Category Archives: Rwanda

The 8th Annual Scramble for the Kids

Today is the last day to register for the early bird pricing on The 8th Annual Scramble for the Kids.     Want to know why I think you should come golf?   Or Volunteer?  Or Donate?   Here are the top 10 reasons I love the Scramble for the Kids

10.    Our Volunteers.

I love the team of people who come out every year to run contests, greet golfers, haul water and generally cheer on the play.    I love watching my kids and my friend’s kids learn that there is no better fun than helping others.


9.      Nifty T-Shirts and Signs and Awards.

golf bannerI love the fact we run a quality tournament and that its all donated or underwritten by sponsors.  I love Anderson Signs for their annual donation of our signage.  I love Liberty Bible Church for massive quantities of printing and advertising and t-shirts.    I love my company for paper and pencils and staples and such.  I love Woodin’ You for beautiful awards.  All of those donations means more for kids.

8.    Great Prizes.

Scramble for the kids logo


Weekends in Sun River.   Fishing Trips.  Rounds of Golf.  Massage.   Raffle and Contests and its all donated.

7.   Fun Contests.

Closest to the Pin.  Happy Gilmore.   Long Drive.    We have a great time.

golf swing

6  .  Great Golf

golf carts

18 holes at Camas Meadows Golf Course.   Best Ball Scramble.   Throws and String and all the bells and whistles.  You can’t golf?    Its a Scramble people – just for fun – grab a ringer and come out!

5.   Generous Sponsors

Back Camera

Back Camera

Oh My Goodness.    I love Peace Health Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center.   I love Tri-Tech Heating and Cooling.  I love Les Schwab Tire Centers.    Wade Au at State Farm.    Simple Lawns.    O’Ryan Industries.  Bonnie Irwin at Real Living.  Stan Berkey at Northwest Funding Group.   The Holt Group.   Rush Process.   And the 100 other hole sponsors and prize sponsors and raffle donors.   You inspire me.

4.   Partnerships

I love watching a church partner with a whole pile of local businesses and individuals to help vulnerable kids.   Community together.  It’s what is right about our world.


3.  Open House Ministries.

I love that this year proceeds from the Scramble for the Kids are going to help purchase gym equipment for the new facility at Open House Ministries.  There is something so right about a day of golf that helps homeless kids play ball.  Fun can heal.


2. Foster Kids through Bridge the Gap


Proceeds from this year’s tournament will help foster kids here in Clark County with back to school fees.    So golfers will help foster kids play fall sports.  Or rent band instruments.  Buy new shoes.    I really love golf.

1.  This Baby.


This beautiful child was the first baby born at the Ndengera Clinic in Gisenyi, Rwanda.  She was born last night.  She is why I love golf.  For the past 8 years the Scramble for the Kids has provided support to the Ndengera Clinic, Ndengera School, clean water well and general support to at risk children in Rwanda.  This baby girl had a safe place to come into the world because of golf.    It really does not get better than that.

So sign up.     Come golf.  Donate.   Never been a better reason to golf.   Or ten reasons.

Sign Up Here







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Faith like Apples

This photo makes me so happy!   Our volunteer is planting one of 200 apple trees going in at the Ndengera site.   I love his helper.  I can’t wait to see a photo of her eating one of the apples.   I can’t look at these photos too long or read the blogs too often or I have an urge to drive to the airport and get on a plane.

Check out Dr. Chris Finley’s blog today called Faith Like Apples and Kevin Rose’s blog called Not Just Another Day.   They both made me cry.  Might be the pregnancy hormones but I don’t think so.

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The Ndengera Clinic and well dedication

In about a week one of the doctors who traveled with us to Rwanda in June 2010 is headed back to that great green country.   He will be spending some time in the clinic doing ongoing training for the local doctors and nurses.  He’ll also get to attend the official medical clinic and community well dedication.   It took a year and a half and an incredible amount of red tape but now The Ndengera Clinic is officially certified with the governmemt.   The well also had more bumps and twists than we ever imagined but it too is up and running.  To celebrate they are having a ceremony.    I had the great priveledge of writing a letter to be read on behalf of our church and team.    This whole project continues to be one of my greatest joys.    Here is what I wrote.   I wish I could be there to read it myself.

