Some Very Big And Exciting News

When I first came to Rwanda I had a small idea of what I would be doing. I thought I would work the toddlers at the orphanage everyday teaching them what they would typically learn in a pre-school setting because that is one of my strengths and something I have done before for several years. As time went by, however, I realized that’s not why I’m here and suddenly I felt very lost and unsure of myself as to why God had called me to Rwanda. It’s been a four-month roller coaster with ups and downs but I wouldn’t trade those four months for anything. God has been working on me these last four month preparing me for the next step in this journey and that next step involves opening a shop for men from both the orphanage and the village.
If someone would have told me four months ago that I would be starting a business in Rwanda, that I would be employing twenty men between the ages of 18 and 45, that I would be called “the boss,” I would have laughed and thought they were crazy.
The truth is I could never run a business. I have never had an interest in owning a business, hence why I have never taken a single business class in school. I know nothing about finances. I am an introvert and avoid being a leader. I am not creative in the ways of designing. I am not fit to run a business in Rwanda, yet here I am. I have learned that God did not choose me because I am qualified to run a business, I believe He choose me because I am unqualified. My weaknesses allow Gods power to rest on me.

“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses” 2 Corinthians 12:9

A mere month ago, after much prayer, I realized I wanted to specifically help the older boys of the orphanage. Tara, my roommate, is currently running a sewing school for the women of the orphanage and village. Taking some notes from my Tara, I decided to begin the journey of opening a similar school the men. In the last month I decided to work on opening a school in which the men will work with leather, making bags, providing them with a skill, an income, as well as giving back. I took the first step and rented a 4-bedroom house in a matter of a week.
After making this decision Foustin came into the picture. Foustin is an amazing man of God who has been my right hand through this whole thing, and who also happens to be my manager. He has helped me find a leather supplier, he has helped me find a teacher and he has helped me find the twenty men that we are currently employing.
On Friday I gathered all the men at the house and we had our first
meeting. There we discussed what we would be doing. It was the first time that this whole thing felt real and I realized just how big it could be. My current plan is to start off employing twenty men. They will be making bags, which we sell both here in Rwanda as well as in the states. With each bag sold a portion will both be providing an income for twenty men as well giving back to the people of Rwanda. How we are going to give back is still being decided but some ideas the have surfaced include; sponsoring children to attend school, providing school supplies, and/or buying land to start a food garden for local villages. I am still talking with other Rwandese, discussing what the most beneficial thing would be before making the final decision on how exactly we will be giving back. This is just one of the many excited aspect of this project and as soon as the decision is made I will be making an official announcement. 
My main purpose behind starting a business that gives back is to honor God. I am seeking to meet the men’s physical needs as well as their spiritual needs. At the meeting I told the men this. Every day of work we will begin our day in prayer and reading from the bible. I don’t want myself to become the center of this, I don’t want the men to become the center, I don’t want the way we give back to become the center of this, I want God to remain in the center so that it is clear to all that God is making this possible. God is the one that is providing and taking care.
We have yet to begin work but are hoping to do so October 1st. And this is where you come in. I first want to ask for your prayers, for myself, for the men, and for how we are going to give back to become clear. We are going to need to be covered in prayers as we begin to learn and grow together.
Secondly I would like to ask for your financial support. Currently I am in need of 15,000 dollars to be funded for one year. Below I have broken down the pricing and our needs. I would like you prayerfully consider giving. I know that 15,000 is not a small number, but I also know I serve a much bigger God who makes all things possible.

If you are wanting to help provide fanncial support: You can go to under help someone go click on my name and designate how much you would like to give (there's also a link to the right of my blog that can just click on) OR You can also give by mailing checks to their office in Vancouver, WA. Just make sure that my name is easy to see on any of the gifts, so the bookkeeper knows to credit me. 
Their address is:
Ten Talents International
PO Box 873685
Vancouver, WA 98687

If you have any questions or just want to talk further you can email me at

I want to thank you in advance for your support through this time. The encouragement, prayer and out powering of love mean more to me than you will ever know. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping make this all possible.

Financial need break down:
$5,000 for house expenses for one year (rent, guard, electricity, water etc.)
$700 for teacher for two months
$1,500 for 3 big machine (460 each)
$1,400 for 3 small machine (500 each)
$1,400 for tools
$4,000 for employee income (4 months until we are selling enough for them to work off of commission)
$1,000 leather press



  1. Wow! Elise what an exciting venture! God has great plans and know He will do a great work! Thank you for the update! Love,Debbie Greene

  2. This is awesome! So great to see how God has been working!!

  3. I'm so glad you linked up with us this week so I could find your blog! God has sent you on an amazing journey and I cannot wait to read more (now following you). I can't wait to get to know you more! Thanks so much for linking up with us.

  4. Wow! That is so exciting, Elise! It's so great to see how God is using you in Rwanda and even greater that you are giving Him all the glory.

    My husband is getting ready to start an internship which will be providing us with a better income and we've been trying to decide what charities/causes to give our extra earnings to. I definitely want to help your business out and plan to start donating as soon as we can.

    Until then, I'll continue praying for you! Keep up the amazing work, Elise!

    xo-Kimberly {allons-y kimberly}

  5. This is SO awesome, Elise! :) God is doing some really awesome things through you. I can't wait to see what else He has planed for you! You'll be in my prayers!