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A Note for New Readers

Urukundo Village is an independent home for Rwandan children created and funded through Hope Made Real and its incredibly kind donors. We are not funded by any particular denomination or organization and welcome all who seek to help the children of Rwanda and create a better world not just for a child, but for us all. 

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Friday
Feb012008

ARLENE IN RWANDA - Newsletter, January 2008

Mama Arlene on the new land.Greetings my partners in Ministry. I am writing to you, not from the Urukundo Home for Children in Rwanda, but from the United States. After a rough trip for Divine we are here. Divine suffered from motion sickness making the trip unpleasant for her. We have medicine now for the flight home that will make Divine more comfortable. Yes, Divine and I are in your “ice box” of the Northeast. It is cold. Divine experienced her first snow and loved it. I shivered and enjoyed joining her in throwing snowballs. She will have many unique experiences to share with her brothers and sisters back home.

Visiting family has been a blessing and sharing with my church families is special. This first week has been spent in the Williamsport (Central Pennsylvania) area. Soon
we will travel to McConnellstown, State College, Bloomsburg, Wrightsville, Hanover, Harrisburg, Bethlehem, Linglestown, New Bloomfield , Jersey Shore, Arlington,VA. and Spokane, WA . to tell the story of Urukundo. Please pray for our safe travels on the snowy roads. You can reach on my cell phone while I am in at the States: 570-447-0751.

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In September 2007 a group of social workers from People to People, an organization founded by Dwight Eisenhower to bring people from different cultures together, visited Urukundo Home for Children. Mary Eisenhower, the founder’s granddaughter and the CEO of People to People, accompanied this group and visited our children. After evaluating the ministry Mary graciously accepted a position on Urukundo's International Board of Directors. We are honored to have Mary on the governing board.

STRANGE FEELING
I have been driving since I was twenty. I learned on a mechanica (an African term) car and then switched to an automatic. I drive throughout Rwanda with no problem. But when I got behind the wheel of the automobile loaned to me by friends of Urukundo, Art and Patti Depolas my mind went blank. Everything was in the wrong place. It took some time to revert back to driving from the left side of the car. We do drive on the same side of the road in Rwanda, but the mechanics for driving are on the right side of the car. I appreciate that my friends are letting me use their car –especially after such a scary start.

OUR KIDS AT HOME
School has started. Our kids have new uniforms, shoes, backpacks and jackets, notebooks and pens- -plus school fees-- thanks to your generous sponsorship. (Photo)

img_1196.jpgimg_1702.JPGOUR OUTREACH
Here is a group of the 230 village children going to school because you have made it possible. (Photo)\

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS
Our basketball court is a true blessing. A local karate teacher, who had been praying a long time for a place to teach, excitedly inquired about the use of our new basketball court. He made an offer we could not refuse; if he could use our court twice a week for private students in payment he would teach our kids, along with some neighborhood children. We are again blessed.




Belise doing her best. (Photo)img_1813.jpgimg_1653_2.jpg

BAD NEWS MAKES GOOD NEWS
As you know, all of our “homes” are currently rented in the village. One of our landlords has decided to raise the rent on our boys house. We could give him more money for a house that is too small and in need of major repairs, or we could stand on faith and trust in God and build our first cottage in the next three months – the end of our rental contract. We own the land and for $25,000 USD we can build and furnish a home for ten boys and a house mother. Construction began on the eve of my trip to the States and I continue to pray for five more homes so that all our present children can live on the land. Our prayer is for a total of ten cottages; five for girls and five for boys.

