Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thank you!

Guys, we reached our goal of $2,500 by September 25th!! 
Which means next month is going to be BUSY! 
We are registering 7 moms and dads in vocational school 
for welding, carpentry, and sewing. 
We are opening our doors at the office to 6 moms and dads
in our infant program for literacy school and inviting in 30
other people from the community to join in the literacy classes. 
We will be purchasing a large chalk board and 10 desks. 
We will also be purchasing the books, pens, and all the supplies they need!

We will be breaking up the classes on Fridays into four classes 
8:00-10:00am 10:00am-12:00pm with an hour lunch break, 
then we will have two more classes from 1:00pm-3:00pm and then 3:00-5:00pm. 
The moms who currently do pick ups for their infants nutritional needs
will now pick up also on Friday following their classes. 

We will also change the pick up for the moms/dads in vocational
school to Friday as well at 3:00-5:00pm during classes. 
As they finish their vocational classes at 2:00pm!!

We are so excited to be able to welcome more people from our
community into the office, and as they learn to read and write, 
to also be able to share the gospel and give them bibles on their journey, 
to literacy. The program set up by the ministry of education also 
teaches them about hygiene, nutrition, and all that stuff as well, 
as they are going by the curriculum of the program! 

I couldn't be more excited about being more busy next month! 
My birthday could not have been better than getting a chance to 
tell the moms and dads, that they would be able to start literacy or
vocational school. Being able to talk with the local government 
to be able top open our doors for literacy to 30 more people in our community. 

Thank you is not sufficient. I cannot wait to post next month as things
get moving and rolling! You are surely changing lives. 
You are changing many generations. And giving tools to this generation
to inspire, minister too, disciple, and guide the next generation. 


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Her eyes said what she never could.....

G is 1 years old. And her story is in fragments.
G has been in the program for 6 months, with her amazing foster mom Claire.
Claire spoke of how G would tremble in her arms.
How G would not speak to her.
How she would laugh with other kids, but when she walked in G, became silent.
It was obvious that she had immediate fear of any and all adults.
She had one name, which in Kinyarwanda means "do well".

Claire her foster mom who is working on legally adopting her, is a widow. 
She has a 14 year old old son. 
She is a traditional Rwandan dancer with skills that would make you gasp. 
She has even traveled to England to dance before, because of her amazing skills. 
But work is not consistent. And she struggles with the times that their is no need. 
She overheard a village meeting, with a little girl standing, looking down at the dirt, 
trying to find a home for this little girl who was abandoned at a year of life. 
Denied by all.... and silent. 

She was given a second name of Clarice. 
Fully accepted and fully loved into this family, this home. 
It wasn't the best home with rocky floors, and sheets for doors. 
But one saying we have come to say often since once meeting with all the moms. 
"Some people are so poor, all they have is money." 
And Claire, G, and her son, are indeed RICH. 

Clarice has taken some time to feel comfortable,
to let the guard down around her little heart. 

One day we were having our monthly lunch, time in worship (which Claire often
is the one to start the drumming and dancing!) devotions, and just encouragement. 
I went to give Clarice a high 5, and I saw a little hint of a smile. 
The entire room bursted into applause, and everyone clapping, and tickling G. 
Every little smirk of a smile, we all went crazy silly to get more. 
She so much as put her little hands over her face, hiding her smile. 
Claire clapping with tears streaming down her face. 
All the hard work she had put into loving this little girl, and it was the first
smile. And we were honored enough to get to see it! 

I am happy to report smiles are much easier to come by these days. 
And on our last visit, Claire told us she said "Mama" for the first time. 
And also added a new word to her vocabulary this week of "toilet" (hey 
thats an important word to know people!) 