Greetings from Liberty Bible Church and the medical partners in the United States.   It is an honor to be here at the dedication of the Ndengera Clinic and well.   On this happy day, we echo the words of Paul in Philippians 1: 3-5

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

We honor the commitment of our brothers and sisters in Rwanda as you invest in this clinic and well.  We trust that your efforts will continue and broaden in support though out the community.

It is our hope that this clinic will provide compassionate care to the people in Gisenyi and to the children of the Ndengera Foundation.   It is our desire that the clean water from this well will support the good health of the community.

More than that though, it’s our prayer that all who come in contact with this facility will feel the love of Christ and the encouragement of being served by those who love Jesus.

We have been blessed by your friendship and thank you for the opportunity to partner with you in this great work.

I hope they take a lot of pictures.


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The Scramble for the Orphans

So if you are wondering where I’ve been for the last two weeks and why in the world I’ve been a neglectful blog parent I’ll have to answer with a four letter word.  


My company is the lead sponsor for a charity golf tournament.   The Scramble for the Orphans benefits the Ndengera Foundation in Gisenyi, Rwanda.  The proceeds have been used to build classrooms, dig a clean water well, outfit a medical clinic and generally make life better for lots of kids.

I’m the tournament director.   This is not as impressive as it sounds.   It mostly means that annually, I lose all my pride and any sense of balance in my life.  I spend at least a month begging everyone I know and many people I do not know to sponsor holes, donate prizes, agree to volunteer or come out and golf.   It means my family and friends come through and do an enormous amount of work.  It means my office becomes a storage unit for golf balls, raffle prizes, sponsor bling and mulligan fun packs.   It means that every August I’m overwhelmed by people’s generosity, by their compassion and creativity and by how God can make up the difference when I drop the ball.

I have a little secret for you.   I’ve been on a golf course exactly three times.   Year one, two and three of the Scramble for the Orphans. Three years ago I knew nothing about golf.   I still haven’t ever swung a club.    I’ve learned a lot though about the game.  Here’s the three most important things I know about running a successful tournament.

1.  Hungry golfers are not happy golfers.

2.   Thirsty golfers are not happy golfers.

3.   Happy golfers donate more money than unhappy golfers.

Saturday was the big day and it was also the hottest day of the year.  We went through twelve cases of water for 100 golfers and 20 or so volunteers.    A pile of little girls got together with the help of a very dedicated mother and ran a lemonade stand at the tee box of hole 15.   They blew through five bags of ice.      The senior group at our church made cookies.   The favorites appeared to be the chocolate chip coconut.    I’m not a coconut fan but I ate several peanut butter cookies and one or two (okay maybe three) rice crispie treats.

A very impressive golfer almost won a new car.    The same guy had a shot at a million dollars.    It’s hard to get a hole in one from one hundred and sixty-five yards.    He missed.   If he’d made it I would have shamelessly asked for a donation.  Fair warning to next year’s winner.   Someone with the lucky raffle ticket number went home with a five hundred dollar gift card to a local spa.    I almost tripped her on the way out and stole the card.   This probably would not have helped with the public relations for next year’s tournament so I resisted. It looked like people had a good time.   I sure did.

This morning my mom and I cleaned out my office.   We recycled leftover brochures and random wrappers.   We put back all the office supplies I pilfered on Friday to outfit the tournament.   We put together a box of supplies for next year.   I made a list of the final details; tax receipts and thank you’s.     Then my favorite part; we counted the money and backed out the expenses.    I know it, the fact that accounting is my favorite part just proves I’m a nerd.   I won’t know a final number for a week or so, there are always donations and receipts that straggle in.      I can tell you though that we came in this year right around $12,000.  This should pay for the final project on our to do list; a Talapia fish farm.     I’m still grinning.      It turns out I love golf.

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Rwanda Blogs

Just for fun here are my favorite blogs from last year’s trip.

