December 8, 2009
Something to Remember

August 26, 2009 Kigali, Rwanda

______________________________

Hey My Lovely Friends,

A little change….Women of the Harvest is a missionary newsletter for woman on the mission field.  It’s pretty awesome especially this weeks. I thought I would share it with all of you as a little change from the daily devos. It hit my soul to the core this morning. This is where I am, in the Baca Valley.  I am so ready to get out of Rwanda but I know this has been a season God has me in for some reason but I think I have lost sight of that in this last month. 

I have been asking God for rain the last 2 days…I needed something refreshing and rain makes me so happy and comforts me. The name I was given in Gulu is Okot which means rain (because everytime I come uganda even in dry season god allows it to rain) So they called me this…..Well God has not sent rain.  Actually where ever I am it does not rain but whenever I leave that place it does (This includes uganda where I was last week and its rainy season…and while i was there it rained constantly in Rwanda! haha…sad).    I found this quite funny this morning when I opened my email to read my daily devotional and found this email from Women of the HARVEST. 

This weeks devotional happens to talk all about rain and Gods people asking for rain….hmmm Is God saying something to me? Of Course.  I have been struggling alot in this last month trusting the Lord with where I am. All I want is to get home and now it being so close my attitude and heart has kinda shut off to this place…But I believe God just reminded me why He has me here.  I will be coming back to Rwanda in Febuary and I hope  for it to be a season where I trust God while I sit and wait for Him to bring me rain.

LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH. I GET TO SEE ALL OF YOUR GORGEOUS FACES SO SOOOOOON!!!!
May He bless you abundantly today!
Kiss Kiss Hug, Ness

Elijah: Power Through Prayer
Grace Cabalka

DAY ONE A.   Focus:
Read all the way through Psalm 84 every morning this week and let it focus your attention on the Lord Almighty and guide your prayer of worship. Please do not skip this step. The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people! These lessons are designed to deepen your relationship with Him through the study of His word. Please don’t neglect to praise Him. Oswald Chambers says, “There’s always time for worship.”

Read 1 Kings 17:1. As we begin our second lesson of study on a life of prayer, we will look at the portrait of Elijah. Not much is known about the early life of Elijah, only that he is from Tishbe and his name means “creator God.” However, as you read what he does, it becomes obvious that he was a man of prayer long before God gave him his challenging assignment. Most people in Tishbe were shepherds, so, like David, he, too, spent many hours alone in the fields. God used this time to prepare his heart, mind and spirit for the important task ahead. During this time he learned to pray. He learned to take orders from God Almighty. He laid the foundation of his faith.

Before we begin, think about where God has you. Are you in your own Tishbe? Does it seem dull and uneventful as far as God is concerned? Do you feel like you are not accomplishing much for Him? Perhaps you aren’t ready. Perhaps God is using this time to develop your walk with Him. Maybe He’s giving you time to get to know Him and to learn how to pray and listen to His voice spoken through His word. Thank Him for where He has you, and ask Him to help you to make the most of this time. God will leave us in Tishbe until we are prepared for the next season. He will leave us there until we learn solitude with Himself.   B.  Feed:
Keep in mind what James said about Elijah as we get to know him. Read the first sentence of James 5:17 and write that sentence out boldly, in caps:   1.  While Elijah was in the field learning of God’s heart for His people, Israel was under the reign of the most wicked king of all. Read
1 Kings 16:29-34. How is this king described?   2.  Israel had broken the pledge of its covenant relationship with God. What does Deuteronomy 11:13-17 say? What promises did God give to the people of the covenant?   3.  Some years earlier (before King Ahab), King Solomon built the temple and dedicated it to God. He prayed a prayer of dedication. What was included in this prayer from 1 Kings 8:35-36?   4.  Now Elijah, a nobody from a Tishbe, has a message for the evil King. He goes to the king with the bad news. What does he tell him
(1 Kings 17:1)?   5.  Read 1 Kings 17:1-6. After he breaks the news to Ahab, where does God send Elijah and what happens?   6.  Elijah is forced into seclusion. It doesn’t say for how long, verse 7 just says, “for some time.” He was now alone in Kerith. Do you think he may have had questions about God’s instructions? What do you think God is teaching him during this time?   7.  Do you think Elijah felt helpless at this point? Who became his only provider in every way? How does “helplessness” in our lives drive us to God?   C.  Fill:
Mother Teresa said, “You can’t say Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you’ve got.” Is there an area in your life where you are feeling helpless? Do you feel like you are alone? God provided in every way for Elijah, and he will do the same for you. Elijah didn’t run away from the Ravine. He stayed there and learned dependence on God. We can make the same choice, and learn the same powerful lesson. Will you express to God your willingness to be fed and cared for by Him alone? Ask the Lord to teach you and comfort you.