We hope to send Claire to vocational school for sewing. 
For her to go would cost less than $200 for 6 months of school, 
supplies, uniforms, etc. 
And she would have something to supplement her income in the times
were she is not able to book traditional dancing work. 
We are trying to raise all $2,500 by September 25th! 
(the day before my birthday, so if you want to give me a gift, 
even a $25 donation would pay for one of our mama's books, and uniforms!) 
If we raise any money over that, we will use it for emergency funding. 
(as we often find ourselves with babes in the hospital, and moms needing
someone to bring them food, sheets, clothes, and meds are not covered under

You can see the breakdown of the financial need for literacy classes and 
vocational school HERE 
Or to go directly to make a tax deductible donation click HERE

Thank you so much for all your love, support, words of encouragement, 
partnership is prayer, and financial partnership. 

In Christ, 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Moussa, the family you just fall in love with.

Moussa's mom has some major physical and mental disability. 
She has a vocabulary of maybe 15-20 words, at best. 
She can scream out an Amen, or Hallelujah like its no ones business. 
She is in her late 40's. 
She was abandoned by her entire family. 
Just wandered around begging, and often chased away. 

Someone noticed she looked pregnant. 
This amazing women, whom I have come to Adore, and strive to emulate. 
Took her to the Hospital, and low and behold she was 8 months pregnant. 
They did a C section that very day and delivered a little boy. 
They named him Moses in Kiswahili, which is Moussa. 

The first day I saw the issue. The first day I met them, Clautride (not the birth mom)
was putting Moussa to his birth mothers breast. The baby was crying.
He latched on quickly. The birth mom tolerated it for a minute, then start to stomp
and pushed at the baby. Obviously upset. Obviously trauma. 
There is no way this mother ever consented to sex. 

Clautride, with 5 kids of her own. Two teenagers still at home, but the other
three grown and out of the home. And two others I have met, that Clautride brought
into her home and raised that call her "mom" as well. 
She didn't just take in Moussa, she took in Moussa's mom. 
Which pretty much she took on a full time job. 

Moussa was born at 4.7kg. When he came into the program at a month old, 
he had reduced down to 2.3kg. Moussa was obviously not getting what he needed. 
Clautride tried to give him raw cows milk, which just caused vomiting, and diarrhea. 
Formula costing more than the average income, and lets not even discuss the costs of
bottles as well, clothes, and everything else!!

I will never forget about a month into the program, Clautride with a personality
as big as the country itself. Came clambering into the office, shouting, dancing. 
Moussa smiling and bouncing all over on her back. 
Moussa had GAINED weight. She had just come from Moussa getting his vaccines, 
and he had gained weight for the first time. 
My Moses and I (English for Moussa) and Moussa with Clautride. 

So we did what anyone would do. We all danced together. We sang worship. 
We banged on the wall as a drum, and we danced. 

Clautride is probably the most joyful, biggest personality I have ever met. 
Their home is filled with laughter. And it is even clear in Moussa's birth mom, 
who smiles, and claps, and screams out "MAMA!" when she sees me 
hiking my sweaty self up their mountain to their home. 

We often see her daughter in law, who just had a baby and her other daughter who 
farms the land when we come. They both live next to her. And they help their mom
as much as possible. The porridge, formula, milk, sugar, fruits, etc have helped them
all, and taken the edge off. The insurance cards has curbed fear of illness. 

Now we want to send Clautride to vocational school for sewing. This will also include
some transport money, because of her age, and how far she lives from the school. 
This is included in the estimation we made for what we need to raise for the programs
to begin for them. To see a break down of the finances we need to start the literacy 
program and send some moms and dads to vocational school, click HERE. 

Thank you so much to everyone who has already donated. We are ready to take this over the finish line! And give these mama's the tools to not only transition out of the program in a years time, but to give them the tools and support to begin to gain the confidence of self sufficiency. Your support in prayer and finances is appreciated more than we can express. 

For Clautride this would mean she would be able to have a sewing machine, 
and work right there at home, while she continues to take care of Moussa and
his mom. 

You can make a tax deductible donations HERE.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

10 days, I think were going to do it!

I tried to come up with a catchy title and really couldn't.

