God has led to us . . . . .
God is so good at bringing the right people to willing individuals at the right time. Below is a list of organizations,
or individuals, that have been accepted by Amazon Charities as affiliates to minister the love of Jesus Christ.
The Hudson's Latest News:
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.”
Isaiah 58: 6-7 NLT
We made it back to Minnesota for 7 weeks this summer, with good intentions to see family and friends. Unfortunately, with Pamela’s treatment schedule at Mayo being a challenge (see below) and helping with family, the majority of friend visits didn’t happen. We stayed with Pamela’s mom, with Michael also spending some extended time up in Thief River Falls with his parents and family. Both of our parents are still living on their own, driving, and we are grateful they are still managing to live independently. Michael was able to spend time planting and creating flower containers for both moms...something that he enjoys and brings great joy. We got to see Garland (as the oldest living WWII vet) lead the Thief River Parade. Since returning to Kigali, Michael’s father had a minor heart attack, which meant some separation for his mom and dad while he recovered, and he also celebrated his 98th birthday.
Ministry update with HOPE Rwanda:
Ministry with the women: There are 12 women currently enrolled in the sewing school. They are a wonderful group of women and are eager learners. With Covid measures slacking off here, the women come and go each day from home to school. The school provides them with porridge each morning for breakfast, and then a good lunch. They have completed sewing their school uniforms (light blue blouse and navy blue skirt) as well as lined tote bags with three zippers. The women get to customize everything they make, and it is fun to see their unique tastes expressed in what they sew. They are so proud to display their finished pieces. Learning to sew dresses is next. I (Pamela) have been doing devotions with them on Monday mornings, using a staff person as a translator. We spent five weeks going through Psalm 23 - a wonderful study on The Good Shepherd, and us as sheep. Then we looked at forgiveness and the emotional and spiritual freedom that comes from forgiveness. Next up will be a series on The Beatitudes. Their lives don't look like an abundance of 'blessing,' so it will be a great challenge for me to teach about blessing from Jesus' perspective, which is contrary to the world's viewpoint.
Ministry with the men: The next group of men will not graduate from the government rehab program until February 2023! The focus with the men's program now is more intentionally checking in with graduates to see how they are doing and to encourage them in whatever way possible. The men are also working on the new land, preparing and planting a medicinal garden of native life-giving and disease-healing plants in Rwanda. We believe God created every plant we need to give us a healthy life. We are excited to be bringing those plants back and have a garden that will heal our community of men, women, children, staff, and neighbors in Gahanga. We believe that HOPE will soon receive its permit to drill for water on HOPE’s new land. This will be a huge gift for the community as well.
Michael has significant relationships with a handful of young men, and he continues to meet with them and does a lot of texting/messaging using Google translate - an amazing free gift. With Google translate supporting Kinyarwanda, they can actually carry on extensive conversations without speaking each others' language. It's not perfect, and sometimes it's very funny, but it provides probably 90% effective communications. Young adults who attended school into their teens have at least a basic grasp of English. Those who left school in primary grades, or never attended, really have no English at all. But Google translate and a smartphone make conversations possible.
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:14-17 NIV
A shift in our focus is taking place:
For the past 16+ years in Africa, we have focused a great deal on helping young adults find freedom from traumatic pasts and deep wounds. This has occurred through significant relationships and healing prayer. It has been an amazing privilege and great joy to be involved in their lives in this very personal journey.
While this continues, our hearts are being pulled to help these young adults in a more wholistic manner. What comes after spiritual freedom? The tragedy and fragility of life for the 'very poor' continue to be heartbreaking and shocking. Spiritual health and freedom are vital - and so are physical, emotional and financial health. Both during the pandemic and afterward, we have become more aware of the real and immediate needs of many poor. For some, it's needing $10 to pay for medicine (or going without). For others, it's needing $15 to pay rent (yes, $15/month). For others, it's $50 to pay school fees for another term for their children. And for others, it's helping to buy a bicycle or motorcycle to earn daily wages to pay for food, rent and school for their family. Our friends want to work and provide for their family. Poverty is shaming. But if there is no financial reserve, and a person works each day for that day's food, it is difficult to make the leap to a self-sustaining business. We're not giving away money willy nilly, but if we have a relationship with a person, and have seen their integrity and diligence over a period of time, and believe they have the competence to be financially responsible, we are compelled to step in and help as wisely as we can. A number of donor friends have joined us in these responses. Some of our responses are gifts, others are loans, and others are a mix of a gift and a loan.
“We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 TPT
Update on Pamela's health
We celebrate life and the 28 years that I have been on my cancer journey, 18 different chemotherapies, and a lifetime quota of radiation. It has been a journey. I had a CT scan the last week of September and the radiologist wrote that my disease is "stable." That's good news - although I would have preferred a report of "cancer not present and healed." But, God is sustaining me/us. His mercies are new every morning and we are grateful for His faithfulness. For the past four months, the greatest challenge has been the slow recovery time of my blood after chemo. This has meant blood and plasma transfusions, and injections to boost my immune system. The slow response time means chemo treatments are delayed by 1-3 weeks. We plan our lives in pencil - which is probably closer to reality anyway. This also impacted our ability to see many of you this summer when we were back in Minnesota. The physical symptoms are greater tiredness. I can't be as active as I used to be, and I spend more time reading and taking naps. While this is frustrating, we are still incredibly grateful that we can live here, and that I can receive good medical treatment from a wonderful team in the oncology department at the A
We have appreciated living in Kigali during this part of our journey. The city is clean, beautiful, and we live much less expensively than we would in the US. Between easy access to lakes, parks, great restaurants, easy transport, bi-monthly car free days (even seeing the President out walking) we have experienced a “way of escape” and a life that is victorious, during this season. We choose to celebrate with joy.
Thank you for your love and prayers and partnership with us! Bless you dear friends.
Pamela and Michael