them everyday. This year, two more students moved into secondary and we already feel their absence. Last month, we had a surprise visit from Olivier who came home to give us hugs and share what his new school is like! He is transitioning well and loves his new school!

Olivier et Patrick

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Meet Aimable

“This year in school, I was #1 in my class! It makes me happy. My dream is to know modern and traditional dance. I would like to be the best and then get money and help street children like I have been helped. My other dream is to grow up and have a family. I want to be a father and I want to educate my children and class.” Aimable, 10-years-old

Aimable

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3rd Annual Gala

HFL’s Seattle gala is right around the corner! Buy your tickets at: www.auctria.com/auction/HopeForLifeAuction2017.

Can’t attend? Please consider giving in lieu of the occasion at www.hopeforlifeministry.org/donate.

3rd Annual Logo

Thank you for your continued partnership in marching upward!

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Celebrating Success in Rwanda

Dear Hope for Life Family,

Recently, two volunteer staff members and myself had the chance to travel to Rwanda to visit the kids at Hope for Life’s home.

The Hope for Life (HFL) home is not just doing well but is truly thriving! We could sense it the moment we walked onto the beautiful property. Rwanda’s Executive Director, Chantal Umutesi, has built the best staff team HFL has ever had, and each and every child has an inspiring story of transformation. We had the opportunity to sit in on a few of their family devotional times—an experience that was deeply moving for us all. Our volunteer staff, Matthew Aina and Megan Busek, both return home even fiercer advocates for HFL.

I had the opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with each member of HFL’s Rwanda-based leadership team, including staff and the Board of Directors. This trip has reaffirmed my conviction that the team there is immensely capable and have much to teach me and HFL’s partners and supporters. Over the past seven years, we have learned that cross-cultural ministry and community-based leadership development comes with a unique set of challenges, and I am thrilled to report that HFL is truly flourishing under Rwandan leadership. Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 8.03.03 PM

Now more than ever, I am reminded how necessary it is for each of us to personally engage in this life-changing work, no matter which continent we call home. The team in Rwanda is dependent on the financial support and encouragement that you provide each month, while we depend on the expertise that our Rwandan staff brings to the hard work of affecting transformational change in their own community. It is beautiful how the success of HFL is dependent on each of our engagement in this process.

I look forward to sharing more inspiring stories at Hope for Life’s upcoming gala on March 18, 2017 in Mukilteo, Washington. Please consider joining us or giving in lieu of attending the event. We hope you can join us and believe that you will leave encouraged. To buy tickets, please visit www.auctria.com/auction/HopeForLifeAuction2017.

With deep gratitude for your continued partnership,

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Megan Chao

US Executive Director and Co-Founder

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Happy New Year

Eric’s Story

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Did  you get a chance to meet 12-year-old Eric in our recent video story? If you missed it, be sure to listen to him tell you how he found healing and friendship at Hope for Life. Meet him at: https://vimeo.com/hopeforliferwanda/eric2016.

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HFL is Growing

Meet Hope for Life’s newest employee, Alicia Landis Choi! Alicia will serve in Seattle as our Administrative Coordinator helping to oversee the day-to-day operations that keep Hope for Life running smoothly.  Alicia is an aspiring writer who is passionate about sustainable community partnerships, theology, culture and the outdoors. Join us in welcoming Alicia to the HFL family!

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Mark your calendars for Hope for Life’s 3rd Annual Gala on March 18, 2017 in Mukilteo, Washington. An official invitation is coming soon.
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Ending the Year with Gratitude

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Because of your generosity, kids like 6-year-old Elisha (pictured above) are celebrating finishing another year of school, and looking forward to 2017 with excitement and hope. Without help, they would likely be struggling to survive each day, without much hope for the future.

On behalf of the 175 lives impacted in Rwanda this year, thank you for an incredible year!

 

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

because the Lord has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor…

to proclaim freedom for the captives

and release from darkness for the prisoners.”

-Isaiah 61

 

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Glimpses of Community

Family Preservation

We are firm advocates that the best place a child can be is with their family, whenever possible. Thanks to your partnership, these three sisters, who were at risk of being forced to the streets by poverty, have been able to remain with their family and attend school.

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Diana, Rachel, and Mediatrice (left to right)

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Becoming Family

We are so proud of the amazing young men at HFL! The older boys truly treat the younger ones as their brothers and can often be seen offering advice, helping with homework, and participating in tickle fights.

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Fostering Community Outside of HFL’s Walls

HFL’s kids blow us away. One of the students in Djuhudi and Olivier’s class has been sick so they recently spent a day visiting him and his family. Each month, you are helping to raise boys who are thoughtful, compassionate, and passionate about caring for their community.

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Djuhudi (left) & Olivier (right) going to visit their friend

At HFL, we agree with the ancient African proverb that “It takes a village to raise a child.” This life changing work wouldn’t be possible with you. We offer our sincere thanks for being “the village” for so many children in Rwanda.

