Children’s Learning Center

This September, we opened up a Children’s Learning Center for our primary grade students. As children here study either mornings or afternoons, the center is open for children to come before or after their studies. We offer homework help, tutoring, activity-based learning, play, and porridge each day.

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As most of our students have parents who were unable to receive a good education themselves, students often have no one to help with homework or concepts with which they struggle. As the teachers typically have an average of 50 students in a class, and students only study four hours per day, children needing help can miss the opportunity to gain the support they need. Additionally, we have seen that absence is often due to hunger. Our center seeks to assist children with all of these issues.

We have 6 staff working with the children daily. These teachers and assistants are excited about the program and showing great dedication to helping our students.

I’m excited about this program and thankful for your part in seeing this ministry opened and blessing our students.  Thank you!

Agape Church Construction Under Way!

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I thank you for your prayers on behalf of the churches here, specifically those with whom we continue to work.

We are rejoicing that God allowed us to see the third church needing renovation reopened. We also praise God that after 14 months of perseverance, patience, and prayer, the building permit for a fourth church, Agape with Pastor Patrick was granted. The construction of that church is well-under way.   This is nothing less than miraculous.

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Thank you for choosing to partner with us in this ministry. God bless you!

Autumn Update, 2018

Dear Friends of Love Alive,                                                                                     10-02-2018

Happy Autumn! Though there is no changing of color in the leaves here, I’ll still enjoy our green hills, lush with plantain trees, cassava, tea and coffee plants. Once again as I begin a letter to update you, I find it difficult to squeeze into one letter all of the wonderful things God continues to do here.

ACTS–This past Sunday, as my family and I visited one of our ACTS churches, Agape, I was thrilled to recognize a new face in the church choir. Excited, I shared with Pastor Patrick that Esther had been a student in our sewing center 3years ago, and her daughters, who accompanied her, are elementary students in our sponsorship program.  Pastor Patrick then shared that he had the privilege to baptize this mother upon her faith in Christ.  Seeing their faces in this church and hearing about her faith in Christ exemplified to me how God is working in and through Love Alive. While this lady has been impacted by her own vocational training and her children’s education, seeds of the Gospel were planted, though we did not see the fruit initially. Now, a church that we are partnering with has been used of God to help this family grow in their faith in Christ.

As you think of the churches here, please continue to pray.  I am very pleased with the churches we work with, such as this one I mention. While they cannot meet in their own buildings for now, they are sharing a church with 3 other congregations, all meeting at different times, in order to keep their congregations together. Please pray as we have 2 churches we are partnered with who are ready to build as soon as their building permits are granted.  In both cases, the paperwork is waiting on its final approval at the highest level.  We do not doubt the approval, but it is a work of patience as we wait.QCNC5129

Scarlet Cord—This week as we visited the home of a Scarlet Cord graduate upon hearing of the tragic death of her husband, I thanked our teacher Console for truly loving these students, and not only while they are in her class, but long after they have completed our program.  She replied that this is what she loves about working with Love Alive. “We don’t just teach a skill to help them physically, and we don’t just say, ‘God loves you; be saved.’  We offer them that love and demonstrate it through the works God has given us to do. Then as we teach God’s word and teach His love and salvation along with those actions,  that is when everything comes together for these ladies. That is when we see God really work in their lives.”_SAM6573

I am extremely grateful for the Rwandan staff God has blessed us with as we minister together.  Many of you requested the prayer sheets of the students in our center this year. Thank you very much for praying for these ladies. Continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will work in through our center and in their lives for His glory.

God bless you all for your prayers and kindness to this ministry. You are a very important part of all God is doing here.

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With Immense Gratitude,

Laura Y.

6,315 Churches Closed. What Can We Do?

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In mid-February of this year, the Rwandan government brought about a list of new laws for all churches siting safety and hygiene as concerns. By March 20th, in this tiny country, the government had shut down 6,315 churches.

As you can imagine this has greatly impacted the body of Christ here in Rwanda. While there are still churches open, the majority of churches we have worked with and in are closed until they can meet the new safety standards.