And currently feeling like i am living in a disco with the power, wifi, and everything going in and out.

Hello rain season sized storms, and trickling water spouts, disco lights, funky wifi, and dropped calls. But I do love that it does cause you to slow down a bit. When it down pours, things stop. People stop. Shops stop. Motto's stop. People huddle under any shelter together, and something humph about it together. At home, it almost beacons you to climb under the blankets and rest. (but the rude thunder can really make ya jolt awake!)

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, to everyone who has donated so far toward the literacy program. We got 11 days till I am closer for 40 than I am to 30. (aka my 36th bday, rude) and 10 days to raise the rest of these funds. We have about $1,100 to go!

So I put together a video, and have wanted you to get to know and will continue to introduce you to these amazing families. Make sure you watch the video all the way through to see the cute toddlers awesome dancers at the end!

To make a tax deductible donation go HERE

Thank you again for all your support. 

Lets get this done! 


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

This next family has lifted a veil of perspective of prayer in my life.

We need YOUR help to equip these families for the next step. Meet another family in our Hope For Tomorrow infant program. Give them the tool

I can hardly believe how much Nadia and Nadine have grown up since they first entered the program.

Since they entered the program, we have had the privilege to walk with the family through some tough times. 

Both babies were in the hospital at one point, and we held our breath as they resuscitated Nadine when we walked into the room that day. Which sent her on quiet the journey, and is still a bit smaller than her twin. 

I learned so much about prayer with this family. As at one point Nadine needed to be transferred to Kigali, but was actually too sick to transfer. Her pulse was slow, her breathing shallow, and they even had her under heat lamps because her body temp was dropping so much. That day I left the hospital, and had given the Dr and nurses my number and they assured me that if anything happened they would call me immediately. That night at dinner with the family, I glanced down at my phone and realized it had no network. I kept checking it, and it kept having no network. No one's network was working at all. I woke up in the middle of the night, and reached for my phone...

No network......

So I laid in bed and could not get myself to fall back asleep. So I decided to grab my bible and look up some scripture and pray. As soon as I snuggled into bed with my bible, the power went out, and the lights went with it. A bit frustrated that nothing seemed to be working, and worried about Nadine, I let out a humph. But then almost naturally went right from my bed to the floor. It was one of those ugly cries. I prayed for Nadine. I prayed for her future. I prayed for angels to intervene, for Christ to intervene. I prayed for peace for their mom. I prayed for wisdom and discernment. 

I held by breath in prayer so many times walking this
path with this family. 

The next morning Thierry came over, and as soon as he walked in the door, I nearly threw the coffee at him, and some bread, and told him to get his behind to the hospital and find out how Nadine was. (I had to get kids fed and off to school and had another mom and baby coming to the office.) When Thierry got home he told me. "God is working. Nadine is doing better. There was 3 babies on oxogen, and help to breath. But there was a problem with the generator. And when the power went out, the babies couldn't get the oxogen or help to breath. The other two babies died, and Nadine lived. She turned a corner, and can get the transfer now." 

All of a sudden it hit me like a load of bricks. I was up and ready to get into His word, when the power went out. Instead that was the moment that I got down on my knee's and pleaded at the throne of his great grace and mercy. It was the moment Nadine's mother held her, and fell to her knee's pleading before his throne. It was the moment, I am convinced angels intervened, and heavens grace poured forth. Every single time I see Nadine I see a miracle. 

When their mom first came into the program, she was exhausted, and unable to nurse because she was too malnourished to do so. After a couple months, of providing her with porridge, sugar, fruits, and other basic nutritional needs, we were able to no longer supplement with formula for the babies. Mama was making enough milk for both girls on her own. Later when we asked her about how the program has helped her she said "When my babies where in the hospital. Everyday you made sure I had food. You held my hand. You let me cry. You showed me more love than anyone else in my entire life has ever shown me. More love than my own mother who birthed me has ever shown me." 

