Friday, August 26, 2016

Back to school time.....birthing hope!

We have been doing the infant program (Hope For Tomorrow) now for almost 6 months! 
The babies are growing and gaining weight,
the moms are gaining confidence, and trying to get their footing in their faith, for some. 
We have seen some miracles happen right before our eyes. 

One of things we love the most, is seeing moms starting to...
Dare. To. Dream! 

And we dont want to just ensure the survival of the infants in immediate need. 
We want to equip the moms and dads! 

And that is where you come in. 
We found this school, not to far from us. 
In fact, within walking distance of ALL the moms in the program. 

It is called Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle. 
They offer 6 month courses in- 
-Hair (braiding, styling, etc)

These are some of the buildings that they practice some of the trades they are learning. 

We also have a couple moms, who need to get the basics of reading and writing down first, 
before they can even begin to go to vocational school.

So September as everyone is packing up their backpacks,
we are unpacking some hope over here. 
And we are inviting you to jump on board. 

Here is the breakdown of what we need. 
We need to raise $2,500 in the month of September! 

$600 for the teacher who will teach at the office literacy 
$35 for a chalk board in the office
$194 for 10 desks ($19.48 per desk)

That will cover the literacy program for six months!!!! 
Moms and dads who can then read a lease for a place to rent. 
Who can now read to their kids, inspire their kids, read the notes the 
teachers send home with their kids. 
Who can be empowered! The course used by the Ministry of education
also teaches as they learn to read and write lessons on nutrition, 
STD's, hygeine, etc!! So they are learning so much more, as they are learning
to read and write. 

When it comes to the vocational school, this is the breakdown per student, 
for 6 months!

$124 in school fee's 
$15.58 for school uniforms
$10.38 for a work uniform 
$3.89 for 3 large notebooks
$1.55 for 4 small notebooks
$1.55 for a mathematical set
$1.55 for school maintenance fee's 

Thats $159 per student, for a vocational degree, and a skill
that help them earn an income, and be self sufficient! 

We have 7 moms/dads who are able to go to vocational school!! 
But we also need to figure in $300 for child care for some of those moms
during classes. 

We hope the moms who want desire to go for sewing,
that at the end of the 6 months we can purchase them a sewing machine. 
And they will be able to work from home! 

We cannot do this without you!
And we have watched the Lord do some HUGE miracles. 
And the literacy program has been so strongly on my heart, but
I can't start it, until I have secured the funds. 

If we raise this $2,500 in September, 
then we can start changing lives, equipping lives, in October!!!

CLICK HERE to make a tax deductible donation. 

The moms and babies in our Hope For Tomorrow program. 

These moms are the true heroes!
And some of the hardest workers I have ever seen!!
We have watched so many of them find their worth in Christ, gain confidence,
and start to dream for tomorrow. For themselves, their families, and their kids.
Because of YOU who have believed in them, donated, walked alongside,
prayed for, and loved on these moms and babies!! 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Dance before the Lord

We FINALLY got a picture with all the moms. Though there is 3 babies not present in the picture.

Now that we have been home for a few weeks from our honeymoon, and I am starting to get used to Thierry not going home at night. (I still sometimes go "Oh yeah, you LIVE here now.) 

Before we got married our Tasia (he is like our everything guy. He hand washes the clothes, he does the gardening, will run around and do errands for us, he is the gate keeper, babysitter, you name it!) wife had a baby. And they waited till we came back from our honeymoon, so we could come and name the baby. It is common in Rwanda to wait to name a baby a few weeks till after birth. And normally you have a naming "party". People visit and give suggestions for names. There is no family name or surname. Sometimes babies only have one name for a long time, and sometimes they get both names a few weeks after birth. Me and Thierry decided to hike it (honestly I could hike every single day! I love it!) and we were given a feast! (I think after 4 years here, I have learned DO NOT EAT before you visit someone. Eating lunch and then visiting, WILL result in feeling overly uncomfortably full.) 

I just love the scenery when hiking around here. This is an area they make a lot of bricks. 
So you can see lots of bricks in various stages. And also bricks being fired up. 

