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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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Thursday
Dec062007

Arlene in Rwanda Newsletter - December 2007

DECEMBER 2007 Mama Arlene on the new land.
ARLENE IN RWANDA

Greetings my Partners in Ministry From Rwanda,

It is an exciting time as I prepare to come to the US for an overdue visit. I have the tickets in hand. It is my prayer that I will be able to visit many of you and share the story of Urukundo Home for Children. This is a home you have made possible.

When I first asked God for land I wanted just enough for a chicken farm and a safe place for our children to play. We completed both projects this month. God had bigger plans and gave us a second adjoining large parcel of land. Now it is time to build the cottages for our children. Presently we house our boys in one rented house and the girls in a second. Moving into our own cottages will eliminate the overhead of rent and other expenses incurred. If we remain in the rentals we will have the expense of replacing outdated electricity and plumbing in houses belonging to someone else. Perhaps you would like to sponsor one of the cottages for girls or one for boys? Can I send you the blueprint and other information for you to decide?

COME VISIT ME IN RWANDA, AFRICA
This is your invitation to come and share some of your time with me. Divine, our first child who came to the home, and I will arrive on January 14. We will return to Rwanda on February 29. This is Divine’s first adventure outside her country. When told she would be going to America her hands flew to her cheeks and she exclaimed, “I don't believe it!" This is way beyond her expectations. Divine is 12 years-old and in the sixth form (grade). She has already been invited to visit my great-granddaughter’s, Jenna, public school in Jersey Shore. Divine is interested in visiting American school classrooms. It will be very different than in Rwanda. I know when you meet her that you will love and embrace her as much as I do.

Divine is preparing to come to the U.S.

To attend an already scheduled event with us make sure you sign up here on the Spiritworks page and announcements will automatically be sent to you. To schedule us to come to your home, church, school, or event contact Terry Masch as soon as possible so she can fit you in the schedule. Her phone number is 717-558-8129
and you can email her at taom1959@comcast.net.

NEWS FROM THE GIRLS
Holiday away from home is finished and all are glad to be home. I have been informed three weeks is too long for a holiday. It seems that they missed me as much as I missed them.

Two new girls have come to live with us at our home. Aline, pronounced “Arlene” (Hey, this one shares my name) is three-and-a-half and is very small for her age. She suffers from developmental problems caused by malnutrition and poor living conditions. Aline has a lot of catching up to do and we ask you for serious prayer as she becomes healthy and at home. Anita is our second new child. She is thirteen and in 5th form at school. She told me that she wants to be a doctor.
Aline needs prayer.

Aline and Natete who is 18 months.Aline with Annah, age four.

NEWS FROM THE BOYS
With the chickens moved to the new chicken house the boys decided that there was room at their house for a dog or two. One dog does not work for seventeen active boys. And with the athletic court finished a lot of basketball is played.
Puppy-twoBoys on the new court.
Please meet Milliam Benigne Ngendahayo who was born Jan 24, 2007 with a serious heart defect. She needed transport to Wolfson Medical Center in Israel. The surgery was free but the transport was not. She flew with her mother, Dorcas Nitirera, on August 13 and returned October 3rd a healthy baby girl. We of Urukundo are pleased to have been a part in her recovery. Below you’ll see the photo of her mother and father, Pastor Juvanel Ngendahayo, during her visit with us. This is their message to all of you who are partners with me. "We thank God so much because our baby is okay. God bless Urukundo Home for Children for what they have done for us."
A healthy baby and happy family.img_0089.jpg
I close for now and wish you the blessings of this Advent season as we await the Christ Child. I pray that you make room at the inn and in your heart for him… and all children under God’s care.
Blessings of Advent and Shalom,

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

If you would like to be a partner with me in mission I would be happy to welcome you as would my Lord. Gifts can be sent to the mission through:
Spiritworks-Rwanda Fund
823 West Cremona St
Seattle, Washington 98119
OR
Rwanda Support
Saint Johns-Newberry UMC
2101 Newberry Street Williamsport Pa 17701
Sunday
Nov112007

Arlene in Rwanda November Newsletter

Volume #7 October/November
Urukundo Home for Children

Greetings from Rwanda to my partners in Mission.

Arrangements for “job-sharing” managers have volunteered and I am coming home in early January for a five-week visit. And there are still others who are planning to come and help manager the home after my return. I expect I will freeze in the Northeast, but this is the only --almost free-- time I have and so winter it is. I know your schedules are busy and I hope to have the opportunity to share with many of you while I am home. To schedule me to come to your church or group, or for a 1-on-1 visit contact Board Member, Terry Marsh at 717-558-8129,TAOM1959@comcast.net, 5137 Clover Court, Harrisburg PA. 17111

I am excited about coming and with your help plan to bring Divine to help me tell the story of Urukundo. Divine was the first child to come to Urukundo Home for Children and is considered my “First Born”. If you would like to sponsor and meet her let Terry Marsh know.

