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!

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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

An Update on Churches in Rwanda

Hello. I trust this letter finds you doing well. I am most certainly grateful to you and for the way God has used you in prayer and support of ministry here in Rwanda.60042019_507195503149801_5508346044460564480_n

Just over one year ago, I wrote to inform you of the drastic changes that had taken place here, with the government closing well over 6,000 churches. Some of you compassionately responded to assist the churches here. Last year we were able to see two churches we work with opened after minor upgrades. Then came the patience and perseverance of trusting and waiting.

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In February, God blessed us with a partnership with a set of 3 churches in a sparse mountain region. Pastor Uzziel originally had 10 churches. We visited these churches in 2017 and held a Sunday school training. We returned in early 2018 for an area-wide children’s outreach. Then came the closures, and all 10 churches were closed. With God’s blessing, a few of the churches were slowly opened. Between February and April of this year, God enabled us to open 3 more of these churches.60060841_1370652849753184_4249440440798937088_n

One of these churches had only been opened for one year when the closures came, but already had over 100 members. Another church had been opened for years, and was where many of the congregants had come to know Christ, where they had married, and dedicated their children. By the grace of God, all three churches have now reopened and these congregants are once again worshiping in their churches.

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Last year, our dear partner Patrick, whose congregation was meeting under a canopy, was  among the churches closed. Patrick has remained an example of steadfast perseverance, patience and long-suffering as he continued to faithfully shepherd his congregation. In the immediate aftermath of the closures, he would notify his congregation of a local church where they would all meet. He later secured 3 different locations to hold services as one-by-one, each location would fall through.  His congregation has been walking several miles each week to meet together.

A church in the States graciously provided the funding for Patrick’s church to be built. As they began seeking the building permit, he was first advised that they must purchase additional land. God again graciously provided as another group of Christians provided the funds for the land. Then there were land negotiations, surveys, more surveys, and finally the notice that it was no longer permitted to build in this area due to rezoning! I’m highlighting only a few of the challenges he faced in the 14 months of waiting. On the Thursday before Easter, God miraculously and graciously provided the building permit. The construction is well underway as you can see.

Thank you to each of you who has taken part in the reopening of these churches. For those interested in assisting churches here, we continue with a list of churches we would like to help.

Building a church from the ground up costs $15,000-$20,000.

Upgrading a church so that it can open is generally $2,000. This generally includes cement floors, paint, water tanks, and metal windows and doors.

To assist a church through our ACTS ministry, click here: ACTS

God bless you all for being an important part of all God is doing here.

With Immense Gratitude,

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.

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 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

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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/

Take Heart

It wasn’t the first time since I have lived here that I wished I had a medical background, and for a split second, I considered becoming a cardiac surgeon. A split-second later, I recalled that I am only one person, and can only do so much, that besides not actually being good around blood, bile, exposed body tissues, and various other bodily fluids, it would also cost me at least six years. Six years in which I couldn’t continue in what I am already doing, and 6 years of patients dying for lack of care. heart pic

We had already waited with Delisia, a 2 month old baby girl, in the hospital for 6 weeks before meeting the first cardiologist. Though we had known for a month she had a serious heart condition, this was the first available appointment with a specialist. I knew our resources were limited. I anticipated open-heart surgery. I was prepared to beg for a transfer to the country’s best hospital so that Delisia could obtain the best care available to her. But I wasn’t prepared for what came next.

“We have no cardiac surgeon in this country.”

None? Not one? “Well, aren’t we working to obtain one? Can’t we hire someone from a more developed country?”

“It’s not a priority.”

Not a priority? I see. Only a matter of life and death.

The doctor went on to explain that as we continue to have citizens dying daily due to malaria, higher priorities in other health care matters, take precedent over the need of a team of cardiac surgeons to perform life-saving surgeries.

I was dumbfounded. I know I live in a developing country. I know that there are various procedures considered fairly routine in other places, that are not available here. The fortunate ones, fly out to other countries for treatment. The less fortunate remain hospitalized for months, even years, just waiting. But waiting for what? A miracle, or death?

While my first concern was for Delisia, I walked back to the pediatric cardiology unit, where there were no more beds available. Scanning the children filling up the ward, I wondered how many were waiting for their miracle, for a life-saving surgery that may not come in time.