Do not listen to Tasia's mom, who is quiet upset about my weight loss. 
I DID eat all my rice, beans, avocado, and fries. And even drank 3 Coke-a-Cola's. 
I have pretty much quit soda, and drank a bunch on the honeymoon, but had 
not had any since we went for this visit. 
But Tasia's mom will still tell you I barely ate. Even though
as they say my plate had a volcano on it! 

Proud mommy and daddy with their new little bundle of joy! 

And finally, world meet MUGISHA Micheal. 
Mugisha means "blessing" 

When it comes to program stuff, things are always changing. As the babies grow, so do their needs. As mom's get nourishment, some who started the program to malnourished to nurse, can now nurse without issue. Some are starting to learn to eat cereal. Some are sitting. They are growing up people, and thats huge! The kilo's are coming and they are hitting milestones. 

Yesterday we had all the moms come to the office and something happened. Thierry did devotions, and we had a time of worship. We had a time where the moms encouraged each other. Younger moms asked the older moms questions. We talked about goals, life, etc. 

Most of the time, I just sit back, and let Thierry lead the worship and devotions. I let the grandma's answer the question of the younger moms. (we have a teenager in the program, to grandma's who have taken in abandoned babies, and everything in between!!) 

I normally speak a few words, and then we do our normal one on one time with the moms and their babies, and give each mom their benefits (formula, whatever their need level is at). But when I got up to talk to them, I dont know why I felt compelled to go on and on. I told them "We can't solve all your problems and we dont want too. If we could and did, we would be God!" I told them how sometimes God allows us to go through hard times, so we cling closer to Him. How he desires us to cling closer to him. I told them "Some people are so rich all they have is money!" I told them how proud I was of them. I told them how they have all made hard choices, to do hard things. Take in abandoned babies, walk miles with their baby tied on their back barefoot, with supplies on their heads, to make a dollar or two. How rich you can be in love and joy. How people can be hungry not for food, but for love. How people can be hungry for significance. How when I look at them I see a bunch of strong women, who are making hard choices to do hard things. How amazing they are in my sight. And how sometimes an easy life is not a good life, and a hard life is not always a bad life. 

They all shouted their Amen's. Then we told them they could decide who would come to the office room first, for us to start giving this weeks benefits, and talk to each one on one. But then it was REALLY REALLY hard to stay in the office, because then spontaneous amazing spirit moving worship started happening in the waiting room/meeting area. 



It was quiet literally drawing people in off the street!! 

God is SO SO GOOD!

Here are a few more pics from a few other things happening with the baby program. 

One of my favorite things is home visits for sure! 

Love watching the babies hit milestones like sitting, babbling, smiling, starting to eat, 
crawling, etc. It is getting harder to keep them all in one place in the office. :p 

New mattresses for mama's in the program!! 

Never a shortage of babies when we get everyone together. :) 

At the end of the day, we have no problem crashing! 

We are newlyweds after all. :) 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

That one thing I said I would never do, yeah I did that.

Redemption is a funny thing. 
Following what we feel God is calling us too, into, at, is a funny thing all itself too. 

I said for as far back as I can remember, that I would NEVER get married. 
I had no interest in getting married. 
And honestly, I didn't. 

I had resolved already in my heart, that I was certain I was called to be single. 
Single and serve. 
Yep, nothing was going to shake that, change that, convince me otherwise. 

It didn't even seem like a redemption thing to me at all. 
I wasn't feeling like I was missing out. 
I didn't feel like I was called to something else. 
I was perfectly content, in my little family. 

I could go into the whole story. 
I could tell you how our first date was at the lake, 
and we both shared our pasts. 
How we had no interest in "dating" but both spilled it all,
worried the other wouldn't want the other if each other knew each other pasts. 
We held each other watching the traditional fishing boats going out on the lake
singing worship songs, singing songs, asking for a good catch. 

