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“This is my covenant with you.” —Gen. 17:4

Sunday, March 15

The Lord’s Day

Minute for Mission: Self-Development of People

 

Mukeshimana Olive, happily doing business in her new boutique in Rwanda Photo by Wayne A. Gnatuk

 

Mukeshimana Olive, happily doing business in her new boutique in Rwanda

 

Photo by Wayne A. Gnatuk

 

Mukeshimana Olive is a mother of two young children who lives in Rwanda. For years, she struggled to provide food and necessities for her family by making clothes on a small, antique sewing machine (her most valuable possession) and selling them to people in her village.

In early 2013, Mukeshimana became a member of her Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA), which was organized by 20 residents of her community, with assistance from the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda. The VSLA is a microfinance organization to which each member makes a monthly pledge. When funds accumulate, members can apply for small loans, which they then use to develop their small businesses. As members repay their loans with interest, the fund grows and additional loans can be made. Through this process, the VSLA both combats poverty and responds to the needs of the village.

Mukeshimana applied for and received a loan, which she used to open a boutique selling her sewn items and various other goods. The boutique has been a success; she can now feed her children healthy food and has even been able to purchase medical insurance for her family.

The VSLA program was made possible by a grant from Self-Development of People (SDOP), a ministry of One Great Hour of Sharing, made through SDOP partner the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda. SDOP projects must be presented, owned, and controlled by an economically poor community group that will benefit directly from their work together.

Wayne A. Gnatuk, PC(USA) associate for churchwide relations, Self-Development of People

Let us pray

God of mercy, remind us of our affluence, and call us to a sacrificial lifestyle. We pray that our brothers and sisters in Rwanda will continue to find ways to overcome poverty. Through our prayers and gifts, may they be blessed! Amen.

Sunday Lectionary and Hymns

Num. 21:4–9
“If Thou but Trust in God to
Guide Thee”
GTG 816, HB 344, PH 282

Ps. 107:1–3, 17–22
“For the Beauty of the Earth”
GTG 14, HB 2, PH 473

Eph. 2:1–10
“Come, Thou Fount of
Every Blessing”
GTG 475, HB 379, PH 356

John 3:14–21
“I Want to Walk as a
Child of the Light”
GTG 377

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 84; 150
First Reading Jeremiah 14:1-9 (10-16) 17-22
Second Reading Galatians 4:21-5:1
Gospel Reading Mark 8:11-21
Evening Psalms 42; 32

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