Of our Acts churches, 4 of the 5 have been closed.

Of the 10 churches where we most recently held Sunday school trainings, and saw 7 new Sunday schools emerge totaling 250 children reached, all 10 have closed.

Churches where we have held trainings, vacation Bible schools, Bible clubs, youth conferences, all have been shut down.

One dear pastor friend was the lead pastor shepherding 30 rural churches. All 30 were closed.

However, we can help. First, we can pray for the body of Christ here in Rwanda. I am personally praying that the believers would be strengthened in their faith, that they would become more determined to share the Gospel in legal manner, that they would trust God and give sacrificially to further the church and meet the new guidelines, and that among like-faith churches, there would be unity of pastors and leaders, that there would be more potential for churches to work together to build and meet the new regulations and open their doors.

We can help these churches build. The government has promised that as soon as the churches that were closed are able to meet the new building regulations enforced, they can reopen. The difficulty is that most village congregations have little or no capacity to do so, but we can help. I have had the privilege to come to know well several pastors and their churches. I know that they are solid in their doctrine and passionate about sharing the gospel. I know that these pastors are dedicated, selfless, and self-sacrificing to carry out their gospel mission.

It is deeply impressed upon my heart, that we be part of helping churches build.

A brick church, meeting the new regulations can be built from between $10,000 and $15,000. This would include foundation, cement flooring, metal roofing and reinforcement, and metal doors and windows. The price varies due to location and size. Two of the specific churches we are working with already have land on which to build.

Will you please pray with me for the church in Rwanda, and specifically whether God would have you and your church assist these churches prayerfully or financially.

In Christ,

Laura Y,

To support the building of a local church, you can donate here:

Support a Church or here Donate for Churches

Shop Amazon and Support Love Alive!

Did you know that when you shop on Amazon.com a portion of your payment can be directly donated to Love Alive? Amazon will donate to the charity of your choice each time you shop.  Just follow the link below!

Shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday at http://smile.amazon.com/ch/80-0844919 and Amazon donates to Love Alive International. #YouShopAmazonDonateschristmas-shopping-121916

ACTS Assisting Churches Through Stewardship

 

They will glorify God for your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with others through the proof provided by this service. I Corinthians 9:12-13

You’ve heard of sponsoring a child, but have you ever considered sponsoring a church?

Love Alive in Rwanda is rolling out a new ministry opportunity. Through befriending a local church here in Rwanda, you will have the opportunity to partner in the ministry of the gospel in a rural African village, while still able to rem ain in your home and work in your home country.

Assisting Churches Through Stewardship

Throughout the book of Acts, we see that the New Testament church was one of harmony, unity, generosity, and prayer. We see an evident spirit of giving to the kingdom of God, and esteeming His church and His people above themselves.

Many of Paul’s letters further address the need of supporting pastors, evangelist and missionaries (I Cor 9:4-11). Paul expressed here, If we have sown a spiritual seed, is it not ok to reap a material harvest? We know that the church of Philippi supported Paul’s missionary endeavors in Macedonia (Phil 4:15).In Galatians, Paul instructs to provide for those who share the Gospel.

Here in Rwanda, we are privileged to befriend and partner with many local churches. Often, the churches we are working alongside, are new church plants, very poor village churches, and churches whose members have very little or nothing to give in the way of finances. In many village churches, I have had the opportunity to witness the offering time in which, those in the church bring the “first fruits of their labors,” a few avocados, some corn or beans, a bunch of bananas. That is what they are able to bring. Now the pastor must try to resell these items in order to obtain some small coins for the church.

The standard here is to allow pastors to accept 20% of the offering to meet the needs of themselves and their families, and the rest to be designated for the church. This may come to no more than a dollar per week.

As we continue to work alongside these churches, the needs of the churches in purchasing land, building, purchasing benches to sit on, or providing a small stipend for the pastor are very evident.

Love Alive has selected 5 church plants that we would like to begin with in the ministry of ACTS Assisting Churches Through Stewardship. Each of these churches is known to be actively growing and seeing souls saved and spiritual growth in the members. The pastors are known to be godly leaders, actively serving the Lord, and having a vision to expand the work He has given them for the Kingdom.

