Saturday, November 30, 2013

Baa Baa Black Sheep . . . Three Bags Full

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.
Okay, so what's up with the nursery rhyme you ask!
Well, the production end of things at the sewing school is going great.
After 3 weeks of sewing, they have produced "Three Bags Full" of bags!

November 11th was when we started and at the end of that week we had 26 bags.
Eight graduates working 1 to 5 days,
produced 3 Large bags, 12 shoulder bags, 9 bags with straps, and 2 makeup bags.

the second week 11 grads produced 32 bags.
4 Large bags, 7 shoulder bags, 15 bags with straps, and 6 makeup bags.

and at the end of this week they had 36 bags finished,
3 Large bags, 13 shoulder bags, 9 bags with straps, and 11 makeup bags.
A total of  94 bags in three weeks!!!
Good work team!

We have just about sold all the bags that are in Canada.
And we are hoping that more will go around the first of February.
THANKS to all of you who have helped in getting the bags to Canada!
THANKS to those who have transported them to where they are being sold!
THANKS to those of who sold them,
And THANKS to those who bought them and supported the people who made them.

At first Peter and I were cutting out all the bags,
but with the speed that they are sewing them it is just too much for us.
We have decided,
(against their choosing - I asked them who would like to be a 'cutter' and no one wanted the job)
to get them to cut out their own bags that they sew.
They are going to have to learn anyway, so it's for their own good for them to know how.
And this last week they have been doing it with Peter's supervision.
He's doing a super job and so are they!
And it's really lessened my load.
We also have two "supervisors" or maybe what you'd call "assistant teachers",
one in the morning and one in the afternoon,
to be a 'helper' to those who need it when sewing the bags.
They have been doing it now for about the 3 weeks and have turned out to be great at it!
I can not say enough about the job they are doing in helping others and sewing their own bags on top of that, and they are producing just as much as those they are helping!
So we are doing great at getting them to be self sufficient before we head to Canada in April.
There are a few things that will have to be taught about the business end of things,
and we are trusting God He will direct us and those that will be involved in that.

But going back to the bags, that isn't all that we want them to sew.
We have some other ideas of things to make in the next few months.
We want to be 'armed' with a lot of goodies for our trip to and visit in Canada and USA.
Pray with us that God will continue to direct us. We want to be listening to Him to tell us what to do and how to help the ones here to be most productive. We want them to see how God leads us, so that they will know when God talks to them, they need to listen and be obedient.

This past week we have been teaching the new class 
how to measure and sew a collar and tab to fit themselves.
Theo has reassured me that it's not the way I taught it,
but we just don't know why they aren't getting it.
Maybe after the weekend and everyone 'sleeping on it' they will do better this coming week.
I'm hoping and praying.
Maybe it's not them, but that the LORD wants to teach me something . . .
Pray for me that I'll keep my ears open to His still small voice,
so that I don't have to learn a lesson the hard way!
One for my MASTER . . .

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

It was a great day!
It started off with Peter and I killing Diana and Momma Esther (okay it turned out that they really were Dan and Poppa Ethan but that's beside the point!). Peter caught them before he let the chickens out for the day and I held them for him while he did the 'deed'. Went in for breakfast and got the water heated. Then Alphonsine and I plucked them. There are pictures for all this but I thought I'd spare you the gore, but if you have to see well let me know. I don't think Alphonsine had gutted chickens before because she just did as I said and I did both of them. Good to have had the past experience in all that!

Thanks Mom! 

So after that I cleaned them and prepared them to be cooked in a pot on the coals. Alphonsine then picked green beans in the garden for our dinner, and there was enough to give three bags away. One will go to the other YWAMers living here in Nyagatare, and the other two will go to our moto drivers in the morning.

 At about 10:30 am Alphonsine and I walked up to the market and bought some more material and sheets for production as they have sewn up all that we had. We also tried to get two more hens to replace the ones we will be eating later today. All the hens were either too expensive (muzungu has money) or they were sickly looking, so we didn't buy any. Got home about 12 noon.
Going to the market takes about 2 hrs. but the chickens were not tender enough for me so we cooked them for another 2 hrs.
Meanwhile I had the material to wash in vinegar to stop the colors from bleeding and at least two sheets needed to be washed for tomorrow for production.
Once it was cooked, we took the meat off the bones and into a heated container ready for dinner. Then we started on the Yellow Golden cake mix. Got it into a pot and started cooking it on the coals. It was too hot and started to burn so Alphonsine took some coals out and made it just right.
It turned out okay, just a little layer burnt on the bottom. But before it was done we got the pumpkin pie started, no crust, which is healthier! Good thing we have two coal burners, because the cake took about 1 1/2 hrs, and the pie about 2 hrs.

