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Judy’s Kilimanjaro 2020 Food Campaign

One-time donations:
Amount Raised: $3,194
  • $20,000
    One-time Goal
  • $16,806
    One-time Still Needed
  • 11
    Days to Go

Hello Everyone! 

I couldn't be more excited to share about this once in a lifetime opportunity to climb to the highest height of Africa with an amazing team of 11 brave, badass women! And we are doing it for the country of Rwanda!! Specifically, we will be representing Africa New Life and raising support and awareness for their Food Program. With a team goal of $170,000 we will be able to provide more than 200,000 meals for kids in Rwanda!!!! We are women from across the US of varying ages with different stories and walking through different seasons of life, but we are connected by our love for "the land of a thousand hills”.  Take a look at my amazing team below!! Tanna, Charlotte, Jordan, Brooke, Ashleigh, Leslie, Anne, Michelle, Alisha, Renata and I’m in there too

Personally, I am climbing because the beautiful country of Rwanda and its strong, resilient, welcoming people brought me back to life after the death of my husband and the decade long period of suffering prior, that left my heart and my spirit broken, lost, emptied out, exhausted.  The incredible people of  Rwanda have experience the deepest depths of darkness and emerged shining with the purest, brightest light.  Seeing and experiencing first hand the way they love, connect, show compassion, worship, and their model of forgiveness impacted me greatly and they helped to set my life in a direction I could not have known. 

Prior to my first visit to Rwanda, my heart was flatlined. I was deeply grieving the loss of my husband after a ten year war with ALS, Lou Gehrigs Disease. Much of the suffering I witnessed and experienced left me traumatized and desperate for healing. I was breathing, but wasn't fully living. I began to pray for God to make my heart burn for something...anything. To make it beat again. To give me a purpose and a passion. Then, in 2017, I had an opportunity to travel to Rwanda with IF;Gathering. I didn't know it at the time, but God would use Rwanda to answer my prayers. I remember clearly the moment I set foot on Rwandan soil...on the tarmac at the Kigali airport...I felt something stir in my chest. It was faint but it was sure. My heart began to come alive. I knew something was happening. I just didn't know what. Throughout my time there God worked healing miracles every day and by the time I left Rwanda that first trip my heart was aflame with new life. I was leaving a different person than I arrived, though it would take months for me to process and understand it. Today, I have visited Rwanda a couple of times and am honored to sponsor a young boy, Jean Baptiste, through school and so far I have sponsored two women through the vocational training program. And NOW I get to climb Kilimanjaro to feed children, like my sweet Jean Baptiste, to ensure their little bodies have at least one meal a day to help grow and be healthy and be successful in school.

Africa New Life exists to transform lives and communities in Rwanda and their Food Program is one component of that.  It helps to provide school lunches to children who otherwise would get little or no food to eat because the reality in Rwanda is that many don't know where their next meal is coming from.These children work hard and are dedicated to doing well in school so they can improve their families' situations and give back to their country when they grow up. But it’s very hard to learn or grow without food! 

An average meal in Rwanda costs $0.83, which means $25 provides food for a child for a month (30 meals). Feeding children and families is an extension of the gospel and provides students the stability and consistent nutrition necessary to complete their education.

Friends, Thank you for supporting me and for joining me on this adventure!!!!!!!!! Thank you for helping to make a difference!!! Thank you for contributing to our food campaign! 

(photo: Wurzbach Fisher Photography

There are no updates at this time.

Campaign Success Stories

A Father-Daughter Climb for College Students

After our family travelled to Rwanda together in 2012, we had been seeking out the next big thing that we could do with Africa New Life. Hearing about the 2017 Kilimanjaro climb that the group of women accomplished definitely put the climb on our radar. So when the idea was floated about a 2018 “guys” climb, it was not only an easy “yes!”, but we decided to make it an epic “father-daughter” climb!! The trip was especially exciting for us because we are not regular hikers or climbers, so committing to this endeavor was definitely something that was outside of our comfort zone.

