I trust your Christmas season was both merry and bright. We have had a lovely Christmas season here. As this year comes to a close, let me update you on our final month here.
As we paused our Children’s Learning Center mid-December until the new school year begins in January, we celebrated Christmas the final day with a narration on the Christmas story and reenactment by the children. As this is the first time any of them had seen people dress up as Bible characters, they thoroughly enjoyed seeing each other clad as shepherds, wisemen, angels and Mary and Joseph.
The following day we held a Christmas dinner for all Love Alive staff and Rwandan ministry partners with 6 pastors and their wives and children and many more. We are so thankful for the opportunity to work alongside faithful servants here.
We held two 3-day Christmas holiday vacation Bible schools for children telling and acting out more of the Christmas story each day from the prophets foretelling his birth to meeting Anna and Simeon and escaping into Egypt. Our final children’s reenactment of the Nativity took place high in the mountains in a one-day Christmas celebration with 12 churches and 350 children participating. In this extremely poor area, we really sought something that we could give to the children that would be helpful, and finally settled on winter knit hats. That may sound odd in Africa, but this region gets cold, and children have too little to wear. We gave the children cake and candy, and when we announced that everyone would get a hat, their excitement and appreciation were so overwhelming it brought tears to my eyes.
Our final Christmas celebration with our ministry beneficiaries was held the Sunday afternoon before Christmas with all of the single-moms in our sewing center and their babies. We read and pondered the account of the birth of Christ, shared a meal, sang and opened gifts. This is always a wonderful time together, but the highlight was being able to bless a few women in a special way. One friend of Love Alive had seen that we had given mattresses, and upon learning that many here have nothing to sleep on, chose to give 4 mattresses. The delight these women had in receiving these extra special gifts was beautiful. A couple jumped up and down unable to contain their excitement, another collapsed to her knees in tears, arms lifted to praise God for an answered prayer. What a joy to bless in this way as we give in light of the Greatest Gift of All.
Meanwhile, our colleague Cyiza was married to his lovely wife Jacky, and our Nursery teacher Sandrine celebrated her college graduation. We have registered all students for the upcoming school year, which will begin January 6, 2020. In addition to these 450 students, we have 100 children on a waiting list, hoping for a sponsor to assist them to school.
We are so thankful for all God allowed us to have a part in this past year and look forward to all that is ahead in the coming days. Thank YOU for partnering with us! May you have much love, abundant grace, and many blessings in the New Year.
Love Alive International