2013: From Sucking to Singing

Saying GoodbyeLooking back on 2013, my heart is so filled with awe and joy at all that God has accomplished over 12 months.  Let’s just say that my heart went from a valley to a peak!


Through the inspiring stories of 30 university students in Rwanda and 12 students in Uganda!  Finding myself back in Africa in October was a miracle all it’s own, but my time in Rwanda and Uganda reminded me that hard work, ambition and a bunch of faith can change not only individuals but entire communities.

I met Congolese refuges that staffed and funded a school in the refuge camp because nothing was available to them.  Students from their tiny school are outshining students at other prestigious private schools in national testing and qualifying for government prizes.

I visited a one-room tent home of a Rwandan family recently placed in refuge status in their own country when the government of Tanzania evicted them.  The only daughter in the family was confident that she would help her family and community through this crisis.  She speaks with passion and confidence and dreams of being, “that leader who will unite Rwandese.”  With style and beauty, she busts through gender boundaries and hopes someday to employ many of her countrymen–providing  employment and stability.

I met a young woman that was orphaned in the 1994 genocide that could talk to the sorrow of her loss openly and honestly. Yet, through God’s grace, she is a healthy young person with dreams and hope.  She told me, “I lost both parents, but I can be someone!”  I was blown away by her grace but completely leveled when I learned that she had  a wicked sense of humor and she regularly does stand-up comedy at her university!

And there are so many other stories!  God really blew me away with one amazing story after another and blessed me to get to know–and of course, fall in love with–these students.  But more than that, I am in their debt. These young adults showered one another and me with love and care.  As a group, they live out the ideal of Godly community with kindness (sharing resources), generosity (skipping a meal, so a friend can eat) and so much love. And these are just a portion of the young leaders that These Numbers Have Faces are empowering throughout Africa!

I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with them and am scheming a way to get myself back to Rwanda in 2014.  Today is the final day of 2013 giving and These Numbers Have Faces have raised over 90% of their year-end goal of $75,000.  I would really loved to see them go past their goal and be able to empower even more students.  Take a look at this video that I helped with and see if that doesn’t inspire you some!  Any amount you give will make an impact and will be doubled by a matching gift through tonight!


One thought on “2013: From Sucking to Singing

  1. Thanks for your share, Tina. Last year, I too made a friend from Rwanda. He is studying in Beijing and is one of the most gentle hearts I know. Only caught a glimpse of his story, but from the little I know, it’s amazing he’s where he is now. Glad your organization is in the business of supporting these amazing friends!

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