Sponsorship Notice!

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Attention all Sponsors!

For the past 5 years, we have been blessed to sponsor children in Rwanda to go to school for an entire year for the low rate of only $35 per student.  This has included their school uniforms (shorts or skirt, shirt and sweater), their basic school supplies, school fees, and in the cases of 6th grade through high school, their lunch fees as well.

At this time it is important to raise the cost by $10 per year to be able to cover expenses as they have grown slightly over time.

Beginning January of 2018, the cost of sponsorship will be $45 per child.

HOWEVER: You may continue your sponsorship or begin a new sponsorship before December 31, 2017 and still sponsor a child for only $35.

Beginning January, 2017, the cost of sponsoring a student will be $45 per child.

God bless you!

https://lovealiveinternational.com/donate/education/

Fall Update 2017

Dear Friends,                                                                                                              10/25/2017

Happy Fall. I’m glad to take this opportunity to update you on our ministry activities in recent months.

August began with a 3-day Children’s Bible school at Agape Church of one of our ACTS pastors, Pastor Patrick. He is burdened for the children of his community, and we are blessed to minister with him in reaching these children.

 

The following week, I assisted in teaching for a staff training of a local evangelistic ministry with whom we have many opportunities to work together evangelizing youth.

The third week, we held our first Scarlet Cord ladies’ conference, with two days of Bible teaching for just the women in our center. These ladies are growing in Christ. They enjoyed the seminar so much, they requested to have one every month. They continue to advance their skills and have even begun sewing items to sell in the afternoons following classes.

The month ended with a 2-day Sunday school teachers’ training with over 100 teachers from 40 churches coming together to learn how to engage the children in their churches and neighborhoods with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

September started by celebrating the Doctorate degree graduation of Pastor Emmanuel, another ACTS pastor whom we are privileged to partner with in assisting his churches and holding evangelistic outreaches, as well as in working together with their Christian organization to provide opportunities for underprivileged youth in their region.

This month, I began group counseling sessions in the Scarlet Cord on the trauma of sexual assault and finding healing and restoration in Christ. So many of these women have survived immense trauma and are finding hope.

We had quite an amazing Sunday school teacher’s training this month in a cold mountain region of the country. Ten churches had congregated together to learn what Sunday school is and how to teach the children. While these were allegedly doctrinally sound churches, as we began teaching, it was evident their Bible knowledge was very limited. As we continued, we realized we were coming against an even greater barrier. That evening, my colleague and I both felt certain that many of the attendees had never accepted Christ as their Savior. When we began the second day with a clear gospel presentation and an opportunity to accept God’s free gift of salvation, 18 of the 30 participants knelt and prayed to become children of God. With 4 more saved in the evening, 22 persons prayed to receive Salvation as a result of this training. I plan to return to this area within the next months to follow up with these teachers and continue training them.

The month ended with the birth of twins cared for through our Baby Love project. The twins were separated from their mother who was critically ill, but after 3 weeks of care, mother and babies were reunited and able to go home together.

In October, we celebrated the graduation of 17 ladies from 3-months of vocational education. These students learned hair weaving and braiding as well as pedicures and manicures.  This center is about 6 hours outside of our capital city, and is a partnership with a local Rwandan ministry, Rwanda Christian Action Ministries. Our partnership has been a wonderful way to reach out to youth in this area who are often unable to obtain work due to lack of skills, education, and means to advance without support. As this group graduated, another 20 students, 17 young men and 3 women, began 3 months of study in hair cutting, styling, shaving, coloring and cosmetics.

A third Sunday School teachers’ training was held by the request of Pastors in the western region of the country bordering Burundi. There 36 protestant churches came together for 2 days to concentrate on sharing the Gospel of Christ in a way that children can understand and want to learn more. Through these trainings, we had the opportunity to train 250 teachers and pastors from 85 churches in the past 2 months. The number one reason cited by church leaders in Rwanda for not having children’s ministries is lack of knowledge and training. It is exciting to be able to teach and encourage reaching children with the Gospel.

As this month comes to a close, our sponsorship students will begin their final exams this next week, and will close out their school year mid-November.

