Last week, we introduced our partner ministry in Rwanda, Hope For Life, and one of its co-founders, Hilliary Anderson. Read that post here. This week, we’ll look deeper into the radical transforming work God is doing in the boys’ home.
Every day in Kigali, 24 boys and their caregivers gather together to read devotions and pray. It sounds simple enough, but each of these boys was formerly living on the streets of Kigali. “It’s been amazing to see them transform from rebellious, rough street kids to be on fire for the Lord,” remarked Hilliary Anderson, the co-founder of Hope For Life. Even more amazing are the Saturday devotions, which are led by boys themselves. “It’s really cool to hear from them what God is doing in their lives,” said Hilliary.
The spiritual transformation of the boys living at HFL is only the beginning of the radical changes taking place. Since taking in 12 street youth in 2008, HFL has grown to house 24 boys and has reintegrated 12 boys back into their homes and families. After reintegration, HFL continues to support them, growing their number of beneficiaries to an astounding 96 people. The breadth of HFL’s ministry is a result of its commitment to creating a holistic program that addresses the root of the problem, why kids go to the street. It was this commitment that directed the ministry’s focus to be the families as well as the boys. HFL has also launched a local street kids program that allows homeless youth a chance to relax, wash their clothes, receive a warm meal, take English lessons, participate in devotions, and be counseled by the HFL staff.
With 24 energetic boys running around, it takes a full team to care for them. HFL has been blessed to see God working to transform the staff almost as much as the boys themselves. “We’ve been investing into our staff spiritually, through devotions and Bible training, so they can help disciple the boys,” explained Hilliary. She has been helping the staff come together despite their differences. “I want them to focus on bringing unity to the tribal tensions they hold. Sometimes they dislike or distrust each other because of the tribe they are from, and we want them to put their identity in Christ, not tribal identity, so Christ can transcend every area of life.”
What’s next for this incredibly blessed ministry? With God’s direction and guidance, Hilliary hopes someday to replicate what they are doing elsewhere, once they have the financial means and feel a call to a second location. In the meantime, God’s blessing and guidance is evident in the way their ministry is flourishing. Pray that God’s transforming grace will continue to work in the hearts of the boys and staff at Hope For Life.