Or, perhaps you are still in Tishbe, waiting for the next step. Will you take this time as an opportunity to let God prepare you for your next season?   D.  Follow:
Begin memorizing Psalm 63:8.   DAY TWO A.   Focus:
Psalm 84   B.  Feed:
1.  Read 1 Kings 17:7-9. The brook dried up! Do you think Elijah was surprised? He is now ready for the next step. Where is God sending him now?   2.  Read 1 Kings 17:7-24. What are your first impressions of this account?   3.  Read 1 Kings 17:7-13 again. Zarepath was the homeland of Jezebel. A community of Baal worshipers! Elijah was instructed to go to the home of a widow. Widows were known to be poor and needy. Would she be an obvious choice to minister to the Prophet of God? How does this reinforce the truth of 1 Samuel 16:7?   4.  Who told the widow to take care of Elijah? (verse 9)   a.  What does Elijah ask of the widow and what is her reply?   b.  Do you think it would be easy to ask a starving person to share her last meal with you? Where was Elijah’s focus? (v. 9-10)   c.  What does Elijah tell her in verses 13-14?   d.  What did the widow do? (v.15)   e.  How did God provide?   5.  Think about the awkwardness of the situation and how it looked from a human perspective. What do you learn about God and His ways from this story so far?   6.  Read verses 17-24 again. Elijah was waiting out the drought in this home of unbelievers. What happened to the widow’s son?   a.  What was the widow’s first response (v.18)?   b.  What did Elijah do?   c.  Did Elijah question the Lord? He was honest in his prayer. Any comments?   7.  Describe Elijah’s prayer.   a.  After the boy’s life returned, what did Elijah do?   b.  What was the widow’s response?   c.  This is the first recorded resurrection in the Bible, and it happened in a non-Jewish home. Even in the Old Testament, God proved that He was the God of all who believed, not just the Jews. What does Romans 3:29 say?   C.  Fill:
It’s safe to assume that Elijah had been praying for this family of unbelievers. What kind of home are you in? Do you live with unbelievers, and do they question your God and your faith? Are you diligently praying for them? Ask the Lord to help you to pray in your situation, as discouraging as it may be. Don’t you think it discouraged Elijah to hear the anger in the widow’s voice after all God had provided for them? Remember Jesus is praying with you and for you as you pray. Don’t give up! Jesus is praying for YOU!   D.  Follow:
Record in your journal what you are learning about prayer. Keep memorizing Psalm 63:1-8.   DAY THREE A.   Focus:
Psalm 84   B.  Feed:
1.  Read 1 Kings 18:1-2. How long had Elijah been in Zarepath? Where is he going now?   2.  Read 1 Kings 18:1-15. Who was Obadiah and what had he done?   a.  What did Elijah ask him to do?   b.  Why was he so scared?   3.  Read 1 Kings 18:16-21. What does Ahab call Elijah? And what was Elijah’s response?   a.  What does Elijah tell Ahab to do?   b.  When all the people and the prophets were assembled on Mount Carmel, what did Elijah ask?   c.  What options did he give the crowd? (v. 21) And, how did the people respond?   d.  The people were sitting on the fence, weren’t they? They didn’t take a stand either way. Satan’s goal is to keep people right there. Can you think of some people who are sitting on the fence-maybe even you? Why do you think people are sitting on the fence today?   4.  Elijah takes full advantage of the situation before him. Read
1 Kings 18:22-40.   a.  Describe the scene of the prophets of Baal and Asherah:   b.  How long did this frantic (cultic) ritual go on? What was the result?   5.  Now it was time for the evening sacrifice. What did Elijah do first
(v. 30-32)?   a.  The altars of God had been destroyed. These altars represented Israel’s relationship with Jehovah (God). This relationship had been violated over and over again. Why do you think Elijah wanted them to come close?   b.  Describe the scene as Elijah made the sacrifice:   c.  What did Elijah pray for in verses 36-38?   d.  What did the fire accomplish?   e.  How did the people react?   6.  What happened to the prophets of Baal?   C.  Fill:
Elijah proved the power of God but also gave the people an opportunity to rebuild their relationship (altar) with God. They had let it be violated, and they needed to repent and speak up. How’s your relationship with God? Is it in ruins? Do you need to say you are sorry? Or do you have a loved one whose relationship with God is in ruins? God can restore any who have neglected Him. Do you need to spend some time rebuilding that relationship? Does God want to use you to help someone else rebuild theirs? Pray about this and ask God to make you willing to speak for Him?   D.  Follow:
How do you plan to rebuild your altar? Keep memorizing Psalm 63:1-8.   DAY FOUR A.   Focus:
Psalm 84   B.  Feed:
One of the things that makes the Word of God so endearing is its honesty and the openness of man’s humanity and failure. You may be thinking that Elijah was some superhuman and you could not be as strong as he was (remember what James told us?) In 1 Kings 19 we see another angle in the portrait.   1.  Read 1 Kings 18:41-46. What did Elijah tell the King?   2.  Where did Elijah go and what did he do?   a.  How many times did he pray before there was any hint of an answer?   b.  This was after the great demonstration of God. Elijah kept praying. The work was not finished. What do you learn about perseverance from Elijah?   c.  What did Elijah do next? How? (v. 45-46)   3.  Read 1 Kings 19:1-2. How did Jezebel respond to the news?   4.  Read 1 Kings 19:3-3. What did Elijah do when he heard the threat of Jezebel and where did he go?   a.  Beersheba was 90 miles south of Jezreel. He dismissed his servant and went even further into hiding. After he sat (notice the difference between this posture and that of 18:42); what did he say in his prayer? Have you ever felt like that?   b.  How did he end his prayer time?   c.  How would you describe Elijah’s condition at this point
(verse 5)?   d.  What does fear do to us? How does it affect our faith?   e.  How quickly can this happen?   5.  Study the tenderness with which our Lord responds to Elijah’s fear and exhaustion. What did the angel of the Lord do? Did He let Elijah rest? What do you learn about God from this account?   a.  When the angel came back the second time, what did He instruct Elijah to do?   b.  Where did the angel of the Lord lead Elijah? How long was the journey?   Note: Horeb is another name for Mount Sinai which was the sacred place where God revealed Himself to Moses.   6.  Read 1 Kings 9-19. God has allowed Elijah to rest, and now it is time for Elijah to get going again. What does the Lord tell Elijah to do (verse 11)? Why?   a.  How does the Lord speak to Elijah? What does he ask him (again)?   b.  What does the Lord tell Elijah to do? Does Elijah do it? Who is to become Elijah’s successor?   C.  Fill:
Elijah left this world in a fiery chariot (2 Kings 2:11). He learned to pray effectively, and he was just like us. Can we do the same? Are you listening to the still, small voice of the Lord? Do you do what He asks you do? Our prayer life is directly related to our daily life. If we are living in close union with our Lord, our prayers will be effective; if we are doing our own thing, our prayers will seem to bounce off the ceiling. Elijah rested. He was burned out. He was depressed, but he took steps of obedience to get better. And when God said it was time to go and serve again, he went. Have you been running from God and are now sitting under a broom tree, stuck? Listen for His voice. He will lead you to restoration. Talk to God about where you are, and ask Him to lead you on.   D.  Follow:
Review Psalm 63:1-8 as you pray it back to your Father.   DAY FIVE
Jill Briscoe says “There are two ways of looking at a problem.
You can look at your problem through God, or you can look at
God through your problem. If God is in front of the problem,
the problem appears to be insignificant. But if God is behind
the problem, then the problem dominates everything.”
(Prayer That Works, Tyndale, pg. 127)
Jesus said that we build a strong foundation as we put His word into practice (Matthew 7:24). This part of the lesson is a little more abstract than days
1-4. There are no right or wrong answers. The goal of this day is to solidify in your mind and heart what you are learning from God’s word.   A.   Focus: 1.  Look back over your lesson for this week. For each day’s lesson, write one or two key points:   Day 1:   Day 2:   Day 3:   Day 4:   2.  What verses seem to stand out to you from your study?   3.  Why did you pick these verses?   4.  What is one lesson or principle you want to remember from your study?   5.  How will you apply this lesson to your everyday life?   B.  Summary:
Elijah Portrait of Kingdom Living   •  What does Elijah’s life teach you about living with the Kingdom of God as your primary concern?   •  Conclude this lesson by discussing what you’ve written above with your Father.   •  Write out your memory verse(s) below:

August 5, 2009
* KEZA FASHION SHOW * August 9th

Working…….

I have become officially lame! SORRY!!!!

We have a fashion show this Sunday, August 9th that will be a presentation of all the work my team and I have done over the past 4 months. It is going to be at a beautiful outdoor restaurant here in Kigali that over looks the city. It will be filmed and then soon displayed on our website! ….which will allow all of my loved ones to see it soon enough! Please pray for the show to go smoothly and for KEZA to receive positive feedback and support. We need support…financial support!

God is faithful.

I am doing well. A little sick but know it will be gone in a couple of days. My health has not been so good due to how many hours I must work. Thank the Lord it will slow down after Sunday… at least that is my hope. I leave to Uganda on August 15th and will be there for a week visiting my girls at MEND. I miss the women and Uganda so much. Rwanda has been a completely different experience for me…. I work now with multiple people rather than a small group of women…. This has been really hard for me because of my wonderful experience in Uganda. Uganda will always be my first love. I don’t think anything will ever replace what the Lord gave me there.

This is where God has placed me now. This is where He has me in order to continue to develop my calling. It has been difficult and a different Africa than I knew before ….but it has helped me have a better perspective of who I am and where I want to be in this area of work.

THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS PLEASE KEEP THEM COMING!!!! VANESSA

July 18, 2009
The rest of the Heart of Worship crew

The rest of the Heart of Worship crew

the 4th!
check out their shirts!
Thats happer & julian they’re gettin married. Oh love them, this lovely cople is apart of my chruch community here

the 4th!

check out their shirts!

Thats happer & julian they’re gettin married. Oh love them, this lovely cople is apart of my chruch community here

July 6, 2009
This is a lovely women at the knitting cooperative I work at.
I also loved her shirt so much! Ha she was modeling for me

This is a lovely women at the knitting cooperative I work at.

I also loved her shirt so much! Ha she was modeling for me

the 4th

the 4th

“Heart of Worship”

Last night was testimony night at church.  Many of my friends got up to share how the Lord had been faithful and brought them through recent storms. 

One of my friends Sharon shared about her mother becoming ill and god faithfully providing insurance to take care of her health treatments, transport, and board.  This was a miracle because most people do not even manage to be considered for this type of insurance.  Her mom began traveling to Buranga for treatment which is about a 2 hour drive. It was too much for her but the way the insurance worked she had to stay somewhere in Kigali.  Then God provided again for her to be moved to Kampala to live while she was treated.  Sharon was praising the Lord for His faithfulness to her mother and family during this difficult time. She testified believing her mother would be healed.

