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The Power of Ten

Surrender. Beautiful open hands.
Originally Posted on No.41 Changing the World for One
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” -Socrates
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that our ladies have found their flames working at No.41. They are learning just how dearly loved they are, not just by us, but by their Heavenly Father. They are learning that they were created to burn bright in this world, for themselves and for others.

For our university girls, the chance to study has given them an opportunity to rise above; above their circumstances, above others opinions of them, above societies expectations, above anything they ever dreamt possible.

Sponsorship makes this possible. You make this possible.

I’d like to take some time and introduce you to each girl and share a bit of her story. We, wholeheartedly, believe that when you educate a woman, your support trickles down to her entire family and into her community. An educated woman carries a lasting impact for generations to come.

University sponsorship is $2,400/girl, for the entire year! That covers the cost of enrollment, school fees, boarding and dining, uniform, and materials. We are looking 10 sponsors donating $100/month

First up, Miss Angel. It’s difficult to sing her praises loud enough. There are big, big things in this young lady’s future. Angel grew up an orphan but, rather than entering the orphanage, she was raised by an elderly aunt. Angel is now returning the favor, with the money she makes at No.41, she is the main financial support and care giver for her aunt. Angel never expected to have the opportunity to study in university, she says she doesn’t have enough English “to describe her feelings of thanks”. She is entering her third year at RTUC in Gisenyi and is majoring in Travel and Tourism Management. It is her big dream to be a stewardess for Rwandair.

 

 

Rosine is the oldest of six children and the mother of one. It is impossible to talk about Rosine without mentioning her infectious giggle. Rosine, always classy and impeccably overdressed, is no stranger to hard work, she watched her single mother struggle working multiple jobs, to raise her and her siblings. She wanted more for her life and her son. At 29, her hopes of attending university we dwindling, until her aunt, who works at the Noel Orphanage arranged for her a job at No.41. Rosine is entering her second year at ULK in Gisenyi where she studies Economics and Business Management. She dreams of managing bank one day.
“I am very grateful to study at university; I thank God every day for the chance. When I have a degree, I will be a strong woman, I will have value in my family and my country.” 
Clementine and her family understand how painfully important an education is; they made the difficult choice to send Clementine to the orphanage, when she was just 10 years old, in order to give her a chance attend school. Starting late, school was struggle for her, but she graduated secondary school before becoming, unexpectedly pregnant. She started working at No.41 to help provide for her son Clement, and we adore her around here. She is a hard worker and always has a smile on her face. Clementine’s big, but seemingly unattainable, dream was to go to university and become a social worker, and now that’s exactly she’s doing.

Sandrine is the oldest of 7 children, and the only one her parents could afford to put through school. Her father is the gatekeeper at Noel, and that’s how she came to work at No.41. She is quiet, yet confident and so thankful for the opportunity to work and continue her studies. It’s been inspiring to see her confidence grow as she chases her dream. Sandrine will be the first college graduate in her family. Ever. We are SO proud of this girl. Sandrine is in her third year and working toward her degree in Hotel Restaurant Management.
Oh, Fanny. We talk a lot about her, as she has been living in the No.41 house for about two years. Fanny grew up at the Noel Orphanage, where she attended boarding school and graduated secondary (high school) at the top of her class. Shortly after starting her job at No.41, Fanny got pregnant and was asked to leave the orphanage; she made the decision to stay and work, in order to better herself and the future of her unborn baby. It has been a joy and pleasure to see Fanny come alive. It isn’t always easy, but she is getting her footing and charting a new course for her life. Because of her income at No.41 Fanny is able to support herself and her son, Tarison, who is now 18 months old. Fanny is entering her second year in university. She continues to work at 41 and has replaced fear of the unknown with dreams and a desire to achieve.
Like Angel, I don’t have enough English to say just what your sponsorship means in their lives. And it’s not about the money. The money, while it’s necessary, comes second to the love, hope, and confidence these girls have knowing that they matter to someone, all the way across the world. Our girls are dreaming, for the very first time, because of you. They are striving. Thriving. And succeeding. Thank you.
If you would like to sponsor one of the girls, please click here. We are looking for TEN $100/month sponsors, but, of course, you are welcome to donate in any amount. If you’re not able to financially support one of the ladies at this time, we would be ever so thankful if you would share this post with you friends who might be! The button is right below. :) Thank you!

