Sandyhills services over December
Advent 1 December 3
10-30 Sanctuary – Service
17-00-19-00 Praise and testmony – Lower hall
Advent 2 December 10
10-30 Sanctuary – Gift service
18-30 -19-00 Blue Christmas
Advent 3 December 17
10-30 Sanctuary – Nativity
Advent 4 December 24
18-00 – 19-00 Sanctuary – Family service
10-30 Sanctuary – Christmas day service
10-30 Sanctuary – cafe church
Meets weekly in the lower hall begining at 1-30 pm.
November 2 Four Catherdrals of Glasgow R. Keys
November 19 Threapet James MacDonald
November 16 Family History Michaell Gallacher
November 23 Scottish Afternoon Streetwise
November 30 Project Kazanu – Village of Hope , Tanazania
December 7 Alison Aldebert
December 14 Little drummer Boy Walter Russell
On Saturday the 16th of September we had the privilege of baptising Jack at Balmaha. After coming to faith a few months ago Jack indicated that he would like to be baptised to show publicly the decision he has made to follow Jesus.
In best traditions and finally
God has truly worked in us all while we have been there and there is no doubt that we will be back at some point in the future!
On behalf of the Mochrie girls we would like to thank everyone for their prayers over the last few weeks.
A truly amazing experience.
Memorial was extremely beautifully designed with thought haven gone into every single detail which truly honours the lives lost during that time in Bisesero.
From Comfort International news letter
We would also like to thank God for some very successful aspects of the trips out in Rwanda this Summer, especially a wonderful visit to the area of Karongi with the Bishopriggs and Sandyhills churches. The groups stayed with families in Bisisero which really consolidated the already strong friendships and partnership with the area. We are grateful for the faithfulness of those churches in their love and generosity towards these communities.
Today was our final day so we were able to have a lie in. We had breakfast together for the last time and Ben joined us towards the end to present both the churches with a plaque of appreciation. There were goodbye hugs before everyone made sure they were fully packed.
We packed everything onto the bus and headed off to our final stop of the trip, a visit to Africa Hope Initiatives. This ministry works as a micro loan initiative that helps ex-prostitutes to start their own small businesses so they could support themselves in other ways. We were greeted with such amazing singing and dancing that our attempt seemed almost embarrassing in comparison. There were exchanges of testimonies before a group photo outside. We then rushed off to the airport to get through security and check our bags in.
The airport experience went without a hitch and we arrived in Entebbe for a brief stop safely. We then arrived In Amsterdam with no problems before some of us waited 5 hours and others 8hrs for our connecting flight to Glasgow.
On behalf of the Mochrie girls we would like to thank everyone for their prayers over the last few weeks. Being in Rwanda has been a truly amazing experience, especially after having heard the stories of the communities there for so many years.
God has truly worked in us all while we have been there and there is no doubt that we will be back at some point in the future!
This day started at 4 in the morning, on the bus for 5am as we were heading to Akagera National Park for a safari. It took a few hours to get there and once we entered the park we met our tour guide Odette,who joined us on the bus.
Throughout the day we saw multiple types of antelope, some water buffalo, different birds and more excitingly some lions, rhinos, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles.
We stopped off for a picnic lunch and didn’t get back to Good New guest house until 9pm, totally around 17 hours on the bus. We finished the day with a late dinner before bed.
This morning we headed to the Joy centre that is ran by Good News International. It’s main focus is on vocational training such as the two classes it holds in welding and sewing but it also holds clubs and other activities over the weekend. It was lovely to see the classes in action and some of the group even gave the class activities a try.
We then played a game of football with the young people, which we were extremely scared for considering they turned up in proper football strips. The Mochrie girls all ended up on the same team and the one goal from our team ended up being the decider for the win!
We then came together in a hall to sing and dance to praise the lord together, as well as share some testimonies. We then left to come back to the guest house for lunch. In the afternoon we went to the craft group that makes all the Rwandan goods that we sell at church. The women in the group are all either widows or orphans after the genocide so this group for them has been a great source of income and fellowship for the ladies. They taught us how to make some of the crafts like bracelets or hats and then we had a massive shopping spree. We left with full bags and emptier pockets before heading back for an early dinner,for the first time!We had reflections and headed off for bed.
We woke up, had breakfast and devotion before taking the very short walk to the church that Ben is a pastor at. We took part in the service, singing a few songs and James gave the sermon. As there were two services James stayed behind and the rest of us were given time to rest. We then had lunch, and a few people stayed at the Guest house to rest more.
Those who were up for it went to spend the afternoon with the comfort babies project. We danced with mums, some more successfully than others, played with the kids for a bit, then were able to hand out a weeks supply of food to each mum and some new stylish T-shirts for the kids. Some of us even ended up in the hair saloon with the kids doing our hair. We left the transformation centre where we had met and moved to the comfort babies house, where some of the most vulnerable mums live with their wee ones.
