The Scarlet Cord

scarlet cord

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/

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.

SEAM Program Sponsor a Woman Through Vocational Training, Impact her Life Forever

Imagine life without the hope of ever being able to send all of your children to school (or even to send more than 1 per year to school), to live in a place with electricity or running water (even clean water), to sleep in a bed with a mattress rather than on a mat on dirt floor, to ever learn a skill or trade or even have a steady job (rather than making $1 per day working in fields.) Women are living this way every day in the rural villages of Rwanda.  Many have been abandoned by their husbands and left to feed and care for their children alone.  In many cases, they are also caring for other children in the village that have no one else.
Meet a few of these women: 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.  She has fifth grade education Florence: Married, mother of three, disabled from a severe accident, third grade education Clementine:  Walked 2 hours to school each morning and 2 hours back home each evening for the opportunity to learn to sew!

I have become involved in a Christian ministry named Love Alive International that is changing the lives of many of these women.  My friend, Laura Yockey, has moved to Rwanda and has many projects and ministry opportunities to show the love of Jesus to the people she encounters in Rwanda.  One of my favorite ministries is the SEAM (Sewing Education and Mentoring) program which teaches women to sew.
The SEAM mission is to establish sewing centers and schools to teach women how to sew, to supply the tools to improve their skills, to provide support and a “safe place” to talk with other women going through the same hardships, to help them develop a sense of pride at their accomplishments and to show them the love of Jesus!
How it works: Selection:  Each woman applies for the class and is personally interviewed.  The requirements and expectations are explained and she must agree to attend class and do her best for 1 full year.  If, after
1 year, she has completed all the work and has shown the proficient skill set, she will graduate and be given a Sewing Business Starter Kit so she can start generating income for her family immediately.
Kit includes: Sewing Machine (Cost $125- includes machine, transport and assembly by technician) Fabric   (Cost $25 – to allow her to sew sample/display items showing her capabilities) Tool kit  (Cost $50 – includes scissors, sewing box, iron, buttons, thread, pins, elastic,       oil for machine, measuring tape, needles and chalk) TOTAL COST  $200
Funding for Kit: Sponsorships are provided for each woman in the sewing class by people like you and me.
To date, the SEAM project has hosted 2 graduations (Dec. 2014 and July 2015) with 25 graduates, and we are expecting approximately 35 graduates in December 2015!
Here are some pictures of women in the class as well as a group of graduates and their Sewing Kit.  One woman is modeling clothes she made as well as a bag for her sponsor.

I have sponsored several of these women from previous graduations, and each of them has expressed such gratitude for the love, support and confidence that a sponsor provides.  They know that you believe they can be successful.
Their notes of thanks to the sponsors showed such joy — here are samples from a few notes:
“I am so thankful from my heart for the good things you have done for us, for caring about us and taking care of us.  We truly thank you for what we have achieved through you.  We wanted to achieve
but we were unable to do it without you.  Truly God knows all! I have so many things in my heart I wish to share with you. “
“We have finished the class and are thrilled beyond words to express.  We invite you to come visit us and see our work and skills.”
“I will continue striving to better my knowledge and skills.”
“Your assistance will greatly help me and my family.  I will use my new skill to advance and improve my life.  You have helped me achieve much.”
We are in need of sponsors for the December 2015 graduation and I am inviting you to be part of this wonderful ministry with me.  I can promise you that every dollar you send (all 100 cents of that dollar) will go toward the ministry.
We have so very much and these women have so little – not because they are not willing to learn and work hard, but simply because they have not had the opportunity in the place where they were born.  If you are able to help give another woman a chance at a life that she has only been able to dream about before now, please consider sponsoring a woman.  You can sponsor on-line at http://www.lovealiveinternational.com (note: SEAM sponsor in comments) or mail a check for $200 to Love Alive International, 2410 Burgess School Rd., Cookeville, TN  38506 and reference SEAM sponsor on the MEMO line.
You can read more about Love Alive and other projects that Laura is managing on the Love Alive International website.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Love Alive via the “Contact Us” link on the website.
God is working through Love Alive in many ways in Rwanda, and I am so excited that He led me to this ministry!
With excitement!
Teresa

Guest Blog by Teresa Cooper20151012_110942