A selection of photos with some of the friends and family we were able to connect with during our time in South Dakota, California, Nebraska, Texas, and Michigan. We hope to visit more of you in our future travels!
Our Life // In the city and throughout villages across Rwanda.
Ladies Tea & Fellowship // A weekly gathering of women and teenage girls in our community for creative projects, fellowship, prayer, and Bible study. With these creative projects, we are equipping them with the ability to create small businesses.
Your duty is to teach the children of God to embrace a lifestyle that is consistent with sound doctrine. Lead the male elders into disciplined lives full of dignity and self-control. Urge them to have a solid faith, generous love, and patient endurance.
Likewise with the female elders, lead them into lives free from gossip and drunkenness and to be teachers of beautiful things. This will enable them to teach the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, and to be self-controlled and pure, taking care of their household and being devoted to their husbands. By doing these things the word of God will not be discredited. – Titus 2
Through this process of pioneering and renovating, we are learning a lot! How to work together, how to ask for help, how to trust, how to work with integrity and honesty and generosity, and also to let the process be what it will be. It isn’t perfect, but this house will be God’s house. Much like our hearts. All the things we go through allow for a process and what He desires most is that our hearts be connected to him and get cleaned up through it all! What a wonderful lesson in learning to love, and trusting our perfect Father to accomplish His beautiful handiwork. ♡
To learn how you can help us to finish well visit Kigali Children Center!
‘You who mourn will be comforted.
You who hunger will hunger no more
You who weep now will laugh again, all you lonely be lonely no more!
Yes, the last will be first, of this I am sure!
I don’t know why the little ones thirst, but I know the last shall be first.
But I know the last shall be first.’
- — Lyrics by Brooke Fraser
To learn more about the vision behind Kigali Children Center visit A Vision for Our Children.
So lately I’ve been thinking about grace. Some of us think we can use it like a blanket to cover the worst parts about us, so then we can do or act however we need and at the end of the day God’s love still has our back.
Well, yes. He does. But recently I’ve been thinking about His outrageous grace as the person of Jesus and somehow this grace makes me want to expose my shortcomings even more! The more grace I drink, the more He gets to the very core of who I am and lights me up as if I drank some kind of x-ray liquid.
Here in Rwanda, one of the hardest thing for me, (and maybe for Alexis) has been to meet or fail expectations of the culture that surrounds us. Religious culture is a difficult thing to come up against and say let’s do this with grace! Without grace we are living full of defenses. Because we are afraid that we just might not have what it takes, or we just might not be worthy of love. The fear of not being enough for people, having the wrong answer, being last, being left behind, being abandoned, leaves us as God’s children fighting for survival.
But what did Jesus say? He said, ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is my Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom.’ – Luke 12:32
With His smile, He has destroyed my religion!
In this place of victorious grace I want to be vulnerable all the more…and say, ‘Heyyy here I am with all of my fears and shortcomings, and I’m so loved! WOW. Make me better! Make me more like you Jesus! Help us help others find this freedom in who you have created us to be!’
The recent history of Rwanda since the genocide 25 years ago, simultaneously represents the worst and best of humanity.
This nation not only humbles me, but challenges and inspires me.
I don’t pretend to understand the full complexity of the history or her current journey, but when you want to really experience Rwanda and her story, I feel there is something very necessary about connecting with a living, breathing, healing, survivor’s story.Even as the genocide of 1994 may have now been pushed into the history books as the world experiences further tragedies and time heals, I believe there are timeless and important lessons in Rwanda’s story for all of us, if we listen. Reconciliation may not be fully complete, underlying fear and hurt may remain and the effects of the genocide are still very much being felt today. Despite this, I am sure of one thing; darkness never triumphs over light.Testimony
Below, you will read a glimpse of my husband, Alexis’ story. He is the visionary behind our ministry here in Rwanda. Sold out for Jesus, he is my fearless leader, coach, and the pioneer that makes our dreams come true.