URGENT NOTICE
The children’s school fees are due the first of January and school starts for 2008 January10. This means that the tuition money for 2008 needs to reach Spiritworks before the last of November.
Thanks to all who contribute so that many children can receive an education and a better, brighter future.

SHARING THE JOY
I know you will enjoy this story about our five-year-old; Bilese.
In October two visitors came for a short visit to Urukundo. They brought a large backpack of clothes for us. When opened we found clothes and shoes for small children. They were the perfect size for Bilese and Annah so they got new clothes and shoes. We then shared the boys and baby clothes with the neighborhood children. Bilese was amazed when she saw the clothing. She sat and stared for a long time. She then turned to Hope our House Mother and with serious big eyes asked, "Mama are we rich now that we have much clothes and many shoes”? The joy on her little face warmed my heart. I am sure it will warm yours also.

SHARING THE SADNESS
Puppy died. We believe she died from food poisoning but we are not sure. It was not deliberate, but our beautiful Puppy is dead. We buried her at the new site. Our kids are heart broken, as am I.
Instantly I said, “No more dogs.” But another puppy appeared at my house from nowhere and of course the kids saw her first and it was love at first sight. She looks a little like Puppy but has a different build. John says she will be bigger than Puppy would have been. Yes, her name is Puppytwo. If you say it fast it sounds okay. The German shepherd, who really missed Puppy came alive again when the new puppy arrived I was outvoted, So, I guess she stays. It was strange how the big dog went into mourning when Puppy died; almost human.

NEWS FLASH FROM THE GIRLS
School is finished for the 2007 term and I am pleased to report our girls did very well. Four ranked first in their class. All ranked in the upper 15% and each child has improved over the last grading period. Remember these classes hold 47 to 71 children per classroom. Tutorial evening classes have paid off. I hope you who sponsor their education are as pleased as I am with their progress.

NEWS FLASH FROM THE BOYS
The boys did not do as well in school but this was their first term with us. I know they will do better in 2008. Ben, our oldest, graduated from Secondary School and is enrolled in the Kigali Health Institute. Below is a photo of John, Ben and me after the Graduation Celebration. Additionally, there is more space for the boys to play now at the home for boys now that the chickens have been moved to the site of the new Urukundo Village. The construction on the Chicken Farm is completed.

The play area (field) for basketball and other sports is ready for the cement. Now workers are clearing and leveling the soccer field. We have a team of neighborhood boys waiting to play our boys. Both fields are not only for Urukundo Village but for the neighborhood. Soccer and basketball are popular sport here. We also want to have a running track around the perimeter of the soccer field. These fields will be used for multiple purposes. Below is a photo of the basketball field waiting for cement.

The foundation for the Nursery School is our next project as funds come in. Because of the different areas and the amount of land, we continue clearing and leveling the grounds.

LOTS OF VISITORS
We’ve been blessed with lots of friends visiting. Below are photos of a Presbyterian team, Craig Haas a family friend who was kind enough to carry a new camera to me; Donna, Terry, Betty, and Pastor Boyd from Indiana County; Mary Eisenhower the granddaughter of US President Dwight Eisenhower and myself. She is President and CEO of People to People. We were very pleased to have her and a team from People to People; Dustin Daughherty.

There is also a photo of the People to People Team enjoying dinner at the our guesthouse while listening to the history of Urukundo.
We were indeed blessed by this visit.

A FINAL WORD
If you would like to be a partner with me in mission I would be happy to welcome you as would my Lord. Gifts can be sent to the mission through:
Spiritworks-Rwanda Fund
823 West Cremona St
Seattle, Washington 98119
Or
Rwanda Support
Saint Johns-Newberry UMC
2101 Newberry Street Williamsport Pa 17701

Shalom,
Mom

Arlene D Brown
BP 179
Founder Urukundo Home for Children
Muhanga District, Rwanda
Cell 08769422
Friend CraigPeople to People TeamPuppytwoFriends of the ChildrenStaff PhotoOne of our girls.Home for the chickensNew Chicken IndustryOne of our little ones.New athletic court waits for cement.People to People Visit
Sunday
Oct142007

ARLENE IN RWANDA: GIVE THE GIFT OF A SCHOLARSHIP FOR $15

Dear Friends, It is the time to think about renewing school scholarship gifts for the street children ,genocide orphans, HIV/AIDS orphans, and the poor in our community. These scholarships go to orphans and poor children who do not live in our home and can only attend school with our support. Sending these children to school is central to our work and mission here.

Tuition is due at the end of November. If you are an Education Support Partner it is time to renew your annual gift. If you would like to become an Education Support Partner and support one or more of the children just let us know.