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Learning at every corner

Staff Development

HFL’s Directors, Chantal and Megan, attended an annual conference organized by the Hovde Foundation, a partner of HFL since 2010 who provides shelter and support services to vulnerable children. The gathering was an informative and encouraging time to discuss best practices in the field with similar organizations from Africa and South America. The trip even included a day of fun in Disneyland, a first for Chantal. A big thank you to the Hove Foundation for the learning, memories, and continued partnership!

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School Success

This year, the younger boys in HFL’s home switched to a higher quality school and we have seen drastic improvements in their educational success. Four children have learned how to read and all the kids are now excitedly having conversations daily with staff in English! They used to be hesitant to speak a new language, but now, thanks to their new teacher’s encouragement, the home is buzzing with English!

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Thank you for playing your part to enable these exciting learning opportunities for the kids and staff. We are grateful for you!

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One of the Best Days Ever

Twenty of the top college-bound students in Rwanda boarded a bus in Kigali and made their way to Hope for Life, unsure of what to expect. As the bus parked and unloaded, they immediately found themselves surrounded in hugs. They didn’t know it then, but they were about to give the boys of Hope for Life one of the best days of their lives.

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       A day filled with joy and acrobatics.

Eugene*, 18, rarely engages with visitors to HFL, preferring instead to watch from the sidelines or disappear to his room.  Something about today, though, felt different. Maybe it was the fact that the visitors, who are most typically foreigners, were fellow Rwandans who had achieved success and who came from communities like his. Maybe it was the fact that there were a plethora of activities for both the extroverted and the introverted kids. Maybe it was the commitment of the volunteer students to continue pursuing the hesitant kids and find something they could do together. Whatever it was, this day was different.

At the end of a day full of sports, crafts, acrobatics, and a lot of laughter, we watched as Eugene engaged in the giant dance party with confidence and freedom.  His eyes met with ours and a giant smile immediately glowed on his face. A few days later, Eugene proudly declared, “The day with Bridge2Rwanda was the best day ever.  I want to be in that program when I graduate from high school.” For a boy who struggles with hopelessness and self-esteem, seeing him begin to dream again is what this ministry is all about.

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The boys enjoy a day filled with laughter, new friendships and dancing.

Over the next few days, both HFL’s and Bridge2Rwanda’s staff received dozens of questions from our youth about when they could see their new friends again. We look forward to making gathering such as these a more regular event.

Each month, you are helping to resuscitate the ability for Rwanda’s most vulnerable children to hope and dream again. Thank you!

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Transformations at Hope For Life

HOPE FOR LIFE’S FIRST GRADUATE

Congratulations Jean Peter!

Jean Peter

This passionate and talented young man recently graduated from auto-mechanic vocational school. After graduation, he transitioned out of our center and is currently looking for full-time employment. HFL will continue to support him until he is able to provide for himself financially.


LEARNING THE BIBLE

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HFL’s Executive Director, Chantal, leads the younger children in an interactive Bible study outside our home.


TRANSFORMATION THROUGH ART

At HFL, we offer opportunities such as art and dance as important parts of the healing process. It provides an outlet for expression, helps one process their trauma, and helps develop a sense of empowerment and self-value.

Irakiza

Your support is a vital piece of the transformations that are occurring at HFL. Thank you for your partnership!

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Aimable’s Answered Prayer

As soon as 9-year-old Aimable moved to Hope for Life’s home in January, he had one constant question. “Do I have a sponsor yet?” He even asked his friends to join him in prayer for this request.

In April, Aimable’s friend, 10-year-old Claude, boldly went up to a visitor to our home, Harry, and asked, “Will you be Aimable’s sponsor?” Our staff nudged him and apologized. We knew that Claude was only trying to help Aimable.

Aimable’s prayers were soon answered when Harry came back with his entire family from the UK to tell Aimable that they were going to sponsor him!  As Aimable was told that he had not just one sponsor, but an entire family, he responded with dance. Tears were shed at just how beautiful the moment was. His joy was seen in every step and spin. For him, this day was unlike any other and he was dancing like it.

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Aimable and his sponsor family.

After experiencing years of abuse, neglect, and almost death at the hands of his biological family, Aimable is overjoyed to be part of the HFL community and his sponsor’s family. One of his sponsors, Hannah, told us, “Visiting Rwanda didn’t just give our family amazing memories and a time none of us will ever forget, but it also brought the long awaited 5th member of our family.”

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Aimable receiving a hug from his sponsors, Hannah and Jane (from left to right).
Aimable receiving a hug from his sponsors, Hannah and Jane (from left to right).

Your love and sponsorship mean the world to each child in our community. It has the ability to change a child’s outlook on life, heal past wounds, and shape a healthy future. Thank you for being a part of the HFL family!

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Aimable having fun with Harry.

Interested in sponsoring a child? There are 15 kids who still need sponsors. Find out more at: http://www.hopeforlife.us/sponsor-a-child/[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]