In our last letter we mentioned to you that we had just applied for our Rwandan Visa. It took only a few days and we received them. We praise the Lord God that we have been granted a visa for another 2 years! The time is quickly passing and the last few months have been witness of that.
Praise the Lord, He is so good!
On the 20th, our two hens hatched out 12 chicks. They have been growing ever since. Can hardly wait to see them at the dinner table, giving Thanks to God, - say, - about - October or December. This last two weeks or so, someone has come in our yard during the night and stole our 2 hens and the rooster, and a hawk or something has taken 2 of the chicks. The rest have so far been taking care of themselves. Even through all this, we have seen an increase in our 'chicken farming'! Praise the Lord!
On the 24th, one of our team members here, donated money to build a new sewing school. It has been started and is well on the way to completion. We are very grateful for the ones here who see a vision for the future of the ministry. We are looking forward to a bigger classroom, and eventually to a second classroom for production. And on that note, we have sent to Canada (through a friend), bags that the sewing group have made so far. They are for sale through family in Alberta. We are hoping that more of this will happen. It is an encouragement, not only to us, but to the ladies. They receive a third of the sales, and the other two thirds go to buying more material and to the costs of running the ministry here. If you are at all interested please let us know and we will do what we can. It is in the beginning stages right now. We are seeing God's faithfulness in this.
In August, we had a few things taken from our yard during the night. Our first discovery was the screen that was slashed on the house and some tools taken. Next, they took our hens and rooster, and a third time took tools out of our locked shed. We are looking into getting a guard, something we hoped we didn't need to do. We are in the procedure now and hope to have it completed in a few days. We have heard so many different wages that we really need God's wisdom on that and on the person we hire. He will likely be with us 24/7, and he will need a guard house to live in. Pray that God will lead us clearly. We praise God for his protection on us and Alphonsine through all this!
We have written to you about Franswa's house. It is getting finished very slowly, well, slower than what we would like to see. It has the walls mostly up, and because of the rains just starting this week, it really needs to have the roof put on it right away. That is an expense we don't have enough funds for at this time. We would like to see it completed so that they can move into it as a family. About $600.00 would be enough to cover the rest of the work needed on their house. Please pray that funds will come in to finish it for them.
This month has been one of tests! And that is the same for the sewing students. All of them were tested on their knowledge of what Peter has been teaching from the Bible at the beginning of the class, and on what skills we have been teaching them in the sewing department. All had been trying their hardest and doing their best job. It was very exciting to see some of the finished products and to grade them. On the 23rd of August we gave awards to those who did their best in different areas. On the 30th we had thirteen students that passed the exams and graduated. It was a very good day and we praised God for His continued blessing on the ministry here.
We have planned a break for ourselves. We have been going pretty steady since we first started teaching on August 13, 2012. This first week in September is just doing things around the house. We have a garden to plant and this is the right time for it. We have some things that need attending, like the guard, and getting the guard house built. We are also going away to another part of Rwanda to just relax. We feel we need to do this and that God will renew us as we are feeling a bit 'tired'. We are praising God for the strength and health that He has given us in this past year and pray that He will continue to do so.
The sewing will still go on. Eppy, our translator, and whose house we run the sewing school out of, and Theophile, our tailor, will supervise while the students, (all 39 from all the classes) take advantage of the use of the sewing machines. We are hoping to see how they use their time, skill, sewing for themselves and others, in the first 2 and a half weeks in September. We would like to see them take the initiative to do something with the skill they have learned. We don't want them to be dependant on Peter and I for everything, we don't plan on being here forever. There are so many ways to use what they know, and we want to give them a chance to see that. This is also a time to see what will happen while we are gone to Canada next year. We will continue to pay our staff during this month. We praise the Lord for the way He has different ones give to that expense.
We will be back on the 18th, and on the 19th , we will be meeting with our team and taking applications for the next sewing class, which will start on Monday, September 23rd. There will be about 6 months of teaching and testing, and they will graduate the end of March 2014. We are really looking forward to that.
The Children's Ministry is still going on every Friday, and Alphonsine is taking care of that.
Peter has increase his Discipleship classes to two. We are encouraged that another church wanted the teaching also.
We are hoping to travel back to Canada in the spring of 2014 and be there for about 4 months. We want to visit with as many of you as possible and share about our time here. We are also hoping to come back to Rwanda and do more of what God is asking us to do! Please pray with us in all the decisions that have to be made in the next year or so. Pray that God will lead us clearly and that His Name will be Glorified and Honored!
May God richly bless you,
Peter & Diane Salmond