We are organizing a Pastors Conference in the Congo this next month, and I ask that you would be in prayer for it.
I cannot end without special thanks to all of you who pray and give compassionately toward this ministry. God is blessing and continues to provide so many areas of service to the people here.

 

With Gratitude,

  Laura Y.

Laura Yockey

Love Alive International

Summer Update, 2017 Love Alive International

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Hello! I’m always surprised to see how much time has passed since my last update! Forgive me as I try to cram the highlights of the past few months into one letter. God continues to be at work in many ways and in many lives here.

MAY: On May 15, we began a ministry that is dear to my heart, and was certainly a leap of faith to begin. We opened the doors to The Scarlet Cord, a one-year program to rehabilitate women of the sex trade industry. In this program we teach vocational skills to give these women an appropriate source of income generation. As they study, we give biblical counseling and teaching. Already we have seen many make decisions for Christ. We have seen answers to their prayers, and have seen God working in their lives. We also opened a baby nursery on site to provide safe and suitable care for the babies of our students._SAM5031

 

JUNE: In June, we had a team of 5 ladies from my home church, Stevens Street Baptist in Cookeville, TN visit for two weeks. Together we traveled the country ministering in almost all areas Love Alive is involved in.

In mid June, we opened a Beauty Salon Vocational Center providing vocational training to 40 students in Cyangugu, Rwanda. This project is a partnership with a local organization Rwanda Christian Action Ministries. We are excited about using this avenue to provide opportunities and daily guidance to students who include orphans, widows, AIDS victims and single mothers. The month ended with a 3-day conference on Salvation with 7 persons choosing to follow Christ.

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During this month we also launched our ACTS ministry whereby we are partnering with local churches with which we have worked and know these churches to be sound and actively striving to reach their communities for Christ. Through the ACTS ministry we wish to Assist Churches Through Stewardship I by linking individuals, small groups or churches in the USA who can offer support to local pastors here in Rwanda. This can help local pastors have the resources they need to continue steadfast in the work they are doing for the Kingdom.

JULY: This month began with a Sunday school training of teachers from 9 different churches coming together to learn how to reach children with the Gospel. Due to a children’s offering from Washington Avenue Baptist Church, we were able to provide a young church with Bibles for all members. This church is one of the churches highlighted in our ACTS ministry . We look forward to being with them again next month to hold a children’s Bible school.

A new baby boy arrived at the hospital needing care through our Baby Love ministry. I am happy to report that his mother has recovered well enough to have returned to the same hospital as her son. She is still recovering, but after a month of separation is able to see him and be near him._SAM5226

I offer special thanks to all of you who pray for and support this ministry. It is only through the Holy Spirit that lives are change and we can make an impact.

With Gratitude,

Laura Y.

Gatare, Living Church

20170619_114307After Pastor Damour started the Kayenzi church, his second church plant (Kayenzi), he began telling me of his dreams to continue planting. Much to my surprise, the next time I visited, he let me know that there was already a group of Christians meeting each week in the home of a Christian, while they walked an hour to come to meet at the Ruzizi church on Sundays.  As they grew to 12 saved and baptized members, In May of 2017 they began renting a small house, and meeting on Sundays.

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I had the honor of attending a baptismal service at Lake Muhazi for an additional 12 Members. It was at this time that the teacher, under the leadership of Pastor Damour, informed me that they had found several available tracts of land suitable for building the church when God provided the funding.

When I visited in July, 2017, the registered membership was 30 persons, with an additional 17 persons who had made decisions to follow Christ, and were being disciple in preparation for their baptism the following month.

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Church service, Gatare

 

It has been a blessing and a joy to work with Pastor Damour. As he humbling works among the people in his home region, unknown mostly even amongst his fellow Rwandans; yet, God ‘s blessing and His hand on this ministry is powerfully evident. What a privilege we have to come alongside this brother in Christ to encourage and support him and lift up His hands as he continues reaching his people with the Gospel.

Needs of this church.

  1. Purchase of land: approximately $1,500 USD
  2. Benches, chairs, straw mats, and temporary shelter from sun and rain.
  3. A church building: approximately $8,000 USD
  4. Daily provisions for the members of this rural farming area. Their daily needs that often are unmet include food, clothing, shoes, soap, clean water, medical care, and “luxuries” such as sugar and salt.
  5. The Holy Spirit’s working and strengthening this young church and new believers.
  6. More Bibles for new believers in this quickly growing church.
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Visiting the home of a church member.

