Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Trying New Things

At the beginning of this New Year, I decided to try something new and different: taking a cake decorating class. It's something I have been wanting to do for a long time and I'm excited to finally get to have some time off to do it. 

My progress so far:

Week 2: (It looks orange but the flower is actually pink, I promise- looked much better in person so excuse the horrible lighting of the photograph)

Week 3: Cupcakes :) Happy Valentines Day in a couple weeks!!

Look forward to next week's cake– it's the final cake of the class so will be doing something special for it! Super excited :) Expect flowers and bright colors! And it will be 10 times better than week 2's cake! 

Oh and by the way, today we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. so I end on a quote from him:

 ‎"I have decided to stick with love... hate is too great a burden to bear".

What an inspirational man full of great words and actions, who left an incredible legacy. Happy Martin Luther King, Jr Day and a happy start to a new week!  


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year & "Forever Changed"

I hope that everyone had a blessed and fun Christmas holiday and is excited about the New Year! Apologies for my M.I.A. status– my Christmas has been a bit hectic. My mom, brother and I spent Christmas in California with my grandparents, aunts & uncles, and cousins, and it has been really wonderful to see everyone. I am cherishing every minute that I have with them and enjoying every bit of sunny weather. 

As the start of 2013 is only a couple days away, I have an exciting story, blog, and initiative to share with you. A couple months ago, I came across a news story which led me to a blog called "Forever Changed". Check it out– it is such an inspirational blog with sweet photos I might add. This blog belongs to an incredibly driven, faithful, and beautiful young woman who has moved to Rwanda from the United States. As I read more of her story, I became more interested in what she was doing so I decided to contact her to find out more about it. Have a read: 

Me: How did you get started working in Rwanda?
Elise: In December of last year I went on my first missions trip overseas to Rwanda and Ethiopia. While in Rwanda we visited three orphanages. Noel, Rwanda's largest, was our last stop. After one day I knew in my heart I could not go home, I knew Noel was where I was meant to be. I remember my dad picking me up from the airport and telling him on the car ride home I was moving to Rwanda, and four months later I did just that. 
Me:  What inspired you to start His Imbaraga & what does that stand for?
Elise: My reason for moving to Rwanda was Noel, but after several months I did not feel I was doing enough. When I eventually leave Rwanda I want to leave knowing I ha[ve] made a difference. With that in mind I started look[ing] for opportunities to start something that is sustainable and would help the most number of people. Business is not my forteit. I have never taken a single buisness class, I still don't have a degree, I've never had to manage money let alone people. All odds were stacked against me but I felt God calling me down that path none the less and so His Imbaraga was born. 
Imbaraga stands for Power in Kindyarwanda. The inspiration for the name came from 2 Cor. 12:9. When I was still unsure about starting a business I read 2 Cor 12:9 which says, "for my power is made perfect in weakness." After reading that verse I knew without a doubt this was something God was asking me to do so I took a deep breathe and jumped, knowing that He would indeed catch me. 
 Me: What does a day at His Imbaraga look like and what is the goal?
Elise: No day is ever normal here in Rwanda but for the most part the men show up for work at 8 am. We open in word of prayer and read from the bible. After they get straight to work. We have several designs going at the moment that they are working on and eventually we will narrow it down to the top five. They go for an hour long lunch at noon and finish the day at 4 pm with a word of pray[er]. Myself and my manger will do the odd jobs of getting leather, fabric, buckles, zippers etc. anytime they are needed. 
We are hoping to open a website in the coming months and begin to sell. Our target group is America. I want His Imbaraga to be sustainable and eventually get to the point where we are at such a high demand we can offer more jobs to men of Rwanda. His Imbaraga is also a "give back" business. A portion of each sale will go into a give back fund. At the moment we are still trying to figure out exactly what that fund will go towards but two options are a feeding program and/or paying the school fees for children of Noel. The dream is for His Imbaraga to become the new TOMS. 
 Me: How can people get involved? 
Elise: At the moment there are three big things anyone can do: 1. Donate. His Imbaraga is being run solely by donations at the moment and I would be lying if I told you that doesn't stress me out on a daily basis but I know God is in control and He will continue to provide. 2. Talk about it! Tell everyone and anyone about our story. Go like us on facebook and tell your friends to do the same. Be our marketing team. 3. If your super crazy and interested in interning for His Imbaraga email me!

*Thanks so much to Elise for taking the time to answer these questions. If you have a chance, go visit her beautiful blog and if you are interested in interning for His Imbaraga, her email address is:

Happy New Year!