There is a waiting list, the doctors told me. Anyone needing a heart surgery is put on this waiting list. When foreign doctors visit for a week each year, those who are still alive will be put on the list for treatment. …

I’ve pondered this plight ever since I walked out of that doctor’s office. I wonder why we don’t have the physicians we need here. In my home country, I know that I could have my choice of heart surgeons, that there would have been no month-long wait to see a cardiologist, that when I did see him, he could refer me immediately to a surgeon, that If I didn’t feel comfortable with that surgeon, I could seek out another professional with higher qualifications or greater experience.

I believe that God knows and provides for everything we need. I believe he often has answered our prayers long before we ask. I also believe that often the provisions he has put in place do not come about, because we fail to follow His plan. For example we pray that others would know Christ, yet we fail to tell them. We pray for the poor and needy, but we fail to give. We pray for God to meet the needs in under-developed and developing countries, but we are not willing to allow Him to send us.

I wonder if He has asked someone to take their education and the skills He has given them and come to a less-fortunate part of the world to save lives, and they have not followed His call.

What about you? Has He asked you to come?

 

Spring Update

Spring Update

Dear Friends,                                                                                                                                                     5/4/2017

Happy Spring! I trust you are all doing well. I’d like to share a brief update on Love Alive ministries in Rwanda.

Quick Trip: The last week in March, I was able to fly to the USA to take part in a mission-emphasis week at my home church in Tennessee. During the time I was home, I was able to visit area churches and mission partners as well as family and friends. This was certainly a refreshing time for me and beneficial for the ministry. Now back in Rwanda, our ministries continue to grow and expand.

New Ministry: Our most recent ministry project is one that I am excited to share with you. This year, our women’s vocational training center has been strategically positioned in an area known for sexual exploitation, namely prostitution. I met with many women in the sex trade months ago, and began a conversation with them about the potential to see their lives changed through Jesus Christ, and their willingness to give up their current form of living to pursue an honorable vocation. Since then, these women have pursued us, asking why we have delayed to begin the program. My number one reason for the delay was that I was not about to embark on this endeavor alone. I know full well that the Holy Spirit will have to be very present and active for real change to come about. Last week, we held our registration with nearly 100 women applying. We plan to officially open “The Scarlet Cord,” on May 15. This will be a vocational training center as well as a counseling center, and center for Bible teaching and mentoring. I have moved my office into the center to be there on a constant basis. Please bathe this ministry in prayer. I have been researching what other similar ministries world-wide have found effective, various counseling strategies and success stories from around the globe, and I’m relying heavily on my own therapeutic counseling background; however, I do not underestimate the need for the power of Christ in this center and in the life of each participant. There are so many ways that I can already share with you that we are seeing the powers of darkness work against this ministry, but we hold fast to the knowledge that these women can find true hope and change in Jesus.

Church Partnerships: As we support local churches, it is exciting to watch them grow. One particular pastor Damour, whom God saved from a 19-year alcohol addiction, changed him and led him to start his first church in his own hometown several years ago, is being greatly used of God. When I met Pastor Damour 3 years ago, his church was in need of building a larger facility to house their congregation, and their current facility was literally leaning over, soon to fall down. Since that time, We have seen that congregation grow largely, build the facility they were praying for and start 2 new church plants. He is a true soul-winner and is efficient not only in seeing people brought to Christ, but seeing them disciple, baptized, and become active members of their congregations.

Baby Delisia: I would like to ask for prayer for this precious little girl. Delisia is the 2-month-old daughter of one of our sewing center graduates. She has been hospitalized for 6 weeks due to a congenital heart issue. We are doing what we can to provide for her care; however, we learned this week, that there is no heart surgeon in this country. Her soonest opportunity for a surgery is if she can survive until October when she can be one of many on a waiting list for surgery by visiting foreign doctors. Her case is a reminder of how much quality physicians and nurses of all types are greatly needed here, and how greatly we must rely on our Great Healer.

I thank you so much for caring enough to read this letter, for praying for this ministry, and for your encouragement and support.

With Gratitude,

Laura Y.