 

Kayenzi Church, Pastor Damour

New Land

Preparing the new land for building.

Having now worked closely with Pastor Damour, his wife Gloria and their ministry for three years, I can say that all who know him say he is one of the most godly and humble men a person could ever meet. This is one of the reasons I felt led to work with this friend and fellow-laborer. Pastor Damour was born and raised in a village where few travel. Those who were not born there have no reason to go. Virtually no foreigners ever see this part of the country. Few on earth are likely to know of Pastor Damour or his dedicated and faithful service to his Savior, but he continues faithful to his calling.

As shared previously (click here), Pastor Damour has a testimony of being saved from a life of alcoholism, and making a drastic change to becoming a pastor. After faithfully serving and growing his first church, Pastor Damour felt led of God to begin a new church plant about an hour’s walk through the hills in the area of Kayenzi.

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Church Congregation with new Bibles.

 

This church was officially opened in March of 2016 with 12 believers. In the past year, this church has grown to a membership of over 40 saved, disciple and baptized members. As they have grown, they have transitioned from a small house they were formerly renting to a plot of land., purchased for them by donors of Love Alive. In the spring of 2017, the church began preparing this land for building. At this time, this congregation continues to meet outside until the time when God will provide them with a physical building to meet in together.

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Church service.

 

Please pray with them and consider partnering with them as they trust in God’s provision for a physical place of worship. Rwanda has two seasons, that of intense sun, and the other of daily rain. Neither bodes well for regular meetings outside without shelter.

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Children’s worship choir.

Pray also for Pastor Damour as he oversees this church as well as for the teachers, members of Pastor Damour’s congregation who assists in the teaching and shepherding of this congregation.

Pray that God will raise up a pastor who can tend to this church and give sound teaching. Pray that they will continue to grow spiritually and, as they share the gospel with others, they will grow in numbers as well.

Pray for daily provision for the members of this church. On my last visit I noted that not only were there children attending barefoot, but adults as well. Soil erosion is strong in the hills of this area, and crops grow sparsely. These families work hard to grow enough to survive. They rarely see actual money as their living is by farming for their families.

Pastor Damour, Byumba, Ruzizi Rwanda Church of the Living

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Pastor Damour and his wife and ministry partner, Gloria.

 

Pastor Damour’s testimony is one of amazing grace and a life surrendered to God’s work in the far regions of Rwanda.

“I was born into and raised in a family of non-Christians. As I grew I was a terrible sinner. I was a drunkard for 17 years,” Damour shares of his history. Later, Damour began reading the Bible. “I read that the righteous would go to heaven forever, but sinners would be in Hell. I was very afraid of Hell,” he says. “I continued reading, and read Mathew chapter 7 on prayer. I decided I would begin praying. I began praying, and I prayed that God would grant me salvation, that God would keep me from dying without salvation.” Damour continued studying the Bible, and realized that Heaven could be his. “I believed, I repented of my sins, leaving them all behind me, and asked God for forgiveness of my sins. I then believed I should become an evangelist.”

After receiving Christ as his Savior, Damour began attending church, he was baptized, and began sharing about his salvation with others. “This was a very difficult time,” Damour shares. Due to his past, many did not believe he could have truly been saved. Many assumed within weeks or months, he would return to alcoholism, but as time continued, and he stayed faithful to his relationship in Christ, they began to realize real change had taken place in his life.

“As I continued to grow in my faith and pray about what God would have me do, I felt God leading me to begin a church,” he says. Damour began his first church in the same village where he was born, raised, and married to his wife Gloria. Many laughed at his efforts believing it would never be possible for him to build a church congregation let alone a building. As the years passed, a small group meeting in Damour’s home grew to a number large enough to meet on a plot of land he owned. They then built a small building, but soon outgrew this building.

