Linda Seals and Unhui Roedder were told to expect 600 children for their outreach in Rwanda. They were stunned to find a hillside full of children instead.
“I said to God, ‘Father, you have to help us because we don’t know what to do!’” Roedder said.
Seals and Roedder, both employees of Global University, were part of a one week long outreach in Rwanda earlier this month. Prior to the event in 2013, both women had traveled to the same village while on assignment with Global University. While there, they noticed that only a dozen or so children were attending the church services.
“Children need to be ministered to,” Seals said. “People think that children can’t have a spiritual encounter. That’s simply not true.” Roedder felt the same way. “We both felt like something needed to be done for them.”
On returning to the states, they decided to go back to Rwanda specifically for the children. Both spent the next year gathering homemade dolls, bracelets, toys, crafts and clothes to give away as gifts. Parkcrest Dental Group in Springfield, Mo., even donated toothbrushes.
The return trip had a special meaning for Unhui. Her daughter, Mary, died suddenly of cancer just a few months before their first trip in 2013. The Roedder family decided to construct a building in Nyakabuye and dedicate it in her honor. They connected with missionaries Gary and Shirley Bohanon, who worked out the logistics of the building project and their return visit. Construction was finished in October, 2014, so Seals and Roedder packed their ten suitcases of gifts and flew to Rwanda to teach and dedicate the building.
The turnout was enormous. Over 1,200 children ages two to 15 were waiting for them when they arrived in the village. They filled the building to capacity. Most had to sit outside. Unbeknownst to them, the son of the local pastor had gone door to door throughout the area before their arrival to personally inviting every child. For six days, children walked up to three miles to come to the event.
After the outreach, Linda and Unhui helped dedicate the building. Important figures representing the Rwandan government were in attendance as well as members of the Rwandan Assemblies of God. They announced that because of the new building, electricity and a primary school would be coming to the community.
“This building changed the entire village,” Seals said. Roedder agreed. “Rwanda has hope.”
To find out more about Global University and its outreaches, contact Nicole Vicari, Executive Director of Advancement, at email@example.com or call at 417-862-9533.