Thursday, August 30, 2012

I am Sewing Again

This tree was near the hospital in Kigali - reminded me of Dr. Seuss!

Got to do some sewing on my new machine! Tomorrow is 'show and tell' and I needed to finish my pants.

Meanwhile, Peter and Daniel played dice! Daniel won both games!

Cutting out my top, using the what I've learned in class1

Daniel likes to take pictures!

Didn't quite finish my top but it will have to do!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Another Kigali Trip

We had visitors for the weekend!!! Our first overnight visitors!!! We were very excited to have them come and we had a relaxing time visiting (of course) and games, movie, and lots of laughs. Never got a very good picture, so the one below will have to do! Eating was also what we did lots of and this one is taken sitting around our new dining set!!! Daniel cooked a great meal! Thanks all for a great weekend.
Mirjam, David, Daniel, Peter & I.

They are expecting a baby and we hope they will be back for a visit after she is born!

Peter and I headed to Kigali, even though we had a great weekend, my physical condition was deteriorating. I needed to go see a specialist in Kigali. The 3 hour ride in was painful, and being that we got there around 6pm we slept, or rather tried to sleep that night.

We were able to get a ride to the King Faisal Hospital and were put through a very efficient system. They took blood for tests, and gave me a needle for pain, and drugs for the next 10 days till we go back to see the Specialist next week Wed. It looks like I've gotten worse since the last test. Normal is 0 - 20 and 10 days ago I was a 60, today I tested 76! So something will be done and I will be monitored closely as I take the medication need to treat Polymyagia Rheumatica!

Lots of bumps in the road, but that doesn't mean we will be going back to Canada. They have the treatment here too and that will help as we continue to do what God has called us to do!

We are praising God and look forward to continuing on with the children's ministry, the sewing school, and getting a preschool building built before the year is out!

Check out the different ministry items that we have post on the 'Ashes to Worship Ministry' Rwanda tab above for more details!

We are praising God for all He has done already and what He will do while we are here!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Progress and a visit

Marking the material for a shirt!

A pleased teacher and student!

Peter trying his best to get a treadle machine working, wishing he knew more about them.

Helping each other with patterns.

Alphonsine made the hats for her mom and niece and nephew!
We went to visit Alphonsine (she comes to our house to clean 3 days a week) at her home on Wed. She lives with her mom and sister - who has two children! They were so glad that we came to visit, and we had a most wonderful time! (The hats she made with yarn I gave her and she did a great job!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stepping into the Water

When we were called to come to Rwanda, we didn't know what to do! Finally we made a decision, and God worked things out and we came! We had to take a step, we had to do something!

The same thing happened when we started the children's program in the church,
and when we started the sewing school. We went ahead and started to proceed with what we knew God wanted us to do.

We know that there is a great need for a preschool too. So we are going to step into action. We are going to start clearing the land by the end of August! We want all of you - yes those of you who are reading this! - to pray with us and to help us.

The needs are great for this project!
The building is going to cost just about $70,000.00 USD!
It will take about 2 months to build the 3 room building!
And each child, who will not be supported by their family, will need $10.00 a month sponsorship!

Our goal is to have the school up and running for January 1st, 2013, when a new school term is about to start!

Your part?

Prayer, physical labor, donations, and encouragement are a few things that come to my mind!

Seek God and He will let you know how you can help! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Putting Theory into Practice

Well, today the morning class got to see last weeks teaching become reality! We have been learning how to make a pattern for a customer that would like to have a top, skirt or trousers made. We learned how to measure them and then put it onto fabric - we used paper last week.
I had taken a bit of new fabric with me to class today, and so I was measured for a pair of trousers, and this was the process.
Making chalk marks from the measurements they took from me onto the fabric.
Drawing the lines, this shows the front cut out and laid down to draw the back of the trousers.
We started sewing it together, but class had to end so no finished product today!
Peter does a half hour Bible teaching at the beginning of each class. We have 10 students for the morning and another 10 in the afternoon. We turned away 6 new students today, proving this is a desired course wanted in this area!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Small Party

Peter bought Fanta, roasted peanuts, cake and icing sugar - to make icing for the cake. Great time, but I don't miss processed food - it's been so long since we've had cake and sugary foods, but it was a treat!!! Played some dice to end the day!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy 56th Birthday!