In 2014 Love Alive met Pastor Damour, his family, and their growing congregation. Upon seeing this humble servant of God so dedicated in his faithful walk to witness in his community and disciple others for Christ, we chose to partner with this church. In the years since, we have seen God build a large physical church building to house the current membership. As this facility was being built, the previous shelter collapsed. The church membership has continued to grow with new believers, and Pastor Damour and his wife have continued in their mission to carry forth the gospel. They began two more churches in 2016 and 2017.

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The church still under construction.

 

If you were to visit Pastor Damour’s church, during the time of offering, you would notice that very few coins are given, but the church parishioners bring in their offerings of a sack of beans, a few avocados, a small bundle of maize. They are bringing the first fruits of their harvest to God. One of the ways the church has worked to raise funding on their own is by the entire church coming together to farm a field and give the proceeds to the church.

What a privilege it is to come along side a humble pastor who, saved by God’s grace, continues faithfully to share the message of salvation throughout his region. Pastor Damour’s family subsists off of their own farming. One of the needs of his family is the provision of yearly school fees for his children, especially his oldest daughter Sarah who is already a great asset in their ministry in evangelism, music, and teaching the children in Sunday School. While the church facility is now near completion, additional funding would assist the church in obtaining proper seating, making a kitchen area and a children’s teaching area, and assisting the poorest in the church with physical necessities.

Please pray for Pastor Damour, his wife, Gloria, their children Sarah, Abraham, Rebecca, and Elizabeth, and their church congregation. As you pray consider whether the Holy Spirit may lead you to assist this church through stewardship, which would provide them rich encouragement in the ministry God has led them to continue the past 10 years.

 

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Pastor Damour’s daughter Sarah teaching the children Sunday school.

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The church congregation gathered together in their new building.

ACTS: Pastor Emmanuel Gatera, Word of Life Ministries, Kamembe, Rwanda

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Pastor Emmanuel Gatera  

WORD OF LIFE MINISTRIES (WOLM)

Africa:Rwanda, Western Province, Rusizi District, Kamembe Sector

Pastor Emmanuel Gatera is the pastor of Word of Life Ministries Kamembe Campus, from which 6 other churches have begun in the past 5 years. He is the overseer of all seven churches in this area and also acts as Deputy National Legal Representative of Word of Life Ministries in Rwanda (WOLM). He is married to his wife Jane NIYONSABA. Together they have three children.

Emmanuel's family

BACKGROUND AND TESTIMONY

Pastor Gatera was born in on December 25, 1972, and born again in Christ on August 21, 1982.

Born into a Catholic family, it was his brother’s radical freeing from demon possession that led to Gatera’s entire family coming to faith in Jesus Christ. As he says, “My older brother was possessed by the sickness of demons. My parents took him to different hospitals, but he didn’t get the healing because they didn’t know his sickness. After long time they went in Pentecostal Church. There intercessors prayed for him, and received total healing. At that time, my family of 4 people including me discovered the supernatural power of healing, and decided to repent and accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour.”   After his salvation, Pastor Gatera was baptized, and continued to grow in the church, and was active in the worship team.

In 1992, at the age of 20, Gatera felt God calling him to serve God as evangelist. The same year I went to Bible college. He finished 6 years full-time at Bible school in Democratic Republic of Congo, 2 years full-time at Bible College in Kigali, Rwanda, 2 years full-time at Bible College in Kenya, and 4 years at Word of Life Bible College of Canada through online courses. He holds a BS Bible Studies and Doctorate in Practical Ministries.

As a Pastor and overseer of the 7 churches of WOLM in Kamembe, Rwanda Pastor Gatera continues to minister to orphans, elders, sick, the poor, and widows. He teaches Bible school students every Saturday. Each of the 6 churches begun in the past 5 years has been started by someone he has disciple and taught in his Bible school. , He is blessed with his wife and family who stand by and support his visions in the ministry.20170311_121755

WORD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

OUR MISSION:

Word of Life is a church intent on connecting people to Jesus and His church through our lives, our words, and our deeds.

