Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"It means freedom....."

The infant in this pic is not linked to the mama in the story. And the cute girl, is my daughter. 
She was 2 years old when her parents both were killed in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Where she found herself in a refugee camp in Goma. She ended up with a family, who moved when she was 6 years old, and left her behind. She found herself a street kid, doing what she could to get her very basic needs met. As she grew up and became a teenager a sweet talking solider, told her everything she wanted to hear. That longing to belong, that longing to be a part of a family, that longing to be loved. When she was 14 she was pregnant by the solider, and by the time she was 15 she was a momma. She lived with the solider and bore him 3 children. When his family found out about her, they didn't approve. He swept her from the home like dust, out the door. She found herself staying with a motto driver, who was willing to left her and her children stay with him, if she would sleep with him. She became pregnant, and was once again discarded from the home like dust swept from the dirt floor. 

This momma has never walked through the doors of a school as a student. She has no ability to read or write. She carries luggage on her head with her baby on her back, or anything she can do to make ends meet. We have been able to relieve some of the burden from her by supplying some of the basic nutritional needs for her youngest, she wasn't able to nurse because of malnourishment. 

Her hope for her and her family, is that she can begin the literacy classes, and then she hopes that she can then attend the vocational school to learn sewing. She desires to be an example to her children that you can learn, even when you are a mom, and older. 

"What does learning to read and write mean to you?" 

Mom- "It means freedom! It means I have more power over my own life, because I can know what papers say, when a landlord wants me to sign. I can use my voice, and hold my head higher. Now the children who pass me on the street, know more than I do. So I hold my head down, and my voice low. I dont want anyone to know I am ignorant. Learning to read and write, will give me courage to use my voice!" 

You can make a donation to help us reach our $2,500 goal to start the first phase of helping these moms phase into independence. As you mark off your list for your kids going back to school. Pray for the moms, who are hoping to learn for the first time! Moms who will learn a trade! And make way that we can begin to help the other 34 infants in immediate need at the moment. 

How can you help?

Share about the opportunity to partner with us financially and/or in prayer! 

Partner with us in prayer, for the finances, and for the moms! Their precious hearts beginning to dream of a future without fear, but with some confidence! 

Donate! No donation is too small. We serve a God who fed thousands with just a few fish and a few loaves. 

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. :)