We are very grateful to the Lord that our pupils have returned to school for a new academic year and that even more new kids are joining our school. The surrounding communities have realized that there is a difference between a child raised at Bright Future School and other schools around us. We also thank God that all of our teachers are back and two more teachers have joined us this year.
We closed the 2019 school year with high expectations for our primary six candidates who sat for their National Primary Leaving Exams. Now, join us in praising our God and celebrate with us their achievement. All the pupils who sat for these exams passed with high grades.
We began the new school year with some climatic changes and we are experiencing a lot more rain than usual.
Mr. Ibrahim N. Mugisha
Graduates of Primary 6 and Nursery Class!
It was a fun-filled time for our Primary Six pupils as they graduated and prepared to join Secondary School/High School in January 2020. It was also exciting for the graduating Nursery Class to move on into the Primary School. This past December was a time when the children celebrated with their teachers and wished them a Merry Christmas.
Agnes Uwamwiza (above), teaches Nursery Middle class
Allen Mutoni (above), teaches Nursery Top class
Photos from our Christmas Meal
These photos are of the children enjoying a Christmas meal celebration. The top photo is all the children who were gifted the dinner by their sponsors.
It was a lot of fun for everyone. Thank you!
Update from the U.S. Office
As God has built our team to move forward, I am excited to play my part in supporting everyone as we look to energize and expand our impact on the people of Rwanda through the work of ABFM.
As the new Executive Director, I am anxious to begin working with all our ABFM team members and partners. With new members on our board providing direction and support, I believe that God can use each of us to play our part in reaching, teaching, and equipping future leaders of Rwanda for Christ.
With new team members and ideas, I believe that we can improve upon the excellent foundation that was laid by our predecessors. Our team is already making progress in improving child sponsorship, teacher training, medical health, physical school conditions, and communications between ABFM, our partners, and our Rwandan friends.
As for a new theme for 2020, “Let’s Join God in His Work” seems to be an appropriate theme as we need to continue to pray, seek His guidance, follow His lead, and join Him in His work. We look to God to continue to provide for our every need.
Please continue to hold hands with us in ministry so that we can do all that God has called us to do to help provide a bright future for some wonderful brothers and sisters in Rwanda!
ABFM Executive Director
Meet the New ABFM
The ABFM staff is so excited to introduce our new Executive Director! We have been praying for God to send someone to fill this position for a number of years. We were so thankful when Michael England stepped up to take on this new role after he visited the ministry in Rwanda this summer. Michael and his wife, Jody have three grown children. Their youngest daughter, Tate, has been to Rwanda three times and is studying to become a Classical Christian Educator so that she can go back to Rwanda someday and help train teachers there in the Classical Christian method of teaching.
Michael has committed to this new role along side his regular profession as a senior project management consultant. This means that he is assisting the leading companies in various industries in the establishment, design and implementation of improved project management offices (PMO) and processes to manage projects, programs, and portfolios for departments, organizations, and enterprises. Michael helps these companies to develop Enterprise Project Management (EPM) solutions that improve the project management processes of project prioritization and selection, project definition, project planning, resource management, project tracking, and project execution, control, and closure.
Please help us welcome Michael to the ABFM family as we work together to help give hope for a bright future to some bright kids in Rwanda!
Photos of the Old and New Bathroom Facilities
The returning Ambrose mission team from Rwanda last year (2019) began talking about the need for improved bathroom facilities at Bright Future School. The financial backing was provided anonymously and now they are built!
Many of our sponsors gave special Christmas gifts last year to their sponsored child. This photo below is Sharon who received a goat. This gift provides her family milk, which they can both consume and sell to earn money for other necessities.
The Ambrose School will be sending a Mission Delegation led by Hilary Dotters this summer 2020.
Amanda Patchin, who was part of the trip last year, writes "we are excited about how the trip is coming together. Hilary, Michael, Tate, and Abby will be returning this year. Two new students are also going and are very excited for the work we are doing. We are having our second planning meeting this Monday evening where we will be discussing the history and culture of Rwanda, the book Left to Tell, and our teacher training plans. We will also be spending time in prayer as a group, lifting up the Bright Future School community, our team, and Jackson Nassir: another student who planned to come but cannot because of his recent cancer diagnosis. The team will travel from the 26th of May through the 10th of June and we are currently grateful for significant savings on our plane tickets. Please continue to pray for us that our work will be helpful to the school, that the bonds of community will grow between BFS and Ambrose, and that our team will grow together."