A thunder storm came up and we ran for the clothesline to get the material, before it got wet, which turned out to be dry anyway.
Then we had the gravy to make using the drippings from cooking the chickens and the packages. I think it was when we were cooking the cake and pie that it struck Alphonsine that "mommy" does know how to cook and that what I was cooking smelled very tasty! (Even if the cooking was out of the 'box'!) We also opened the can of cranberries, with a knife, going to have to get a can opener I guess, and put it in a container with a lid.
After that we had a break. It was about 4 pm and Peter would only be leaving the school. We had the instant potatoes and stuffing to do but that was just adding boiling water and took like 1 to 5 minutes. I told Alphonsine that we should taste the cake and pie to see if they were going to be good. She said that she had dishes to do (and we'd dirtied a lot) but I told her sit, boil water and we would have tea with the cake and pie. She was okay with that being that I'm 'not eating' enough right now for her liking and that "mommy' is getting 'smaller', so she was okay with seeing that I was going to eat more.

 Yum, Yum!
Of course the cake and pie were great, and after all we'd been doing today it didn't hurt.
I'd been playing christmas music all afternoon on my phone and it was really nice to have it playing.
Peter got home about 5pm and we waited for Christian and Anne, the YWAMers, to come and get their beans and we visited awhile.
After that it was the stuffing and the potatoes to add boiling water to and then sit down and eat!
After a few photos,

we dished up and were stuffed. Made a plate up for Alphonse our guard - and gave it to him after he got over the shock of two chickens missing, (he locks them in when he gets here) and that we'd had them for dinner! Shared the pictures with him, Alphonsine did all the talking as he knows hardly any English at all.
We have so many things to be Thankful for, I hope you all do too. God is so good!
And Thanks Harry and Diane for the Thanksgiving dinner!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gardening and Sewing

 The yard is so green and luscious.
 The yard is need of trimming - Thanks Peter!
 Looks like a jungle on this path.
 So today I tried making a sample apron out of some material I bought in Kigali. 
After finishing it I modeled it....
Got some two thumbs up!!
Okay, so these pictures were staged, but they did like the apron!

So now it's your turn.
Do I get two thumbs up, AND how many of you will buy one?
I need to know about how many to make so please let me know.
There are going to be some with black border instead of the white, so mention which you would like.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

This Week's Events

Well, this week has been exciting!
We were in Kigali for my appointment, and to buy supplies for the school.
I seem to be running out of material/fabric for the production end of things, which is good!
Anyway, I saw the doc and he ordered more blood tests, as it seems I'm bruising a way to easily, probably due to the medication, which he reduced. Yeah!
Also in talking with my sister, it seems that I may need to add 'fermented meat' to my diet,
which would be the Vit. B12,
which happened promptly upon returning back to Nyagatare.
When we eat in Kigali, we usually get meals with meat in them.
But the tests will tell exactly what is going on.
I have been for some time now, just not having enough energy, (almost a year now).
Just tired, but still not wanting to miss what is going on at the school.
I take a rest on the bed, in our office at work, during the noon hour,
but by the time we get home around 4:30 pm I'm pretty much bushed.
After having a meal of 'cow' (what they call beef here) I seemed to have more energy the next day,
so I'm really hoping that that is the cure for my lack of energy.
I have more often now, and not to my choosing, taken Sat. and Sun. to just rest at home.
Well, Sat. is spent doing what needs doing at home because I don't have time during the week.
So now, I'm starting to not feel so 'guilty', in not attending 'church' every Sunday,
because I'm just plain tired out, and want to be able to save my energy for the week days.
I'm so thankful for Christian podcasts to listen to on Sunday that are an encouragement to me.
Although I just hate missing the Sunday singing, dancing and preaching at our church.

Last week, Nov. 11 to 15th, the production was happening!
There were 11 graduates that came for 5 days (some came as little as 2 days) and made 26 bags.
 This week, Nov. 18 to 22, there were 11 grads, 5 days (again some as little as 2 days) and 32 bags.
 (Theophile was also sewing, when not teaching, and contributed to that count - both weeks.) 
I have assigned two grads to be assistant teachers.
This has lessened my load a lot!
These two ladies, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon,
are doing great at helping those who need it.
This has been an encouragement to me
to see that they are stepping up to the plate in taking this leadership responsibility.
They have been very good at being 'on time' and being there every day!
I just love it, it warms my heart to see them take on this responsibility.
Next on my list is to have them cut their own bags out, right now Peter and I are doing it.

I've been in the meantime, checking all the products that the present students are making,
skirts lately, but soon to be 'button up shirts'.
And on this coming Tues. I'll be showing them how to measure and cut a collar and tab to fit themselves, so they know how to do it for their customers.
I did it with the last set of students, after finding out that all the collared shirts were not fitting the customers at the neck!!! Something needed to be done! So Theo has asked for me to teach it again to these present students. I'm excited! I never knew how before coming to Rwanda, but through Theo's teaching of measuring I've taken it on, to be sure that the shirt fits.
Also (in the meantime) I've been sewing up two different bags than what the production is doing,
and getting 'eyed', and I'm sure they are all just waiting for a chance to sew them too!
I'm thinking that they need to learn to do more than just two styles of bags they are doing now,
but not the same bags that are being produced here in Rwanda. Also, maybe, more than just bags!
So there may be a day of teaching for the production,
or at least the assistant teachers, teacher, and the strong sewers,
to learn a different bag or two in the future before we leave for Canada.
16 machines in use, including Eppy's
 It is very exciting to have almost all of the bags sold that went to Canada.
We have had 3 opportunities to have bags taken to Canada this year.
And so far there are 2 times, where I know, that it will happen next year!!!
So excited! The opportunity for these ladies that have taken the class, 
or are taking the class, is great.