Fundraising specifically for college scholarships was close to our hearts because Payton is heading to college in the fall and as a father, I have seen the tremendous impact that college has had on my oldest daughter, who is completing her junior year.

Opportunities to attend college for American students are plentiful, but this is not the case for Rwandan students. As we “Climbed for Education” and spread the word about our fundraiser through social media, word-of-mouth and personal contact, we were blessed to witness sacrificial giving from our friends and family. Funds continued to come in even after we came home and we were pleased to have raised over $10,000 to help Rwandan students attend college. As a climbing group, the total raised was over $100,000!

Tatum's Success Story

7th Grader Tatum Raised $3,500 to Build a Well

I traveled to Rwanda with Africa New Life in 2014, when I was 11. Driving on the dirt roads toward Kageyo, I noticed how many children were walking along the roads with dirty yellow canisters. Later I found out they were five-gallon jugs they use to carry mud-filled, contaminated water home. They were my age and even younger, walking 10 miles for nasty water!

I had so much, and those kids didn’t have anything. I knew I had to do something. Actions speak louder than words. Back in America, I got five of my friends together and we planned a walk-a-thon to buy a well in Kageyo. We called it the Walk for Water. We got sponsors and carried two gallon jugs two miles. While I walked, I realized how hard it must be for those kids. That year, we raised $2,000!

The Walk for Water was so successful, the next year we did it with the whole school and raised another $3,500. That was enough to install a new well and repair others. It started with a thought that turned into an action. So many kids can have clean water now, and they’ll be healthier. Now matter how big or small you are, you can help! If a seventh grader can do it, you can too.

Becky's Success Story

Becky Raised $10,000, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, and helped build the Dream Medical Center!

I decided to jump into a campaign to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Dream Medical Center because of my son, Judah. He is adopted from the very community where the medical center will be build. The very least I could do to say “thank you” to this community for caring for my son is to raise money for the Dream Medical Center.

The goal was big: I needed to raise $10,000 for the Dream Medical Center. A friend helped me come up with a goal of finding 20 families to contribute $500. I was blown away by the responses! Families found all kinds of ways to raise the money. One of my friends committed to roasting and selling coffee beans. Families saw it as a joy to do this together!

Truly, I raised the money through word of mouth. I talked about it all the time, and people would ask me about it constantly! I went on training hikes, posted on Facebook, and people started reaching out. After doing this, I know asking isn’t a burden if it’s something I believe in and it’s God’s design. In the end, I raised not, $10,000, but $20,000!

April's Campaign

Raising Funds for Medical Help, With God’s Guidance Every Step of the Way

My journey to Kilimanjaro started in 2005. My friend Becky and I were planning our first trip to Africa, and we started dreaming about climbing the mountain. Back then, time and finances got in the way. 11 years later, Becky called to see if I was ready! Many thoughts rushed through my mind—my kids, our finances, how crazy it would be—so I said no.

Over the next few months, I continued to pray and seek God. I learned more about Africa New Life and the Dream Medical Center this climb would raise money for. I couldn’t stop thinking about it! God gave me several words during that time, like “HEAR ME,” “DECIDE,” and, finally, “GO.” The thought of raising $10,000 was crazy, but the more I learned, the more I realized my fears were small compared to what the children in Rwanda have endured and the good this hospital would do.

I started praying and asking God to guide me through this process. Again and again, God reminded me HE was with me, in charge of the whole thing. Together with the help of many creative and generous friends, who partnered with me and volunteered their time and finances, and got started with fundraising events! Soon enough, I had raised over $12,000. Even my children asked to be involved, which made me so excited and proud. Together with their school, they hosted a Kilometers for Kilgali run that raised almost $3,000.

I was tired and busy, and definitely out of my comfort zone, but I knew I wasn’t doing this alone. God was guiding me the whole way. This opportunity was life changing—not only for so many Rwandans, but also for me and my family! I am forever grateful to have been part of it.