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Making a difference

By JANET SOWLE, Editor

AMY RYDMAN

Most college students would like to make the world a better place but they never really do anything about it.

MMCC student Amy Rydman, 43, of Coleman is not like most college students. In 2007 she went on a mission trip to Kingston, Jamaica, where she worked in an orphanage for 10 days with her church. That trip changed her life.

Rydman with a young boy who was rescued from traffickers. Courtesy photo.

“When I went to Jamaica I knew that was what I wanted to do,” Rydman said. “I want to start a home for children. I don’t want to call it an orphanage. I want it to be a home that’s theirs. They can come and go and it makes them feel safe.”

Maxine Dartie, Rydman’s cousin, encouraged her to attend a conference. There Rydman learned about a trip to Thailand to minister to the girls and the children who are caught in the sex trade.

“Hearing the stories – it really touched me a lot,” Rydman said. “It was heartbreaking.”

Rydman and friends in Jamaica. Courtesy photo.

Since then Rydman has traveled to Thailand twice, once in 2008 and again in 2010 with XP Media/Patricia King.  Both trips were 14 days long.

In August 2012 Rydman is traveling again – this time to Kampala, Uganda. She will spend 14 days working with a team to start a home for girls. She will be going with  Heart Cry International, a local non-profit organization led by Pastor Carla Ives.

Currently Heart Cry has homes there but they are mostly for boys. The ten- to 12-year-old girls have been sold and trafficked. Some are pregnant. They go to the boys’ home for help, but there isn’t anywhere to put them.

Pattya Thailand — an adult Disneyland. Courtesy photo.

“Carla presented me with becoming a team member there at Heart Cry,” Rydman said. “I am leading a project of starting a home for these girls, helping to raise money and what they need. It’s exciting. It’s what I want to do.”

Before enrolling at MMCC, Rydman worked as an advertising coordinator until her position was eliminated in 2010. Trips like this don’t come cheap and Rydman has to pay her own way. To help fund her trip she is involved in upcoming fundraisers including bake sales and candy sales. Donations are also welcome and can be done online by clicking here or mailing a check to Heart Cry International, P.O. Box 207, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48804-0207. Donations should be designated to Amy Rydman / Uganda.

Rydman plans to send a journal and photos to The Laker Current during her trip. Look for them to be posted at TheLakerCurrent.com and on our facebook page located here.

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