*Please come and join us at our next Ambrose team meeting on Thursday, March 19th, at 3:15 p.m. in the Ambrose conference room. You and your ideas will be welcome!
ACTIVITY COORDINATOR NEEDED:
We are looking for a volunteer to coordinate two hands-on activities for Ambrose students each school year. One activity will be in the Fall and one in the Spring. If you're interested in learning more about this fun way to get involved with ABFM and Ambrose, please contact our office!
Meet Joshua Twagirayesu
Pastor Patrick's eldest son, Joshua is now attending The Ambrose School as a ninth grader and will be finishing his high school studies there. Carol Thompson, math teacher at Ambrose, is hosting him, along with her family.
Joshua is off to a good start in transitioning to school at Ambrose. The hardest subjects for him have been in the humanities. He is in the process of learning how to read well and be part of class discussions as the students consider The Great Ideas connected to the books they are reading. In just this short time, he has become so much more comfortable taking part in discussions with his classmates and with speaking and presenting. With history, he jumped into the middle of the school year that has had an emphasis on American history, so he's done incredibly well, given the circumstances. His favorite subjects so far are biology, which he expected to love, and algebra, which has come as a total surprise to him.
Outside of school, he's looking forward to spring and warmer weather! Soccer starts in March, and he is so excited for that. He has his cleats now and has been hitting the gym to get ready. He is missing his family and friends from home, but he is in good spirits.
If you would like to help defray ongoing expenses for Joshua, please consider writing a check out to Carol Thompson and mail it to Amanda Patchin in care of The Ambrose School at 6100 N. Locust Grove Rd., Meridian, Idaho 83646. These monies will be used for his living and travel expenses while he is attending The Ambrose School.
A Trip to Rwanda
by Michael England, ABFM Executive Director
(pictured Michael, Tate and Violette)
Wow! What a trip.
My expectations, initially, were quite low. The Ambrose School had not sent a group to Rwanda the previous summer and this trip consisted of only 5 persons. Among the travelers: two Ambrose teachers, a college student who wanted to teach in Rwanda someday, her dad, and a lone 11th grader.
Of course, I was the dad traveling to Rwanda to check out the Bright Future School and see if it was a good idea to support my daughter’s desire to teach there. She had been there twice before and even though suffered through some health issues both times, felt called to work there after college. Rwanda was her second “home”.
I was sufficiently prepared for the conditions given the stories told to me by my daughter. I felt well led by the two Ambrose teachers who had visited Rwanda previously. And the 11th grader turned out to be a great team member.
What I did not expect... was how the Lord was going to use such a small, but perfectly qualified team. Amanda and Hilary, dedicated servants with hearts to bring classical Christian education to Rwanda, led the group and provided much needed teacher training as well as answering a billion of my questions. Tate, with her desire to serve Rwandans, was ready to blaze the trail for future Ambrose students and assisted with the teacher training. Abby, the remarkable 11th grader, was a magnet to all the Rwandan children she met and gracefully shared the love of Christ. And I, who thought my biggest contribution would be playing soccer with the kids, was overcome with the desire to help the Bright Future School any way I could. Little did I know at the time that the Lord had plans for me to use my extensive project management background.
We had our issues during the trip. We continued to pray daily watching the Lord answer our prayers. Our local guide, Bill, kept us on track and God used his vast Rwandan network to help us accomplish more than we ever expected or imagined. We visited a genocide memorial, taught a seminar and attended a service at Pastor Patrick’s church, visited numerous secondary schools, made initial steps toward strategic alliances, attended a Rwandan wedding, visited a reconciliation village, took hundreds of child sponsorship photos, handed out gifts to children, met our sponsored children, taught teachers, gave a sermon message at the school, played with the kids, visited an amazing game preserve, and of course, took part in a soccer game with about 40 kids.
