The Comfort of God

Image of women in Rwanda learning to sewLadies learning how to thread a bobbin. It was eye-opening to see that these women had never had the opportunity to be in the same room with a sewing machine. As a result, even threading a bobbin was difficult to learn.

The Comfort of God

Dossie’s 2nd trip blog from Africa (Rwanda)

Dear Family,

As we traveled slowly down the dusty, bumpy roads, I couldn’t help but think of the atrocious genocide that had happened 28 years ago here in Rwanda. The first thing I did after landing in Rwanda was to visit the Rwandan Genocide Museum. From that point on, I looked at everyone from an age standpoint. Anyone over age 28 was a survivor of the horror that happened over a 100-day period in 1994. And everyone had a story to tell.

Eventually, we arrived in Rweru at the beautiful campus where Heaven’s Family partner Cindi’s Hope educates children. Cindi Mendoza, founder of Cindi’s Hope, has built schools in Kenya and now Rwanda. Her goal is to build them near all six reconciliation villages, where the Hutu perpetrators of the genocide are being resettled alongside Tutsi survivors. About 3,000 victims and perpetrators live in these villages. At this particular campus, you are helping to sponsor sewing classes for 20 women, young and old, all either widowed or abandoned by the fathers of their children, in an effort to help them become more self-sufficient.

Cindi already employs the ladies through the school. Your gifts to the Widows & Abandoned Women Ministry pay their wages and provide them with a meal each day. They work part-time, cooking, cleaning, gardening, and even doing animal husbandry. They attend Bible study and church as well.

Image of women in Rwanda in classroom learning to sewIn this classroom, 20 ladies will take turns learning to sew on 10 machines for six months. Ten come each morning and the other 10 in the afternoon. At the end of six months, they will graduate and receive the gift of a sewing machine to start their own businesses.

Making our way to the classroom that was designated to facilitate the sewing classes, we could see all the ladies excitedly bustling around the 10 new sewing machines and tables that had just arrived the day before. I shared my own testimony of God’s great, sustaining love through the death of my son and my husband. Many of these women have experienced similar losses, and I wanted to identify with them. Then I asked them to share a bit about themselves. Everyone wanted to share! One young lady, Chantelle, tearfully explained that she had recently lost her husband. The saddest story came from Consolee. She survived the genocide but lost her husband and six children. I could not imagine the pain! But it was clear that God had truly helped Consolee through all the loss and tragedy.

God spoke to me that morning about how much we need each other. As a perfect example of this, Consolee (whose name means “console” or comfort!) was just the right person to reach out to Chantelle in her fresh grief.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. —2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Image of Dossie Briggs with ConsoleeConsolee and I have shared in the comfort of God. We have both lost children and husbands. God has enabled us to pass on the comfort with which He has comforted us.

My deepest thanks to all the investors who make this ministry possible and to our partner, Cindi, for the quality work she does. She truly follows God’s wisdom: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).

And thank You, Lord, for being so present with us!

Please continue to pray for these women, that they may truly grasp how wide and long and high and deep the love of Christ is for them. Because of you, His arm is not too short!

Picture of the director of the Widows & Abandoned Women Ministry

Dossie Briggs
Director, Widows & Abandoned Women Ministry

Transform Lives Through the Widows & Abandoned Women Ministry

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