The End Of The First Week

These children stopped to see if we would talk to them and get their picture taken. Just outside our gate on their way to school. I don't understand that as there is a holiday right now but some students get extra tutoring!

Today we had two missing from the first students signed up but there were 13 here today! we only have 9 machines! So far we have just been having morning classes, but today they had to decide whether they would come in the morning or in the afternoon. Morning will start at 8AM and go til noon. The afternoon will start at 1PM and go till 4:30PM.

Teddy is proud of her 'cement bag' cut out of a shirt, Just the beginnings of learning to make a pattern and sewing a garment. Very exciting!

With 13 students we finally had to bring in a bench for some to sit on!

After class we walk to the road where we catch a van, or bus, or a moto, or a friendly person who will take the 'muzungus' back to Nyatarare, Sometimes we get a free ride. These fellows talked with us as they were hauling water home from in the valley as we waited along the road.
After we got home, I found out that Alphonsine (our house helper) wants to start taking the sewing classes. So we have decided that she will start classes on Monday. She will come Mon. to Fri. to the house to clean in the morning and then travel out to Ryabega (she lives there too) to take the afternoon sewing class! I'm so excited!
This is more than I thought it would be!
Now if only we had the money to start building a preschool for the little ones to go to school. Please check out the other projects that we would love to start here in the Ashes to Worship Ministry (Rwanda) tab about.

Or click here and it will take you there.

If you can help in any little way I know that God will bless you for it. I could not be more happy and blessed that what we are doing now. I just can't wait to see what God will be doing in 6 months or 1 year from now!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Machine Worker Greeting Class

Each day we are greeted by the village people on the street where the school is.

This fellow is digging the hole for the sewer, we will soon have a toilet to use!

I think they like that I check their progress each day! A pretty nice deep round hole he's dug!

Wednesday class, another new student.
Thursday's class - 3 new ones. and a couple missing.

After class we were finished with putting the machines together. Ready for tomorrow, and soon will be using them. One more day of instructions!
Path walking home after reaching Nyagatare1

I'm tired, but it's a good tired, although being that I was sick for two weeks, and then went right into going out to the school every day -Monday to Thursday, I just may take a needed break before I crash! Praise God we now have 11 students registered and hope for more. Our goal is to have 20 students, 2 classes a day of 10 each!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Young Prince!

Second Day of the Ryabega Sewing School

The morning class, 5 students and our teacher!

We have a great teacher!

Peter had kid's club in the morning, then came over and started building the stands for the machines.

One done, 4 to go! we only had to do the new ones we bought! we had a total of 9 treadle machines!

Peter and his helpers.

The afternoon class, one student so far! We hope by the end of this first week we will have 2 full classes of 10 students each!
I have a translator that helps me in the morning to know what the teacher is teaching. I have learned so much today about making a pattern! I wanted so badly to go home and starting sewing myself a shirt!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Foods to Avoid With Polymyalgia Rheumatica

I just found this - for those of you who are following this, you might be interested!!!

Foods to Avoid With Polymyalgia Rheumatica  
Mar 28, 2011 | By Shelley Moore
Foods to Avoid With Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a disorder that causes severe muscle pain, stiffness and weakness. It nearly always occurs in people over age 50 and typically in people over age 70. Although PMR often resolves on its own after a year, it is usually treated with corticosteroids because the symptoms can be disabling. A clinical sign of polymyalgia rheumatica is a very elevated sedimentation rate as shown by blood tests, indicating a high level of inflammation. If you've been diagnosed with polymalgia rheumatica, avoiding foods that are associated with inflammatory reactions may help.