This is what one $15 scholarship provides:

1. school fees for the year
2. one uniform
3. one backpack
4. one jacket
5. pens
6 notebooks
7. one pair of shoes

Below are photos of some of the 200 children we supported last year and are hoping to support in 2008. Please consider making a gift to send each child back to school in January.
Send your gifts to:
Spiritworks
823 West Cremona Street
Seattle WA 98119
United States Memo: Education

Thank you for your love and support
Mama Brown, Arlene

Arlene D Brown
BP 179
Founder Urukundo Home for Children
Muhanga District, Rwanda
Cell 08769422
Friday
Oct052007

Arlene in Rwanda: October 2007

Volume #6 September/October
Urukundo Home for Children
ARLENE IN RWANDA
The vision is a Children’s Village on a beautiful hill in the heart of Gitarama. Rwanda, Africa. This mission is truly a dream that will become a reality with “God in Charge”.

URUKUNDO VILLAGE
built with love
dedicated to nurture children
There is no limit to the number of children who will pass through our gates in the years to come. Think of the difference you can make in one child’s life… and multiply it by the hundreds. I invite you to make God’s dream a reality.

Each child is a future leader of Rwanda. To that end, it is my dream that every child in Urukundo Village will be given the gift of unbounded love, learn to honor a God of peace, and receive an education that equips them for a better future.

HOW DID URUKUNDO (LOVE) BEGIN?
"God in Charge", has been the motto for this mission since my return to Rwanda in April 2006. I am in awe of a God who answers prayers even before they are prayed. Only “Divine Intervention” explains the accomplishments of the last 17 months; a girls’ home, a boys’ home, a guest house, a chicken farm, and a small house for me. We currently rent these houses. But now, with the land God has given us, we can use rental money toward a permanent home for the children.

I all began with a need to house the chickens and provide a play area for the children. I had some money in a mutual fund in the U.S. for “my old age” and decided that this was “my old age”. I figured there was at least $10,000 in the fund. After all, I wasn't saying to God, "Okay, I trust you. But just in case you fail I have some money in reserve.” How is that faith? As I prepared to sell my stock to buy the parcel of land a friend e-mailed me that if I promised not to cash in my mutual fund for the $10,000 and save it for my old age that she and her husband would personally give me $10,000 to purchase the land. We excitedly purchased land enough to build chicken houses, a garden, a Children’s Chapel, a nursery school, and ten cottages to house 100 children.

As the vision grew, so grew our need for more space. The property beside us was to be developed into a 4-star hotel complex. I met with the project manager to ask if they might sell us the hilltop. Without hesitation he declared we could purchase the entire lot and they would sell it to us for what they paid. Unbelievable! I asked for a hill and God gave me a mountain. Now I knew God was in charge. This doesn’t happen in Rwanda, but it did.

The cost of the land was 70,000 US$. Now, we needed $35,000 in two weeks to secure the sale. I spent a lot of hours on my knees. And I contacted my bank about my mutual funds. To my surprise there was $45,000 in the fund. It is my turn to show faith—as well as keep my word to my friend. I had the $35,000 wired through Spiritworks for the land and kept $10,000 in the account for my old age. The money was wired through Spiritworks and the land is secured. We have six months to come up with the remaining $35,000. I don't know where the money will come from, but I always remember, “God in Change.”

A VISION FOR THE LAND
Chicken House and Garden
It is the rainy season in Rwanda and so we have already planted our first garden that will give us vegetables for the season. We started our chicken business with sixty-three Chickens and fifty-three chicks. Rwandan chickens are small and produce very small eggs but the eggs sell for $1.20 each locally. The new house has been constructed to house 500 chickens. These will be imported chickens and will cost $2.60 each. The larger eggs from these chickens will sell for much more and the market is the hotels in Kigali. The market is available as soon as we can produce. The projected income after expenses will be $7,973 the first year. We have a breakdown of expenses should anyone want to see it and advise.

Children’s Home Cottages
Each of the ten cottages will house thirteen children. Inside is a central room for relaxing, an family eating area, a kitchen, 3 bedroom each housing four girls or boys and one room for the house mother. Each will have big front porch to play upon in the sunshine or the rain.

Play Grounds
The children will have a place to play. To this end a grassy area for tag and soccer and another area for basketball hoops will be prepared Fencing will protect the children in our care.

Central Kitchen
A cost effective main kitchen will supply the children nutritious food three times daily.

