Deo Rwamuhingi, his wife, Felecia, his son, Gasore, and his grandson stand outside the three-bedroom house built for them by Compassion teens.
Compassion-sponsored teens attending a national solidarity camp in March 2003 built two houses in the northern Rwandan province of Kibuye. One of the homes went to a widow while the other was built for an older couple caring for their orphaned grandchildren.
The Compassion-run solidarity camps are held annually for project youth during the long vacations for secondary and vocational schools. The home construction projects were part of a vocational training program in which the teens made the bricks while a local church contributed the roofing tiles and shutters.
Along with the building projects, the youth also spent time in Bible study and prayer as well as learning about the history of Rwanda and its social and economic development. Discussions about HIV/AIDS were also an important part of the camp program.
Sent by God
"These children were sent by God to help me," said Tabu Susan, a widow who lives alone. "Before, I slept in a leaky thatched house with no doors or windows. Now I have a tiled roof and doors and windows. You can see how wonderful Jesus is.
"I have no paying job," she went on to say, "but I make rope to sell in the market. I had no hope to be settled in a house before this. My husband died long ago and my three children are gone. Two got lost during the war (the genocide in 1994). My youngest son is in prison."
This physical expression of God's love has resulted in spiritual fruit. "It is through Compassion that I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior," Susan said. "The organization is a true manifestation of God's love."
Another recipient of a home was the Rwamuhingi family. "This is the amazing grace of Jesus," said Deo Rwamuhingi. "My wife cried when we entered our new house; we thought it was a dream to have such a house at our age."
Deo and his wife, Felecia, care for their son, Gasore Tuyishimire, who attends Rubengera Student Center (RW-536) in Kibuye province. They also care for their two grandsons, whose parents are dead.
"Compassion's concern is to serve," Deo said. "They not only help children but also older people like me; I'm 61 years old. I never in my life thought I would live in a permanent house with doors. The children of Compassion showed me and my family real love."
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