So now, I am Mrs Ngizwenayo. 
I also want to say a HUGE thank you to those who donated to our paypal, 
so we could get away on a honeymoon.
Nothing quiet worked how we planned. 
But it couldn't have gone better. 
And that was my biggest desire was just time to get away with Thierry, 
where we didn't have to worry about ministry, kids, or all the crazy running around. 
We could simply be together. 
THANK YOU. From the widow who gave $5, to the one who gave $10. 
To those who gave $200, to those who gave $50. 
I cannot say thank you enough!! 
That time alone and together meant more than you can imagine. 
And with us having to spend three extra days since we couldn't go to Mombasa, 
it was amazing how others donated directly to paypal, and blessed us. 
Because literally the money donated through paypal for our wedding and honeymoon, 
we came home with exactly $50 left in our pockets. 
Because it just made it from one to the next. 
God knew! And THANK YOU so much!!

The kids trying on their wedding outfits. 

They had us bring our witnesses down two days before the wedding to sign. Like an hour before they wanted us all there. SURPRISE! 

The day before the wedding. Chaos and unending excitement! 

Full house, full hearts. 

The night before the wedding we had about 8-9 extra people staying at the house. 

Kids table for dinner the night before the wedding. 

Which meant Moses and Rebecca slept in my bed with me. Which means Moses kicked, rolled on, and hit me all night. Your not suppose to sleep the night before your wedding anyways, though right?! 

My hair WOULD NOT curl. 

My littles. They may be little people, but they sure are big parts of my heart and life. 

Thierry and his mom. 

We had to do a "silly face" photo of course. 

Thierry's missionary and pastor dad. 

So grateful for everyone who poured into my husband. And the amazing incredible blessing he is. 

All my girls, before the wedding. Uwera, Flora, Bridgette, and Rebecca. 

The girls had my phone during the wedding, I found lots of pictures like this. :p 

Tasia has been with us for about 3 years, working in our home. I love some of these pics the girls got. 

In Rwanda you are not legally married, if you are married in the church. So we started with the legal government wedding. 

Swearing on the Rwandan flag that I take Thierry as my husband and understand the laws of marriage in Rwanda. 

Final signings. . . . 

And we are legally married. Wooooooo......

First picture together as a married couple! :) 

After our legal government wedding, we went down to the lake, to marry in the sight of God. And make a covenant to one another before the Lord. 

Or have a photo shoot?! 

These girls.... love them! Any excuse for a photo shoot. 

OK, even I started taking pics of the kids. Everyone looked so pretty, handsome, and cute! 

This part made me sob. After Thierry made a covenant to the Lord to take me as his wife,
he made a covenant before the Lord to the kids to take them as his kids. 

Some pics my friend Tara took. Everyone praying over us at the wedding. 

With this ring, I thee wed....... 

Mommy and daddy are getting married!! 

We are IN LOVE with this pic. Flora and Uwera standing up for me, before the Lord. 

Covenant to take me, and to take the kids. Our beautifully barefoot sand covered kids.

Praying together as a family. 

Nothing is complete without worshipping our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Because it is Africa, no most things dont work as planned. When we first got to our hotel,
they told us our bungalow had plumbing problems, and they were going to put us in another one.
A bungalow with two small single beds, instead of a Large bed for two.
We explained we just got married, we got our intended bungalow. 

Our view of lake Kivu from our bungalow. This is where we had our first date, so it
seemed only fitting that this is where we spent our first night as a married couple. 

We ate ALOT. like way lots on our honeymoon. 

It gets chilly in Africa too, esp by the water. Staying warm and snuggling by the fire. 

When we left for the airport the next day, to go to Mombasa, the hotel staff
threw flowers and mandazi wrapped in banana leafs at us. 

It took us way longer to get to the airport because of an African leader thing going on.
But we were so happy to make it on time!! YAY! 

Let me just say in my five years of traveling between Africa and the states, and from
different African countries. I have ONCE had to show my yellow fever vaccine card.
There is epidemics happening, so since Thierry had not been vaccinated, we sat at rebooking
while we watched our plane take off. (after I had a good long cry, and then pulled it together) 

So we called the hotel, and had an appointment for the DR for him to get vaccinated on Monday, and we could fly on Tuesday. So we had a few extra days in Kigali to chill. 

It felt a lot like work, calling Dr's, hotels, all that crazy stuff. So we decided to go bowling one night.
Because we thought, hey we are suppose to do fun stuff on our honeymoon, not be calling Dr's and hunting
down vaccine stuff. 