10. Graduation

9.  Things I learned in Rwanda

8.  The Little Guy

7.  A lesson in Rwanda

6. Church

5.  World Cup

4.  Beans, Salt and Hope

3.  Duct Tape

2.  Sewing

1.  Relative Truth

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Rwanda, a year later

It’s been a year.   My husband commented that I am still feeling the effects of my trip to Rwanda.    I think he was referring to the fact that I’ve got a month to go on my INH treatment for dormant tuberculosis.   I have a countdown going to a big forbidden feast involving lots of chocolate and cheese.   Avocados too.     My family is counting down too.  One of the side effects of the meds is irritability.    I’m so sorry.   Fun times.

When you drive into the compound in Gisenyi, Rwanda that houses the clinic and school, children smile and run.   They follow the truck down the dirt road yelling and waving.   I’ve never felt so welcomed and humbled and inadequate and loved and overwhelmed all at the same time.

Thoughts of Rwanda still hit me randomly and with full force.  Travel anywhere does that.  The memories pop up at the oddest times. My life is intertwined with visions of Rwanda.  Last night I was scraping leftovers off plates into the garbage.   My inner dialogue kicked in and was reminding me to breathe deep, pray for a good harvest in Rwanda and not yell at anyone who didn’t eat their full portion.   I know it’s not completely rational.    I recognize that you can’t mail leftovers overseas.   It still hurts to think of hungry kids and food in garbage.

When I held a child who had no parents and who could not speak my language, my heart grew.  I hold my own daughter tighter now.

When I sat in a field surrounded by banana trees baking in the sun and sewed buttons on rags it put a perspective on my own clothing budget that didn’t shift quickly when I came home.

When I ate mangos and avocados ripened on the tree it makes me grin at the inferior fruit here.   I miss the tree tomatoes too.

When I hear Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone, I’m instantly transported to a church with a tin roof and loud rain pouring down.   Choir practice in the dark swatting mosquitoes.   My single most embarrassing moment and a personal triumph over pride.   The term fools for Christ takes on new meaning.

When I see someone who traveled with me, I am grateful.   Their eyes have seen what I saw.    When someone agrees to help with a fundraiser I am grateful.    When I get an email from Rwanda and see progress on our projects, I am grateful.    When I take a shower and the water is warm and clean, I am grateful.

My spouse is right.  I’m still feeling the effects.   Some good.  Some painful.   All worth it.


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To Whine or Not

I brought home a souvenier from Rwanda.   Well.  Maybe.  Maybe its a souvenier I’ve been carrying around for who knows how long.   At any rate, its official.   I had two positive skin tests for tuberuclosis.   I would like to state the next sentance in very large letters.  I AM NOT CONTAGIOUS.  I HAVE NEVER BEEN CONTAGIOUS.   I thought about getting a T-shirt that had the same thing but decided a blog post might have the same effect.   I have dormant TB and am on nine months of medications.  At the end of the nine months I will gratefully be finished and will never again have to think about TB.   I’ll also never have to have another TB skin test.

The last several days I’ve had an internal battle with myself.   The whiney half of me wants to tell everyone that I think it stinks that I can’t have a whole pile of foods I love for the nine months I’m on the meds.  I have learned all about Tyramine and Histamine and liver swelling and high blood pressure.   I’ve read and reread the drug information sheet several times.    The pitiful half of myself is staring at my coffee pot and wondering if really one cup of coffee will really interact all that much and isn’t cheddar cheese worth a little severe high blood pressure?

I had another reminder this morning that gratitude really is the way to go.   I had a conversation with someone who had tuberculosis as a child.  Not the dormant kind.   Okay fine. Keep the chocolate and the coffee.   I’m grateful.

A couple of days ago someone who has already traveled this particular path emailed and said something that just made me smile. He said “welcome to the positive side”.   Another TB survivor told me its great I’ve converted and welcome aboard.   The fact is that once I’m done with the treatment, bring it on baby.    This particular body is set to go.  I have immunity now to Yellow Fever, Hepatitits A and B, Typhoid, Polio, Tetnus, and a whole pile of other prevoiusly deadly diseases.  Doesn’t this make you grateful to live in this century?   As a personal protest and committement to myself to try and not whine, I signed up for next year’s Warrier Dash.   3 miles.  Lots of mud.   This is fabulous.   This whole adventure makes me want to get on a plane and go somewhere to help push back on the darkness.    Wanna come?


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