For Alexis life has not come easy, yet his story with all of its set-backs, has built in him a resolve and a commitment to see change in East Africa, and a tenacity to prove that there is always hope for a bright future.In 1994 there was genocide against the Tutsi tribe in Rwanda. During this time Alexis lost most of his family members, leaving him orphaned at the age of 13. He himself survived at the mercy of one woman who kept him hidden in her home. The aftermath of these events was obviously devastating and was a turning point in his life. At the time, the loss, trauma and grief, affected Alexis to the point of drugging himself in order to sleep. Only under the influence of drugs could he sleep, but once sober again the difficult memories would always return. By the grace of God, he was found by a ‘Good Samaritan’, who took him from the street and returned him to school. His life and future was changed by the kindness of God through one person who stopped to take time for him. Since then, Alexis has given his life to the ministry of Jesus and wishes to see many nations being changed by the healing power of God through love, true Biblical teaching, strategic prayer and disciple-making of all ages.
‘When our children can understand the tangible love of Jesus, this revelation will lead them from a life of oppression, to a life filled with hope and change.’ – Pastor Alexis HakizimanaA Vision for Our Children
Our dream is for orphaned children who have experienced similar hardships and trauma to come into the healing reality of family. We also believe this reflects God’s heart for those who were once far off, to be healed through receiving a Spirit of adoption found in the person of Jesus. For these orphaned children, Jesus looks like someone who will stop, see, and offer open arms of safety.
‘When you create an atmosphere of vulnerability and trust, it’s powerful. Children can share, forgive, and feel safe enough to grow for the first time.’ – Kaysha Dawn
We believe in healing for the mind, body, soul and spirit. Our mission is to give our children individualized spiritual care as well as meeting their physical needs that will provide a self-sustaining future when they would otherwise be facing many challenges. This kind of healing will impact not only one life, but also future generations to come.
‘The stories of Rwandan survivors can become a testimony around the world for issues of peace and reconciliation. Because the people have gone through terrible things– they can teach nations.’ – Josephine MunyeliMaking a House a Home
When Alexis and I met we toured a home for boys outside of Kigali. We walked the premises in quiet expectation knowing that our hearts were saying the same thing. ‘One day we will build a home like this.’Fast forward to January 2019 on one of our casual evening walks, we found an abandoned residence on a beautiful property overlooking the valley. We both lit up and our spirits danced with the thought of our dream coming alive, ‘Maybe this house is it?!’A phone call was made. We found the owner was, herself, a survivor of genocide living in Belgium. She had inherited the house at a young age upon her father’s death after the war. The house was left unfinished and uninhabited since that time.This war-torn house is five minutes walking distance from our apartment and we have agreed with the landlord for renovation to use it as the Kigali Children Center! It has a solid structure and foundation and we are excited to make something beautiful out of the brokenness of the past.
Here, we plan to create a nurturing environment for vulnerable children to:
1. Receive love and physical care
2. Receive support and trauma specific counseling
3. Learn empathy for others
4. Learn responsibility
5. Receive formal education and vocational trainingWould you join us in supporting this life giving home in Rwanda?
To help create this center for children, please click here to visit our support raising website or contact us directly if you are more comfortable to find out more about our tax deductible giving option. We love sharing the passion of our hearts and would enjoy the chance to talk with you more.
To see more about what we are doing in Rwanda, visit Into Faith We Go.
Alexis & Kaysha
Oh the possibilities, when God gives you a promise
…and a dream.
What if this house was a home?
…a safe place for children and broken families to find refuge?
What if we could love them back to life?
– whispers Jesus
Our Home. // Kigali, Rwanda.
Visiting Alexis’ family in Northern Rwanda. // Prefegitura ya Byumba
Rwandan Civil Marriage. // 2.28.19
Honeymoon. // Lake Kivu, Karongi, Rwanda
Discipleship School Locations / Students / Outreach / Certificate Level Graduates 2018.
It is impossible to be devoted to Jesus and not share Him.
