The Start at the End...

Our time in Canada draws to a close.  Only eight days left and then we are headed on a plane back home to Thailand.  But really, it is another beggining for us, as only seven days after we land in Bangkok we will be boarding yet another plane headed to Rwanda, Africa.

The time spent in Canada has been fruitful and relaxing.  Our first five weeks were spent with family and friends catching up on all that has happened over the past two years.  We spent many hours marvelling at how tall children have gotten, how "little kids" have graduated high school and how this one or that is now a licenced driver - scary!

The last bit of our time has been focused on fundraisng for both our ministry in Pattaya and our project in Rwanda.  For those that haven't heard, we have always wanted to go back to visit our family in Africa and the timing felt right for us to go back this year.  We didn't want to only go back for a visit though, we thought that for sure there would be something we could do while we are there and instantly God placed on our hearts Odetta.  Some of you know her, many of you have heard of her and seen her pictures.  She was a mama at the children's home in Rwanda while we lived there.  She is a character and a great mama!
Odetta Nirere
A few weeks before we left Rwanda she approached us and asked if we could help fix her home as it was beginning to fall apart.  It was hard for Dean and I to hear her plight and not be able to do much of anything to help.  With only weeks until we were going back to Canada, we simply didn't have the finances or the time to raise them before leaving.  So we prayed with her and told her that we would not for get her...and we never have.

Odetta's falling down, leaky house

As soon as we felt the time was right to go back to Rwanda, God brought Odetta's situation back to us fresh.  Now was the time to see her in a safe home.  God gave us a name for this project, He called it "Operation 1:27" out of James 1:27 "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."

We started planning right away about the logistics of building a house from another country.  God's timing is so perfect!  Fulgence's school year at VBCI-Thailand came to a close at the end of April and he was headed back to Rwanda for a visit.  He was so excited to be part of a project that gave him the opportunity to serve his people.  His love of Rwanda and his fellow countrymen has not diminished but rather it has increased!  He hit the ground running as soon as he landed and has been overseeing and working very hard on the building of this home for Odetta and her children....a true James 1:27 project.  

Fulgence in the ball cap, working to build Odetta a new home

We spoke to Fulgence last night on the phone and Odetta's home should be completed in the next week or so and praise God under budget; they are putting the finishing touches on now and when they are done, she is going to have the one of the best digs in the village!  Her home has been built out of reinforced concrete - not mud, she has a good metal roof, steel outer doors, solid wood interior doors and actual windows with is safe to say that her socks have been blessed right off!  Fulgence happened to be with Odetta when we called and he was relaying to her in Kinyarwanda that once we arrived we were going to take her shopping so that she can pick out whatever color she wants to paint the inside and outside of her house, and shopping for material for real curtains on her windows, to which she sent over the phone big "MURAKOZE CYANE!" (THANK YOU VERY MUCH) but as soon as we had Fulgence tell her that we were bringing interior solar lights for her rooms inside the house the crowd broke into light at night - truly something to celebrate!

Clearing the land

Starting the foundation
We are so looking forward to being back on African soil.  Not only to see Odetta and to help make her house a home but to hug our Rwandan babies has been over two years since we last saw them...too long.  We plan on spending as much time with them as we can, and we hope to have enough funds to do something fun with them while we are there.  We would also very much love to bless Jospeh and Grace (the Rwandan nationals we trained before we left) to a fun night out as well as the current missionaries that are there...can't wait to meet them in person!  God also laid on our hearts to go to Eastern Rwanda with food aide.  It is the dryest, most desert like area in Rwanda and the people living there struggle to grow enough food to eat.  We really want to visit this area and do all that we can.  We envision bringing beans, rice, corn, oil, sugar, porridge, soap, and whatever else we have funds for but more importantly the message of Jesus Christ our living Lord and saviour. 

There are several ways that you can join us in this project; you can pray for our family and that God's will alone is accomplished and that ALL glory goes to Him.  You can give financially towards the completion of Odetta's house, towards blessing the children's home, towards food relief in Eastern Rwanda, towards our personal expenses, or towards all of the above!  100% of the gift you give goes to this awesome effort.  You can also come with us!  Please email us at if you want to know more about getting involved in this project.  Rememeber, all financial gifts are tax deductible.  Just look to the right to see where to send financial gifts.

Thank you to all of you who have given already to help pull this project together. It could not become such an incredible reality for this family if you didn't "show up"!  Become our "Operation 127" partner today.
Ready for a roof!

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