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March 2014 Update

Top: Marie Clarice. Bottom: Eric and Emile

This month, we have the pleasure of introducing you to our newest staff member, Marie Clarice. Marie Clarice is serving as Hope For Life Ministry’s Lead Residential Counselor, supervising the residential counselors as well as counseling each child at HFLM. Marie Clarice is naturally gifted in counseling and possesses a wealth of experience in the social work field. She holds a Bachelors degree in Community Development and is currently working on her Masters degree in Public Administration. Within her first month serving at HFLM, she not only identified areas that needed improvement, but she implemented changes that have made a huge impact on our boys and the overall organization of our home. Noticing the tendency for the boy’s rooms to remain messy and unorganized throughout the week, Marie Clarice made a deal with the boys. If they could keep their rooms spotless for one month, she promised to take them all horseback riding – a new experience for them all. The next day, their rooms were the cleanest we have ever seen them, and they remained that way for the next four weeks!
One month later, 11 of our boys in primary school and two staff members drove to a nearby “ranch.” It was the first time that any of our boys have seen a horse, yet alone ridden one! We expected the boys to be scared, but after receiving instruction, they boldly stepped up and hopped on the huge creatures with utter delight. To top off the exciting day, Marie Clarice surprised everyone with dinner that she arranged herself and an evening of dancing at the venue.

Six year old Claude training his horse: “When I first saw the horse, I thought it was big! But I wasn’t scared. I learned I couldn’t ride politely. You have to be stern with a horse.”
 
Marie Clarice’s creative thinking and generosity not only provided a valuable lesson in the importance of taking care of possessions, but it also led to a treasured experience and memory for our boys. For a week after their horse riding adventure, the boys could be heard telling their schoolmates and teachers of their experience: “Do you know what to do if you’re riding a horse and it starts turning? You have to pull up on the reigns!”

14 year old Obedi, excited to be riding a horse: “It was a good day! I want to ride a horse again.”
The past few months have been full of new experiences for the boys, from shifting to their new private school, to hearing their song, “You are Precious,” on the radio in Rwanda and in the USA, and now horseback riding! It has been beautiful to watch the children realize the significance behind these special moments – that they are valuable and their future is not defined by their past.

In this season of goodness that God has placed HFLM in, we hope these stories encourage and uplift you. Please join us in celebrating the transformative work that God is doing through all of our joint efforts. “For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)

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