By Mark Ellis, Special to ASSIST News Service
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS – September 17, 2015) — When Amanda Good, an American volunteer with Hope for Life Ministry in Kigali, Rwanda, first saw a street boy named Samuel, God’s rescuing Spirit spoke to her heart.
“He was sitting in front of me against the market wall, with a glue bottle in his mouth getting high,” Amanda recounted.
At first, he refused eye contact, as he stared glumly at his dirty, shoeless feet. Amanda attempted to engage him in conversation and was quickly overwhelmed by an intense odor.
“He reeked so strongly of glue that I had a headache within a few minutes of being near him,” she reported.
Despite the revolting smell, she asked if he was hungry and he said yes. Over dinner at a nearby restaurant, a friendship began to form that would impact both of their lives.
Over many more meals Samuel slowly opened up to Amanda and she learned about his heartbreaking background. “He hadn’t seen his father in 12 years and his mother is mentally ill, struggles with alcoholism, and is homeless. Having no other immediate family willing to care for him, Samuel left his mom and began living alone on the streets,” Amanda learned.
After their “dinner dates,” Christ’s compassion moved Amanda’s heart. “I would leave him and all I could do was cry. His face was written on my heart. Before falling asleep, I would lay in my bed thinking of him outside in the dark. At meals, I would look at my food wondering if he was hungry. All I could do was pray for God to have a plan. I haven’t felt so personally destroyed on the inside for someone ever before,” she recounted.
Amanda began to dream about Samuel coming to live at the transitional home for street boys operated by Hope for Life in Kigali. The home holds up to 24 boys, cares for their primary needs, provides Christian mentorship, schooling and vocational training.
Photo caption: Amanda with Samuel
About the writer: Mark Ellis is senior correspondent for the ASSIST News Service and also the founder of www.Godreports.com , a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions.
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