Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sewing Shirts

The classes have been sewing tops this last little while. Some for themselves and some for others.
They are doing a great job! It is so exciting to see the smiles on their faces after completing a garment that looks like it was bought from the store.

 Their first try at an item, shirts in this case, are usually made from used material, and therefore the stains.
They are sure enjoying the pins, scissors, thread, buttons, zippers that came from Canada. It sure has been great for them as they learn to sew!
We have been trying to encourage getting to class on time and being there, so we give out prizes once a week to them. This week we had two in the morning class, and four in the afternoon class! We are hoping that one week soon, we will have to give all the students a prize! So far they have had a number of items to choose from and the Canadian thread wins hands down. So far, we have had spools that have never been used, but soon we will have to give out partial spools. It really is great to have these items to reward attendance.
There is only two more months left for these students, July & August. We have lost two students in the morning class due to sickness. My goal was to see 20 students graduate this course, a pride thing, but the Lord is keeping me humble. I am very happy the way this set of students are sewing, and I think it has a lot to do with the way we set up the course. Trial and error!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Making A Difference and Changing Lives

Peter shared the following on the Ashes To Worship page on Facebook:

Making A Difference and Changing Lives
That is what it is all about.
This was a regular Sunday morning as I got up and went about my usual Sunday morning routine. After getting to church I knew that I had to back up to the starting of June in order to tell this story properly.

Actually on May 30, we went to Kigali Rwanda from Nyagatare Rwanda, to pick up Diane's sister and her husband from the airport as they had just finished a week with e3 Partners doing evangelism in a village here in Rwanda. We then rented to taxi's to drive us home again to Nyagatare.

Well, to make this a bit shorter, they (Leona and Fraser) brought a few things along with them to bless others with. And today, I have a story in relation to one of those blessings. They did that through the sewing school on the 3 and 4th of June.

One of the things they brought with them to bless others with were eye glasses . There were quite a few pairs. When I was looking at all of these glasses, the Lord brought to my memory an old man from our church. Everyone calls him umusaza (old man) as a sign of respect. No one knows for sure how old he is. So I thought about it, wondering which pair of glasses would be best for him, so I figured I would take a couple of pairs. He had such a hard time reading his bible and I wanted him to be able to read it better. So I wanted to give him a pair of the glasses.

So I took these two pairs of glasses and a big magnifying glass over to their house, in the yard I found him and his wife and a teen girl talking. After inspecting the glasses, he choose one of the pairs and believe it or not his wife also needed glasses and took the other pair. So I went back to the school happy, with just the magnifying glass in my hand.

Well, I had a surprise today, as umusaza (old man) stood up in Church during the sharing time, and he was wearing his glasses and he said he wanted to praise God for his new glasses and that he could now see very well again, and he could read his bible. He was so happy, he said, "I can even dance again, as he demonstrated in front of the church.

Then he came over to me, and he hugged me first on one side of my head, than on the other, back on to the other side, and back again, as the tradition is in Rwanda, with one hug added on. It is usually just three times. I think it was a hug for me, a hug for Diane, a hug for Leona and a hug for Fraser. But to him it was just a happy way of saying thank you very much for making it so I can see once again.

One thing he said stuck in my mind, he said the Dr. here could not find a match with my eyes, but these they match. They work. The smile on his face said it all. It was wonderful and it really made my day. Praise God he is the greatest Dr. of all. He could of chosen to heal umusaza's (old man) eyes, but instead He sent him a pair of glasses from Canada that matched his eyes. Wow, simply AMAZING.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 2013 Prayer Letter

Ashes To Worship Ministry in Rwanda with Peter & Diane Salmond

June 2013 Prayer Letter

For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; ... A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. ... a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; ... A time to rip, and a time to sew; a time to keep silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. What benefit can a worker gain from his toil? I have observed the burden that God has given to people to keep them occupied. God has made everything fit beautifully in its appropriate time,” Ecclesiastes 3:1-11a

A lot has happened since our last letter in March. We will only mention a few things. Check “Grandma Johnny is in Rwanda” blog for more updates. We have been here now for over a year. May 31, 2012 was when we landed in Rwanda, and have had our feet on the ground since then. In April, we experienced being in a country that is remembering, not to forget, the 1994 Genocide. There is a lot of changes from the daily routine during the week that they set aside for it. We had only morning classes during the week from April 7th to the 14th. One of the sewing students had her dad's remains found, identified and then reburied (not sure where). This gal wasn't very old in 1994, 19 years ago.

On May 9, we received news that Diane's oldest sister, Betty passed away. The Lord God gives strength when we need it. She had scleroderma and lived longer than doctors expected. It was a comfort to know that she knew Jesus as her Lord and Savior. It was also a comfort to know that another one of Diane's sisters would be coming in a couple of weeks to Rwanda. God is good in His timing of all things and gives strength when needed!

