Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
We’ve been in a whirlwind of activity here, and I’d like to share with you a few highlights.
Sunday School Training
Last week, Love Alive hosted a 2-day seminar training church leaders on how to organize teach children’s Sunday school programs. Emphasis was made on the importance of children in the Bible, learning styles of children, effective teaching so that children enjoy learning the Bible and desire to know more. We have also established a small curriculum library so that local churches can come borrow flannel graph and teaching materials to engage the children. We had 26 churches participate in this event. In follow-up surveys, they stated how overjoyed they were at this training, how greatly they had benefited, and were greatly excited to go back and teach their children with their new ideas and resources. To give you a small understanding of the lack of materials and resources many have here, of all of the participants attending, over half did not own their own Bible. Imagine having the desire to instill in children the Word of God, yet not even having your own copy to study and learn more. Due to gifts sent to purchase Bibles in the local language, we were able to furnish every teacher with a Bible in addition to Bible story books and other necessary teaching materials.
Sewing Center #2
Yesterday, we opened our second women’s sewing center in a rural village (no electricity or water and all mud buildings). Twenty students are now enthusiastically studying. These women told me, “We prayed to God for help, but did not know how God could improve our state, but He has heard us and blessed us through you.” Nearly one year ago, Crosspoint Church in Georgia donated a sewing machine for a lady named Consore, who was needing a means of earning income that was both upright and legal. Little did that church or I know what God had in store. Consore is now teaching this new women’s sewing center!
You may wonder how projects such as sewing centers are “missional,” or how they fulfill the work of Christ’s church. I believe the Bible clearly tells us that we are to love no-strings-attached, and that to effectively live a Christ-like life, we often need to show compassion simply because it is part of who Christ is. The sewing centers were designed simply to help families in poverty have a means of support; however, it has been amazing to see God work through simple love. You see, of the dozen ladies in our first sewing center, 5 women have now come and joined the local church affiliated with this center. The formerly alcoholic and abusive husband of one began coming to church with his wife. Two weeks ago, he accepted Christ as his personal Savior.
Last month, due to funds sent to purchase Bibles, I was able to purchase 100 Bibles. I use these Bibles to give upon request to persons who have no Bible. I have only a few Bibles left, as so many persons request them. A few weeks ago, I gave a local shop boy a Bible. Seeing his Bible, the co-worker requested one. A week or so later, I returned to bring her a Bible, taking a 5-year-old girl with me. When the young girl saw that I gave this lady a Bible, she said, “My mom needs a Bible.” Her mom is one of our sewing students, so when I gave her a Bible, I inquired as to whether our other students had a Bible. Nine of 10 women had no Bible. Once these ladies all had Bibles, word quickly spread that I had Bibles available to persons who had no Bible. Several of our goat recipients have now come and received a Bible as well as our music leaders and choir members, and the Sunday school training participants. These Christians light up when they finally have their own copy of God’s word. What a privilege to help in this way.
In three weeks, I will be returning to the USA for a few weeks for my sister’s wedding. During this time, I’m looking forward to seeing many of you and updating you on how God is using you here in Rwanda. Before I come home, Love Alive will host a 3-day Children’s Bible school in the same rural village as our latest sewing center, we will also host a showing of the Jesus Film there. With thanks to those who have donated funds for chickens and to the children of Poplar Grove in Cookeville, TN, we will be purchasing 100 laying chickens to improve the nutrition of elementary students in another impoverished village.
Thank you for your prayers and all you do to share Christ’s love here in Rwanda. God bless you abundantly!
For His glory,