I love the ingenuity of my friends in Rwanda! One time, while suffering from a gastrointestinal ailment, my good friend in Rwanda recommended that I drink a very small quantity of ground charcoal. I was pretty skeptical at first, but I trusted her advice and began using it (Note: My doctorate is in education, not medicine, so I am not recommending you try this at home!). My biggest challenge with this unique treatment was trying to get the black film off of my teeth—haha!
Charcoal is a staple of life in our Umudugudu (village) in Rwanda. It is used for a variety of things around the neighborhood. During the pandemic supplies were running low and prices skyrocketed. Trucks that normally travel from village to village carrying charcoal for sale were coming less frequently and the prices were out of reach for many villagers.
I also love the generosity of many of my American friends. After casually sharing about the crisis with my friend Patrick during a men’s group, I was blown away when he asked if he could help. “Can I give some money to help some of the people in the neighborhood get the charcoal they need?”
“Wow,” I said. “We have been investigating options to help from our community outreach budget, but it would be great if you wanted to give toward that!”
It was such a joy to report that “Patrick’s charcoal” had been delivered and he was directly impacting the neediest community members.
It’s what we do at Hope Haven Rwanda. We deliver hope in a desperate place. Whether it is spiritual hope, or practical hope, we believe that hope is “oxygen for the soul.”
Have you ever considered the fact that we are all poor? Even though some of us live among the richest people in the world, we are all spiritually bankrupt on our own. We’re poor, we’re needy. We can’t make it to God on our own. We are broken.
And poverty takes all kinds of shapes and sizes. There are those who are physically rich and who are spiritually poor. Others are physically poor and spiritually rich.
We know this for sure: Our world is filled with desperate places! Whether we think about human trafficking, extreme poverty, emotional despair, severe brokenness—so many people are living without hope!
And God is calling each one of us—He is calling YOU—to go to places that you wouldn’t normally go, to engage with people that aren’t like you, to jump into the messiness!
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
If you’d like to join Patrick in showing Christ’s love in a very practical way to someone in need, just message me and I’ll be glad to give you some ideas. Where can you deliver hope this week?