Around the middle of May, we started having some of the graduates come to sew, on 5 machines, we had put into our little class room. We started by making small, medium and large bags. The money from the sales is divided in 3rds, one third to the ministry for bills, replacement parts or new machines, one third to buying more material to make more items, and one third to the sewer.

On May 23rd, Leona & Fraser Kent (Diane's sister) came over with an evangelism ministry team called e3 Partners, and then stayed a few extra days with us! They had a great time here and experienced God working in Rwanda. Fraser was able to get 'dirty', and helped out building more on the Preschool building. They were putting up the walls for the 3rd classroom. Peter took Fraser with him to one of the discipleship classes. He had an opportunity to share and encourage them in their walk with God and doing discipleship in their church.
 They also shared at the sewing school. Leona taught the students how to make a small quilted pad which they were able to take home. They were only here for two days at the sewing school, and Diane helped the students finish the item the following week. The students enjoyed meeting them and received the gifts she brought for them with great joy! Who doesn't like receiving presents! They also brought with them more zippers, thread, pins, and other items donated by a number of great people. Thanks to all of you who were contributors!
 Jeremy Doorten, the Canadian Director of “e3 Partners”, (also a former Youth Pastor of a church we attended while in Canada) was here on the same ministry trip with Leona & Fraser. He was also able to come and visit us for a short time after the week of ministry. After he returned to Canada, he contacted us and let us know that there were funds coming for the ministry to be able to buy 6 more sewing machines!!! Wow, are we excited!!!
Our Lord God only knows, that our little class room is WAY TO SMALL for 6 more machines, but that we need them in order to fulfil what we believe He has called us here to do! Praise the Lord that He knows all things is preparing a place! We are praying that we will be getting a place that has three rooms, one for the new students, one for the production team and one for an office and storage. Please pray with us that God will reveal His plan for all this, and that we will be listening closely to His voice when He speaks!

Peter and Alphonsine are still carrying on with the ministry with the children on Fridays. The children love to have Alphonsine come and teach them stories from the Bible. They run to greet her when she comes! Peter gets to have fun with them too, as they are learning English in school.
 Alphonsine has also being taking good care of us. She planted beans and maize (corn) for us in our yard and has now harvested the beans, and the corn will be soon. She is a hard worker and we praise the Lord for giving her to us. We would not be able to do what we do if we didn't have her to do the cleaning, cooking, shopping and laundry, & planting and harvesting.  God has blessed us!
July 2nd our Rwandan Visa runs out. We have started the process of renewing them. Please pray with us at this time. We have applied for another 2 years, which gives us multiple 'exits' and 'enters' into the country.

We have been very Thankful to God for the way He has provided for the ministry within this year. We know that this ministry would not be, if we did not have the prayers of all of you. Praise God with us, as He is at work in the lives here. We have numerous one time donations come in for the ministry and for our personal support, and we also have those of you who have donated faithfully every month. Praise the Lord! This is a great encouragement to us, and we know that you are behind us in this ministry. God has been very good to us. We pray that He will provide what is needed for His ministry to continue as He leads.

May God richly bless you,

Peter & Diane Salmond

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Today Peter invited Alex & Eppi to our house to celebrate both Alphonsine's and my birthdays! We had cake with Nutella as icing and roasted peanuts! Great time visiting and showing Eppi our house and yard!

Oh, and Fanta!!!

Happy Father's Day

It's not every year that Father's day and my birthday are on the same day!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Another year, another birthday!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Time to Harvest

Well here in Rwanda we are in the harvest time of the year!
We have had a great garden and will be eating from the produce for some time.
Our corn is doing good. We had one cob roasted today.
The cucumber patch has decided to stop producing, but it gave us many cucumbers!
The peas are just about done, and if the chickens don't eat what's left we may have some to replant (behind a chicken proof fence!)
And we gathered our first egg from one of the two hens we have.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Beans and Mitts

Leona & Fraser brought some oven mitts for Alphonsine. Today I caught her using one!!!
Alphonsine planted beans in our yard in March when the rainy season started. Last week, she started to harvest them and today she finished. We have been eating a few of them, but this is how much she harvested for us. "No more beans from market, Mommy." is what she says now!!!
About a 4 gallon container.

Some More Little Quilts

 These finished up theirs today, and that is likely all. They really enjoyed doing it and I'm very pleased with the end results. I wouldn't be surprised if some do this again with scraps they save!
Marie Jean
Providence, a grad
Violette, a grad
Jane, a grad

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Sampler Quilt

If I can call it that - "Sampler Quilting". There wasn't too many that showed on Monday for the final step of making their quilts, but these were the ones that did finish it on Monday!
Thanks Leona for coming all the way from Canada to teach the students another aspect of sewing.
Betty, a grad

Theophile our tailor

Mary, a grad



Anne Marie, a grad

Olive, a grad

Jacqueline, a grad

Marguerite, a grad

Theophile, again, made one in the afternoon class too





Pelagie, a grad





Oh yah, I got to make one too!