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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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Happy New Years Day from Mama Arlene in Rwanda


Newsletter New Years Day, 2008

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.

“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.”

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.

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
5137 Clover Court
Harrisburg PA. 17111

Arlene in Rwanda Newsletter - December 2007

DECEMBER 2007 Mama Arlene on the new land.

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?

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.

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.

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
Rwanda Support
Saint Johns-Newberry UMC
2101 Newberry Street Williamsport Pa 17701

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
Rwanda Support
Saint Johns-Newberry UMC
2101 Newberry Street Williamsport Pa 17701


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


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:
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