1994 is a year no Rwandan looks back on without a sense of sadness. Now, two decades later, that year’s 100-day-long genocide is considered one of the worst ever recorded. An estimated 1 million people were murdered, including young children. Of the young ones who did manage to survive, far too many lost both parents and, as a result, lost their homes.
Once the fighting ended, LIFE Outreach began to provide relief for those in need as soon as possible. Our hearts were deeply impacted by the homeless children who had lost their parents to such a terrible death. We quickly began to look for opportunities to rescue them off the streets and give them a safe place to eat, sleep, go to school and hear about the amazing love of Jesus Christ.
There, we met Fred Nkunda, a man who had come from Uganda specifically to help as many of Rwanda’s orphaned children as possible. When LIFE’s team came across Fred, he didn’t have the proper resources needed to meet all the children’s needs, so we came alongside him to provide them a new and safe home. Sadly, during the construction period of the LIFE Center, Fred became incredibly sick and eventually passed away. He never got to see the finished work that he helped start, but it is because of him that so many lives were forever changed.
Over the years, the Fred Nkunda Rwanda LIFE Center has given so many children, and now adults, the opportunity to learn different trades that would eventually enable them to support themselves. The children receive training in things like writing and creating business plans, managing business operations, and general life skills. Several children brought in off the street during that horrible time, have taken things they learned at the LIFE Center and now support themselves as hairdressers, grocery store owners and bicycle taxi drivers, to mention a few.
Because of people like you, someone who cares for the hurting, 20 years ago we were able to extend the hope of LIFE in a place experiencing such darkness. The lives of so many precious children were restored, and now they have a bright future. As we remember, let us not look back to the evil that took place, but instead to the amazing healing and restoration that began as children were given new hope.