Three steps to building the new boy’s cottage (photo)

the-first-step-01.jpgthe-first-step-02.jpgbricks.jpg

CHICKEN FARM UPDATE
We were expecting one-hundred baby chicks before my trip to the States, but because of the problems in Kenya our babies have not arrived. They will come by air freight and Kenya Air is not moving freight. I just pray someone is caring for those chicks if they are sitting in a terminal waiting to come to us. We will then have five-hundred chickens by year’s end. The chicken farm is part of our plan to make Urukundo self-supporting in the future. It will take time, but by the grace of God it will happen. Eggs are very expensive in Africa and I have faith that our hens will produce good eggs and we will show a profit in less than a year. However, if they do not produce eggs --chicken soup is also nourishing.
DIVINE IN AMERICA
Here is a delightful photos to tell you the story of our eleven-year-olds' visit here in the States.4.jpg
The 5th-Form class at Salladasburg Primary School, PA. Mr.Wall is the teacher.
We were welcomed and Divine had her first experience of your schools.

Visit this web site for updates and information about Urukundo.
http://spiritworks.org/rwanda/
http://spiritworks.org/rwanda-info/

Gifts for the children and support for the mission can be sent to:
Spiritworks/Arlene Brown
823 West Cremona Street
Seattle WA 98119
United States
OR
Rwanda Fund
Saint Johns/Newberry UMC
2101 Newberry Street
Williamsport, Pa 17701

Beauty is what they have.
Opportunity is what they need.
Your love. Their lives, Our world.

Arlene D Brown
BP 179
Founder Urukundo Home for Children
Muhanga District, Rwanda
Office Cell 08769422
My Cell 05102964
Saturday
Jan122008

Mama Arlene's Rwandan Children's First Day of the School Year

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Tuesday
Jan082008

Meet Mama Arlene - Feb. 12

You and Two of Your Guests
Are invited to a
BENEFIT LUNCHEON
For
URUKUNDO HOME FOR CHILDREN – RWANDA
Introducing Founder, Arlene brown
FEBRUARY 2, 2008 12 Noon
Reservations Required for luncheon no later than Jan. 26
Power Point Presentation in Sanctuary 1:15 p.m.
Reservations Not Required for Presentation Only


Place: McConnellstown UMC, 11251 Ward St., McConnellstown PA 16660
Please RSVP by e-mail to: revmactown@pa.net or by mail PO Box 146, McConnellstown PA 16660
Rt. 22, Huntingdon PA to Rt.26S, 4 mi. Left on Station Rd, Left on Ward St., Church on Rt.
For further information call: 814-627-6750, Rev. Sharon Landis
Tuesday
Jan012008

Happy New Years Day from Mama Arlene in Rwanda

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Newsletter New Years Day, 2008
ARLENE IN RWANDA

Greetings My Partners in Ministry,

I begin this letter to you by telling you that Divine now has her Rwandan passport and American visa and on January 13 she will journey with me from Kigali to the United States. There were moments when we were not sure we could secure the necessary documents. Then a friend in Immigration went to bat for us shorting the usual time from many months to two weeks. At the US Embassy I was required to prove custody. This sounds simple but it is not. Recently a group in Chad were caught stealing children from parents and transporting them out of the country as orphans causing tighter restrictions when traveling with a child out of the country. I am thankful that The U.S. Consular, Emily Shafer, and her assistant Bettena bent over backward to get permission for me to bring Divine to the United States. God has made a way.

An Interesting Side Note
Rwanda has finally issued a 2000 franc bill. How exciting for us. We now have a 1000, 2000, 5000 note. Next I am hoping for a 10,000 that will eliminate the bulk in paper money here.

Progress Report on Aline.
What a difference five weeks has made for Aline. If you recall, she came to us suffering with severe malnutrition. Now, with special food, medicine, prayers, and lots of love you can see from the photos posted below how much she has improved thanks to all of you and a loving God.

Christmas for the Children
img_1022.jpgimg_1102.jpgimg_1143.jpgimg_1146.jpgimg_1161.jpgimg_1261.jpg The non-profit organization, People to People, made Christmas very special for our children at Urukundo Home for Children. The day was filled with many “firsts” for the kids:
First ride on a big bus.
First long trip away from our home.
First visit to the Kings’ Palace in Inyanza.
First meal in a restaurant
First Christmas celebration ever for many!
Each of the children received a new school uniform and a ball These uniforms are made by the sewing school at Pastor Joseph’s United Methodist Church in Gitarama. So as we take care of our kids we also help their students earn money to support their families. God is good. It was a glorious day and I thank all who care about our little ones and made it a very special Christmas.

