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"Lord equip us to teach those in need, that which would be pleasing to You.  Restore dignity, sense of purpose, and hope, as they learn new skills and grow; so they too can become givers after recieving a hand-up, not a hand-out.  May they know that the motivation of our action is Your love for them and it is Your will that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Amen."

Threads Of Hope 2002
for
Shepards, Widows & Orphans
In Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda

Four years ago God gave us a vision to meet the needs of widows, orphans and pastors particularly in third world countries.  We have recently returned from Africa - Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda - to minister to these needs, only possible through your faithful obedience to serve the Lord by being a partner to our efforts.
This was our fourth trip to Kenya and our first to  Rwanda and Uganda.  In each country we had the opportunity to minsiter at orphanages and to participate in pastor's conferences.  Our first stop was in Kenya for one and a half weeks, then on to Rwanda for one week. concluding our trip with a final week in Uganda.
While in Kenya, our first agenda was to purchase pedal sewing machines from Singer, arrange for a van to transport them and then negotiate to buy a Suzuki motorcycle for a Maasai Pastor, with funds provided by Jan McCray ministries.  We bought the Suzuki, removed seats from our rented van and loaded it along with sewing machines and supplies for the Maasai in Nalkarra a half-day drive into the wilderness of Maasailand, where we presented it to Pastor Samuel Koshi, who travels far and wide to remote bush villages spreading the Gospel to unreached.  He was thrilled with this unexpected blessing form the Lord, which will enable hime to cover more ground, changing lives.
After visiting with the pastors at Nairobi Pentecostal Church (where we made plans to return next year with a medical team) we traveled to the Nairobi Pentecostal Children's  Centre Orphanage and delivered two more new pedal sewing machines and electirc motors (soon they will have electricity.)  We brought them machines two years ago and now they have twelve for their school.  We also donated left materials, Magic-fit pattern video instructrions, tools and supplies for making garments.  Pastor Joseph and his wife and staff want you all to know how grateful they are to recive such a gift. We're helping to accomplish their vision to become a slef-sufficient facility while teaching 130 children to become productive citizens when they leave the orphanage at age 18.  They are being trained in sewing, furniture making, and auto mechanics, gardening and cooking.  Currently, many girls experience long waits to use sewing machins and more are definitely needed. They hope to increase their sewing machines to 30 so they can produce enough to help support the orphanage.  They are worthy and able workers, anxious to become self sufficient.  We can help by providing these machins and further training.  The cost of each machine in Nairobi $102.00 per unit, plus transportation to deliver them (about $200.00).  For a total of $2036.00, their sewing room can be finished!
If you would like to parner with us on this project please email us at algail@aol.com or call us 727-796-0128.
During our fifth trip to our Maasai friends at Naikurra we participated in a Pastor's Conference attended by 250 Maasai leaders who traveled hundreds of miles to get there.  Al addressed the leaders with a message of encouragement from Hagai 1:13 and was the main speaker at the Sunday morning church service, where Gail addressed the congregation also.
We donated more sewing machines to pastors and widows and followed up with a visit to the mud huts of Agnes and Priscilla, two widows who have been using the sewing machines we gave them two years ago.  They are now using those machines to sew Kanga's for Maasai women, which they sell in the market.
A highlight was a Massai friend David, who finally accepted the Lord!  Although a family of believers surrounds him, Dave said he was not going to church because he did not understand Christianity.  Al talked to him about relationships, gave an example of how he and Al always exchanged gifts during previous visits, how they spent time together, became friends and developed a trust.  Al asked David if he gave him a gift and Al gave it back, how would he feel.  David said - "sad".  Then, Al asked him if God gave him a gift and he refused how would God feel.  David said - "God sad".  When David heard salvation was a "Gift", his eyes opended wide, he said - "pray for me.  I want Jesus."  David can not read, but is willing to let one of the Massai Pastors teach him the Bible and he has promised to attend church so he will grow in his faith.  Halleluiah!
After ten days in Kenya, we flew to Uganda and met the team from New Wine Church, New Orleans, at the airport. We flew that PM to Rwanda.  (After negativity with officials to release our baggage, our passports and return tickets.)
Rwanda and the people were wonderful.  We spent the week ministering at Pastor's conference; Gail to the woman, Al to the men.  There were approximately 300 pastors, mostly from Rwanda; however, some were from Congo, Burundi, Tanzania and Kenya.  The Restoration Church has done an enormous and wonderful job building churches and orphanages.  Led by Pastor Leo, they are very industrious people and eager to receive help to raise themselves up and not just receive a hand out. They yearn for education and valued our input.  They are very grateful for our coming and pray for our return.
Al and  Gail met with Mary Faulkner, founder of Leah's Sisters Ministry.  God has granted her great favor with the Rwandian Government. They gave her 50 acres of prime property to build a school for the women of Rwanda to learn a vocation, sewing hairdressing and computers.  Here is where the twenty-one sewing machines we shipped will be put to work.  In Rwanda, 70% of the population is women, 50% of that number are widows and 89% are infected with the AIDS virus.
The spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, He has sent me to bind up the borken hearted...to comfort all who mourn and provide for all those who grieve-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair"  Isaiah 61:17
Gail's heart was touched deeply when she addressed the pastor's wives and women leaders at the conference.  Most of the woman had witnessed the killing of husbands, children and parents in the horrible Genocide of 1994. Some of them were raped.  All of them carried deep emotional wounds.   With hearts breaking and tears flowing, they were encouraged to let their feelings surface, talk about their experiences and let Jesus pour His healing balm over their wounded souls.  Gail taught about forgiveness and how God will use their testimony to minister His love to others.  She prayed for them and by the end of the conference the woman were laughing joyfully as they learned some Hebrew words and songs!
Our final destination in Rwanda was to spend the day at the orphanage founded by Lovie & Syvelle Phillips.  We were blessed to meet the 9-year-old girl we are sponsoring and shower her with gifts, hugs and love. Upon first meeting Nigiye she was timid and wary of our motives in singling her out.  Her father was killed in the genocide and it was hard for her to trust strangers.  Once she realized that we were there to bless and not harm her, her countenance visibly changed as she enthusiastically returned our hugs and smiles.
We fell in love with the people of Rwanda.  We see the love of God moving greatly here.  Located near the heart of Africa, We believe this nation will emerge as a great light to further the Gospel in Africa.
The next week we spent in Uganda.  The conference was a near repeat of the last.  Of course, the people were of a different culture.  Ron and Shirley Devore Ministries hosted us.  They have lived 16 years as missionaries in Uganda.  We all stayed at their guest home they built two years ago to host teams.  They have a large Bible College under construction.  Again, we ministered to approximately 250 pastors, their wives and children.  By now, we long since bonded with the team from Louisiana and the momentum is like a Holy  Ghost train.  Up and down the mountain each day to bring the Word to those attending the  Conferences.  This part of our trip was to participate at the conference and for Al to plant seeds for Threads of Hope, which happended near the end of the week.  One of the leaders under  Ron Devore Ministries received the manuals, training videos and funds to buy two machines and supplies.
Al has been sick with a persistent hacking couph that began in Africa and has hung on for the last several weeks.  Please pray for healing for him as he is exhausted all the time.
Thank you for allowing us to be your ambassadors to Africa.
Together, we sowed Threads of Hope!
In His Service and love,
Al & Gail Barrett

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