Goats Point to a God Who Cares

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Luke 12:6

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After traveling the bumpy roads, we finally made it to the gathering place to meet one of four villages that received goats last year. Dr. Katie Hunsucker, who had only been here for less than a week, observed as they meandered in the grass. Some pregnant, others had coughing, but overall she was delighted to see healthy goats.

Like stepping into the pages of Little House on the Prairie, we gathered in a small school sitting in simple wooden chairs looking at the chalkboard hanging on the wall. A local pastor shared a message on the widow Elijah met, helping her see the jar half empty rather than half full in her poor state. She concluded by sharing the good news to a number who had not yet accepted Jesus as their Savior, to many who are also poor or widowed like she.

Dr. Hunsucker was then introduced. She asked questions like How are the goats helping you? Surprisingly, we learned that the best benefit was the fertilizer to help their vegetables grow. Then asking about challenges, there were many – a lack of good veterinarians they trust, access to medications and a male goat, and various health problems.

IMG_0218And this is one reason why Dr. Hunsucker came to Rwanda. Giving livestock is a wonderful gift, but ongoing oversight and training is required to have a multiplying impact where families give their baby goats to other families in need. And in order to have a lasting impact for God’s kingdom, an investment into not only their animals but relationships with the people provides opportunity for discipleship. So, led by Jesus, Dr. Hunsucker boarded a plane, temporarily leaving her job at a clinic in South Dakota, to investigate for Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM) the possibility of sending a long-term veterinarian to work alongside ERM in a livestock program.

She has felt a call to mission work from God since 2003 at Bible Camp, and by faithful mentors, God provided for her to go through a rigorous education to learn a tangible skill to reach the afflicted.

“God has challenged me to use my veterinary skills and the human-animal bond to share the good news of Jesus Christ both in rural America and overseas where the need is great,” she said.

Through her initial research on the 60 goats given, she witnessed the people’s realization that people care for them, and in that, God cares for them.

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As one elderly woman said, “When I go to sleep, I have my goat. I had no one to talk to, but now I have my goat to talk to.” Like the sparrow that is not forgotten (Luke 12:6), our hope is that this goat will be a constant reminder that God cares for her and has not forgotten her.

Already Dr. Hunsucker and the team see many opportunities to point the lonely, the poor, the afflicted to Jesus Christ. Stay tuned as we report on what God is doing in and through Dr. Hunsucker as she serves in Rwanda.