Day Care
When the community leaders were told we would have a Day Care one of the leaders asked "can I bring my little girl to your school." I did not take her seriously, but said of course, it isn't built yet". She replied "I know. But I need a safe place for my child while I work". Three weeks later we transported her little one to the hospital. She had been abused and rape. We can prevent this from happening to other children by providing a safe place. I have the blue prints and the cost estimate for the Day Care is 16,719687 rwf or $33,000 USD

Chapel/ and Flower Garden
We need to care for the spiritual needs of these lovely people. Setting in an area easily accessed by the children from inside and the community on the outside will be a Children’s Chapel surrounded by a flower garden. This house of worship will invited all to come.

Staff House
We have staff members, such as our medic and cooks, who need a place where they belong and can call home.

Missionary House
A house must be built for the mission person(s) who will come to serve after me. I will use it as my home base while I am here. It will also house the medical clinic for the sick.

Learning Center
A library and computer room will be the center piece of our English Primary School. Yes, English is the international language and we need to equip our children for the world of tomorrow.

Guest House
Presently we rent a guest house complete with Wifi to welcome international guests. This business employs and provides healthy insurance for two Rwandan families. Now, we need to build our own guest facility so that work crews and others can come who wish to respond to the great needs of the world.

Children’s Chapel
This interdenominational house of worship will be a place to praise God for all the Spirit has done and will do. I have the blue prints and the cost estimate for the chapel is 16,719687 rwf or $33,000 US$

Other Visions and Dreams
With the additional land, dreams are endless. Could there be a College or University to train community leaders and pastors for the future? Incredible as this may sound, today we started an English class for pastors in the small classroom at my house. There were four students. The seed is already planted. We cannot limit God but pray for wisdom and guidance.

Bit by bit the plans are being drawn and coming together. I sense that there are others like myself who feel the tug of God to work here in Rwanda. Could it be you? I also sense that this dream is just the beginning. We cannot limit God, knowing all that is possible.

In Closing, my love to you all. Please remember to keep the vulnerable children throughout the world in constant prayer. Will you consider becoming a partner with me with the Urukundo Village for Children in Rwanda, Africa? Blessed be, Arlene
Gifts can be sent to support this mission through: Spiritworks-Rwanda Fund, 823 West Cremona St., Seattle, Washington 98119, pdbrown@spiritworks.org; http://www.spiritworks.org.
or Rwanda Support, Saint Johns-Newberry UMC, 2101 Newberry Street, Williamsport Pa 1770. If you wish to work with a particular project add a note.
Support for Arlene’s personal expenses can be sent: Spiritworks-Missionary, 823 West Cremona St., Seattle, WA 98119.
Spiritworks is a non-profit Christian Foundation. Statements are sent on a regular basis and these can be used for exemptions on your tax returns.

Chicken HousesChildrren on the hill top of the new land.
Tuesday
Sep112007

Exciting Message from Arlene in Rwanda

"OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD" Today September 10th we learned even more what an awesome God we have. As you know and are a witness to it's purchase, the land we have bought is beautiful. The land above ours and to the right of our property is even more beautiful. The top of the hill has a view that takes your breath away. It is the perfect place for a Guest House or a House of Worship. The Lord Will decide which. That land was earmarked for a hotel by important men in government. Our President Paul Kagame is one of the group. God did not let that happen any more than he let the Friends Fellowship build a church on the land we now own. That land was being guarded for us. As you know we needed more land because we are going to have a Nursery School, a Primary School and one day a Secondary School with Dorms. God knows, maybe a university. We will not limit what God can do. John and I had a meeting today September 10th with the spokesperson of the group. I shared with him the vision for the land we now have and expressed an interest in the land to the top of the hill. We shared with him about the schools, the playground for the children and community, the guest house built to house teams and visitors, the Chapel where all would be welcomed to worship, the chicken house for income and most important cottages for the children we now have and those yet to be added. He listened to my proposels and looked at the project blue print and agreed to let us purchase the land. I asked for the hill top and God gave us the whole land. This was way beyond my expectations. He said he had authorization to speak for the group and because he believed we were there working to make life better for the children and the community we could have the land at the price they paid for it. I am thinking the top of the hill. This man was offering the whole parcel. That was when he asked would I be interested in all the land with a token payment and an article of agreement. I could not believe my ears. "God is Good." With this land our land will be about ten times the size it was. The price is 35 million RWF. which is about $70,000 USD. Yes it is a lot of money here but with God all things are possible. We can take the time we need to pay for it. The present need is for $20,000 as soon as possible to bind the deal. I am putting my life savings into this God directed project and I know I will not be alone as I pray others will open their hearts and want to help. It would be a blessing to have 6 millionaires who love the Lord. "God in Charge." I do not have 6 millionaires, not even one, but I know the widow's mite is greatly valued in the eyes of God. Working together we can serve God and the children. Each giving our mite can make a difference. Thank you for what I know will be a great future for the children at Urukundo Home for Children. Shalom Arlene Arlene D Brown BP 179 Founder Urukundo Home for Children Muhanga District, Rwanda Cell 08769422