The Gift of Sight

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Originally Posted on The Samaritans Purse International Relief Site

An optometrist on the Ruth Bell River Boat helps open eyes to spiritual truth through his compassionate care while traveling to isolated communities on the Amazon

Tom Ovington is the community health and logistics assistant in the Samaritan’s Purse Bolivia office.

“And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!’ … So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, that our eyes may be opened.’ So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him,” (Matthew 20:30, 32-34, NKJV).
“I can help you with your eyesight.”

With these few words spoken in his limited Spanish, Dr. Jim Davey gave hope to Bolivians living in small communities along the Isiboro River. Dr. Davey was volunteering on the Ruth Bell River Boat, which travels around the Amazon region as a floating clinic. He was the first optometrist to ever travel on the boat.

Nearly 200 patients of all ages sought care from Dr. Davey. He brought with him eye drops, medicines, and eyeglasses, along with his expertise and kind demeanor. While he was not able to remedy every situation (such as astigmatism, which was prevalent), the majority of beneficiaries left with a solution to their problems and the testimony of God’s love through Jesus Christ.
One such individual was Crecencio Zapata. Crecencio was 70 years old and having trouble seeing things at a distance. He had lost his ability to read as well. Dr. Davey was able to fit Crecencio with two sets of eyeglasses, one for each disorder.

As he left the boat with his glasses, a new Bible, and the Gospel message, Crecencio was all smiles.

“Now I can return home and read my Bible,” he said.

It was a privilege to help the people of eastern Bolivia with their eyesight, both physically and spiritually. The ministry of Dr. Davey was imbued with a spirit of compassion, just like Jesus when He healed the two blind men. All of us on the Ruth Bell had our eyes opened.

JJ Watt’s Rembarkable Friendship

It’s Football Season!  Here’s an inspirational story of one really generous football player!  Even if you’re not a football fanatic, you’ll love this story.

Congregations of Compassion

Mercy and Grace
When Jesus died for us he met our greatest need that we had no way to meet ourselves. In the Sermon on the Mount he promised that our Heavenly Father knows our needs and will meet each one.
Being the people who show Jesus to the rest of the world requires having a mindset to meet the needs of those around us because is reflects what God did for us.
Every day we greet people with, “How are you?” We need to learn to ask the next logical question, “How can I meet this need?” when we become aware of issues they are facing.

 

This has been an expectation of God’s people from the beginning. As the prophet Isaiah said,
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked,
to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.”
Historically and currently, active and selfless compassion directed toward our fellow man without the expectation of anything in return is what differentiates Christianity from other faiths. This was certainly the case in the early church.
How can local churches make this commitment to meeting the needs around them a part of their culture?
First, we can create a culture of personal compassion. Compassion commitment needs to come at the ground level and not be relegated to “professional” or committee ministry.

 

We need to develop a congregational ethos of individual accountability of meeting needs of the people around us. This will flow out of each person’s love and concern for people around them fueled by God’s love for each of us. Before we organize any programs to meet compassion needs, we need to figure out how to mobilize the individuals in the congregation to recognize and then meet the needs of people around them.
The initial “target” for compassion ministry can to be the people in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools and not focused on special populations that do not touch our daily lives. The development of this commitment starts from the pulpit.
We need to identify members of our body who have special gifts in mercy, compassion, and servant hood to mentor the rest of the congregation. Who can we have tell stories about on Sunday mornings to illustrate the joy of being Jesus’ hands to people around them? Who are the individuals involved in groups in our body that could help others in that group develop a commitment for meeting needs around them?

 

Second, we need to have a mechanism to make people and material resources available to the individuals who are meeting needs in their community.

 

A congregational survey of skills and availability may be a way to start a resource list. For example, if a person is aware of a neighbor with a roof leak who is not able to repair it and they are ready to jump in to meet the need, it would be enormously helpful to know who they can call for partnering in meeting that need.
Third, as a congregation develops the skills of identifying and meeting needs of people around them, individuals will rise to the surface that have a special passion for specific needs. Capitalize on their interest and expertise to build a ministry team that focuses on coordinating and deploying like minded folks to meet needs that arise.

