The tiny hunter green SUV was our transport for the week. A nod to home and her roots was the very large magnetic sign that proudly yelled “OU.”
One of the regular visitors from the states sees it as his duty to turn the sign upside down every time he sees it. The Oklahoma University vs Oklahoma State rivalry is well and alive even in Africa!
The cold air it breathed on us was our salvation in the hot afternoons. With five people sandwiched inside the black interior, my boys being over six feet tall, we were hot messes.
The only air-conditioning in the country seemed to be reserved to a few cars. Jamie was one of those few to have one. Lucky us!
Jamie Boiles is an amazing woman. I sit in awe of her. She left the comforts and familiarity of home as we know it—to carve out a new life in the tiny country of Rwanda.
She left her job, her friends, her family and settled thousands of miles away in a land we often view as wild and untamed, but I found to be very civilized and modern on many levels.
A country of brokenness being stitched back together.
A country of opportunity for some, where education is esteemed, Christianity is embraced, and business can thrive.
She commissioned my sons to film a mini documentary of her work so she can use it for fundraising. I got to tag along and watch the fascinating stories unfold and the participants bloom.
I fell in love.
But the statistics are appalling, the road to success narrow and winding.
*Seventy percent of the country are between the ages of fourteen and thirty-five. The parents and siblings of many of these teens and young adults are dead—victims of the 1994 genocide .
*Of these who are of employment age, (18)— fifty percent are unemployed.Though the country has made tremendous strides, there are simply not enough jobs to go around.
Since so many are orphans, it is basically a whole generation raising themselves. The advice they seek for morality, sexuality, ethics etc…are received from their peers rather than parents. Nothing is even taught in the schools.
So rumor and misinformation are king.
Jamie arrived in Africa with a plan to do the usual missionary work. But God had a different idea. She began to see the huge need for a place for the girls to transition to from high school and college.
Since these girls have been educated, and there are not enough jobs available, these girls are told that they should now start a business once they graduated.
We all know that just because a person has a college degree or are very bright, does NOT mean they know the first thing about entrepreneurship.
She began to dream
She began to plan
She began to implement.
This dream manifested into a business training school for these young women— infused with christian ethics and scheduled bible classes.
DUHU was born. (Duhugurane means “Let us learn from one another”).
Rwandan business women were found to become mentors and offer internships. Rwandan trainers were hired to teach everything from how to write a business plan and pay your taxes, to “Why Wait” and the sanctity of life.
Some had no clue a baby was actually a baby until it was born. One student believed her boyfriend when he told her his kidneys would explode if she didn’t have sex with him.
They had no clue about STD’s and other sexually transmitted diseases. Thus the Godly “Sex Education” classes were added.
What began as classes to infuse entrepreneurship with faith, became whole life teaching.
Thank you Jamie for “just going with it” and letting God lead
you to a place you never thought you would be.
For more information go to Belayglobal.org
Deut 10:12 …Fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
-In what ways do you need to let go and let God lead you?