Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Ishimwe Center a Home for Children in Rwanda

There is a Rescue Home in Ruhengeri, Rwanda that continues to expand in heartfelt response to the pressing needs of children. Ishimwe Center has decided it is time to expand their vision to care for more children without abandoning the primary goal to raise all the children as a family rather than in an institutional setting.
The nanny and the gardener and some of the family

The couple that began this mission are readying themselves to leave their employment and comfortable California home to move to Rwanda to be with the children full time. I hope you will visit their website and read the story and hopes of Rwandan born Faith Shaw and her English born husband, Roger.
Faith Shaw at the Home in Ruhengeri

Little Faith & Hope are part of the family

Recently Ishimwe Center nanny, Judith, came across a child whose parents had both died and then subsequently her remaining grandparent died. The center really was already full, and everyone agreed that no more children should be brought in, but what do you do when you see the face and know the needs of someone truly bereft? The orphaned child hung around the house of a neighbor but the neighbor truly couldn't provide care. Judith became aware of this child when she visited the neighbor. She found herself returning to visit and check on the child and saw that the child was suffering from a skin disease.

As Faith and Roger wrote:
“We had told Judith not to take any more children, but
perhaps we didn't drive the point home and after all she has a soft heart and
was face to face with the suffering. She brought the child to the Rescue Home,
thinking it was a girl about 4 or 5 years old. Later she discovered it was a
boy. When she told us, we also did not want to send him away.

Furthermore, Judith told us that the boy had a sister, one year
older and now struggling alone, but she had only dared to bring one child. We
decided not to break up the remnant of the family and sent Judith back to rescue
the sister. Now both are living at the Rescue Home. The girl (left) is called
Ishimwe (what a great name! So that's what the Ishimwe Center is all about!) and
the boy is called Niyonkuru (or Christian).”
Ishimwe & Niyonkuru

Faith has traveled to Rwanda each year to stay with the children and the people hired to care for them. Roger also goes when his vacation time has allowed it. This March they were able to buy 4 acres of raw hillside land on the outskirts of Kigali. You can read more about what they hope to build and how they plan to both offset running costs and help integrate the children into the local community, by raising and growing food, and building a computer learning center, a day care center and a multi-purpose hall.

I met Faith at a fundraiser a few years ago where she had been hired as a translator. All my encounters with Faith and Roger have been a joy and I will be sorry to have my new friends physically so far away, but the joy of visits will be replaced with the joy of knowing people who are inspired and stretching themselves in love. I will continue to enjoy the energy, peace and fragrance that flow out of their purpose and commitment.
Flavia & Ruka are part of the family too.
Go check out the website of Ishimwe Center and see if it doesn't make you smile.
Thanks for visiting me. I always enjoy your questions and comments.

1 comment:

Gretchen Joanna said...

It is heart-melting to see the love of Christ demonstrated like this. Thank you for giving the details that make us feel our kinship.