If you’ve been on our social media pages (find us on Facebook or Instagram) you will see something we’re calling the Apple Cider Vinegar Challenge.  The challenge we have presented is to take a straight shot of apple cider vinegar (1 or 2 tablespoons- -really, it is good for you!).  Do it (on video) and donate $10 to Ten Talents International, and tag 10 friends challenging them to do the same.  For some people, downing some ACV is not a big deal at all- and for others, well, some people are still trying to work up the nerve to do it all…  The question has been posed, why the apple cider vinegar?  This challenge was my brainstorm, so I will do my best to answer that.

Initially, it was just a random thought.  I take ACV sometimes to help ward off getting sick, and when I do I involuntarily make a face and react.  I thought it might be fun to challenge other people to do the same, and for them to challenge others, and so on.  How does it relate to Rwanda though?  When Mike and I first talked about it, we discussed how the color of ACV reminds us of muddy water in Rwanda.  This muddy water is what many families have no choice but to use everyday –  for cooking, bathing, cleaning, etc.  But our ministry is not about clean water, its about getting children off of the streets.  TTI was started because of Mike’s first hand experience seeing children living on the streets in Rwanda.

You might be surprised if you visit Rwanda to find that 10 months out of the year it is very green and lush.  Some people think that Africa means being hot, dry, dusty, but that is not the case everywhere.  It rains in Rwanda, and many times it rains hard.  Rain will come in fast and heavy.  The dirt in Rwanda is a reddish brown clay.  As the downpour of rainwater runs over the dirt it produces reddish brown rivers that pour over the streets and sidewalks.  People who are out will take shelter under businesses or wherever they can find a dry spot.  Now imagine if you are a child spending your days out on the streets.  You get soaked.  Not only that, but many children have told us that when they need someplace to sleep they will use the drainage ditches that run along the side of the road.  They look like this:

Except where there is a driveway there will be a slab of concrete going over the ditch to connect to the driveway, and it is in those secluded spots where the children will lay down to get some sleep.  Unless its raining.  Then there will be no sleeping, as the ditches become streams of muddy water.

The other connection I noticed between ACV and the children living on the streets is connected to the smell.  Children living on the streets have a common drug of choice.  It is liquid glue.  This powerful chemical glue makes them high when they sniff it (the term for this type of substance abuse by inhaling fumes is called “huffing” in the US).  The reason they do it is not just so they can be high and maybe not think so much about their current circumstances, its because when they are high they don’t feel hungry anymore.  Many kids living on the streets carry around small bottles of glue under their shirts and keep inhaling it throughout the day.

Nothing of what I have described for you so far should be a part of a child’s life.  Children should be in a home where they can feel safe, loved, and cared for.  They should be able to go to school and not have to work or beg to help provide for the basic needs of their family.  I realize that we cannot change the whole world.  We cannot make this problem simply go away, but for some children we can.  We can change their world.  We can offer them a safe place to sleep and adults who will love them and care for them.  For those who have families, we can provide school fees, school  supplies, medical care, and a daily nourishing meal so they can learn, stay off the streets, and have a better future.

This is what the #ACVChallenge is all about.  Its about trying to get the word out to more people so that we can do more and help more children and families.  Its about changing stories and bringing hope.  Please help us spread the word.

Thank you & God bless you,