We were able to learn the story of each of the mums and see how well they are all coming on, both physically and spiritually. We prayed with them before leaving, but not without some tears from both the kids and our group. We then came back for dinner and quickly got to bed as we were all shattered.
We woke up and had devotion and breakfast before heading to the current transformation centre to meet with a collection of different street kids projects and even some mums and babies from comfort babies. We started off with introductions and had a bit of a sing-along with the kids, and even made some balloon animals.
Then we split up into groups to interact with each project. Some were on crafts, others on games, others dancing and even some in the kitchen preparing lunch. After a bit of fun it was lunchtime followed by some milk and a quick photo shoot.
Then we climbed into the bus alongside some of the older kids from the street kids projects and headed to the site of the new transformation centre. Building has just begun so for us we were tasked with making mud bricks to sell and then make money for the project. Some of the more skilled members of the group got down to helping with the building of the foundations. Majority of the group went barefoot to mix the mud together while others remained clean collecting grass. We managed to make over 250 bricks which will sell for around £70. We then prayed with the young people that had helped us, before heading back and going to sleep ready for the next day.
This morning, us Mochrie girls woke up in a house in Bisesero having slept a lot more than had been anticipated. We had devotion and breakfast in the family’s house before handing over some gifts of gratitude and heading off.
We walked roughly an hour and 15 minutes down the hill to meet the bus and on our way we passed a truck that had broken down on the road. We thank God greatly that it wasn’t this day that we were heading to Bisesero as if it had been we would have been unable to make it up. We took the bus back to the Gulf hotel and quickly freshened up before taking a choppy boat trip to Bat Island in the middle of Lake Kivu. Some of us even jumped (or belly flopped in the case of Neve) off in the final section to swim to shore. While on the island we enjoyed some lunch before trekking up through the forest to see a lot of fruit bats and an amazing 360 degree view. We got back on the boat, to enjoy some tunes or for some get a wee bit of shut eye. We then got straight on the bus and started the descent back to Kigali. We had dinner back at Good News guest house before swiftly getting to bed for a well needed rest.
This day started with an early rise as the travel to Bisesero was due to be a long one. There was even one point where we were asked to leave the bus in order to allow the driver to get over a bridge, but luckily there was no need to push the bus as had been expected.
We started the day off at the nursery in Bisesero which was named after the local hero in the genocide Birara. This is the nursery that they have started a feeding project at and in the space of a few months the kids are already starting to appear stronger and healthier. We sang some songs, played some games, and gave them some toys before having to reluctantly get back on the bus. We then made a quick stop at the village school to drop off some rugby kits and balls which went down a treat with the kids. We then had the opportunity to meet with the community of Bisesero, where we shared in testimonies, scripture and praise.
We then visited the local genocide memorial which consisted of a long path up a hill known as the “walk of pain” to symbolise the running up and down the hill that the communities would have done during the genocide. The memorial was extremely beautifully designed with thought haven gone into every single detail which truly honours the lives lost during that time in Bisesero.
We then travelled back to the drop off point, where half of the group returned to a hotel, while ourselves and some others stayed to sleepover in the houses that Sandyhills and Bishopbriggs congregations helped to build. We were greeted so warmly and invited in for a seat. However, we quickly offered to help and we were soon out the back helping to peel tarries and carrots, with some of us even using machetes to do so. We sat down together for what is in a lot of the team members opinions the, “best meal of the trip so far.” We then were split off into different households but not before we had the first marriage proposal of the trip.
The families were truly so hospitable to all of us, even haven given us mattresses to sleep on and in some of our experiences even being tucked into bed. It was truly such a blessing to live amongst our brothers and sisters in Bisesero and we hopefully will be back again very soon.
This morning we had devotion and breakfast before we headed off to be with the Karengera community who have been planting pineapples in their field. The journey was rocky, with us even having to get out the bus for a challenging bridge but with the help of some top quality driving we made it there. We were dropped straight in spreading dried leaves around the pineapple plants before heading further up the hillside to meet, pray and enjoy some amazing pineapple that seemed to be never ending. We even managed to leave with over 20 to eat at another time. We then travelled to a lovely spot on Lake Kivu to enjoy a late lunch and have some fun swimming or for us young people, a lot of jumping into the water. We then went back to the hotel, had dinner and reflection before discussing the following day as we will be staying in Bisesero for the night which is a new adventure, not just for us, but for Comfort as well.
Wednesday 5 July
Today we helped a community group care for their pineapple crop. We then had a time of fellowship and got to eat some pineapple
Which tasted amazing!