We found a great little guest house, and felt right at home, eating good leafs and cooked banana's. :P
No running water and a shared bathroom. We had to laugh. 

With the African leaders convention going on, and so many roads closed as African
presidents were going down that road or another. We had to take some back roads to get things done. 

Then we found out we COULDNT fly to Mombasa. So we changed our flights, and hotel.
Decided Kampala was a great place to go! 

I was so tired and exhausted at the airport, I decided to spill my coffee all over my pants. 

As a resident, it is so nice not to have to pay for visa fee's to East African countries.
I simply get this little "interstate pass" yay for residency! 

It was Thierry's first time flying, so he was studying the emergency instructions.
Even if the slide looks fun, we didn't get a chance to try it out. We were OK with that. 

Goodbye Rwanda, hello Uganda! 

We arrived at our resort! 

We were really excited about the gym!! 

Which is really good because we found places like KFC. And I haven't taken  a break from ministry,
or had fast food in a year. So we shared a chocolate sundae, and I delighted in the fried chicken. 

The breakfasts included with our room. We. Were. Stuffed. And good things, because we only ate two meals a day.
Because breakfast was enough probably for the entire day. Not limited to sandwiches, chicken gizzards, ox kidney, doughnuts, cereal, sausage, chapati, omelettes, waffles, pancakes, chocolate croissants, baked beans, mixed veggies, bacon.........

Seriously we marveled at the breakfasts!! 

Our resort had HORSES y'all. Thierry always had Heath, and this day I had sweet gentle "Candle in the wind." 

Chilling at the pool. My hubby is a hottie.
Sorry girls, he is taken. 

What can I say, I have lived in Africa too long. Since we spent three days in a guest house
in Kigali we were NOT planning on doing. We had to wash clothes. He washed in the sink, I rinsed in the tub.
People, they wanted $5 to just WASH a t-shirt. We are totally capable of washing in the sink and tub! 

Missionary or HillBilly, you decide. 

We fell in LOVE with our horses. 

Me and Candle. 

We came back for our lesson. And they sent Candle out with someone else.
So they gave me....
wait for it......
Sledge hammer.
No seriously, they gave me the most stubborn horse in the place.
Whose name is sledge hammer.

We both gained like 6 lbs on our honeymoon. We were constantly shocked and just said "How are we going to eat all this?!" 

A crazy big breakfast AGAIN. Seriously, we just gawked at our food a lot. 

I fell in love with Dasher. He is a wild stallion, and never leaves his stall.
Because he will run away, and last time, it took 8 people to get him back into his stall, and he
seriously injured another. So I had to give him lots of love and lots of apples. 

Motto's (or Boda Boda's) Ugandan style. 

A chocolate Frappe y'all. A CHOCOLATE FRAPPE!!! The entire trip
was worth the chocolate Frappe. 

We got a chance to meet up with another CTEN missionary couple Lauren and Geof, who work with
street boys in Kampala. It was a nice lunch, great conversation, and just tons of fun. 

Followed by passion fruit ice cream. This was THE BEST y'all. 

Loved chatting and sharing with fellow amazing CTEN missionary Lauren. 

Thierry and Geof. 

We went to go see Finding Dory. We were really excited too for the theater. 

I dont think we are in Rwanda anymore. . .
In Rwanda, only two people per motto, and everyone has to have a helmet.
And they are tight on security to make sure it is that way.
In Uganda, we learned when it comes to motto's. Most anything goes. 

Our last morning run with our horses Heath and Candle in the Wind. 

At this point we were actually really homesick, and ready to get home to our kids. 

You know your home in Rwanda, when your meal on the way home is goat meat and a potato. 
And the next day it was right back to ministry. I couldn't be happier. I had my face
smothered in tons of kisses, had to change clothes three times from being pee'd on
and spit up on. And this mama bird, feels much better having her little line of chicks
never far behind!! 

The triplets in the program, older sibs, have become frequent visitors to our house.
It felt so good to be home!
So that one things I said I would never do. 
I am so glad I did it. 

Even though we can drive one another completely crazy. 
We can be so crazy cheesy. 
I know I found the right match for me. 
As he follows Christ, I will follow him to ends of the earth.