Watch HFLM’s Christmas Project Video! (If the video doesn’t load, watch it here)
This holiday season we look ahead with great anticipation toward the reintegration of 8 of our beloved Hope for Life boys. We celebrated in style at the Palace Hotel pool. We taught boys how to swim, played water games for hours, and ate their favorite meal of brochettes and fantas! After lunch the boys stood up for each of their brothers heading home. Some told funny and engaging memories, while others shared encouraging words of their respect and love for one another. Our staff cannot put into words how truly proud we are of the men they have become. While goodbyes were difficult, that day cemented our relationships as a true family.
The reintegration celebration at the hotel pool
Once again we are reminded of the extraordinary journey of the remarkable young man named Veterne. It was three years ago that we first crossed paths with Veterne begging at the local bus park, as he dragged his crippled legs behind him. While begging in Rwanda is common, his story certainly is not. All of Veterne’s earnings had been going directly to feed, clothe, educate and provide for his family. Unbeknownst to his family, 12-year-old Veterne established his ownbank account and saved a portion of the funds. After some time, he told his family about the account and how he wanted to build them a house. However, when he gave his mother money to begin building bricks, she instead used it to buy alcohol. Veterne then took matters into his own hands, hiring builders and overseeing the entire construction process. When Chantal learned his story, she invited him to come live at HFLM and leave the streets, but it wasn’t until the construction was finished that Veterne was prepared to accept the offer.
Chantal reading Veterne a loving and encouraging letter at the reintegration celebration
Living at HFLM has restored Veterne’s childhood. He attended school for the first time and also received corrective surgery on his legs, allowing him to walk with arm braces.However, even at HFLM, providing for his family continues to be a priority. He told us he he is eager to return home “to help put my family in order”. As Chantal was making arrangements for his transition, his mother confided, “When he was first born, I felt like we were being punished with a crippled child. But look how he has been the greatest blessing in our life.”
Each of the families of the boys being reintegrated are in great need, and this holiday season we all have a great opportunity to make a difference. Through the Christmas Project, we can ease the boys’ transitions home by significantly raising their family’s standard of living. Gifts range from clothing and education to house renovations. All your generosity will directly impact a HFLM family here in Rwanda. Please visit our website (www.hopeforelifeministry.org) and join with us this Christmas in rebuilding these families!
The Spirit at HFLM is stronger than we have experienced in a long time. Through our celebration, and house prayer, the home has been filled with joy and love. The HFLM family thrives and we are in awe of God’s movement and blessings. Please continue your prayers for the families accepting boys back into their home, for the boys remaining at the home and for all of our staff. Our ministry is extremely blessed by your generosity and support! Together, we can delight in the joy of giving this Christmas.
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