Now that the girls are old enough, we are now providing cereal, and their mom is chartering with them into the world of soft foods like giving them mashed banana's and avocado. 

We have adored this family! Neither the parents are able to read and write, and both the mother and father desire to attend the literacy program. After being able to master some of those essentials, the mom will first attend vocational school for sewing. Then when she is done, she can work at home while the husband goes to vocational school for welding. 

We dont want to forget the fathers important role in the family. It is essential we equip the entire family, walk with the whole family. 

We never wanted this program to be simply "here is your formula and bottles, see you next week." We have always wanted it to be personal. Our hope and desire has always to share the gospel in both word and deed. To build foundations of relationships, and to equip them for whatever the Lord has for their life. To hand them the tools, and pray for them, and watch them take it and run with it. 

We still are hoping by September 26th (ahem, my birthday. What a great bday present indeed!) to have all the funding we need to start the literacy program and start send some of these moms and dads to vocational school! 

To see a breakdown of the finances and what we need click here HERE. 

To make a tax deductible donation click HERE. 

If you have any questions feel free to email me at 

Lets get this done!! Currently there is over 30 infants in our sector in  immediate need of help. And we loose the relational and intimate aspect of the program if we have too many moms and babies in the program. We are hoping we can get these moms and dads equiped and continue to walk with them, but in more of a situation of relationship and not immediate emergency need. And welcome in babies and moms who are in dire need of emergency assistance. 

ANY donation will be greatly appreciated. We are trusting to hit OVER the $2,500. And all proceeds over that will go into our emergency funds, for situations like the situation above where the family had immediate medical needs. 

A picture I took hiking to their village in the mountains for a home visit. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dreaming together

Gato and Gakuru are the oldest twins in our program.

Today their mom and dad are dreaming.

A dad is dreaming of carpentry school.

A mom is dreaming of learning to read and write. . . . and next go to vocational school to learn sewing.

We are believing to raise $2,500 in September that these things are possible.
That a father can take pride in providing for his family. And this papa has impressed me
so much in his love and care of his family. This week they are moving and I suggested that they move closer to the main road so that they wouldn't have to walk as far to school or the office.

But the father didn't want to move the kids farther from the kids, church, and school they have security in. Instead he would add 4 miles total to his walking to and from school.

This is the heart of our program. To walk alongside families. To keep families together. To give them options, and tools. To minister to them in word and deed. To pray with them, and love them, right where they are at, and dream with them for the future. Trusting a big God, with big dreams.

Gato is always on guard duty when we do home visits. 

Gakuru is always in sneaking my phone and taking selfies mode. 
Love this family, and how hard the father works, his integrity, and a man of God.
And this mama, who just delights in her family and children.
Dreaming big dreams for the future!

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation click HERE. 

To see a break down of what we are aiming for click HERE. 

THANK YOU so so much to all who have donated. As of this morning we were at $855 of the $2,500 we need to start this in October!! Praying we hit that $1,000 mark soon! 

We are so excited to see what God does with this! 

*Please be aware that it takes 3-5 days for your donation to show up on my statement depending on your means of donations (credit card, check, etc) 

Friday, September 9, 2016

When I heard her story, I dug in my heels and refused to budge.

We had planned home visits that day, and most of the moms in our program are level 1 poverty. Which means we normally call the village leader, who then will let the mom know we are coming, or a neighbor. We got a phone call that morning on our way to our first home visit. A call that another mom had taken her twins to the hospital the night before, and they were very sick. I couldn't concentrate much that first home visit, and was itching to get to the hospital.

G, from the very start was a very attentive momma. 

 I knew we would get there outside visiting hours, so I had our papers with me from the government of who was in our program. Something that I could find out what was going on, outside of conventional visiting hours, because we still had work to do.

