Monday, 22 April 2013

Ten years in the making...

When we say that God has His own timing or that He doesn't forget the desires of our heart... well I'm testimony to that today.
Ten years ago, on my first trip into Rwanda, God put the women of Rwanda on my heart.
There were all these women walking around with baskets on their heads - just trying to sell enough to feed their family for the day. Not to think about paying rent or school fees, or clothes... I was moved.
The dream of a coffee shop was born (there was none in town at the time!), where I could employ women, train them to be successful entrepreneurs and send them back out into the world to better equipped to stand, to support their families and with their life transformed.
Well... I've carried that dream for ten years.
Today, it started to become reality.
I have 8 days to learn a business.
May 1st is when we officially own J.Lynn's - the business part, and start Komeza Women, (meaning strengthening or to move forward) the ministry part. 
It's twofold.. make money for ministry and train entrepreneurial women.
There are 14 women who are already part of the existing program.
They make bagels, pizza, tortilla chips, salsa, hummus .. and donuts to sell.
We'll be adding cake, cupcakes and cookies as well.
Who knows where this journey is going to go but I can tell you this... I have a VERY good feeling about it. So many pieces have come together over the years to make this possible and it basically landed in our laps about a month ago.
On that morning when we got the email asking if we were interested in having the ministry, I was reading from 'Jesus Calling' by Sarah Young. She was reminding me in her writing that God is the giver of gifts... was just the confirmation that Serge and I both needed - was like the cherry on top of all the other stuff leading to this point.
I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Gone to Heaven

My mom called today.
My Aunt Vera died this morning.
Oh that makes my heart sad. I have some great aunts and she was one of them.
My memories go way back with her. Some of my earliest that I can remember in life
- teaching me to float in the lake at their trailer
- making seemingly hundreds of dozens of Christmas cookies to sell. The strawberries were my favourite
- watching Saturday night hockey
- squeezed around the dining room table for yet another great meal she made
- campfires in their backyard
- always the encourager
- always a big hug - coming and going
- Forever the smile and laughter
- lots of spunk and determination
I just loved my Aunt Vera.
This is a part of living thousands of miles away from your family that sucks quite frankly.
Not that I could do anything right now... but I could be there.
I miss not being able to be there. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Ten years ago this week...

... I came to Rwanda for the first time.
Having already served with International Teams for 9 years and travelled more than 20 countries - some multiple times - and seeing the 'not so nice parts of the world' - it was my first time to Africa.
What I did know is that God had something here for me unlike any other place I had travelled. I had no idea what it was but I knew I had to be open. I definitely didn't think I would end here long term.
Well... ten years later.
International Teams Rwanda is alive and well and moving forward.
Empowering Rwandans for holistic life transformation
Health and Nutrition
Income Generation
Shelter and Security

I came with RuthAnne and Pastor Wilfred
She introduced me to the need for
education in Rwanda

Pastor Wilfred (on the right) introduced
me to his country and the varying
needs - refugees, those with HIV/AIDS
As we say... the rest is history.