Sarah Freeman ’18 uses musical passion to serve African community
By Jordan Beach
After working in ministry and missions in the Atlanta area for three years, Sarah Freeman ’18 felt called to join an organization where she could utilize her passion.
Freeman is now building a music program in Rwanda.
Working for the Rafiki Foundation, Freeman serves as the music coordinator for the Rwandan Rafiki Village and is building a music program that will bring music into the lives of children of all ages. She also provides private lessons in piano, violin and viola.
Freeman felt Reinhardt allowed her to chase her dream of becoming an accomplished musician while preparing her for the mission work she currently does in Africa in unpredictable ways.
“The professors’ warm, friendly relationships with their students really inspired me,” said Freeman. “My dean made it possible to tailor the program to suit exactly where my skillset could be honed and improved, providing me with the experiences that I had no clue I would need for this work in Africa.”
The Rafiki Foundation, based in Florida, aims to train Africans to transform Africa for Christ, and with “rafiki,” being the African term for “friend,” it’s a fitting name for their focus on forming relationships with widows and orphans in Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia, the 10 countries where the foundation has established Rafiki Villages.
Freeman’s long-term goal fits the foundation’s efforts: to train the national teachers who are from Rwanda to become proficient in teaching music, enabling them to teach the material they were taught.
“I really wanted to work with a mission’s organization that I could really get behind,” Freeman said. “Namely, I believe ministering to people means ministering to all of their needs, not just handing out Bibles.”
Rafiki Villages provide living and educational facilities through its five programs, including Bible Study, Teacher Training, Education, Orphan Care and Widows.
What began as a suggestion from a friend in a passing conversation stirred a passion in Freeman to use her gifts in a place with both a large population and great need for education.
“It’s amazing to be a part of something that is visibly changing Africa…quality education, relevant vocational training and resources are so important,” said Freeman. “There is so much potential here.”
Learn more about the Rafiki Foundation at https://www.rafikifoundation.org/. You can also provide support for Freeman at https://www.rafikifoundation.org/missionary/sarah-freeman-242.