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(Daniel and Veterine)

Merry Christmas from Hope For Life:
A Year In Review

Eight months ago, eight children sat in a prison dejected, alone, starving, and sick with malaria. In the midst of this, eleven other children slept in sewer gutters, begged during the day and took hits of drugs at night to keep warm, ease their hunger, and suppress the emotional pain of being abandoned. Today, each one of these beautiful 19 children is fed, warm, healthy, and most importantly, filled with hope. What began as rescuing 11 boys from prison has grown to be a flourishing home for 16 former street boys and a weekly ministry to 40 other street boys. Each unique child is flourishing and growing in a different way because you cared enough to do something about it.

The past 8 months have also brought success in other realms. Since April 2009, Hope For Life has seen our 4 Rwandan staff grow and flourish immensely. When we started, we observed their hesitancy to make decisions, and suggest their own ideas. Today, they are implementing their own ideas to better HFL and their dreams of taking care of the vulnerable children in their own community are coming true.

One of the last ways we have been encouraged by success has been through you. Since sharing about the plight of street children, you have responded with eagerness, faith, and generosity. You have replied not only by giving of your resources, but also of your hearts. One of the most encouraging things has been the response from this generation of teenagers and young adults. Students have heard about the daily life of kids their age in Rwanda, and have organized car washes to raise money, given up luxuries in an effort to live simply, and become committed monthly sponsors of HFL themselves. It has been beautiful to see the skills and resources of young and old in our community intersect with the needs of our world. Together, we believe we can continue to bring change.

As the end of the year draws near, we ask you to consider giving a one-time gift or becoming a monthly sponsor to Hope For Life. In addition to our regular monthly expenses, the children will begin attending public school in January and each will require a uniform and school supplies. We also hope to make Christmas a special time of celebration. The kids are thrilled at the idea of being able to eat in a restaurant for a first time, and we would like to give them this opportunity for Christmas.

Since sharing about the plight of street children with you 8 months ago, you have responded by giving of your resources and of your hearts. THANK YOU for your past generosity and in advance for doing the same this Christmas season. Following is a list of our needs this Christmas season:

(Hilliary, Veterine, and his sister Rachel)

Hope For Life’s
List of needs

School expenses
per child for 1 year:
School fees $36
Uniform $52
Backpack $7
Paper & pencils $10
School books $15

Christmas Presents:
Dinner $250
TV $200

Self-Sustainability investments:
Chicken $12
Goat $49

Future Goals for 2010
Plot of land $14,000

Recent Highlights:

*Megan arrived safely in Kigali, Rwanda on December 2nd!
*We have accepted 3 more children into the HFL home – Veterine, his brother Daniel, and their friend John. These boys stole our hearts on our first trip to Rwanda and when Megan arrived, she immediately began looking for them. Veterine, who was crippled from birth, and his brother lived in severe poverty with a family friend. Everyday Veterine would drag himself through the dirt begging for money. The money he earned went to pay for his sister’s schooling. On our first trip we desperately wanted to help Veterine and give him the opportunity to receive an education so that he would not be forced to beg the rest of his life. However, his mother would not let us pay for his schooling because she needed the money he earned from begging. After talking with Veterine’s mother, she has now agreed to let him live at HFL in exchange for HFL paying for his sister’s schooling.
“We are hoping Veterine never spends another day sitting in the dirt begging. He has been so happy since being at HFL! Today, the boys at HFL were literally yelling at each other, fighting over who was going to care for Veterine. It was a beautiful fight 🙂 Their transformation is absolutely remarkable. I think it’s the more amazing thing I have ever seen and I am so deeply encouraged. I wish that everyone who has been a part of HFL could see it!” – Megan Swanson
*The most recent and complete update on Hope For Life can be read on Megan’s blog. I would encourage you to do so, it is absolutely amazing the work that God is doing in these boy’s lives. http://www.megstersblogs.blogspot.com/

(Hilliary, Veterine, Daniel, Megan, Rachel, and another sister)

Thank you for helping to make this a memorable Christmas for the children in Hope For Life. The staff and children wish the same to you and your families this holiday season.

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