Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Flower Cushion Bag

Peter was sick last week with a head cold, and coughing. 
This week it's my turn. 
The rainy season has started, and a lot of the students are sick. 
You know, like when winter sets in and you get that first cold of the season. 
Same here. 
But because of that my flower has finally bloomed.
I've been waiting a long time.
At first it was the chickens that would peck at it and not allow it to grow, 
then dry season, 
more chickens, etc. 
Now with the dog and no chickens, it's had a fighting chance.
 The first item that the students make is a pin cushion.
One of the items that is required in their sewing kit that they have to get together.
 Morning class's pin cushions, well 11 of the 12.
 Afternoon class's pin cushions, 10 of 12.
Next a draw string bag.
 Instructions for sewing a draw string bag.
 Debora was the first one to finish the draw string bag.
A very good sewer, and I'm very impressed with the majority of the students.
 We've planted some seeds in the garden just after the rains started, first of March,
but then they stopped. It was a bit scary as to whether they were going to start again,
but they have. The cucumbers are up, along with some carrots, and radishes, etc.
 These cabbages are from the last growing season. 
When the stems were left in the ground, new cabbages started to grow.
There is any where from one to four growing on one stem.
If the rains are good, I'm guessing we will get a few more good heads of cabbage.
Soup's been on the menu a few times these last two weeks.
Today I made beet, carrot and cabbage soup. 
Threw in what I had and plan on getting more spices and herbs when we are in Kigali next month.

As you saw in the prayer letter, the toilet for the primary school is finished,
and construction is well underway on the first classroom.
I really hope to get some updated photos soon.

We are working on some changes.
We have out grown our space where we've been holding the sewing classes.
We are looking at renting a larger building with 5 rooms in it.
One room would be for the present beginner class,
one for an office,
one for production,
one for a store to sell the items,
and one for multiple uses - maintenance, bible lessons, etc.

Also, we are seriously thinking about moving from Nyagatare ourselves,
and finding a place in Ryabega, which is closer to where we are holding the sewing classes.
(If so I'm going to miss our daily moto ride!)

God has been good to us. 
When we are making plans to help students in the area of production, 
it seems to be way out of our comfort zone. 
It is way beyond anything that Peter and I have done.
There is a lot of regulations, etc. to follow and we need to get to know the right person to help us in that area. We realize that our "dreams" when we first started here, are likely not going to 'fly' as we realize that we just can't humanly do 'all' of what we thought we could.
But the core "call from God" of teaching them about Jesus, 
and teaching them to sew will not change.
We really want to have God show us more in that area.
Please pray for us in this area of change.
We want God to be glorified in all that happens over the next few months.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Okay So...

I thought I was finished with registering new students. 
I made the decision to register one of the two that showed up in the morning, but she would have to come back for the afternoon class, and pay the full fees, and pay for the sewing kit, (which she did!), as that was where there was 'the one and only' spare machine. 
So now we have full class in the morning and full class in the afternoon - in all 24 students. 
But I'm sure that the ones that register two weeks ago and never showed for the class last week are going to be mighty disappointed when I have to give them their money back and tell them they should have come when the classes started! 
Some think that having a "toe" in the door is good enough.
Kind of makes me think of what some Christians think, 
that just going to church is enough, (or something like that)
you have to work on a relationship with Jesus every day. 

Note to self: 
Do I read God's word every day?
Do I listen for His still small voice every day?
Do I heed Him every day?

Today, we were suppose to sew the pin cushion. 
We got the fabric cut and will be sewing them up tomorrow. 
And maybe start the Drawstring bag!

Excited to be back teaching and learning new faces. 
The instructions of how to put a pin cushion together!
Blossoms and fruit on the mango tree, should be ripe by June.
Thank you Lord again for safety as we travel every day. 
Thank you too, for loving us so much and taking us a step farther in knowing you more!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Last of the Beginners

We've been reviewing every day about guidelines, and machine care.
Friday was our last day for registering new students. 
We now have 23 students and they are doing great at their learning.
Monday they will be starting to make their first item, a pin cushion.
So excited about this group, as it looks like a great bunch of students.
Here are the last three:
 Sarah a new grad and she also took the Advanced Class,
came by on Monday to buy an machine.
Took Peter a few days to put it together and she took it home on Thursday.
Another happy sewer!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New Batch of Beginners