I praise the Lord for His amazing grace, mercy, and love. To Him be the glory for all that He accomplished during our trip.
It's a Gift
by Amanda Patchin - 11th Grade Teacher of Medieval Humanities & Junior High Cross Country at The Ambrose School
In the five years I have been traveling to Rwanda, I have frequently found myself assessing and reassessing the value of the work we do there. Short-term missions can be very problematic and exploitative and I don’t want to be a part of an unhealthy ministry relationship. I worry about whether or not our time is well-used, whether or not we would be better off simply sending money, whether or not the money we give is being used well. A sensitive conscience is a good thing but that sensitive conscience can turn into an excuse-making machine.
The journey to Kigali is a long one and my bones and muscles ache after enough hours sitting in the discomforts of coach. My summers are precious times of work and rest in my annual schedule and the commitment of the trip cuts into my plans.
Sometimes my worries over the effectiveness of the trip are just thinly disguised laziness and selfishness.
Our trip in the summer of 2019 saw the height of these conflicting anxieties for usefulness and concerns for personal weaknesses. I had just worked through the hardest year of my teaching career and was profoundly wearied. Our group was smaller than any I had gone with and our plan was less sure than usual. Would we be able to do anything useful? Would I be even more utterly exhausted at the end of it? I wasn’t sure and I wasn’t very hopeful.
Fortunately, God, in His infinite grace and mercy, offered me a gift of affirmation and renewal during our two weeks in Rwanda. Concerned with whether or not we were being useful, I was forced to wait several days where nothing obvious was done and we seemed to be just relaxing. Concerned that those on the trip were not having the experience they expected, I had to deal with changed plans and even less certain outcomes. Waiting, trying to be patient, I was ready to receive the gifts God had prepared.
One day we were able to visit a reconciliation village and witness forgiveness in the lives of genocide survivors and perpetrators. Another day, one member of our group was able to teach on marriage. Another day, we all got to visit a wonderful model school that will be inspiring our work at Bright Future School for years. At our usual teacher training I was surprised and delighted to discover how significantly the teachers’ English skills had improved over the years. Further, one of our own team members - a former student of mine - demonstrated a profound understanding and appreciation of the kind of education we are trying to cultivate at Bright Future School. The work we have been trying to do, development work at the school, has been bearing fruit. The long-term relationships we have been committed to are deepening and in those deeper relationships we now trust each other more.
The Lord’s work is longer than our lifetimes. His measurements of success are, naturally, different than ours. Still, occasionally, we get to glimpse the “already” in the “not-yet” of our lives and we get to see a bit of what He is doing through our efforts.
SPONSOR A CHILD TODAY!
Every child needs an education. The children in Rwanda have a difficult time obtaining an education because there are few schools and the children must pay to attend them. Many Rwandan parents cannot afford to send their children to school.
For only $35.00 a month, you can sponsor 5 year oldSheilah Mbabazi. When she receives a sponsor, she will receive a Christian education, scholastic materials, a uniform, sanitary supplies and a health insurance card.
If you believe that God is calling you to reach out to Sheilah, please email our ABFM office or call (208) 871-1075.
Child Sponsorship Status Update:
Currently, 296 Bright Future School students are sponsored out of the 540 students at this school.
Visit "Africa Bright Future Ministries"! You can keep up with what is happening, see photos, and share it with your friends. This is a great way to get the word out to more people who God may call to help give a bright future to a bright child!
Praises & Prayer Requests
We praise God for BFS students' and teachers' good health and hard work for their success.
Pray for all BFS students.
Pray for unsponsored students who are in need of sponsors.
What is BFS?
Bright Future School is a Christian school, established by AHM-Rwanda, a non-denominational Christian organization with a mandate to raise Godly leaders for tomorrow. Understanding that God is the source of every good act and plans that an individual may have, we recognize the need for teaching and fellowship with God in our academic calendar. This will instill in them spiritual values at a tender age.
To find out more about how you or your organization can partner with ABFM to further this God-given vision, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (208) 871-1075 to request one of the following partner information packets: Individual, Church, School, Business, ABFM Representative.