It’s Sponsorship Time!

It’s  Sponsorship Time!

As we begin a New Year, Children in Rwanda begin a new school year.

The school year 2020 begins in just days on January 6!


We have registered all students to our capacity at this time, with 100 more on a waiting list.

If you sponsor a student through Love Alive’s sponsorship program, the time to renew your sponsorship is now!

If you have not sponsored before, but would like to begin sponsoring a child, this is a fabulous time to begin supporting a child’s education here in Rwanda.

Child sponsorship remains at a one-time donation of $45. This allows a child to study for an entire year, and covers the costs of school supplies, uniforms, and school lunch where applicable. For all students in our Kigali region, this also allows them extra-learning time in our daily children’s learning center.

You can sponsor a child either through this link:

Sponsor Now!

Or by a check mailed to

Love Alive

2410 Burgess School Rd.

Cookeville, TN 38506

Women in our Sewing Centers: Their Stories.


Marie: widowed with 2 children, third grade education.

Fabiola: Single, 20 years old, 5 siblings, sixth grade education.

Jeannette: mother of 4 children, abandoned by her husband, sixth grade education.

Joyce: married, two children, husband seeks day-to-day work, she has a first grade education.

Gloriosa: Mother of 5 children, husband has difficulty finding work due to handicap. She has a third grade education.

Sephora: One child, no husband, no parents, no siblings, no support systems, fifth grade education.

Florence: Married mother of three, disabled from a severe accident, third grade education.

The list of women with mirrored socio-economic situations continues for each of the sixty students currently enrolled in Love Alive International’s sewing centers.

Of our 60 students this 2015 school year, none ever had the opportunity to complete high school. The strong majority never advanced past elementary school, with some only having 1 or 2 years of education, and one never having been able to attend school at all.

While Rwanda continues to make steady progress in recovery post-genocide, and continues to be seen as a leading country in African development, it also remains among the poorest countries in the world.

The per capita income is still under $1 per day, while those deep in rural villages see far less money than that. It is often hard to fathom their survival. Three of our students are physically handicapped making their ability to find work such as farming and hard labor far more difficult, as few have interest in hiring them for the day.

As these ladies educate themselves in our sewing center, their challenges for survival also continue. Understanding their ongoing struggles, this year, we began a “helps,” project specifically for the neediest women in our program. We provide monthly groceries and also pay housing for several of these women so that they will not have to drop out of the program and thereby give up their opportunity and hope for advancement in life.

I recently sat down with each of the women in one center simply to know them more personally, and also to screen who might be most in need of assistance to continue in the program. I asked one of our students if her children were eating each day.

She looked aside and replied, “When my husband is able to find work, he brings money home for food.”

I then asked, “Are there days you have nothing to feed our children?”

“Yes, often.” She replied. “When we have money, we eat one meal per day. Sometimes only 3 days per week.”

Most of the women in our centers work very hard during the half of day they are not studying. I often see them digging fields, cultivating, and harvesting. For a long day of hoeing fields, the pay is $1. With that dollar, they do their best to provide that day’s food for their children, usually a meal of porridge and beans. When sharing her thanks, one of our students, Petronia, told me, “I’m so happy, when I get a little work, I can even buy soap for my children to bathe.” Soap is a luxury she is thankful for.

I don’t share these stories to garner pity, nor to inflict guilt, but simply to share the realities of the level of need of those we are assisting, and to assure those of you who have a part in this of the impact you have in blessing these lives.

As our first class of 9 students graduated 4 months ago, we are now seeing the results of this program. Several of the women are working out of their homes with neighbors and friends bringing work to them, others have found work in the markets or in shops with other seamstresses. I see them from time to time in town, and I see them proudly wearing clothing they have made themselves, I see the brightness in their eyes, and I listen to their excitement in having a job and having an opportunity to provide for their children. I’m already looking forward to the success stories of our next graduating class of 13 students this July. These students already have plans for forming a sewing shop together, selling their wares in local markets and have already been to local schools to advertise their ability to sew the school uniforms for all students next school year.

Thank you for being a part of blessing each of these women with skills, with hope, and with the Love of Christ.

Eyes to See

Eyes to See

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” St. Augustine
She was one in a mass several hundred children that turned up for Bible school. I noticed her, in fact, I hugged her, patted her head and talked to her, but I didn’t really stop to see her. Sometimes the needs and want in the communities I engage in become a haze. It becomes easy to shade my eyes, and narrow my focus in order not to become completely lost in the desperation.
My sister did see little Diane, really stopped to see her. As the little girl sat on her lap and clung to her during Bible club, my sister pondered her need, saw her “misery and want,” heard her sorrow, and reacted with compassion.
“I wish there was some way to help her,” Julie told me.
“Sure,” I replied; “but I just don’t think it’s feasible. There is too much effort and follow-up involved, and chances are it could all be of no use.” I listed off many reasons, including village setting with lack of proper hygiene and little understanding of the ongoing treatment necessitated, a parent who may not be able to maintain care, and the possibility that after much time, money and effort, it may be to no avail.
Vivacious, spirited and feisty, 4-year-old Diane had a severe strabismus of her eyes. Some may refer to her as “cross-eyed.” In her case, Diane’s eyes were severely out of alignment, causing this irregularity to be the most poignant thing one noticed about her at first glance. Having had some experience with this condition in other children prior, I knew that often years of eye patches, glasses, drops, repeated trips to doctors, and possible surgeries often ensued, yet sometimes bearing little improvement. It seemed like too much of a mess to get involved with. I chose to catalog her need as one of the millions of things I cannot change.
My sister didn’t say anything more about it, but that Sunday Diane spotted Julie in church and jumped up into her lap where she clung tightly to her. I snapped a photo of the two of them, and Julie kept that photo with her, still seeing Diane’s whole being with compassion.
A few weeks later, I moved to a new neighborhood. Much to my pleasant surprise, Diane lives in my locality. She spotted me one day and came running fiercely, barreling into me full-force with a strong hug.
I later mentioned to Julie that I had again seen Diane. Again Julie wished there was something that could be done. I agreed to meet with Diane’s mom and offer to take Diane for an initial appointment only, just to see if there was any possibility of helping her. Diane’s mother agreed and soon we were visiting doctors, receiving positive news and scheduling Diane’s surgery to correct her vision and appearance.
Diane is fortunate in that in her type of strabismus both of her eyes still see, they simply alternate which eye does the looking. Because both eyes were active, there was no need for years of patches and corrective lenses, but a corrective surgery could be scheduled at any time.
Three months ago, Diane had her surgery and has recovered remarkably well. Doctors state that as she continues to mature, her eyes will fully correct by adulthood.
Diane comes to visit me several times a week. The first thing she always wants is to see Julie, meaning via Skype or simply reviewing all of her Facebook videos and pictures. Every time I see Diane, I am reminded what a difference love can make. When we take the time to stop and truly see the people, the human souls around us and choose compassion, lives are changed. When I see Diane, I see how much confidence she has gained, how loved she feels. How proud she is to have a friend far away who sees her and loves her. Diane recently told me, “Julie loves me. You love me. My mom loves me. Everybody loves me!” This is not the voice of the same little girl, scorned and ridiculed and turned away from by peers and adults alike. This is a little girl who has felt and known love and it has changed her world.
Lord, give us eyes to see and the compassion to make a difference in Jesus’ name.
He that has a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he gives of his bread to the poor. Proverbs 22:9

***Diane’s mom confided to me that since Diane’s infancy, it has been her prayer that God could heal her daughter’s eyes, though she never even had the money to take her to a doctor. One person’s choice to see the needs of another became an answered prayer from a mother’s heart. ***