Devotion and breakfast took place in the morning before we travelled to some new houses that had been built in Gishyita as a joint partnership between our two churches, the sector and the division. We were able to go round every house praying for them before we handed out some kids clothes we had all brought from Scotland. We then had a time of worship and prayer and as this group was relatively new it was great to see people getting involved. We even had chat with a man in the community who was building his own house which spoke to what God was beginning to build there already. We then moved down the hill to meet with what had been the earlier group supported in that area. We were greeted with warm hugs and singing before heading into the building to hear how the group was getting on and to share in God’s presence. In this community in particular we could really feel a sense of joy which was such a blessing and I think this is reflected in the photos of us together. We went to a different hotel this time for the usual nighttime routine and have certainly felt a closeness beginning to form within the team which is an unbelievable blessing as we start to lose a bit of energy.
These are 2 groups in Gishyita that we partner with
The first photos are where we met the community where we helped to build houses.
Gishyita is located in the region of Western Province. Western Province’s capital Kibuye (Kibuye) is approximately 12.0 km / 7.5 mi away from Gishyita (as the crow flies). The distance from Gishyita to Rwanda’s capital Kigali (Kigali) is approximately 88 km / 55 mi (as the crow flies).
Here we have our single origin Rwanda Gishyita. This coffee is from the Karongi district and the local name for is Ibanga. Which is a Kinyarwanda word for secret.
Historically Rwanda as a coffee producing country has always made increased efforts to employ as many woman as possible within the agriculture chain. Approximetaly 40% of the 800 farmers within the local project are female.
We had breakfast and devotion in the morning before quickly heading to the Mubuga group. This group is based on unity and includes everyone from genocide survivors to perpetrators to refuges that weren’t in Rwanda in 1994. We went with them to work in their land clearing the land of grass using hoes before they would plant crops. Some people put in a good shift, others were very conveniently sitting to the side and our 86 year old member “Queen Elizabeth” enjoyed a bit of colouring. Once the sun had got a bit too much we followed the group into the trees for a bit of worship and some word. There was some lunch to be shared before the leaders had a meeting with us to discuss their progress and the ways in which they may need further support. We heard of how the floods had affected them but also of how they have been supporting each other. Our next stop was the local genocide memorial, which became an important time for us all as Clement who works for Good News and has been accompanying us shared his testimony. We then travelled back to the hotel for dinner and reflection.
Sunday had arrived and with that comes church. We visited the living church for some incredible worship and James, the minister of Bishopbriggs community church gave a sermon. We then returned to Good News for lunch before joining in on the survivors service held in the garden. It was amazing how brave people were to share their testimonies and the love for the lord and his protection was so clear among the group. The service ended and we hopped on the bus for the four hour journey to Karongi, which was survived with some worship music, custard creams and some pizza. We debrief as a group before heading promptly to bed.
An early morning was necessary to pack in all the delights of the day. I have a feeling we will all be missing the breakfast we have here as the fruit is unbelievable. The start of the day we travelled to one of the street kids projects that started 5 years ago in Nyabusindu and before we could even get off the bus we were greeted with hugs and welcomes from the kids. We went down to a dusty field to play some sports and games with the kids and even had a bit of a dance. We then went back to the offices to hear some testimonies and have some lunch. Next stop was the memorial of the Genocide which was an emotional experience for all involved even those who had been there before. We came back to the guest house dusty and ready for a rest but the party never ends in Rwanda, David’s younger sister Grace had just graduated from University and was having a celebration in the garden. It was truly a blessing to the see the work that God has done in her life from being a street kid supported by Comfort to now graduating university. We were even able to witness some traditional Rwandan dance and had the opportunity to share with them a piece of Scotland in the form of the Gay Gordon’s. We then went for dinner but as it was also Ben’s birthday we had been brought in by Phillip, Ben’s son, to give him a surprise, singing happy birthday with a cake. And he was certainly surprised. We then enjoyed our dinner and a bit of reflection before heading off to bed again.
Sunday had arrived and with that comes church. We visited the living church for some incredible worship and James, the minister of Bishopbriggs community church gave a sermon. We then returned to Good News for lunch before joining in on the survivors service held in the garden. It was amazing how brave people were to share their testimonies and the love for the lord and his protection was so clear among the group. The service ended and we hopped on the bus for the four hour journey to Karongi, which was survived with some worship music, custard creams and some pizza. We debrief as a group before heading promptly to bed. We were awoken from our pit in the early hours of the morning before going to the airport to meet up with the rest of the team for the adventure that was awaiting us. The first flight went off without a hitch and we arrived in Amsterdam for a short break. The next flight was also just as successful but with a slight bit of excitement. When we get home feel free to ask us about the Interpol prisoner that joined us on the flight. We arrived at night time and got through security before meeting up with Calum and getting back to Good News guest house for a spot of dinner and the briefing for the week. We then all split up and went back to our rooms for a well needed rest.
Prayer let us know