Refined Food

An anti-inflammatory diet involves avoiding processed food, junk food and fast food as much as possible and replacing those items with fresh food, according to physician Andrew Weil. Reduce white flour and white sugar intake, and don't eat products made with high fructose corn syrup. Eat organic whenever you can to avoid pesticide residue.

Dr. Weil recommends reducing consumption of animal protein except for fish, poultry without the skin and low-fat dairy products. Avoid butter, cream, ice cream, whole milk, whole milk cheese and whole milk yogurt. Additional healthy fats can be obtained with nuts and avocados. Going further, nutritionist Sylvia Escott-Stump recommends a raw vegan diet for treating chronic muscle pain disorders in her book "Nutrition and Diagnosis-Related Care," the 6th edition published in 2008. She cites a study published in the November 2000 issue of Toxicology indicating that a diet with no animal products and no cooked food was associated with reduced symptoms of fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Fats and Oils

As a PMR patient, you can benefit from avoiding certain types of fats and oils. These include partially-hydrogenated oils found in some types of margarine and in shortening. Other oils to avoid are coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil and regular safflower, sunflower, corn and cottonseed oils. Choose olive oil instead.

Food Intolerances

Food intolerances have been linked to some inflammatory conditions. Because dairy and gluten are relatively common food sensitivities, it may be worth eliminating all foods containing gluten from your diet, such as wheat products and any foods with rye or barley, along with all dairy products, to see if your condition improves.

Other Considerations

Avoid drinking alcohol, Weil advises, but if you do choose to have some, drink red wine in moderation. Coffee should also be avoided, according to nutritional therapist Jennifer McDermott, and Weil recommends drinking tea instead.

Read more:

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Sunday, August 12, 2012
What a day!
To back up a little we were talking with a lady at the YWAM base on Saturday minutes before we headed back to Nyagatare. We had been sharing about my swelling and pain and she related how a friend of her's had the same. Did tests and finally found out is was polymyalgia rheumatica. She wasn't sure about the name, but I did some research on the internet when I got home.
Polymyalgia Rheumatica is what I have - self diagnosed - found out there is relief for it and it will go away if treated - unlike fibromyalgia! Click here for a good read on Polymyalgia Rheumatica! (Of course you can do your own search!) On Thursday, when we were in Kigali, I visited the doctor but the meds he prescribed were not working. On Saturday when we finally got home, it was very late and I knew that I needed to get more help. With the info the lady at YWAM gave me I wanted to get the help I needed to get better. On Sunday, there was a toss up with either going to church or waiting and going to the first day of the sewing school on Monday. We ask Alex which he thought was better and he wanted me there on Monday. So I did a little internet research on Sunday morning. Layed down for a nap - drugged with Acetimiphen and Ibuprofen, which neither drug touches it, was in pain, slept for about an hour and woke with pain. That seemed to do me in!!! I had had enough. I knew from my research that there was a blood test that would prove something and medication that would help me be out of pain and without swelling!!! I wanted it! And I wanted it now!
We talked, okay I cried, and we decided to go to the hospital here in Nyagatare! So the three of us, had to take Daniel for translation - He is a God send!!!! We walked down to the hospital, no doctor available - he's in surgery! We go to leave and Daniel meets a friend who is a nurse! He proceeds to write us up a document for some blood tests. Off we go to another building to get the prices of the tests. Each of these items have been taking us about 1/2 to 1 hr. each! Then it is a trip to the Labo (laboratory)! When we get there we have a discussion - I didn't want to pay for a test of Malaria when I'm on anti-Malaria medication! and I really didn't want any test that wasn't for the condition I thought I had. Back to see a doctor! Daniel goes and gets the test I want added to the other 4 on the list. Then another discussion - I only want to have the one test done! I do win, with the help of one of the lab techs. who speaks English! So one blood sample - 1 hour and 30 minutes to wait for the results. We wait, we get the results, we go find a doctor to read the results! Another hour goes by. We finally give up waiting (I'm getting disappointed by now, I'll not get the drugs I need tonight, and I want so badly to be getting better for tomorrow!) (and the website said that it would be 24-48 hrs to being much better, grrrr!)
So we have to go back, it's on the way home anyway, to the lab because we left a package there. The lab tech that took my blood asked if we saw a doctor, 'No' was our sad reply! "I'll get you a doctor." he says. We are hopeful again!
He brings out a doctor from within the lab and he even speaks English!!!! So another discussion about my condition - I had a paper with things on it like the name of the condition and the symptoms and the medication and the tests to be done, etc. I'm so glad I'd done that! He talks, tells us what the results are ( 20 was normal and 60 was what my test read - that was high) and listens and eventually says that he would like to do another test. They still have my sample so they do the test. Waiting for only a few minutes for this result - 10 min. and it comes back normal. So we then head to his office so that he can write me out a prescription!!!! Oh yeah, I'm so happy! He gives me 3 prescriptions - one for the inflammation, one for the muscle pain and one for sleeping at night!!!! I sit, Peter and Daniel head for the Pharmacy!
Don't you just love it that the Hospital, Laboratory, Pharmacy, Doctor's Office all stay open 24/7!!!!!! I do!
So they get back we could only get two filled - one for inflammation and the sleeping pill! I'm good! We head home, but we have to buy food for our supper being that it's 9 PM and too late to start the coals to cook! I have to take food with these meds. So we by bread, tomatoes, onions for sandwiches, and eggs for breakfast! That takes time as you have to pick the best and get a good price!!!! Oh I'm so tired and sore by this time, I haven't had any drugs for about 5 hrs. - not that they did anything anyway!!!!
All in all, I take them with food and go to bed, in the morning the swelling is down and I'm ready to take on the day.

