living in rwanda // sew rwanda project

over the past few weeks, a few friends in arizona have had house parties to share the story of "sew rwanda" and to sell the products that the women have been making. the response has been amazing. this is the video that we showed to introduce rwanda and to introduce the women that are in our group.

the project is already making a huge impact in the women's lives.

at 1:20 in the video, you see a house with a rock floor. that is donata's house. with the money that she has made from the project, she has been able to put concrete in almost all of the rooms. that is a great blessing to her, especially since her family doesn't have a mattress to sleep on! madalina has rented a small plot of land in order to be able to grow her own food for her family. solange has been able to buy milk for her twins and they are growing stronger every day. they have all said that they are excited to have their own businesses and are excited to be able to send their children to school. a few have also told us that they want to teach their children how to sew too, so that they can have their own businesses in the future as well.

fidelity is as cute as ever! she does this adorable little bear walk and then slowwwwly stands to her feet.

in other news...please be praying for isaac. he has been sick for a few weeks and we can't figure out what is going on. all the tests have been inconclusive. we have him home from school this weekend (he is usually boarding), to try to figure it out. 



just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped with our sew rwanda project. the response has been overwhelming, and we are excited to say that we raised enough money to buy each person her own machine! we also are going to have a little bit extra, and we are praying about different opportunities and ideas. we have a few ideas--maybe renting the ladies a spot in the market for a few months that they can take over once we leave. or maybe buying a small plot of land near the Bible study to be used as a community "garden" (where they can all come together and grow different foods for their families). once we have a plan, i will be sure to update!

 thank you to: Carol, Kerrie, Amanda, and Deanne for hosting the parties. thank you also to angie, for donating


desserts; and to judy, for donating

Anthem Cookies

; and to kathryn for donating


kids napkins; and to rebecca for donating cards from the

One Mother to Another Initiative

!!! and a big thank you to everyone who attended a party, made a purchase or donated; and those who are praying for the success of these ladies' new businesses! :)

living in rwanda // update

a few weeks ago, while my aunt was visiting, we took the sewing group out to lunch at "shakeys." it is a traditional rwandan restaurant--self service; with fries, rice, spaghetti, boiled potatoes, beans, squash, spinach, and some other food. for the buffet and a soda, the total cost comes to $2 per person! this was their first time to eat in a restaurant ever! they were so excited and were laughing and chatting the whole way there.

the group at shakeys---my aunt and i carried babies on our backs on the walk there. it was fun!

in other sewing news...the ladies are getting better and better everyday! they are really excited to learn and are working really hard.

all our little babies are growing up so fast! fidelity is now 8 months old, and can stand up without even pulling herself up on anything..she has such good balance. she'll be walking before we know it!  jocelyn is nearly 3 months and is always a content, happy baby.

little adolf just turned a year old and is crawling like crazy! every time we turn around he is into something. him and fidelity are quickly becoming best friends, although they like to make each other cry.

the twins are getting bigger and stronger every day and they love laughing and smiling! they hang out on their blankets in the grass under the shade of their umbrella every day. for 5 months old, they are still tiny; but we have seen them really grow in the time that we've known them. and i can still never remember which twin is which!

living in rwanda // hiking.

we went on a hike yesterday. it was a perfect day for a hike, sunny but not too hot. it was quite the hike though..more than we all were expecting! we climbed all the way to the top of one of the hills nearby. we took a bus about 20 minutes outside of town, got out and walked the rest of the way. it was a 30 minute walk to even get to the hill we were climbing, and then a nearly 2 hour climb to the top. we were very exhausted--and thirsty--by the time we made it to the top. but the view was incredible! we ended up at virunga lodge, a resort people sometimes stay in when the go to rwanda to go gorilla trekking. we could see the whole town below us. all the houses and farms and beautiful lake. we stayed for a drink and then hopped in someones truck to drive us back down ;)

the view from about 20 minutes in. the road at the bottom is where we started.

we met some beautiful kids along the way. they said that they walked all the way up this hill every day to get to school..they ran along beside us like it was nothing!

the view from the top:

and a beautiful sunset to end the day.

living in rwanda // the give.

the give. it happens when you least expect it, when you aren't looking or waiting for it. it comes in a wave and spills over into your heart in a way that doesn't even make sense.

today we visited a home for mentally and physically challenged kids. we almost didn't even stay, it was too much to process in the moment--the hurt and suffering and need for love. but i am so glad we did. we were overwhelmed with hugs and giggles and love and we weren't even inside the gate yet. the sweetest kids live in the compound. two little girls and i walked hand in hand as i asked them the few questions that i knew in kinyarwanda. and amidst the suffering, all i could see was a pure joy that had to come from God.

luke 6:38. give, and you will receive. you will be given much. pressed down, shaken together, and running over; it will spill into your lap. the way you give to others is the way God will give to you.

today it spilled into my heart and overflowed. 

living in rwanda // bible study & street kids

life has been crazy busy lately, with the women coming over 3 times a week for sewing, our Bible study, and visiting the boys...we barely have a free second of time! i haven't even taken many photos lately, so i will leave you with a few stills from a video that we took of the women in our sewing group, which now has the name, "Sew Rwanda."

also, a photo of me with the boys on their first day of school. school has been back in session for about a month now, and all four are doing great! from left to right: theoneste loves being at school! he has made some great friends and is really getting more comfortable around all of the other kids. he is also getting a lot better with his english! shema is doing well in his first month of school. he was supposed to be going into grade 5 at public school, but tested into grade 3 at wisdom. he is still settling in to his classes, and working hard to catch up on things that he needs to know for grade 3, but is so thankful that he is able to go to wisdom school with his friends. isaac is getting great grades, and is really enjoying being back at school! he has started a Bible study all on his own and studies his homework with a group of kids after classes are over. we are so proud of him, and miss having him at our house! and emmanuel has had a complete turn around since the first day. he was one of the tougher street kids, with little respect or discipline. when we dropped him off a month ago, he was really having a hard time and didn't want to listen at all. now, the headmaster says he is one of the best boys, and he is getting really good grades as well!