New students,
please pray for them over the next six months.
 Looking forward to teaching this great bunch of students more about God and about sewing!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

March Prayer Letter

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you
with inner strength through his Spirit. Ephesians 3:16

We first want to mention that we are so grateful to God for supplying funds for the classrooms. We have seen enough donated to build a much needed toilet and one classroom. The 6 hole toilet is finished and the classroom is well under way!
 We've been keeping busy up to the end of February with the sewing school. We are right now taking a two week break. We finished a 6 week Advance Class which ended up lasting a month longer. It was our first time and even though we miscalculated the time schedule, all the students learned a lot about making long sleeve button-up shirts and pants. This was a first for these ladies to make pants that fit them. Yes they had to make a shirt and a pair of pants that fit them. I told them, because many of them have never worn pants, that they could do what they wanted with them after the class was over – use it as a rag, PJ's, or give them away – I didn't care, but they had to know how to make a pair of pants that would fit and be comfortable! It was quite the chatter in the class as each lady finished up their pants and had to model them and the shirt! That was one of the times I really wished I knew the language!!! So why did I make them make pants that they will likely never wear! UNIFORMS! Uniforms are an important item here. All the children that are able to attend school have to wear a uniform, and if you know how to sew you will likely be asked to make a uniform. So knowing how to sew a button-up shirt and pants is important. We ended up having 12 students receive certificates at the end of the class. Two of the ladies that were finished early (because they had their own machines and sewed both morning and afternoon) were sewing uniforms for children in a local school.

But this isn't all the excitement in the last few months. We had my sister Leona and her husband Fraser visit again. They were here for about 2 weeks and we had a great time showing them around. We were able to get them a visit in with the sponsor family they are supporting, and the family that another of my sisters' support too. Leona was able to teach the students a couple of items, a little fabric box and fabric flowers. They turned out great and I later asked the students what they did with it or used it for. Some put it on their coffee table as a conversation piece. Some have it displayed in their work place and hope to have offers to make more for others. Some have used it for sewing scraps! It has always been a treat to have a guest and have them teach something that is new and different. Fraser and Leona have been a great help to the ministry here and we are so ever grateful for their advice. Sometimes you just get stuck when you are looking from the inside. Many thanks to the two of you and many others who have been helpful in the ministry here.
 We are really seeing the need to have a bigger place for our sewing school. We have been feeling that God is leading us to a bigger building or two. We see the need to have a 'production line' for those students that have graduated and don't have a machine of their own. We are looking for a place that would hold classrooms for beginners, production, storage, a place to sell items, and an office, and maybe a place for fixing machines (Peter's gotten pretty handy with that!) We are waiting patiently for God to reveal to us just how and where this will be. Patiently, because I'd really like to be in it before the new beginner class starts March 16, yes, I repeat patiently! We have just 'out grown' the room we are in, and we see more possibilities for those that have learned to sew. We are so excited!

We have had 5 students purchase machines from us since September. (Only a couple pictured here.) We buy the machines in Kigali and get them put together and set up for the buyers. Other students have gotten them also, and we are glad to hear that, and that they are continuing with sewing.
 Peter has been able to visit other churches and wants to set up more speaking engagements. He sees that God is opening doors to this type of ministry. He has the great opportunity of teaching God's word every day in the sewing classroom, and has the students share occasionally what they have learned and that is exciting.

Please continue to pray for us and these items mentioned above. God bless you as you serve Him where you are and for supporting the ministry here.

Peter & Diane Salmond

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Friday, February 27th

Certificate of Completion!
Time of sharing what they learned from God's Word.
Watching photos from the 3 months.
Having a good laugh!
Gift for Eppy
 Peter and I received a gift too, sorry no photo!
 So proud of the ladies on the work they did on their shirts and pants. 
It was a great morning celebrating.

We will be taking two weeks off for a break before starting another class for beginners.
There is still those that want to learn.

We are really needing a bigger place.
We would like to see a room for new learners,
and a room for production - making items for sale here and abroad,
a room or store for selling those items,
a room for an office,
and a room for storage and work room for fixing machines.
We are praying that God will show us specifically where he wants us to set this up.
 Please pray with us that God would show us the details.
We want to bring more glory to Him in all this.