 

One church I know has a “rapid response team” ready to go to work and their main complaint is that they don’t have enough to do!The point is that the key to developing a culture of compassion in our congregations is to start with our people meeting one another’s needs and meeting the needs of those who are in their circles of relationships.
If this becomes an expectation, you will see people from all walks of life releasing the love of Christ to those around them in tangible ways.
A few years ago Mary Ann and I were the recipients of this kind of love as a group from several churches painted and resided our home – something that desperately needed done but which we not do because of health limitations. We didn’t ask, they simply said, “we are going to to this.” We were humbled by their care and by God’s love to us through them.
What if whole congregations could be mobilized to develop that culture, ethos and servant-hood! It would change lives, and our congregations.
About The Author

Tim photo 08 005 (Small)T.J. Addington is a Senior Vice President with the EFCA and the leader of ReachGlobal, the international mission of the EFCA. He has served as a pastor, consultant and denominational leader.

Over the past twenty five years, T.J. has consulted with numerous churches and Christian non-profit organizations in the areas of healthy leaders, intentional leadership, governance systems and dealing with issues of organizational health and strategy. He resides with his wife of 36 years, Mary Ann, in Oakdale, MN and is the father of two sons and has two grandsons.

He is the author of five books: High Impact Church Boards;Leading From The Sandbox; Live Like You Mean It; When Life Comes Undone, and Deep Influence which is available for pre-publication orders. In his spare time T.J. is an avid fly fisherman.

He can be reached at tjaddington@gmail.com

Anatomy of a No.41 signature bag

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Originally Posted on No. 41 Website

Hey there! It’s my first ever guest poster! And you’re in for a treat, because you get to meet Alison! Alison is my other half at No.41 and all of the beautiful photos you see of the girls and their bags are hers! Today Alison is putting her talent to work and showing you how the girls make the No.41 signature bags, start to finish! Ready? Go!…

We are so thankful for our no.41 girls. they are incredible.. seriously. AMAZING at what they do. I thought this little post would be interesting for people wanting to know about the process that goes on to make the bags. For those of you who don’t know, we struggled for a while trying to find burlap locally. We took a last minute trip to Uganda recently and made a connection who found it, we wired him money (then crossed our fingers and said a few prayers)- and he had it on the bus that night. Now the girls are constantly working their booties off.. not to mention, we can hardly get them out of the no.41 house.. they can choose when to come and go, but they want to be there. It’s exciting to see. we are so proud of the work they are doing. here’s a little “behind the scenes” look at all the hard work and love that goes into making each signature no.41 bag. Literally every single step of hard work is 100% credited to the girls. have I told you we are proud?! :)

**Most of these photos are of our fabulous art student, clarisse. she is a little go-getter, and always has a solution when something crafty needs to be done. she absolutely thrives on her artistry and takes so much pride in her work. since giving her a little extra responsibility, we’ve seen her confidence building and her work ethic is incredible. we have to tell her to go home because she always has her hands in something- which is why we call her boss:) Clarisse is clearly an asset to our no.41 family.

as you probably know, each bag is screen printed on both side. we originally had a screen from the states, but after a month or two, it started tearing. after panicking and thinking it was all over, clarisse came in to save the day. here she is taking paint thinner to get rid of the old stencil on the screen.
 it all starts out with a print out of the logo..
then it must be lined up with the green stencil sheet
then, she very carefully traces around each letter so when she places the green part on the screen, the paint will go through.
 once the letters are all cut out, she removes it from the paper..
the mesh screen is then placed over the stencil
 paint thinner is swabbed on so the stencil will stick to the screen
 it’s important to make sure your screen and the stencil stay in place so you don’t have a wonky print when it comes out:)
  cleaning the screen and making sure it’s perfect.
there’s a clear film attached to the stencil that must be removed so the letters can be exposed to the paint that must be taken off very carefully in order not to be ripped.
  screen is completed and ready to print onto the burlap.
and here’s where all the magic happens…
 before any fabric is cut, the girls use a pattern to make sure our size is consistent.
 valentine
jeanette and zawadi are cutting the fabric for the insides and straps of the bags
ange is pinning the fabric and burlap together for a strap
fanny is sewing her straps together
 sandrine
 patrice
valentine
our sewing teacher- medi, donatilla, rosine, valentine
clementine is putting the finishing touches on her bag
after finishing up a bag, the girls put their tags on them.
therese is holding the screen so clarisse can screen print without the print getting shifted
now all that’s left is to let it dry!
viola! the bags are then hung up in our living room when they are finished.whew! lots of hard work. hope you guys enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes look at what goes into making the bags. to visit our website and see what else the girls are up to, click here.
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