When we talked to the guard at the front of the hospital, he said he knew who we were talking about, and then took us to her room. (More less a large room with around 30-50 patients in a dorm style lines of beds) The mosquito netting was over her bed, and we pulled it back, and I saw a mom stare blankly and confused at me, with clearly newborn twins in the bed with her. "No, this isn't the mom in our program. The mom in our program, her name is _________, and her twins are girls and a few months old."

We did find the mom in our program, which is another story for another day. I have never known the power of prayer, than the other mom taught us. But as we saw her, the nurse begged us practically to see another mom with twins. We told her how the local government gives us the moms/infants in our program. That we dont just choose who is in the program. But we had a couple nurses, ask us to see this mom, and just listen to her story. Finally we agree'd and I insisted that we do not just take people into the program, and the local sector had to assign us, based on poverty levels, and situations.

Right back to the first confused mom we walked into. I extended my hand and introduced myself, and was met with a blank continued stare of confusion. Now just as confused as she was, I turned to the nurse, and now a Dr who joined us at her bedside.

We were so blessed to secure sponsors for each twin for formula, and also a sponsor
for G herself. The sponsors love supplies the babies with all the nutritional needs,
future health insurance, and beyond. The moms sponsor has helped us to get G on her feet,
get her the basics she needs, as she was left with nothing, and also keep up with her
medical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs. 
She was left at the hospital months ago, beaten. She had shown signs of severe trauma, and also delusions. They were not sure of her name. She obviously was pregnant when she was left at the hospital about 5 months prior, pregnant. She 2 weeks prior had given birth to twins. A boy and a girl. Her family have abandoned her. No one was really sure what to do. In that moment, and seeing the loneliness in her eyes. I felt my heels dig into the ground. I knew I would fight for her. I would fight hard. I would not abandon her also.

The hospital's here are not like they are in the states. Where someone has to be with you, to help you. They do not feed you, or provide sheets, blankets, clothes, etc. So the next day when we went to visit the mom in our program, we also packed some baby stuff for this new unnamed mama and her twins. We bought food for both moms. In a couple days, she began talking to us, sometimes it made sense, other times it didn't. We all knew that the care she needed was beyond this hospital, and beyond us. So we made plans to have her transferred to a hospital in Kigali that specialized in this kind of thing. The only thing was, we couldn't bring the babies to the hospital, and the mom had been completely abandoned by her family. So we made the decision to bring the newborn twins home and foster them ourselves, while she got the specialized care she needed in Kigali.
When we fostered the twins at home, we had many
middle of the night parties. These two like to party all night.
It made for some interesting times, doing home visits completely exhausted.
I can't keep up with these youngen's, and their all nighters. 

It has been amazing to watch this older mom come out of her shell. To see her go from being mute, to smiling, joking, and laughing with us. When she was in the hospital, one day I said to her "Wow, you look great today, I am so happy to see you smiling." and she responded with "It is because someone now comes to see me." Now she lives next door, and we have been able to give her some supervised and guided independence.

When G got out of the hospital in Kigali, and was reunited with her twins.
She had a contentness about her, that words cannot explain. 
"What has the program done for you?"

G: "Because of my medicine, I cannot breast the babies. The sponsors love me and my babies, and give them formula, bottles, and help me to live. I am happy, and am not hungry. I have a good life now, and I have no fear for my babies. They are not hungry either."

"What are your goals for the future?"

G: "I hope to learn to read and write, then learn to sew. I want to do more. I know I can do more. I wont let my sponsors down. I will do good, and study hard! When I learn to write, I may write a book someday."

"I think your story could encourage so many people, you should do that! I want to get the first copy!"

G, will be part of the literacy program that will take place at the office on Fridays, when we secure the funding! Also as you see from G's story, we have many unexpected expenses that come up. Especially as a mom and infants first come into the program, we struggle with hospitalizations, getting their insurance secured, etc. And even when they have their insurance, it doesn't cover things like medications (even in hospital.) and they are often handed scripts of what to go find for their babies. Often that script is about a weeks or months wages. To use it cane seem like a few drops in the bucket, some coffee for us and a friend.

