We Prayed, He Called
We Prayed, He Called
God calls us to persevere by faith, and then, with powerful grace, he protects and keeps us. It is a wonderfully encouraging name for the God we serve, yet it’s possible to let it pass through our eyes and into our brains without stopping to celebrate its glory. In Romans 15:5, Paul calls our Lord “the God of endurance.” This title really get’s at the center of where our hope is to be found. Our hope is not to be found in our willingness and ability to endure, but in God’s unshakable, enduring commitment to never turn from his work of grace. Our hope is that we have been welcomed into communion with One who will endure no matter what. Our hope of enduring is not to be found in our character or strength, but in our Lord’s. Because he will ever be faithful, we can bank on the fact that he will give us what we need to be faithful too. When difficulty exposes the weakness of our resolve and the limits of our strength, we do not have to panic, because he will endure even in those moments when we don’t feel able to do so ourselves. // Paul Tripp, New Morning Mercies
In 2016, Best Family Ministries (BFM) took the sponsorship program to the next level by starting Home Visit Reports. You probably received an email update that bore fruit from these reports. Through this initiative, branch managers from each sector visited the kids at home and followed a structured report that prompted updates on several key developmental checkpoints from physical to spiritual to emotional. Situations were being exposed that we were able to intervene in. There were tangible problems that could easily be solved. For example, we discovered that many of our children were sleeping on thin woven mats on the floor, or even the dirt floor itself. So we started a project to provide a mosquito net and mattress to every child in BFR, existing and incoming. Through these reports, we also realized that many of our children who suffered from HIV were not getting enough solid nutrition to combat the harsh side effects of their HIV medications, so we established a supplemental food allotment program to these children. But those were easy for the managers to describe and easy for BFM to fix. Then there were the tougher, more emotional or spiritual problems that were hard to determine, both in prompting the proper questions to the managers, and then the managers to navigate during the home visit. BFM tried being long-distance social workers, and as you can imagine, it simply wasn’t working.
BFM often joked that we simply needed a certified social worker, familiar with the struggles of our children and their communities, familiar with Rwandan culture, to come alongside Best Family Ministries and move to Rwanda, volunteer their skills, and work for us long-term. Lofty goal. We understood that. But God was listening, watching.
Fast forward to the Fall of 2017. BFM was becoming more and more frustrated that we couldn’t help as much as we wanted. We simply couldn’t form the right questions for the reports, instruct the managers the best way to harness the answers in the right manner, and simply be as effective as we wanted to be with the ministry God had entrusted to us. Our endurance was fading.
Then, all of a sudden out of the blue, we receive an email from Kim Aperloo.
I am looking for an organization where I can volunteer long-term with. I am a social worker who works in adult mental health. I have experience in youth work, educating and supporting adults and children with disabilities as well as child protection. I have 9 months experience working at orphanages in Rwanda and I speak conversational Kinyarwanda. I am very comfortable in Rwanda and would need no support in terms of finding my way around and managing a household (without electricity). I also have my TEFL certificate should I need to teach English. I am a committed follower of Jesus. I am wondering if BFR takes long-term volunteers.
Say what?! Did God just answer our ridiculous prayers in one paragraph? We’re pretty sure he did! He was ready to add on to a repertoire of miracles and blessings he built this ministry on. He wasn’t done with this work, and he’s the sustainer.
BFM had several calls and meetings with Kim, and the more we talked with her and heard her heart and passions, the more we loved her. She was exactly what we were looking for. We were exactly what she was looking for. We prayed for Kim. God called Kim to us. Kim is a go-getter, passionate about our ministry and the work she does. They will go beautifully together, hand in hand. So we were excited to bring her alongside us as an extension of BFM in Rwanda. She gladfully accepted.
Kim will have 3 main responsibilities as an extension of BFM in Rwanda. She will communicate daily with BFM stories and photos of the children and families you support so we can share them with you. She will work with the branch managers at each location performing home visits for all children in Kunda and training the staff how to best ask questions and complete reports. Finally, she will work extensively with 20 of our most at-risk children in each sector. She arrives in May and we couldn’t be more excited.
Please join us in prayer that the Lord will continue to prepare Kim for the hard work in front of her. Kim wrote a great blog about her journey to Best Family Rwanda. Feel free to read it here. We are so incredibly excited about Kim working with us and look forward to what the future holds for BFR!