One year ago we started the Sewing School in Ryabega. January 31st, 19 students graduated. March 4th, 20 students started the second school, 18 (two dropped out for various reasons) will graduate on August 30th. This has been a great year! I feel very privileged to have this opportunity to be doing this. God has been very good and has supplied all that we've needed. It's amazing to look back and see the way He has provided for this ministry. (You can look back at previous posts to see also.)
My greatest thrill is starting with a new group of students and watch them as they learn how to make items. The smile on their faces is very rewarding. The smiles that says, "I did this", "I can do this", and "This is fun!". They are so proud of themselves and they have earned that right! Along with learning the skill of sewing, they learn more about God too! Peter is enjoying his time teaching them from God's Word, one half hour at the beginning of each class.
This week, and next week, are the last days for them to sew. Theophile (our tailor teacher) is getting them to sew some items as a final test. Today they started it. I'm very happy with the way this class has been working. (I'm thinking that the first class - back in August last year - may not have had the best teaching. It was a first for both Theo and myself, but hindsight is always 20/20! But I'm sure they learned enough!) The last week in August is preparation for Graduation.
After Grad Peter and I will be taking 3 weeks off, well almost. We will go back for meetings on the 19th before school starts on the 23rd of September. We are booked at a guesthouse along the lake and hope to just relax for a few days. I'm excited about that.
While we are gone, we are leaving Theo and Eppy (our translator) in charge of the sewing machines and be there for advice to any of the 37 students that want to come and sew, be it for themselves or for others. It will be a good time to see if they can work on their own without us. I really hope to see how many of them do that. When we go back to Canada next year (plans for April 2014) they will have the same opportunity. I'd love to see them get out on their own, and take up jobs sewing for others, to help their families financially. That has been my goal from the start, give them a skill they can use to help themselves.
God has been good. You have supported this ministry too! With out the prayers and gifts (financially and practical) we would not have been able to do this. God has worked in our lives and in the lives of the ones we touch here in Rwanda. And I pray that He has worked in your life too, as you have contributed to His work over here. I truly feel blessed and I pray you are too. I can hardly wait for September 23rd to come and we start it all over again!
One item of prayer, we don't know what exactly will happen with this house we rent or our belongings, while we are in Canada. Please pray for us, that God would give us wisdom as to what to do in that area, and that it will work out to give Him glory and honor. It is a ways away from now, but the last year has gone by so fast, I'm sure the next 7 months will too.