It’s a New Year.

Twenty-nineteen is already bountiful with God’s enabling us to see fruit in various ministries here.

As a new school year began in January, we once again registered more than 400 students in our sponsorship program. This year, we have Bible clubs for our sponsored students in each school where we sponsor.

Through our ACTS ministry of assisting churches here, we have begun funding the renovations for 3 churches we hope to see open in the next month.

On February 1st, 16 ladies graduated from our Scarlet Cord Hairdressing center, following a 7 month program. We have seen God working in their hearts these months, and are happy to see their achievements and spiritual growth. Our sewing students will complete their studies at the end of March.

I share all of this with you, to show you what God is allowing us to be a part of with you partnership! May God bless you abundantly.

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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

Mission Team 2015

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Earlier this month a joint mission team led by Poplar Grove, and joined by members of Steven’s Street Baptist Church and Vine Branch all of Cookeville, TN blessed me with their time, their love and compassion, their hard work, and times of Bibles study with hundreds of Rwandans in many locations.

This team was a blessing last year, and they were just as much of an encouragement and support to the people and ministry this year.

The first day, the team ministered to one of our sewing centers, visiting with current students and graduates. As these students shared their testimonies there was a repeated theme: “I had no ability and no opportunity for improving my life, but God opened up this opportunity through this sewing center of Love Alive, and now I have a chance to make a better life.”  The students blessed the team with hand-made gifts and fruits from their gardens, while the team shared Bible teachings and practical gifts. Former graduates invited us to their cooperative to demonstrate for us how they are working together and producing good work to sell in the markets.

The team spent the next 3 days in a village church, ministering both to the church and the community. The goal was to develop a friendship between the local Rwandan church and community and the guest churches. The team held daily services of Bible teaching, Bible study groups of men and women, and children’s classes as well. They visited many families in the community to read Bible passages and pray together, and saw 2 people accept Christ as personal Savior. One of the most unique things the team participated in during this 3 day-partnership of churches was “mudding” the church’s newly constructed building. This mudding process consists first of gathering large quantities of dirt, manure and rocks, mixing them thoroughly together, and coating the outside of the building in order to seal it and protect the building from erosion.  Due to gifts given through donations to Love Alive, we also presented this church with funding to add doors and windows to their facility. They were so grateful for this gift that they had the doors and windows ordered to arrive the very next day.

Before leaving this village, the mission team was able to meet a nearby church in the same community, and provide 60 Bibles to adult believers there. In this church of over 100 adults and children, only one member in addition to the pastor owned a Bible. It is a great privilege to be able to give God’s Word and encourage His people to read and get to know Him better. As I sat in this little church only half constructed of unfinished mud brick, but happy believers actively worshipping, I could not help but contemplate the dissimilarity of the average American church in priority and desire to serve and worship against all odds.

The following day, the team visited our second sewing center of 30 current students and several graduates who came to thank the team and tell of how they are now succeeding with the tools they have gained. It is often difficult to know who is gaining the greater blessing, the team in hearing the testimonies of persons assisted, or the beneficiaries we meet. That same day the team traveled to the hospital with which Love Alive works closely in providing funding to patients in need. After a brief meeting with the staff who welcomed us to openly share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the team went to each room, visiting each patient to pray with them, and bring small gifts to aid in their recovery, remind them they are loved, and that God, our Great Healer, is watching over them. The final stop of the day was visiting 100 sponsored students in this area to share a Bible lesson and play games together. The children were in awe and full of enthusiasm to see and play with the colorful parachutes, something they had never seen before.  Several of our team members were able to meet some of their sponsored students. I cannot imagine that any other experience could make more real to these children and their families the love and compassion they are receiving than meeting the sponsor who loves them enough to enter their world and give them assistance. I imagine that nothing makes the necessity of the gift given more real to the sponsor than seeing the dire needs of these children and their families, and meeting the beautiful lives they are touching and impacting daily than a face-to-face meeting.

The day before leaving, the team visited recipients of one of our most recent chicken projects, delivering more food and nutrition supplements for the chickens, and sharing Bible teachings with the group. After this, the team visited two different churches in this same village. The first church had received Bibles from Love Alive in July, and the visit was to encourage the local believers and strengthen our friendship. It was a blessing to see so many Bibles in use amongst this group. At the next church, the team was able to give Bibles to about 75 believers. Most of these recipients had never in their lives owned a Bible. With each church that is given Bibles, it is our desire to go back and share in Bible teachings and reading to encourage the daily use of God’s word.

Before leaving on their final day in Rwanda, the team was able to visit some of my favorite children, a group of children living in the worst conditions I have ever seen in this country. Love Alive began sponsoring these children after they repeatedly would find me in the streets as they begged for food. They quickly claimed themselves as my best friends, invited me to their home and became some of our first sponsored students. As there was nowhere else to meet or play, the team played soccer and taught a Bible lesson in the midst of heaps of trash and ditches filled with sewer. These children were so excited to have visitors come and see them and play with them. While their living standards are lacking, I could see the effort they had put into making themselves and their homes ready for special guests.

As soon as I see any of the men, women, children and churches visited by this team, their first question to me is and will continue to be, “How are our friends? When will they return to see us? Please tell them we love them and miss them. We are waiting for them to return.”