This morning Sharon’s mom passed away.  Receiving the text I was shocked and paralyzed.  My heart began to throb for her as I put myself in my friend’s shoes. I cried. I cried hard. I cannot imagine what it is like to lose a loved one especially my mother. My mother is my best friend, my life line, my blood and soul, the one who raised me, cared for me in my weakest moments, and loved me unconditionally. Losing my mother would kill me. A part of me would die. 


She believed that it was the Lords will to heal her mother, praised God in front of the church, testified…. and now her mother has passed.  We don’t have to deal with death as much as the African do here. This experience opened my eyes, reminding me that we are not guaranteed tomorrow.  We need to celebrate life and live life to the fullest.  We are called to live a life that glorifies God in the midst of suffering, in the midst of confusion we are called to LOVE GOD. 

I don’t know what Sharon is going through right now but I know that we serve a faithful God.  One that calls us to trust in His perfect plan.  He loves Sharon more then I’ll ever know…. He will care for her in the midst of this hurt and pain. He will carry her through….I don’t understand these circumstances but I do know that God’s truth clams reign true.  “He has come to give us life and life abundantly”

MY LITTLE B-DAY BASH

MY LITTLE B-DAY BASH

“One Thing I desire”

I thought I’d share what God is teaching me and give all of you an update on life in Africa. I am usually long winded when I write a blog update. I tried to be brief so you would read it all and keep excited about times here!

My Birthday!
I turned 23 on June 30, 2009.  I woke up to my roommates preparing me a French press of coffee & fresh biscuits from a local bakery.  They sang me into my new year with a lovely birthday song and some dancing! It was a great start to a beautiful day.  They later threw me a wine & cheese party, which was delightful as well. I celebrated with my Rwandan  & x-pat friends over wine, cheese, and chocolate cake…my ideal birthday.  I really felt loved by new friends here and all of your messages from home. Thank you for sending me your love.  It really meant the world to hear from all of you…. Especially on my birthday!  I love you all so dearly and cherish your friendships.

KEZA
I am constantly working on new designs and critiquing products.  It is a never ending process….Extremely enjoyable but sometimes very tiring and discouraging. God continues to constantly humble me and remind me He is in control of timing and HE is the true CREATOR.   I need to daily be reminded of that. 

My friend Cass came to visit me from Gulu a little over a week ago.  We had worked together at Invisible Children this past year and grew to be very good friends.  While she was here seeing the sites of Rwanda, she wanted to visit the different cooperatives I was working with (especially because she also is a designer). Cass is an extremely talented knitter and has been trained in this specific area of design. That day I just so happen to have an appointment with a knitting cooperative I had been working with!   I have been working with this cooperative for a while and had been struggling to understand their machinery and yarn gages etc.  Cass was the hugest divine appointment for me and a blessing to this cooperative as well. It was so cool to see Gods hand in my work.  He is always reminding me He is the designer and will provide when I am in desperate need of help.  Cass will be working for Rwanda Knits as their fashion consultant starting mid July.  God is Good!

PRAY
1. Please continue to pray for financial support for KEZA. 
We are still working on investors and have not been successful quite yet.  BUT I believe God is going to provide for us right around the corner.  I would love for all us to join me in prayer for God’s perfect timing for this money to come in.  It will I believe that with all my heart. 

2. We have our online store up and running but there still are a lot of technical issues.  Pray that they get sorted out and error to be limited.  The people that built the website did so for free. We can also praise God for that!!! HUGE BLESSING TO KEZA

3. Unity.  There are many people involved in building KEZA.  We have all been extremely busy with work and my heart is to make sure everyone does not get overlooked.  Pray for Unity among interns, staff in Rwanda, staff in US, and all of our supporters!