We have requested each of these pastors to provide written information concerning themselves, their church history, and their vision for their church, and to provide photos.

My desire is that individuals or churches would choose to connect with these Rwandan church plants in stewarding them and praying for them. This will not only encourage the local pastors to know that they have a friend in another country praying for them and interceding for them, but also provide an avenue of growth and expansion that they may see more souls brought to Christ.

How much would it cost?

There is no one set amount. We are simply looking for fellow churches or individuals who wish to befriend one of the 5 churches, correspond with them, hear about their vision, and their heart, and to stand with them. While $100 a month could help tremendously, $50 and even $25 can help these churches with minor costs such as electricity, or paying for a watchman for the property.

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10

The ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many acts of thanksgiving to God.

f To become a partner of our ACTS ministry and support a village church, you may do so here:

https://lovealiveinternational.com/donate/

 

July 2016 Update

July 2016 Update

Dear Friends,                                                                                                                                July 6, 2016

Greetings from Rwanda. In this season, our weather is comparable to yours, sunny, dry, and hot! We do not expect any rain for at least another month, and have seen no rain in 2 months. Needless to say, it is a bit dry, but, laundry sure dries fast! There is also the advantage of never having to cancel or postpone programs due to heavy rains. In a land where few have cars, and most roads are dirt, rain tends to shut down many events.

I am always amazed how much time has elapsed since I last wrote, and then I am reminded of all we have been doing, and the many ways God is working & blessing. When I returned last September, I moved into a small house of 380 square feet. Within the last few months, my household of one turned into a household of 6! Three young boys, who stay with me during all holidays, having nowhere else to go, were here for the 3 months of Christmas holiday. In March, we learned that 2 of our vocational training students were walking 6 hours, round-trip for school each day. They moved in with me. In April a young boy needing physical therapy stayed in my home for a few weeks to have access to the hospital. The very day he left, I was walking home late in the night and found a 7-year-old boy, sleeping in the street. He saw me, and called me by name, having recognized me from coming to our Saturday Bible club. In short, JP is orphaned, and had been sleeping in the streets since his mother died. JP now lives with me, attends school, and considers himself a permanent family member. Only 2 days after JP came, a mother of some of our sponsored children who has consistently tried to give me her children once again asked me to take her kids to live with me. This time, I found out they were again living in the streets. We met with local authorities, and those 2 children ages 5 and 8 also came to live with me as a temporary solution. After a one-month stay, Jennifer and Randall graciously opened the annex of their home for these children to come and live together with their mother. It is our prayer that the mother will be able to obtain work and soon be able to support herself and her children. Please pray for this family, as there are many steps that must be made before that can happen. As two other situations have come up in the last week of others needing a place to stay, I am moving into a new house!

Hospital Care: We are delighted to continue our partnership with the local hospital, where we are able to provide treatment of many patients each month. We continue to visit regularly to pray with patients and bring gifts. Love Alive was able to provide care for yet a third baby this month, as the baby was in this hospital, the mother in another hospital about 2 hours away, and no one else was able to care for the child. Mother and child have now been reunited. In addition, we have helped in several personal ways as two children of our Sewing Center students needed emergency care, one after swallowing and pen cap that lodged itself in his intestines, and another after falling 35 feet into a hole, fracturing his skull and breaking his femur. Both are in recovery at this time.

Goats and Chickens: In May, we gave several goats to a group of women wanting to raise goats for income, but also to give goats to others. I am told these goats are already expecting offspring. Just last week, Randall helped us implement a program of providing 200 chickens for 20 families in an impoverished village. A spokesman for the group of recipients asked me to share the group’s gratitude, and to tell you that the same way that they have been helped, they hope to use the gift they are given to help others in their community. The purpose of the giving of chickens is to provide nutritional and income-generating opportunities, while teaching small-savings and sharing the love of Christ.

Bible Clubs: Our two weekly Bible clubs are near the conclusion of their 20-week curriculum. We have weekly seen 120 children at our Gako location, and 170 each week at our Kinamba location. We have already selected another location to begin our next Bible club in the same town as our sewing and salon centers, and plan to begin that this month. Please pray that we will see children trust Jesus as their Savior through this program.

