May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers. (Psalms 20:5 NLT)
Victory Family Church sits on a hill with a gorgeous view of the Kamonyi District in Rwanda. The church property was once an orphanage, but all the orphans who recently lived there have graciously been adopted into local families. Victory Family Church now uses the church property not only as a church, but also as a vocational school that teaches sewing and hairdressing skills as a ministry of the church. Although the orphan crisis seems to have ended here and orphans have regained a family through adoption, most families in this area who have adopted children are in need of parental training and emotional support.
Our team had the privilege of leading a parent training seminar at this wonderful church in Rwanda. As most people living in this community rely on walking as their most common mode of transportation, it took a couple of hours for the local parents to eventually arrive on foot. The attendees consisted of a few men and approximately 20 local Rwandan women who were beautifully dressed in their bright colorful patterned dresses. Prior to the start of the parenting seminar, a few of the colorfully dressed women led the entire sanctuary of visiting Americans and local Rwandans in joyful singing of praise, worship, and dancing to the Lord. “With God, anything is possible” is what was passionately being sung to the Lord in their local Kinyarwanda language that was accompanied by a beating drum, clapping hands, joyful shouts, and joyful dancing.
Our team invested hours encouraging and training the attentive Rwandan parents who have all adopted children into their families. Most of these parents expressed that they have adopted not just one child, but multiple children into their families. Many of their adopted children are now teenagers, which brings new challenges to the family dynamic. The team taught the importance of patient and gentle discipline, the medical facts concerning brain development, emotional attachment, and Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI training). Although their spirits are willing, their flesh is often weak. These wonderful parents needed to be strengthened. And this day they were.
The Rwandan parents filled pages of notes as they listened attentively and later expressed how thankful they were for what they described as an invaluable and inspiring seminar. They expressed that they were immediately motivated to start a support group of their own in order to encourage one another. The long-term mission strategy for Orphan Care was set in motion that day as that special group of faithful believers left encouraged and inspired. Our team was able to minister our acquired knowledge, education, and experience through the love and grace of Jesus Christ. And our team was equally encouraged by the Rwandan parents who were so filled with the joy of the Lord as they were living out their purpose as compassionate, selfless servants of Jesus Christ.
The local Rwandan parents invited us to return again as soon as possible as they were eager to continue to learn as much, and as often as they could. Thankful goodbyes were exchanged, and with their arms raised towards heaven and hands waving, they shouted, Imana Ishimwe! Praise God!
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. (Psalms 5:11 ESV
*If you would like to help financially support families in Rwanda, click here.
Posted by TRENT ARMSTRONG