4. Buranga Women….Pray for unity among this cooperative and for God to bless them abundantly as they work diligently. 

5. ME. For strength in the midst of a tiresome work schedule.  For wisdom as I make decisions on production and product development. For knowledge and love as I work with the different cooperatives. For patience because God’s timing is perfect.  For persistence in Seeking God and everything He is. 
For my only desire to be God alone.

“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the face of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” Psalm 27

Thank you for all of your love and support. I MISS YOU ALL.

June 26, 2009
"A Kiss"

I have been overwhelmed the past few weeks with work & personal responsibilities.  My journey here in Rwanda has been an unexpected adventure just like everyday I spend in Africa.  I don’t know where I am headed most of the time or how my responsibilities will be accomplished …but God told me to HOPE. He told me to believe in the calling He has given me and believe I am anointed…I am called to have unreasonable faith.  The dream God has given me is to see the Fashion Industry transformed into an industry that glorifies GOD.  Impossible to the World but not impossible for God.

I was beginning to become very frustrated with the way things worked in most of Africa. I’ve been here long enough to understand that you cannot always say TIA ” This is Africa” and this is just how things are done…..but I find my inner frustration wanting to return to that justification in order to deal with the chaos.   Many of my friends and I were at a restaurant the other night and the party grew to be twice the size that we expected it to be.  When we were paying for the meal the waiter brought out around 30 receipts with one or two items on each of them (500 RWF water, 1000 soda RWF etc) it was ridiculous and an almost sure thing that he had overcharged and double charge us on multiple items.  I was left by many of the guest to handle the bill. By this time in my stay in Rwanda I was fed up with the lies and the unfair treatment of muzungos (white people). SO I blew up at him….” You cannot write receipts this way, this is not how you do things, you are cheating us, we are not paying this….guys lets walk away!!!!”  I couldn’t handle our mistreatment.  We ended up paying what he asked and walked out.  I got home that night with my spirit hurting.   I hated myself for treating that uneducated Rwandan the way I did….  As far as I knew he didn’t know any better. 

In the morning I woke up feeling the same way…gross.  I knew the reason I was reacting the way I was to people was because I wasn’t in His word enough.  I randomly listened to a sermon that reminded me of Gods faithfulness, His love for me and His call on my life.  It reminded me that I needed to listen to His voice & look for His kisses.

I started that morning revived but felt still at loss & exhausted with finding a talented leather cutter and another horn carver.  On my way to the road to catch a ride, I was craving G-nuts that morning (equivalent of peanuts but so much better).  When I got on a moto the moto driver was eating g-nuts… of course gerrrr (this was pretty hilarious as I was just craving them) I had to now watch this moto enjoy them on my journey to this leather manufacture that I had lost hope in.   Mid-way to my destination the moto pulled out 2 more g-nut bags…And handed one to me! What!?! Where did this kindness come from!? - A Kiss from God

At the leather manufacturer I found a change of heart…the men began to lend me advice and opinions right and left. HUH!?! They also made it their duty to find me a leather cutter.  As we walked across the tannery, a belt and shoe designer greeted the man I was walking with (Gitou). Gitou explained to him the services I would need and the man invited me to visit his workshop the next morning. Divine appointment… -A Kiss from God

Thursday- “Just” was the name of the leather cutter I met the next morning. He was Congolese and his workshop was at his home.  I walked into a small shack with many of his family members sitting on the coaches we would meet on. I automatically got disappointed and discouraged thinking this was not going to be productive.   After explaining the design and giving them a pattern I left and would be back in the morning (as instructed) to pick the two men’s cuffs…. I left without any expectations.

Friday- I picked up the cuffs the next morning and was blown away at the craftsmanship! The skill of this man blew my mind … I was so use to everyone here working so half-heartedly. You could tell he spent time on the designs and managed to complete it for me the following day… (This doesn’t happen here). I found my leather cutters!!! —A Kiss from God

OH BE REMINDED THAT GOD LOVES YOU AND HAS A SPECIFIC CALLING ON YOUR LIFE.