Many friends and family ask at Christmas if they can send us something. It really costs too much to send packages. This year has been a rough year and our vacation – and I am very grateful to our organization- was spent with me having surgery and recovering for six weeks! (So thankful I had a wonderfull place to recuperate, even though I wasn’t allowed to do anything fun!) So, if you would like to donate personally to us to add to what we already have so that we can take a much needed break. Send to Rhonda Welch 207 Jimmy Olen Rd Anacoco LA 71403. To be clear this for us personally.

Or for Christmas giving we always appreciate donations to our organization so that we can keep continuing the work we do making an impact on our village. There are many different projects or a general fund that goes towards all work including bore holes. 100% of your donations go directly to the work The Mandate does. On you can see different projects you can donate to. We have been making Christmas clothes for the children this year so if you want to donate directly to that just put a note saying Christmas. Please make your check out to “The Mandate” and mail to P.O. Box 6798, Shreveport, LA 71136.  Please specify the Project or Program it is intended for.

Always pray for us, and for our village ministry, the inmates we minister to and everyone that helps us in our work.

Ms Joyce

Isaiah 1:17 says ““Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”

We try and meet the needs of widows in our community. Ms. Joyce is one of our more colorful ones!” She tells us (through an interpreter) some pretty funny stories! And she is persistent that I open a medical clinic to take care of people. All I do is give her Acetaminophen for her aches and pains!





(Above is Takia in her own design)

Meet Takia, one of the three girls we help support in their career paths. She is going to tailoring school after struggling through high school and finally dropping out. We were worried about what she would do going forward and she came one day to tell us goodbye. She was on her way to start tailoring school. The third week she came home and had made Christian, Raelee and me clothes, nicely sewn clothes that fit without having our measurements! We were so proud of her and happy she found something she is good at and can possibly have a better future with the skills she is learning. She also found she has some artistic creativity and with her own designs that will set her apart from the many, many seamstresses and tailors here. She can be a successsful designer if she keeps striving at it. Because we were so surprised and proud of her we told her we would give her support since she has to buy all the materials she uses in her classes.

About four weeks into school she brought me about fifteen little skirts and asked me to put them up as she was going to keep sewing until we had enough to give all the children that come to Sunday School. She has now been in school six months and should have graduated in December but because at least half her class could not pass the exam they extended everyone until March. Which is very unfair to the ones, including Takia, that passed. It is a hardship just to pay for schooling and training so they have to come up with more money because of the ones who didn’t pass. Over the past six months she has occasionally brought little piles of skirts and shorts for me to put up.

On the Sunday before Christmas I already had the boxes for the children and we had many children that don’t usually come. Takia had come home with yet another box of clothes. We decided to wait until the next Sunday to see if we could give them out. There were about ninety-seven children. We counted the clothing and she was short about seven but we had t-shirts that had been sent with the baby blankets from the great ladies in America so we also gave them out. I can’t even tell you how excited these children were at receiving new clothes. She had made dresses and skirts for the older girls. We did run short a few on shorts for the babies so they gave the baby boys skirts. Baby Christian, who is usually either naked or with just a shirt on as he was that day, got a skirt and he was so happy! Someone laughed about him wearing a skirt and I said when he was only a couple months old his mama had brought him over in a frilly yellow dress. Confused me to say the least! It doesn’t matter when they are little but it is hard to tell which are boys and which are girls!

Everyone was giving me and Christian the credit for the clothes and I told them all that we only helped supply her materials but Takia did all the work and did it because she loves her village and all the children that come to Sunday School.  She is using the gifts and talents God has given her to bless others. She isn’t keeping that talent to only benefit herself. She said her schoolmates laughed at her and questioned why she would do that when she could be making clothes for herself and also sell clothing she makes. She told me that we have taught her to have a giving heart, she’s been helped so it makes her want to pass that on. I give her and her sisters my clothes and she knows how that feels, and wants others to feel the same way. We are just so proud of her accomplishments, I have to admit we were a little skeptical since she didn’t do so well in high school.

Please pray for Takia, as she has had her schooling extended. That she be an example to her classmates but also to the children she blessed so greatly. We plan on putting her to work on our Hope for Girls project so that she can earn her own sewing machine. I believe she will take full advantage of the opportunity given her, we have seen big changes in her personality already so I know she has a good future in front of her. And I am relieved that now I know what we can do next Christmas and take the pressure off of me trying to get 150-200 gifts for the children!