The boys texted back while I was in Rwanda with their request:
I smiled, and let my friends at Africa New Life know the Simons family was all in to scholarship a Rwandan student who may otherwise have no opportunity to go to school.
It was my joy to meet our sponsored student, Queen, on my last day in Kigali. She was shy but exploded with a smile when I brought her a Rwandan doll and some watercolors I'd picked up along with some other gifts in a quilted elephant backpack.
As I gave Queen her first art lesson, I smiled at the likelihood of her becoming a Where Are They Now? story of the future—a story of transformation due to education and the gospel.
Just a few days earlier, I'd met young adults who had completed their education as sponsored students through Africa New Life. Their stories were incredible. They were stories of lives and families changed through the gospel and through the ability to stay in school.
In Rwanda, education and the gospel change everything—first for ONE, then for a family, then a community, and then a nation. When students attend school and the gospel is received, families dream again.
I came on this trip asking: Is the gospel preached and at the center of life change? Is it led by Rwandans who know what their people truly need? Does student sponsorship really work?
I’ve shed tears over the answer to my questions: Yes. Yes. And yes.
Africa New Life exists to transform lives and communities through preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and acts of compassion.
Their goal is to see lives transformed through meeting basic needs, to give hope for the future for those living in poverty in Rwanda, and to share the freedom and hope found in Christ. At the heart of their model for breaking cycles of poverty is educational sponsorship. With a high school education or a vocational equivalent, children in Rwanda have hope for the future.
I got to meet some incredible alumni of Africa New Life's student sponsorship program last week. You can read their stories and learn how to be a part of all of it at www.sponsorshipstories.org.
When you sponsor a student through Africa New Life, you provide for that child’s school fees, uniform, scholastic materials, and basic medical assistance. You also help provide monthly Christian day camps and an annual Christian camp in their region, opportunities for your sponsored student to gather, celebrate, and learn with other sponsored students from his or her community.
Your sponsorship is personal and transformative; your sponsored student and their family will know you by name, love you, and pray for you and you will be a source of invaluable encouragement to them. You can write to them, send gifts through Africa New Life’s online store, or even visit them in Rwanda.
My friends and I—this team who went to champion this campaign together in Rwanda—are prayerfully asking the Lord for 500 new students sponsored through Africa New Life.
We believe in the work being done by this Rwandan-founded and led ministry that is reshaping a generation there.
AND, in celebration, Africa New Life is offering an incredible giveaway. When you choose to make a difference through student sponsorship using this link, you'll be entered to win an ALL-EXPENSE PAID trip to Rwanda for you and a friend to meet your student and experience the ministry of Africa New Life in person!
Thanks so much for following along on my journey there on Instagram, and for prayerfully considering the impact you can make through this ministry!
Because of grace,