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.

Women in our Sewing Centers: Their Stories.

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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.

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.

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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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. ***

When They Grow Up…….

When They Grow Up.......

By now you well know, I have this special place in my heart for children in the streets, well, all kids, but especially the little scruffy ragamuffins with no place they call home or little interest in being at the home they have.
I look at these little ones… mostly boys, and I think about their futures. If they continue on the path they are on, they’ll surely end up uneducated, extremely poor, living extremely difficult lives to survive, or ending up in lives of crime.
Then I see hope. I see what their lives can be with some intervention. With someone to love and guide them. Someone to teach them how to live well, to tell them about a God who loves them and has a purpose for their lives and a way He wants them to live. Someone to educate them and counsel them, to make sure they are fed and clothed.
That is where my dear friend Pastor Deo and I share a vision. Several years ago, Deo saw some young boys fighting over a banana. He stopped and talked with them telling them not to fight, but also provided some little food for them. The next day they showed up at his house for more food. The next day they returned….. with friends.
Through that experience, Deo began a children’s ministry of a feeding program where children are fed emotionally, physically and spiritually. To this day, 3 days per week, about 90 children come for Bible teaching, counseling, a good meal, and sometimes educational help.
I have enjoyed visiting Deo’s ministry several times. He is a great example of someone ministering to the whole person.
Eventually these kids grow up. And then what? Where do they go? Where do they turn. When they reach 18-20, they are ready to branch out in the world, but if they have only basic education, no one to help them connect with further education, a decent job or a place to go. Where will they turn.
The bleak truth is many will turn to whatever means they can find to survive or get through another day. If you were a young guy with little to no family, lack of purpose or direction, where might you turn? For many boys here it is drugs and alcohol. I still have yet to figure it out, but both in US and here, I have found that despite how poor a person is, they are always able to obtain drugs and alcohol. Both of these slowly kill a person, if not physically, mentally and emotionally. As a young girl, where do you turn when you just want to be loved, when you just want somewhere to feel wanted, to be at home? For many girls here, without skill or ability to attend university or find a job, they turn to sleeping with whatever boy may take them home for the night. It’s one way to find a meal and a place for the night.
One alternative is skill training. If a young person can be provided with a skill to afford them a career or means of business, they have an opportunity to choose a different life.
Love Alive International partnered with Association for Children’s Assistance to form a Salon School for 10 youths. Here they will have hands-on training every day for 6 months with their own tutor. We have provided them with all equipment, a location for learning and a professional to teach them.
Many of these students had to drop out of school in early elementary school. A few were able to scrape by to get through secondary school, but found no jobs available to them and no means to go to college. Each of them is excited for an opportunity to learn a skill that is needed in any community. Two of our students are refugees from Tanzania (Rwandan citizens who fled to Tanzania years ago, and are now being forced out of Tanzania by that government). I loved that each of the students expressed a desire to be able to provide for themselves and help their families. None of them wants this education solely for their own improvement. They look at those around them and see how they can help them as well. One of the girls, a refugee transplanted from Tanzania, said, “I don’t need to depend on others. I need to have the skills to support myself, my parents and our family.” I appreciate that motivation. One student said, “I can’t wait to learn these skills and then share with my friends so they too can do hair styling.” She is not trying to keep this blessing to herself. She wants others to learn as well so that they too can profit. Another student said, “My parents have helped me so much, now it is time that I can help them in return.”
When given an opportunity. Many will choose a better life. This salon school provided through Love Alive is one way we can offer people that choice. These students have been studying for almost two months now. They are learning and practicing and enjoying. A new career for them is just around the corner. You’ve shown them a bit of God’s love, and it is making a difference.
When they grow up, the future doesn’t have to be hopeless. In fact, the future can be bright with a bit of opportunity.

So, what exactly is Love Alive?

So, what exactly is Love Alive?

I thought it might be time to explain.
I’ve received checks written to Love the Life, Love is Life & Love of Life. We received tax documents addressed to Love Alice (surely to goodness it was a typo).
Most recently a man commented to me. I like that you emphasize Love Alive. It is better for people to love while they are alive. Dead people cannot love. Had he not been fully serious, it may have been mistaken for stale humor.
That’s when I realized maybe this name makes sense only to me. While our website explains clearly the meaning of the name, let’s be honest. Who has time for that?
When I first began envisioning starting a non-profit, I thought of so many names. Most were already taken. So much for originality. I tried putting together numbers of Bible references. They had no ring. I tried taking words from inspiration, Bible verses, even meaningful words from the local language. Either they didn’t make sense, were impossible to pronounce, or again, were already taken.
As I thought about what I really wanted as the foundational purpose for this ministry, I knew I wanted it to be a way to make Christ’s love known to others. I’ve seen enough “love” that shakes its head in pity, then changes the channel, or clicks the browser to a happier story. We have experienced too much “love” that says, “Oh, I just wish there was something I could do,” with our hands contentedly stuffed into our own pockets as we return to our own personal matters.
I wanted to people to have a way to demonstrate love in a way that would show that the love of Christ is real, it touches lives, it changes the way we live.
Hence after weeding through various groups and songs already taken by similar thoughts, I arrived at Love Alive.
And wouldn’t you know Love Alive is a song by a group called Heart. It is a rock band in Ohio; it is a marriage and family program in New York. After that I quit looking at the thousands of matches on Google. Now, if you Google Love Alive International you will find a small faith-based non-profit working in Rwanda to demonstrate Christ’s love.

Love Alive Women’s Sewing Center, Kabuga.

Love Alive Women’s Sewing Center, Kabuga.

I didn’t dream of this a year ago. In fact, my ideas were quite simple. I came to Rwanda simply with God as my guide. I simply wanted to show people His love, and trusted He would provide the ways.
When last March we were able to provide a ladies group with 6 sewing machines I was thrilled. The women were blessed and excited, but that was as far as my plans went. Now, one year later, the ladies and their pastor came to me with a proposal. There were 12 committed ladies in the group who wished to have a one year program of skill training in sewing. A skilled seamstress in the church had quit her job in the city, willing to teach them, and they had located a small building next to the church where they could hold classes and practice their sewing together. All that was now required was salary for the teacher, rent for the building, and additional materials and upkeep of machines. By the end of the year, the women would graduate, knowing how to sew very well and have the ability to earn incomes for their families.
Each of these twelve women are in extreme poverty. They live very much by faith. Each of the twelve falls into one or more of the following categories: widowed mother of children, AIDS victim, orphan without any family to help or support. These women are thrilled with the opportunity to study a skill and support themselves and their children.
Love Alive now has a sewing center for these women. It is my hope that at the end of the year, not only will these women be fully skilled and ready to begin their new trade, but we will be able to provide each with her own sewing machine to begin her small business.
Due to your generosity, 12 women are now on their way to a better life.