Salon & Sewing: Our Salon students absolutely love the days their guest teacher Jennifer comes to teach. These students are nearing the completion of their certification, and will soon be finishing their program and seeking jobs. Our sewing students continue to amaze me with their zeal and joy in learning. They have begun staying after school to take on small jobs already, though graduation is still 5 months away. Most of these students had written out prayer requests for me back in May. It has been wonderful to see several answers to these prayers and be able to rejoice with these ladies and remind them that God is watching over them and He cares.

Sponsorship: In June we purchased annual health insurance ($5 per person) for all sponsored students in our program. Without insurance many of our students stay sick for long periods of time, and miss much school. With insurance they can easily see doctors and get the medications they need to restore health. We were blessed to be able to help them in this way.

Upcoming Events: We are hosting a 3-day youth conference later this month, and we are also planning a pastors’ conference in August as we greatly desire to enhance the local church with biblical training. My dad, Bob Yockey, Randall Smith, and a Rwandan evangelist Mbanzamugabo Aminadab are preparing now for this conference. We greatly appreciate your prayers for this event.

In May, I was introduced to a group of young unwed mothers, who have literally been cast-out of society. “Their scarlet letters” have caused them complete rejection by family, the church, school, and any potential of friendship and advancement in life. I am greatly burdened to reach out to these young girls, and shine the light of Christ to them. I am praying now about the ways we can potentially help these young ladies in the near future. Please pray with me.

God bless you and keep you!  Laura Yockey

And then Came JP

It was almost midnight as I made my way home. A young boy who had been staying with me for several weeks for medical reasons, had just left. The girls who stay with me had gone home for the weekend, and Baby Grace, whom we had been caring for for several months was on her way home too. I was looking forward to a weekend to myself. As the moto was dropping me off on the corner, for me to walk the rest of the way home, I saw a small young boy standing on the corner. Wow. What is that child doing out here, alone this late in the night? I thought. I planned to greet him and see if he was ok, but as I was still paying the moto, the little boy called out to me, “Laura!” I greeted him, but had no idea who he was.

I paid the moto and walked over to the little barefoot guy. It was cold out tonight. I was wearing a sweater and had taken a sweatshirt for extra. He was barefoot in a t-shirt.

I asked where his mom was and he replied that he didn’t have one. Dad had left and gone back to their home village and had refused to take him.

When did mom die? “Some time ago.” Where do you live? “Nowhere.”

Who do you have to stay with? “Noone.”

Where are you sleeping tonight? “I don’t know yet.”

Well, I could at least help him with the last question. He took my hand, and we walked home for the night, with plans to visit a center for orphans nearby and see if they can help , contact authorities, and the National Ministry of Children as well.

I came to learn JP is 7 years old, he may have family in a village several hours away, but he only knows the first names of his mother and father, and does not know more than a general area (county size) where his family may reside. He knew me because he had attended our Bible club several times. I figured this out when he started quoting all of our memory verses and singing all of the Bible club songs when he went to sleep at night.

Saturday, I took him (at his request) to a local center for orphans. He hoped he could stay there. They were full. They did not wish to take in anyone new. No, they could not house him, not even just for the weekend. They suggested I take him to the police. I have some experience with trying to get the police to help in these situations, and usually it results in the child spending a few days in a jail cell, until they release him back to the same situation.

I then called the National Department of Children, who told me it was the weekend, maybe I could try the village leaders. The village leader’s phone was off. We waited until Monday.

On Monday, we went to a council of local leaders who, having no other place for the child, asked me, “Can he stay with you for a few days until we locate his family?” Needless to say, I have never heard from them again, and never expected to. During the upcoming school break JP and I intend to do some searching for family ourselves.

JP began school the very next week. He is very bright and witty, extremely responsible and caring. He is fairly certain that anywhere I go, he needs to go, and my home is his. In fact, one morning at breakfast I heard him discussing with the other children whom he will live with when I die! Apparently, we are together until then!