We cannot see Him now, but God has ordained that we love Him by loving each other, whom we can see.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. – Mark 12:30
Making disciples means training others to become passionate followers of Jesus. It means leading people into the presence and love of Jesus, which is heaven on earth.
Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. – Matt. 28:20
Extreme hunger for teaching among our local pastors has led us to start leading our discipleship school. Pastors are in many ways the point men and women of a church. Whatever they set their hearts on, those following will follow in their footsteps. So it is vital that pastors value seeking after and finding the presence of God. If they are hungry for Him, others will be too.
Our vision is Jesus.
The idea was to gather the Father’s House school alumni in England, to encourage, connect, and equip our previous students in their homes and communities where God is using them to be a bright lights for His purposes.
Oh how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! – Jesus
The end of my trip allowed me time in the Netherlands as well as Scotland and Sweden to see friends and be refreshed by the beauty of creation. Here are some of my favorite photos from time well spent gathering.
“In the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.” – Psalm 63:7
Traveling to Rwanda today. A dream fulfilled that’s been stored away in my heart 5+ years– where my passion for Africa began for this nation and its story of redemption!When I was invited to Kigali, Rwanda in January, it came as a complete surprise. I didn’t exactly know why I was going this time. I mean I knew the ‘mission’ but I wasn’t sure what my place was or how I would fit– except that I should go, and that God would show me as I went.
If you knew me five years ago, this concept of following his plan would have been completely foreign to me. I would have known exactly why I was going. 🙂 But Jesus has been teaching me that mission with Him looks different than the world’s way. He wrecks my plans so He can use me in His.As I arrived at the airport in Kigali, I was welcomed by Pastor Alexis and a few of his team members as well as Thomas and Erin, who I know from South Africa.
Pastor Alexis is the visionary for this ministry in Kigali, and we are the support team behind his vision to start a discipleship training school for current pastors as well as young evangelists. The school will help them to grow in identity in Christ, and the experience of walking with Him in faith, hearing His voice, knowing His grace, and the confidence to share the truth with others!
The first class went very well! I am very proud of Thomas and Erin as they work with Alexis who is doing an amazing job of pioneering a new concept of how to build a unified church in his home country, and send out equipped messengers. They have a solid team to begin the school with energy as well as intention. I learned so much by watching them.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. – Matt. 5:6
The students of all ages poured into the classroom, eager and ready to learn. They could care less what the classroom looks like, we have no fancy projector screen presentation or printed books. We have no band, one proper light fixture…(and after much deliberation)..no coffee and tea. But we have a hunger and thirst for Jesus that cannot be quenched. This fire is fueled by love for the King.
I was completely moved by the kindness of Rwandan people. Their genuine hearts reflect true redemption from a history of pain and injustices. This kind of forgiveness I cannot begin to understand with my human heart. This kind of redemption and love can only come down from the pure heart of a gracious Father in heaven.
Blessed are the pure in heart- for they will see God. – Matthew 5:8
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!
Our Heavenly Father thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. – Ephesians. 1
One day I took a motor taxi to another village to visit a ministry called Hope for Life, a place called home for local street boys.
Hope for Life’s mission is to serve impoverished youth through home care, providing stability in their lives and empowering them with resources and education needed to obtain a flourishing future for themselves and their community.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:7
This precious one took my hand and gave me a tour through his home. Most adults living in Rwanda carry the memories of the genocide time, while the youth are still living with the impact, many growing up with one parent—some without two.
A conversation I had with one young adult, while showing him a photo my dad had sent me, he said, ‘You have a dad?’…’AND a mom?’
This guy is the most gentle soul. Instead of being angry at God growing up without a father and mother, he rejoices in God that he is alive and has work, a young wife and son. God is good. It is a privilege to know this young man’s story.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4“How many beans do you think are there?” “1000.”
“Do you know how much God loves you?… ….Much much more than ALL of these beans! Too much for you to count!”
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. – Ps. 36:7