Upon returning from Kigali, we learned that one of our students lost her 3 yr. old child.
She had died in the night and was buried the next day.
It is not an easy life here. Not sure when she will come back to class.

The next day we heard that one of the young single students
is not going to continue with learning to sew.
It's not easy to hear this, as I know they don't have the chance to get a higher education,
and learning a skill can be the chance they need to support themselves.
I pray that God has a better plan for them.

On another note: the guardhouse is still not completed!
Peter is out trimming the hedges, and I need to trim his hair.
The day is half over and there's more to be done.

Thank you God for keeping us safe, healthy, and serving You!
Wouldn't want it any other way!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Good News

We filled out all the papers and we got the "Okay" for our USA Donors to give to through YWAM Tyler, Texas. Below is information to read through if you want to donate to our personal support. This will also be in the tab above - "USA Financial Support".

Ways to Give Through YWAM Tyler

There are currently four ways to give through Youth With a Mission Tyler.
  1. Personal Checks.
  2. Bill Pay Service.
  3. Credit Card.
  4. Automatic Withdrawal.
PERSONAL CHECKS- IMPORTANT - When you send a donor-preferenced gift to YWAM for a missionary’s support you should NOT write the missionary’s name on the check - anywhere. You should enclose a separate note requesting that YWAM make a donation to the missionary. Also checks should not be made out as "YWAM - John Doe" they should be made out to YWAM and mailed to: Accounting Department, PO Box 3000, Garden Valley, TX 75771-3000.

With the tax-deductible receipt, you will receive a new remittance form, (“Next Gift form” at the bottom of the receipt) with your name and address as well as the missionary’s name printed on it, and a self-addressed return envelope that you will be able to mail your next donation back to us in.

BILL PAYMENT SERVICE - If you would like to use a “Bill Payment” service to send in checks for a missionary you CAN and MUST put your full name and address on the check as well as the missionary’s full name. The reason you can put the missionary’s name on this type of a check is because the check is not being returned to an individual but to a bill payment service. Please be sure they do not make the check payable to the missionary. It must be made out to “YWAM”

AUTOMATIC WITHDRAWAL & CREDIT CARD - We now have available for you the ability to donate by Automatic Withdrawal (AWD) from your bank accounts (on a monthly basis only) or by Credit Card. If they choose to donate by credit card there is an additional fee that we must pay to the credit card company (approximately 3.5%). If you choose to donate by AWD we will need a copy of a voided check along with a form. If you would like to donate using either of these options you can contact our office to receive the appropriate forms.
You as a donor will receive a tax deductible receipt.

Our Processing Fees are as follows – Fees Per Donation:
  • Donations $30.00 or Less $ 1.50
  • Donations Over $30.00 $ 5.00
  • Donations $500 and more $12.50
  • Stock Donations $50.00 (shares in a company)
If you have any questions about making a donation at any time please contact our department and we will be glad to assist you in anyway that we can.

Thank you for considering partnering with our ministry.

YWAM Tyler Accounting Department - 903-509-5302 –

Sunday, November 17, 2013


 Got to Kigali, was cloudy, won't be getting a burn today traveling around.
 Went to the Heaven Restaurant for a treat! Ate our hamburgers, and fries down before I thought of taking a picture. Just about missed taking one of the Chocolate brownie with homemade ice cream too!!! Yummy it was good!!!!

Skirts Guardhouse and Sweet Corn

I made Peter a shirt
Eppy made these two skirts, one for her daughter and one for a neice.
Finished the brick at the top. Now the window and door and floor need to be finished.
Had our first corn on the cob. I believe this was the biggest one.
Very tasty!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Moto Production and Skirts

So on Monday, we had a little 'incident' with the power at the 'school' (I'll let Peter explain that one), so now have no power for the irons. So glad we sew with treadle machines. It gets a little dark in the room when the clouds are heavy and raining.

And today Peter got dumped off the moto just after turning a corner - so they weren't going fast. He was behind me and I heard them tip. He's good, so no worries, but had a lot of mud on his clothes. The bike tires are so smooth, it doesn't take much to slip in the mud. He's wondering what Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will hold!!!! Me too!!!

Below is some more skirts. I wish you could see the seams, they are doing a great job!
Esther, a skirt for herself.
Shemusa, a skirt for someone else.
Epiphanie, a skirt for someone else.
Eppy, as skirt for her daughter.
Epiphanie, a skirt for someone else.
Epiphanie, a skirt for herself.
Latifa, fits nice!
Latifa, a skirt for herself.
Claudine, a skirt for someone else. She struggles with the treadle, but she is persistent!
Pascasie, for someone else.
Esther, for herself but too short to model!
Production is happening again. 2 in the AM, and 5 in the PM so far this week.
Teddy is part of the production, and she made this dress in September.