Wrapping up 2014

Wrapping up 2014

Dear Friends & Family,

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I have just returned from 4 days in a rural village a few hours from here where we saw several visitors come to Salvation during the Sunday morning service. Monday through Wednesday, we held a Children’s Bible school. While the church normally has about 60 children in attendance we saw 200 each day for Bible school. Our emphasis was on Jesus, His miracles, His love for us, and His great Salvation.

Last month I was thrilled and blessed to have our first mission team come to visit. The team made up of members of Poplar Grove Baptist Church and one member of Stevens Street Baptist Church, both in Cookeville, TN participated in a full week of ministry outreach from children’s programs in local schools and churches to encouraging believers in the church and in their homes. Upon visiting a rural church and learning that only 5 of the 60 adult members owned a Bible, the team provided Bibles for this church. The team was certainly a blessing wherever they went, and I am so grateful for their visit. If any individuals or teams are interested in visiting here, I will do all I can to arrange accommodations and help you plan a great trip.

After being in the US for several weeks, I was glad to see that both of our sewing centers were continuing on well. Our first sewing center will have its graduation in December, and a new class of women will begin in January. We have already had more than 20 women apply to be part of our next center. Many of those applying are parents of our sponsored students who realize if they had a skill they would have the ability to provide for their own families. We will also expand our second sewing center in January with an additional class added there.

Many of you may have seen my recent post referring to a young boy I had met in a hospital who was suffering terribly, but unable to receive treatment due to lack of funding. As he has the social healthcare here, the cost for his treatment was $1.65. As a result of meeting and helping this young boy, I was able to meet with doctors and other staff at this local hospital where we have begun a fund where people who are unable to receive medical treatment will be treated through this fund. The hospital was very grateful for our help, and I am grateful that we are able to be the help to alleviate suffering for many.

I wish to give a special word of gratitude for all who have contributed money for Bibles. We have been able to give almost 200 Bibles to individuals requesting them just in the past several weeks. A couple weeks ago, I had stopped in a store to make a purchase. As I went to pay, a worker in the store saw a Bible in my bag and requested it. When I gave it to her, she began shrieking with delight, causing a second worker to request a Bible. These two young girls fell on their knees, arms lifted heavenward, praising God, and then called to their friend to come see that they had Bibles. The friend requested and took the third and final Bible I had with me that day. I continue to see these girls frequently, and they remain thrilled with their Bibles. Thank you. Next week, I will be able to give Bibles to each adult member of a second church congregation where only a handful have Bibles of their own. Imagine the church growth that can come as a result of each member having a Bible to learn and study God for himself.

As a new month approaches, I continue to meet daily with persons desiring sponsorship or vocational training. In the month of December we have scheduled another Vacation Bible School, and a Sunday school training of various churches, graduation of our first Sewing Center, and Christmas projects for children.

Each time I write an update, I am reminded of the wonderful things God is doing here, and I am grateful to be a small part of this work. That said, in the past 2 months, I can tell you that Satan has been fighting on many levels working to defeat me, and the ongoing ministry. I appreciate your prayers for the power of the Holy Spirit here and that we would see God work in marvelous ways. 

May God bless each of you as you remain faithful to Him. Enjoy this season of Christmas.

With gratitude,

Laura Yockey

Rwanda News, July 2014

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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

 Dear Friends,

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.

Bibles

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.

 

Wrap-up

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,

Laura 

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