Mission teams have a way of impacting lives, building friendships and encouraging local communities and believers in a way that no other thing can accomplish.

I thank each member of this team for their love, compassion, their time, efforts, vacation days given and exhaustion from long flights and travel that is not always smooth in this continent. I also thank each church that was involved and supported its members in this journey.

God bless you.

Allow me to take this opportunity to assure you that you have a standing invitation to come to Rwanda and join us in the ministries and see God working. Whether you would like to come as a church mission team, as a family, group of friends, or an individual, you are welcome. Please feel free to contact me via our contact page and let me know what you might be interested in. We can work together to craft a trip according to your desires for ministry and international experience.

Needs here that can be addressed through short-term trips include:

Bible teaching to pastors, church leaders, teachers and lay-persons.

Children’s ministries through sports, play, Bible Clubs, Vacation Bible Schools, Sunday School Trainings to church leaders, and teaching children in schools.

Encouraging and supporting local trade, and increasing creativity and ingenuity. If you have a passion, a talent, an art form that you can teach, it may be very valuable to come and teach that.

Ministering to individuals in hospitals, prisons, and homes, sharing encouragement, prayers and friendship.

February 2015 Update.

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Dear Family, Friends and Partners of Love Alive,

Psalm 145:3 Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.

I cannot believe three months have passed by since I last updated you. Before I plunge into the news and updates, let me just praise our Heavenly Father who is working here and blessing this ministry. Next I wish to thank each and every one of you for your prayers and your taking part in this ministry. In the month of December we had several individuals and churches that sent gifts above and beyond the usual in order to bless recipients here with education, vocational training, Bibles and sustainable projects. I thank you so much for your involvement, because you are very much a part of the ministry allowing God to work through you.

December was a busy ministry month in which we were able to hold two children’s Bible schools in rural village churches. At each Bible school about 200 children each day came to learn about Jesus Christ’s love for them and salvation through Him. We also held another Sunday school training with teachers and pastors from 10 churches coming together to learn how to effectively teach God’s Word to the children in their congregations and neighborhoods.  As Christmas approached, we had the joy of blessing hundreds of children in hospitals and Sunday schools with Christmas gifts. Incredibly, though each gift bag has toys and candy, families are often exceedingly thankful for the personal care items such as soap.  With each gift, we share the message of Jesus Christ being the first Christmas gift. This year, I had the joy of taking 2 young boys, formerly “street kids,” now our students with me to deliver gifts. It was a special joy to watch them tell others about Jesus’ love for them as they shared gifts.

January began first with relocating and then enrolling new students for each of our sewing centers. Last year, our first sewing center began to help a few ladies learn a skill. This year we have 65 women in our sewing centers. Many of these women never had the opportunity to complete elementary school, and are only able to find unskilled labor mostly in plowing and harvesting fields. For working in the fields an entire day, they are given only $1, yes One Dollar, for an entire day’s work.  The greater part of the expansion this year includes the addition of many mothers of our own sponsored students. These women requested to learn a skill to be able to better support themselves and their children. Many of these women have no other assistance or support.

Our sponsored students began a new year of school on January 26, 2015. This year, by God’s grace and with your benevolence, we have 285 children we are already sponsoring. If you sponsor a child, please pray for your student, that they will have the nutrition they need each day, peace in their homes, understanding of their materials, and a desire to know and follow Christ.

January also was the beginning of a new chicken project wherein we were able to give 160 chickens divided up among 20 families. Each of these families was ecstatic at the prospect of raising chickens for nutrition and income-generation for their families. In short, each chicken, purchased for about $5 has the capability of reproducing $50 worth of eggs. In deep villages where many families do not earn even a dollar per day, this is a big boost to their welfare. It is such a joy to be able to tell them that this gift comes to them because of Christians, and in this case children, who want to share Christ’s love with them.  As we gave the chickens, a village leader addressed the recipients stating, “Truly, this is a gift of God for people in America to think not only of Africans, and not only even of Rwanda, but to find our village hidden out here and bless us. Only God could lead them here.”

Finally, as we continue to distribute Bibles, this year we are making an effort to bless entire church congregations with Bibles for each member. The goal is to be able to be able to give Bibles to one church each month. I believe that great spiritual growth can come when people are able to read and study God’s Word. A special thanks to those of you who regularly give specifically for the distribution of Bibles.

Once again I thank each and every one of you for the part you have in this ministry.

God bless you richly!

For His Glory,

Laura Yockey

Ephesians 6:23-24 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

$$ Where Did My Money Go? $$

$$ Where Did My Money Go? $$

Expense summary 2013

Expense summary 2013

LAI Expendituress Pie Chart 2013

Have you ever wondered how your financial gift was spent? It’s fairly simple. If you send money for a designated purpose from Bibles to sustainable projects to sponsorship, that money is 100% devoted to that purpose. There is no cut or percentage taken out for “operating costs,” or general use.  However, if you send money undesignated, this goes to whatever projects and needs we are currently working on. Things such as Sunday school trainings and salaries of teachers in our sewing centers are not designated  on our website, and thus are paid through our general fund. For a more specific look at how Love Alive’s money is used, see the attached charts from budget year 2013.