But Then, We Had Compassion

palm tree with buildings behind it

Irene and her country, once torn apart by the evil of genocide, now rise from destruction with songs of praise.

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Child Survival Program: A Mom’s Life in Rwanda

family standing outside home

Clementine lives with her husband and four children in a small house made of mud in Kigali, Rwanda. When she was six months pregnant, she’d spend the day at the health center, volunteering to clean so she could take food home to her family.

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group of children looking at bugs

Of Bugs and Mountains

Precious children pointed and screamed at hundreds of bugs swarming to the lights. Even though orphaned or abandoned, these Rwandan children found joy in the beauty and simplicity of the bugs.

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a man showing a set of teeth to a child

A Compassion Alumnus Gives Back to His Community

We came to Rwanda with nothing and found that our family members in Rwanda had been killed during the genocide. Life was difficult because we were starting a new life in a new country with nothing — and we didn’t have hope for the future.

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red bucket in sink

The Luxury of Water and Hair Washing

In America, it’s easy to not think about our easy access to water. Or the fact that 783 million people — 11 percent of the global population — do not have access to safe drinking water, let alone bathing water.

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In the Void of Poverty

The running water in my comfy apartment cannot help the hurt in my heart today. The grande nonfat latte I picked up from my favorite coffee shop didn’t help, either.

American luxuries I once looked forward to now feel empty, as nothing fills the void that Africa left.

Someone once said, “Once you get the dust of Africa on your feet, it will never leave you.”

Every day further away from Rwanda, the more I ache to be there. It’s been six weeks since my return from Africa, yet some moments, I feel as if I just stepped off the plane and into this alternate reality called America.

What does a person do after experiencing poverty firsthand? (more…)

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Rwandan Genocide: Hope Lives

“I know there is a God because in Rwanda I shook hands with the devil.” – Major General Romeo Dallaire, Force Commander, United Nations Mission Assistance in Rwanda.

But where evil is strong, hope is stronger.

I’m an employee at Compassion. I work as an assistant for our International Program Communications Director. I love my job and I love working for Compassion.

However, for years my heart has ached to travel to East Africa. I wanted to see firsthand the children that haunted my dreams and now consume my days as I work to help release children from poverty.

Last year, my boss agreed to let me take a two-month leave of absence to work at a Rwandan orphanage. I just got back a couple weeks ago.

While in Kigali, I experienced more hope and more devastation than I thought possible. But it’s because of Compassion that I am able to bring you this story about love, hope and sorrow in Rwanda. About some orphans, some widows and some abandoned children who when they have nothing left, cling to Jesus. In the midst of extreme poverty, they choose hope.

Rwanda. It seeped into every part of me. The only phrase that seems appropriate for this country is “Devastating Beauty.”

In Kigali, I saw more beauty than words can express. However, in some of the same moments, the realities of poverty and sickness overwhelmed and haunted me. All I know is that it profoundly changed me.

Like many 25-year-old girls in America, before I left for Rwanda, I attempted to define some characteristics of young men of integrity. In Kigali, I found examples of those men.


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