“You are the light of the world… In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” Matthew 5:14,16 (NIV).

During this Holiday season, we celebrate the Father for giving us His Son. We remember in our hearts the bright radiance of the northern star, guiding the wise men to where their Savior would be waiting, clothed in flesh as a newborn baby. And most of all, we anticipate the pure goodness of that bright light shining in our everyday lives. Whether it is a miracle He works in the life of a loved one, a small act of kindness, a hand to hold, or simply the presence of His Holy Spirit, we are now and forevermore surrounded by that light.

New Star Youth Academy

God is shining His light in Rwanda as the Edify team celebrates ten years of operations there. New Star Youth Academy, located in Kigali, Rwanda, celebrates alongside them as they experience the untold blessings of God through their partnership with Edify.

New Star Youth Academy was established through the call of God on a man named Isai Robert Uwitonze. Isai remembers when he first had the vision to bring Christ-centered education to Kigali, “I used to see children who did not have access to quality education… [spending] most of their time doing things that could not allow them to have a bright future… they could not even go to church. [This reality] always broke my heart and is where I derived my inspiration.”

In light of the inspiration God gave Isai, New Star Youth Academy finally became a reality in 2014. The newly-formed school was changing lives throughout the community, and 238 students were in attendance. As they faced the financial pressures of renting school space, New Star Youth Academy almost had to close its doors.

God Makes a Way

Isai recalls God’s faithfulness, shone through His work in Edify, during this hardship, “Our school was going through challenges that almost led to the closure of [the] school… our school premises were taken away, and we lost a lot of students… [until] one of the Edify staff was in our locality looking for new schools, and on their way, they came across our school.” 

God’s timing was nothing short of perfection, and Edify’s outstretched, helping hand was the spark that New Star Youth Academy needed. Edify brought training, encouragement, and prayers in abundance, and the once weary hearts of the New Star Youth Academy staff grew lighter with each new day. When 2020 brought COVID-19, Edify’s partner, Goshen Finance, even lent New Star Youth Camp 50M Francs. This loan opened the door for the construction of the nine new classrooms they needed, creating space to grow from 238 students to 659 students.

Isai comments on the partnership, “Edify Rwanda, through Goshen, did not despise our humble beginning. The doors were never closed each time we reached out to Edify — we got the needed support. We now have a sense of belonging because we have our premises.”

How We Can Respond This Holiday Season

In light of this miracle, New Star Youth Academy not only brought in more students, but they also taught with excellence so that the students could shine bright. New Star Youth Academy brought 64 students to sit for national exams, and every one of them received the highest grade. Amid a world that can be dark at times, may we be the shining light that helps guide the path for those around us. This Holiday Season, may we be the shining Light that helps guide the path for those around us.