It isn’t easy for many of us to climb into the back of a truck. There are times when it is helpful to have some assistance, and we often refer to the act of helping someone mount a high object as “giving them a leg up.”
Jamie and Rhonda Whyte are characterized by giving others “a leg up.” They have both served faithfully with various ministries over the years and this year they came to Rwanda as a couple ready to serve.
One of my most poignant memories of Jamie was when he was rearranging equipment inside a very hot 40-foot shipping container on our campus. He was sweat-soaked and energized, challenging the Rwandan team to keep up. I knew then that no one would ever accuse Jamie of being afraid of hard work!
He and Rhonda both served in the classroom, helped set up our new library, encouraged our team and even provided mentoring to me personally. It was a joy to have them there!
The Whytes embody our desire to help Hope Haven Rwanda transform both American and Rwandan families by building relationships that help us all grow in our faith. This was their first trip, but it wasn’t their last. In fact, just last week Jamie was back in Rwanda to help mentor a group of men in our neighborhood. God used him, alongside Chaplain Shema, to help lead several of these men to put their hope in Jesus alone for the first time! As they shared a special men’s retreat together, they were able to celebrate their new birth as sons of God. They made plans to lead their families by demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit and participating in accountability with our Men of Hope group. It doesn’t get better than that!
Before Jamie left, he chatted with Chaplain Shema about how to reach even more men, and they came up with a plan for a soccer outreach and alcoholism awareness event which is happening in a couple of weeks. As they plan and pray with our Rwandan team, Jamie and Rhonda are part of an even bigger blessing by investing what it takes financially to make this kind of neighborhood event happen.
There are no easy answers to the needs many Rwandans face, and people like Jamie and Rhonda Whyte, working with organizations like Potter’s Hand Ministries and Hope Haven Rwanda, are serving alongside each other in the long journey of transformation. Progress is happening, in spite of the setbacks and the challenges.
Many of our investors and friends are modeling Romans 12:13, where the Apostle Paul challenged us all to “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.” Because of families like the Whytes, and so many others, eternal seeds are being planted and some of the early fruit is showing up in this struggling community. To God be the glory for the way that He works in and through His servants to change the lives of others!