OUR VISION:

Making disciples by providing them efficient Christian education that will help them to grow spiritually (Matthew 28:19-20), and to build local churches that will transform cities and nations.20170521_102629

OUR SLOGANS:

Love God! Love People! Love Life! Everyone needs JESUS, and Everyone needs a HOME

Word of Life Ministries (WOLM) Core Values:

  • ENGAGING the culture around us (Everyone needs Jesus) – We strive to create an atmosphere and attitude that engages every community that we plant ourselves in. We constantly reach out to every aspect of our society in every possible way to help connect people with Jesus. 
  • Living in AUTHENTIC Relationships (Everyone needs a HOME) – The church is not just a meeting but a community of people who strive to live in healthy authentic relationship with each other. These people are a testimony of Jesus in their communities. Relationships with core leaders and pastors must be truthful and honest at all times. Sometimes relationships can be just religious and have no depth at all, or can be fake.  
  • EMPOWERING Potential (Everyone has something to contribute) – We believe that it is part of the churches job to unlock, release the God given potential of every minister. Whatever sector of culture and society God has called you to. Each pastor or core leader is NOT to do the entire ministry themselves, but to see potential in others and train and mentor them to fulfill their destiny on our team and their life purpose. 
  • Driven by COMPASSION – The church must be actively involved in local projects of compassion as well as international works of compassion.  Even in poor areas, there has to be a focus on caring for people who are desperate. 
  • For all GENERATIONS (Everyone belongs) – We believe in longevity and strive to build churches that reach and touch every age group of people. We also believe that churches should last for generations in communities and serve as a pillar of stability in their communities.

At the link below, you can see an interview of me discussing my experience during the Rwandan genocide, my testimony, what I have achieved in the ministry, and my goals in the ministry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsfBUYYA59A

Our current prayer items and visions for the Church:

  1. Financial miracle of $42,000USD for church building and offices on our land at Kamembe location (the headquarter of 7 local churches). The church has purchased a large tract of land, but is praying for the funding to begin building. They currently rent a small building where they meet to worship.
  2. 20170520_124158God’s continued provision for my family and our needs.Schools fees and materials for school of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) we have in the church.
  3. Financial sponsorships for teachers of Bible school. Pastor Gatera currently teaches classes every Saturday voluntarily, but with other teachers or funding, the students could obtain more resources and further studies.
  4. Paying Health Insurance of those in need in our church and community.
  5. Financial miracles for helping church members who live with HIV/AIDS.20170312_111253

 

ACTS Ministry Pastor Profile: Pastor Patrick, Agape Church, Rugende Rwanda

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Pastor Patrick’s Personal Testimony:

I received Jesus as my Savior at the age nine, and from then I continued to attend church services. However, at the age of fifteen, I was left the only living member of our family of five, the rest of my two older brothers and my parents having died. I started to be discouraged. Later on I came to my senses and recognized that whatever case it may be, God is good all the time. So i started going to church again, and in 2002 I was sent to Kenya to attend Bible school. There I met men of God who heard my testimony, prayed for me, and I really found deliverance. From the Bible School I served the Lord with all my heart until I committed myself to be ordained as a Pastor in 2017. I am leading the local church branch of AGAPE AEPC in Rugende not far from the capital city of Kigali. This local church came into existence after we saw that most of the people living in this area were vulnerable, some are orphans, widows, HIV/AIDS victims to mention but a few and according to my calling, I am very much concerned with such kind of people. I believe I have an experience so my strong desire is to see such people being delivered through the Word of God. I started work there while I was still an associate pastor, but now I am full pastor and God is using me.

Introduction to AEPC-Rugende

Agape AEPC- Rugende is a local church which began on 5th September 2014 in Nyakariro sector, Rwamagana district, Eastern Province, Rwanda. Its head quarter is in Kanombe, Kigali-Rwanda. This church is responsible for carrying the message of purpose, potential and leadership to the nations.

Vision

Our vision is to declare, effectively communicate, and apply the Biblical message of the good news of the kingdom of God in its present and future dispensation to our society with the views to impact the present and future generation with the ministry of reconciliation to our creator God.

It is a vision of AEPC-Rugende to establish a network of ministries, agencies, projects and opportunities to provide for the declaration, and effective communication of the good news of the kingdom of God and the restoration, development, training and release of Christian leaders and worshippers to impact every sphere of human existence.

Mission

The mission of AEPC-Rugende is to exalt Jesus Christ as Lord, obey his Word, and encourage, equip each believer for the work of ministry. We are called to build the church from house to house, city to city, nation to nation through small groups. This local church is built through prayers, reaching the lost and making disciples. Our mission includes reaching adults, youth and children for Christ.