Saturday, August 13, 2012
Our first day of the sewing school. And I can walk, my pain is down too! We head out to Ryabega, we are late and don't catch a van or bus. We end up taking a moto for quite a bit more. Only Alex and the tailor Theophile are there, and the packages with the new sewing machines.
The rest of the day is great! We open packages, a few students come and we have an opening day. Introduce ourselves and present the goal of the sewing school and discuss how it will be run! All of us are excited and ready to have it happen! I'm not feeling any pain, and the swelling has just about disappeared! I'm just Praising God!!!!
New machines from donations given to Ashes to Worship! ( you can see my hands are a little bit swollen, I'll soon be able to wear my rings again!)
Workers fixing the 'office' room!
Putting the cabinets together for the machines.
The students and tailor in front of the YWAM donated machines!
A new machine!   

We give the glory to God for a very successful two days!!!!! Satan was defeated once again.
Thank You Jesus!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

An Eventful Trip to Kigali

We left right after breakfast on Thursday. Peter and Daniel went down to the bus park and I went as far as the end of the street our house is on. They got tickets and had the bus come around and pick me up. I don't know what reason was given to the bus driver, but it sure was nice not to have walked to the bus park. I had sent my bag with Peter and only had with me a bottle of water and my cane umbrella.

So we all left the house at the same time, which meant of course that I'd be waiting for a time at my spot. Just so happened I caused a little attraction. Three guys were hauling bricks from some spot to the bar/restaurant where I was standing just outside of. There were two wheel barrels so one fellow was hauling them on his head. One of the wheel barrel operators knew quite a bit of English and thought he'd like to talk with me. Of course this stopped all work. At first I wasn't really understanding what he was wanting, but then it's not hard to catch on. He wanted me to give him something so I offered him my water! The conversation went on from there about his schooling and how much he was making at the job he was doing, etc. What he really wanted was money. Meanwhile a few people who had taken that street were stopping to see what was going on. And eventually 'the boss' came walking by and in his statements to the fellows I heard the word 'umuzungu'! Of course it didn't take long to figure out the “I don't pay you to talk to a umuzungu ........” was being said and more!  It really wasn't my fault.