A STRANGE EXPERIENCE
“I never get pulled over by the traffic police in Rwanda. For me it is rather scary because I don't speak the language. Returning or guest Craig to Kigali the early morning after Christmas was a happening. The policeman standing in the middle of the road waving me over took me by surprise. I was glad Etienne my translator was with me. The officer asked for my driving permit. Digging it out of the glove compartment I handed him the envelope with all my papers. He took out the permit and a smile played on his lips. His words in English were "How you can drive with seventy?" What a question. I replied "no seventy seven". His face broke into a big grin he started to laugh and waving his hands he responded "In Rwanda is impossible." He then wished us a Merry Christmas and waved me on. Ok after dropping Craig at his dwelling place I started back and nearly home I was waved over by two different police. Now this was getting hairy. I could not believe it when the officer simply said in broken English ‘Merry Christmas and a good New Year Madam’. I relaxed and laughed with him and marveled at his kindness all the way home.”

SPEAKING SCHEDULE IN AMERICA
The schedule is a busy one. Keep Divine and me in your prayers as we travel.

January 14 Arrive at Dullas DC. 7:30am Breakfast with Reston fellowship.
January 15 Travel to Williamsport, PA Informal gathering Barner home. Elimsport
January 16 Evening Phelps Chapel Avis area.
January 19 Evening service Saint Johns/Newberry
January 20 Morning Sunday Worship, Saint Johns/Newberry UMC, Williamsport
January 22 Luncheon, Montoursville
January 27 Locust St UMC, Wrightsville PA
January 30 Ecumenical Luncheon, Pine Street UMC, Williamsport
February 2 Luncheon, McConnelstown UMC, State College Area
February 10 Morning Worship, New Bloomfield
February 11-15 Spokane, Washington
February 16 Breakfast, Bethlehem Area
February 17 Lohrs UMC, Hanover Area
February 17 Evening Event, Linglestown, Harrisburg Area
February 20 United Churches Breakfast, Hanover
February 22 Dinner Team Event, Bethlehem Area
February 23 Supporters Event, Bethlehem Area
February 24 Fairplay Gospel, Jersey Shore
February 29 Home to Rwanda

This schedule is not written in stone. Please add your events soon. To do so contact Terry at TAOM1959@comcast.net I look forward to visiting with you while I am home in the U.S.
Thursday
Dec272007

Mama Arlene's Preliminary Travel Calendar in the U.S.

January 14 Arrive @ Dullas Airport, Washington, D.C. 7:30am

Breakfast with Reston, VA Fellowship.

January 15 Travel to Williamsport, PA.

Informal Gathering @ Barner Home, Elimsport, PA

January 16 Evening @ Phelps Chapel, Avis, PA

January 19 Evening Event to be Decided.

January 20 Morning Worship Services @ Saint Johns-Newberry UMC, Williamsport, PA

January 27 Locust Street UMC, Wrightsville, PA

January 30 Ecumenical Luncheon @ Pine Street UMC, Williamsport, PA

February 2 Luncheon @ McConnelstown UMC, PA

February 4 Williamsport Area High School, PA with Classrooms

February 6 Williamsport Area High School, PA with Classrooms

February 11 - 15 Spokane, Washington

February 16 Breakfast @ Bethlehem, PA

February 17 Worship Service @ Lohrs UMC, Hanover, PA

February 20 United Churches Breakfast, Hanover, PA

February 24 Fairplay Gospel Church, Jersey Shore, PA

February 29 Home to Rwanda

This schedule is not written in stone so it is subject to change and additional apprearences. To schedule your dates for Arlene to visit your church, home or gathers contact:

Terry McMillan Marsh
717-558-8129
TAOM1959@comcast.net
5137 Clover Court
Harrisburg PA. 17111
USA