We are trying to raise $2,500 to secure the literacy program for 6 months, and also help some moms/dads who have the basic literacy skills to start vocational school, so we can start to give them the tools to be independent. Any money over that will go to emergency funds, for situations just like the one above. With G, we ended up paying a few hundred dollars for her 6 month hospital stay, and then paying her hospital stay in Kigali out of pocket. She still has no health insurance, as she has to secure her ID, (which we did), but then she has to be living in this sector for six months before she can get her insurance through this sector. And no one knows what sector she came from before. So all her and her twins medical needs are paid out of pocket. Thankfully we have secured three sponsors for G, one for each twin, and one for her herself, since her situation is so unique.

Having the ability to read and write, will empower G. It will give her self confidence. It will give her something to work toward. It will also give her more power over her future, to even be able to sign a lease and know what is in it. To be able to help her twins as they grow, in school, and even to read the papers that come home with them. To be able to sign her own name.

In their current home next door they share with another mom in our program
who has triplets! (Its a lively house next door!). Now with the basics of a roof over
her head, the basic nutritional needs of her infants taken care of, emotional support,
the medications she needs, and always lots of laughter, she is ready for the next step.
To learn to read and write, so she can be empowered to take even yet another step. 
To see a breakdown of the funding we are trying to secure for September to start in October you can go HERE.

To make a tax deductible donation to help with the literacy program/vocational schooling click HERE. 

Every little bit helps, and we cannot do this without you. We need your help!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"It can give value to our future....." Said the teen mom full of hope.

She is the youngest mom in our program. And her and her sister have got to be the most grateful pair of people I have ever met. Still a teenager, who left secondary school, when she was raped and became pregnant. Her rapist in jail, and a mother also incarcerated. She lives with her oldest sister, who is a widow. Her sister raises her deceased husbands brother, and has two children of her own. Fighting AIDS herself. 

Solange left school, and has had to make some really hard choices. When ever we visit her, she is quick to offer us a cup of the porridge we gave her. Often times, when she comes to the office to pick up, she will walk in with a basket of Avocado she picked from the tree in their yard, of a house they dont own, but squatter in. 

Jackson has got to be one of the happiest babies, from one of the most grateful
and happiest moms we have ever met. We think he got quiet a bit of her optimistic
happy demeanor. 

“What do you hope to achieve through this program?” 

S: “I hope that my son can be strong. I get porridge, sugar, cereal, milk, and fruits. Its always a very joyful day when I come home on Monday. We all know no one will go to bed hungry. We have all began to increase in Kilo’s and can think on other things.” 

“What do you want to be when you are older?” 

S: “I want to be a good mom. I have always wanted to sew. Sewing has always been a desire for me.” 

“What does it mean to you, to be able to go to vocational school and learn to sew, and obtain a certificate?” 

S: “Oh, I cannot find words for that dream to come to pass. I can work from home with my son. I can know I have something of value! For now, I go out and look for small jobs, any small jobs I can get to help in the home. Many times, I have nothing of value that anyone can hire me to do. If I can learn to sew, I can not only have something of value, but also something I have always desired. I cannot find words to tell you what that can mean to me and my son. It can give value to our future.” 

We always look forward to home visits, and any time we get with
Jackson and his mom. We really cannot wait to see her back in
school, and learning a trade she has always desired to have. 

We are 10% of the way to our $2,500 goal! To put Solange in vocational school for 6 months to learn to sew would cost $160! That includes her uniforms, notebooks, everything. Solange was able to get to secondary school, and so unlike many other moms and dads in the program, knows well to read and write already. As soon as we hit our goal, she can go right to vocational school, and begin to learn to sew, that can give her self confidence, hope, and a trade that can give her an income. 

You can donate HERE. 

We are shooting to get the $2,500 for the moms/dads who are able to go to vocational school to start in October, and also begin the literacy program. If you want to see more of a breakdown of what that looks like click here.