Purpose

The purpose of AEPC-Rugende is to provide for the recruiting, restoration, development, training and release of mature, intelligent, refined, skillful, principled, spirit filled, free individuals within Rwanda to take their rightful place of excellence and responsibilities in their communities and generation through embracing a personal relationship with God the father through redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ and application of biblical principles of the kingdom of God.

Prayer needs

  • Church building
  • Sound equipment
  • Materials and Bibles
  • Pastors’ support
  • God’s provision for children and widows who are homeless in Rwanda
  • Care for orphans
  • Peace of God to prevail in every nation
  • Students financing

Join us in destiny

I strongly believe that AEPC-Rugende is raised by God to provide millions of effective people like you, with opportunity to impact their generation and unborn generation with the life changing good news of the kingdom of God. You are most welcome as you join us on this great adventure into destiny as we fulfill God’s appointed mandate for us.

Support

AEPC-Rugende is totally dependent on God to anoint, lead, protect and provide for all that it needs. All support that is received whether it is prayers, financial help or a practical commitment is extremely valued. You are welcome to support the work of God.

The joy of serving God

As co-workers with Christ, we are not serving alone. God has been very careful to see that we continue serving together with him. The field is ripe but the laborers are still few. Jesus said when we serve through his Word; He comes and confirms it with signs and wonders. When the fruits are ripe, very soon we shall stand before Him and the work we did for Him shall follow us. It is our responsibility as believers to find a position to serve Him.

Witnessing about his kingdom and his love is a basic responsibility for every believer. People will never hear about Him unless there is some body to tell them. The result of our total commitment in serving Him is joy now and eternally. He is ready to use you, just surrender yourself to Him and you will really enjoy serving with Him.

Pastor Patrick in Rugende, Rwanda

If you would like more information or photos of Pastor Patrick’s church in Rugende, Rwanda, Please contact us at lovealive4africa@gmail.com

The Scarlet Cord

scarlet cord

Let me tell you about the Scarlet Cord!

We have established our vocational training center for women this year in Kagugu, Rwanda. This area is particularly known for women in the sex trade. The objective of our center this year is to provide a place for counseling, Bible teaching, healing, friendship and community support for these women. Not only will they be learning to sew, in order to have a fair trade by which to improve the lives of them and their children, but they will be learning to work through the traumas and difficulties of their pasts which have led them into prostitution as a way of survival.

“She tied the Scarlet Cord to the window.” Joshua 2:22

The name The Scarlet Cord, of course, comes from the Bible story of Rahab. Rahab did not know the one true God, She also was a sex trade worker. Yet her scarlet cord was a symbol of her faith. She had seen the power of God, and was keen enough to fear Him and put her faith in His power to save her and her family. This cord represents that faith.

Like Rahab, many of the women joining our center, do not know God; they have not seen His power in their lives; they have not encountered the salvation He so freely offers. Yet, in their willingness to come to our center, they too hang their scarlet cord in the window, with the smallest bit of faith and hope.

No doubt these women have faced unbelievable hardship in their lives, and have reached a place of moral destitution and shame in society. At Love Alive, we are honored to be able to wrap arms of love around these women, and show them the hope found in Jesus. I dream of them finding forgiveness, restoration, and their true beauty in Jesus Christ, and watching them walk in dignity as daughters of the King.

I beg you to join us in prayer for each of these women. Most of them have not even an elementary education. A dozen can neither read nor write. The majority have no living parents. None have husbands. Almost all have children for whom they want to provide a better situation in life.

We are blessed to have a skilled seamstress as our teacher who loves each student as her own child, and pours guidance and counsel into them daily. She begins each day in a time of prayer and Bible reading. I will be heavily involved in Bible teaching, individual and group therapy, and assisting these women in their individual needs physically and materially as they see change in their lives.

The Scarlet Cord is woven in threads of hope and faith that each of these women can see their lives drastically changed through Christ. We need the Holy Spirit’s involvement and your intercession on their behalves. If you wish to assist one of these women or this center financially, you may do so at the link below.

https://lovealiveinternational.com/donate/sewing-machines/