Thankfully the bus was soon coming up the street, turned around and parked in front of me. I got on with all eyes on the bus watching. Thankfully, Peter and Daniel grabbed my arms and pulled me in and I was soon seated just inside the door, and we were off to Kigali. About 2.5 hrs later we arrived. Peter had phoned a friend Alain and he was very soon there to pick us up and took us to the doctor's office.

I hobbled in (due to my joint inflammation) to the office, and was soon looked after. I ended getting a shot in the hip for the pain and swelling, which in an hour or so was working it's wonders! And did so for the next 12 hrs. He took a blood sample and wrote a prescription for Meloxicam (a medication for Rheumatoid Arthritis – and that will be another blog on what it is that I have), and the sample came back negative. We called Alain to come and take us to our next stop and Thanked him for his services. He later brought Kaely his wife by to see us, and we had a wonderful visit with them.

We continued on with things we needed to do as I was getting better with each passing minute. The pain was leaving and the swelling was going. I could tell as my runners were feeling loose on my feet.

Okay so this is getting a little long! I ended the day feeling just great! But by the next morning I was pretty much back to where I was when we started the day before. Grrrrr! Obviously the prescription drug was not working, and even though he said that one a day would be okay, I could take two and I was sure going to do that, but without relief. Peter & I still had a list of things to do, so we went at it right away and didn't get back to the base (the YWAM base was where we were staying for the two nights in Kigali) till about 5:30 PM on Friday. And after dealing with the banking situation (and I'm not going into the details of that – you can imagine what you like, but we did get 'the money'!!!), I was done for the day and the next, both physically and mentally!

Peter met with Alex on Saturday at 8 AM and the two were shopping for furniture for 'Ashes to Worship Ministry' and our house! We were planning on renting a truck to take it out to Nyagatare the same day. Well that did happen, but it ended up being much later than Peter and I had thought it would.

At about 5 PM, we had Alex go with the truck and driver, to deliver the goods to the school building and our house, and with enough money to pay the driver. Good thing we did, as the bus we took to take back had problems.  Just a little over half way home the headlights on the bus stop working. The driver used his four way flashers to guide him. There were times when he would, on purpose, hog the road when a vehicle came up behind us, as that vehicle's lights helped our driver. He finally made arrangements for another bus to follow us and show us the way, but that wasn't there all the time. So the 2.5 hr. ride home ended up being 4 hrs. And we still had to walk from where we were dropped off!

Good thing for cell phones in this country! We had contact with Alex and his deliveries and also with Daniel who was available to be at the house to unlock the gate for the stuff to be dropped off at the house! Daniel then had time even to come to the road, with our flashlight, to walk back with us to the house. We could have done it ourselves (my phone has a flashlight) but it just goes to show how considerate and helpful the Rwandans are!

Not sure how many times I cried during the weekend – but it wasn't all because of pain! It was because of the love the Rwandans have for others and the extent they will go to show it!

Thanks Daniel, Alain & Kaely, Doc Jesse, Bank Manager, Alex and the bus drivers!!!!!

And Thank You God for taking care of us all!!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Indoor Kitchen

 It was raining last evening during dinner preparation, so we had to move indoors for cooking! It is well vented with lots of holes in the walls.

Our indoor kitchen is like a porch, hence all the shoes. You will see our bag of charcoal behind the three legged chair built by Peter and Daniel!

Daniel stirring the cornflour in water for supper!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fish Tilapia

Daniel had been gone for a couple of nights, doing something with his university course. He is going to be a veterinarian, specifically working with the Talapia fish. He brought some home and we had a meal of them. A very nice white meat fish, cooked in sauce with the beans!