Emma has had a heart for Africa since she dreamed of being a missionary as a child. When friends introduced her and her family to the work being done at Hope Haven Rwanda, they jumped on the opportunity to see it first-hand. Even after COVID-19 delayed their plans, Emma was able to travel from Colorado to Rwanda in October 2021. During her trip, she served in Hope Haven’s youngest classroom and connected with a special little girl named Esther.
Esther became a student at Hope Haven Rwanda in October of 2021 and met Emma on her fifth day ever in school. Esther is three years old and lives with her single mother in a small house in the village of Rudashya near Hope Haven. Esther’s mother survives on selling tomatoes and eggplants to people in the community, which is not quite enough for her to pay their $5 monthly rent. Esther has an older sister who is six years old, but she lives with a grandmother in another village.
Esther was invited to study at Hope Haven after consultation with a staff member and community leaders who became aware of her desperate situation. They watched as Esther’s mother struggled to feed her without a permanent job. They knew she was trying hard and waiting on God’s timing.
Esther and her mom typically have one meal each day, but since Esther joined Hope Haven, she gets to have two meals per day. Her mother has also started serving at Hope Haven to help Esther stay in school and receives a meal as well.
In her mother’s own words, “I can’t believe my daughter goes to Hope Haven, I am so very glad God answered my prayers.” Each day, Esther now wakes up at 5 a.m. and says “Mom, dress me! I need to go see my muzungu.”
As Emma connected with Esther, she believed that God was leading her and her family to become Hope Angels for Esther. Before she left, she was able to share the wonderful news in person during an unforgettable visit with Esther’s mother in their simple home.
During their visit Emma brought Esther a small stuffed elephant which she affectionately named Karabo (flower). Emma and Esther will now exchange letters throughout the year and build upon an already special relationship.
Emma cannot wait to return with her family to introduce them to Esther and her mom. Of course, Esther will be elated to see “her” muzungu again.
*Muzungu is an East African term for white person or traveler.
Learn more about becoming a Hope Angel