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  • Isabelle’s House

    We love all the work we get to be a part of, seeing people’s lives be transformed from the inside out (click here to read about the Empower program). One of our favourite things is the privilege of providing housing for people who desperately need it. Meet the beautiful Isabelle – she’s a survivor of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi. She is married and lives with her husband, Narcisse and their three children in rural Rwanda. Isabelle attended the Empower program as a participant in 2014, and has been on her own incredible journey of healing, forgiveness and reconciliation. She eventually became an Empower facilitator, and now works hard to help others also receive healing. Through the inner changes that Isabelle experienced from Empower, she has now improved her life, and that of her family. Together with Narcisse, they worked hard and put in a tremendous effort to build a house for their family. However, they have not been able to complete the house due to their lack of means. Some of what they had built was also damaged by flooding and rain. Houses in Rwanda are made of mud bricks, and then sealed with cement. Isabelle is part of a small group of Empower participants in her community, who now help and support each other in their healing journeys, and in their lives. Incredibly, this small group contributed money together to buy some bags of cement to help Isabelle – but it wasn’t enough and they haven’t been able to fully cement the house. The house also did not have a toilet, kitchen or washroom (bathroom). Towards the end of last year, CBL and CARSA (our partner) worked together to help this family complete their house, as well as build a separate toilet, kitchen and washroom. It has been amazing to watch this house take shape! If you are familiar with Rwanda, you’ll know that it is very hilly! You can see that Isabelle’s house is built on a hill, and so a lot of work also went into building a retaining wall so that the foundation of the house would be secure. In progress: The family moved in just a couple of days after Christmas – what a gift! This house is going to be life-transforming for this family, providing the basic needs of security and shelter, but more than that, restoring the dignity and confidence of the whole family. In addition to the house itself and the separate kitchen, toilet and washroom, we were also able to connect electricity and a single tap for running water – so many families don’t have either of these basics. These two things alone will increase the capacity of this family in so many ways! The project has also benefitted around 30 neighbouring families, who were employed to provide labour for the construction. The total cost of this project was about $7,000 – wow! That’s almost unbelievable! We can achieve so much and have such a massive impact – to be able to do so much with that amount of money, it’s such a great opportunity! We have several families that desperately need housing, with our next housing project planned to start later this year. If you’d like to get involved, please contact us, or you can donate directly to housing projects here. The finished product:

  • Masks and Thermometers

    Rwanda is continuing to struggle with coronavirus – in the last month, the number of cases and deaths increased and Kigali went back into a strict lockdown. Students have spent the majority of 2021 home from school, only recently finally returning to school in three phases at the end of October, November and January. In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus in schools, all students and staff must wear face-masks and have their temperature checked at the start of the day. However, many schools, particularly in rural areas, did not have the resources to purchase enough thermometers and tens of thousands of students cannot afford a mask. This has had a HUGE impact on student’s education, as well as their health and safety. CARSA’s Programs Manager, Sylvestre, explained it this way, Once we went to the schools, those schools in rural places where the kids were coming from really poor areas, we saw the masks they did have were just useless, they were too old. One mask can be shared with eight people in the whole family. The kids take the mask to school. Then they come home and their dad takes the same mask to go and meet someone and so on. When we saw this happening, it was helpful to understand how great the need was. Testing temperatures was taking such a long time before starting classes [because there is maybe one or two thermometers for 2,000 students]. Even some school leaders said they didn’t test the students because if they do this, at the end of the week they will find themselves not having covered all the subjects that were planned. It’s really a risk. If someone is there with a fever, they can infect the whole class, the whole school. You can see how a small thing can be helpful. Our local partner, CARSA, work in the communities in Kamonyi and Muhanga. The district leaders came to CARSA to ask for help to provide masks and thermometers to their local schools to protect the students and prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as enable teachers to have time to actually teach their students. The need was just overwhelming – CBL supported CARSA to provide masks and thermometers to the students and schools who were the most in need from a very long list. So far, we have done two distributions and together provided 158 thermometers and 46,716 masks! The thermometers and masks were given to the district leaders and headteachers, and then CARSA visited a selection of schools in order to follow up the distribution. The CARSA team met the students, oversaw the distribution of the masks, and were able to share information and encouragement with the students. The team chose to visit some of the really remote schools. These schools are hard to get to, they are far from the roads, they really are the unseen schools. The parents from these schools in particular were so appreciative – they said that to them it meant that they had someone thinking about them, acknowledging them as people and really giving them a voice – what an incredible gift to give! It has been just incredible to be part of this project – but the need is so great! There’s so much more to be done! Will you help us provide more masks and thermometers? It costs about $1 to purchase a face-mask. We need more than 100,000 masks – what could you do? 1 mask? 10 masks? 100 masks? Whatever your capacity, each mask provides dignity and increased safety for students and staff. I costs about $60 for a thermometer. We need 735 thermometers – what could you do? Every thermometer increases the safety of staff and students, and gives more time for education, which is so vital for these children’s futures. Click here to give – all donations are tax deductible, and will make an incredible difference, no matter the amount. Don’t miss your opportunity to DO SOMETHING. Some students and leaders speak about the impact: We really thank CARSA and its partners for responding positively to our call. This pandemic is a global issue, which requires a collaboration and partnership to deal with it. The government has done a lot to help protecting its people but as you know it can’t afford everything needed alone. CARSA has been doing a good work in trauma healing, reconciliation and peace building among the youth in secondary schools. This time you have intervened in saving lives of youth you work with. The support provided shows the love and how much you care for people you serve. Masks and thermometers you have given will make a big difference in preventing the infection and spread of the pandemic among the communities of Muhanga district. - Vice Mayor of Muhanga District in charge of Social Affairs When things get tough, people think only about themselves, but it’s amazing to see that there are still people driven by love, people who can think about forsaken people like us in a very remote place. We thank CARSA and its supporters for providing thermometers and masks for just protecting our children during this difficult period. Though our kids were going to school, we were very concerned that they might be infected by COVID-19 and infect the whole family once they are back in their respective families. On behalf of other parents, I thank you very much for the help you provided. - Parent representative of Gihara Secondary School I used to wear an old mask that I picked from a rubbish bin, but I’m happy that I’ve got a new mask. Thank you very much for caring for us. - Student from Groupe Scolaire Horezo I have been sharing one old face-mask with my parents and siblings. But I’m happy that I’ve got my own that I will be wearing to protect myself against this terrifying pandemic COVID-19. We pray that God keeps blessing you so that you will be able to help my classmates who couldn’t get a new mask. - Student from Groupe Scolaire Munini. Thank you so much for being part of the solution, for thinking of others and doing what you can – give today and encourage everyone you know to give a mask or two – together we can make a difference!

  • How Your Generosity Made A Difference

    It’s a great time to share a bit of love and a bit of hope! We’re sending out so much love to all of you as we continue to struggle with the impacts of COVID-19, with an extra dose for all our fellow Victorians as we feel the pain of stage four restrictions. As we stand together and support each other as Victorians, and as Australians, we’re so grateful for the ways that you have stood with our neighbours across the world as well – practicing generosity and thinking of others. We’ve got some good news stories to share, so read on to give yourself a bit of a pick-me-up today! As part of our response to COVID-19 in Rwanda, we distributed food to families who found themselves literally starving, and in even more desperate times than their usual daily struggles, due to lockdown that totally restricted the ability to earn any form of income. Here’s how your generosity made a difference: “I cannot get enough words to express my gratitude to those who thought of us and gave us food. I am a genocide survivor. There are five of us living together at home, and I am providing for everyone when I worked – even in the normal situation, I hardly can survive. When the lockdown started, I got really worried about how things will go. Surprisingly, I was contacted through my community small group leader and given food. It was not me alone, but many of us were given food. I am happy that we were helped to get through the lockdown. I praise God.” – Judith “The lockdown was a time where we could not get any work – all work was closed. Movement was not allowed and we are only able to get food at home when my husband or I have worked. I was happy to receive food which helped us to survive during the lockdown. I could not figure out how my children would survive. Things are now eased, we can at least get some work if we adhere to the pandemic preventative measures. We praise God we got food during the time when we were hopeless.” – Isabelle As restrictions eased, wearing facemasks became mandatory in Rwanda, and people are not allowed to leave their homes without one. Many of those we work with in communities could not afford to buy masks, making it impossible to go out to buy food, or seek medical attention, or visit their neighbours for some connection. Providing masks enabled people to go out safely, and for our community small groups to meet together to encourage and support one another, and for the small group leaders to connect and help the members: “I volunteer as an overseer of seven community small groups, and I visit them all at least once a month. I was worried how I will be able to visit without facemasks. When we received the masks, my worries were answered. I now visit the groups, talk to them, and help them walk the journey of healing, forgiveness and reconciliation that they have started. I also visit some members at home.” – Xavier “When we received the masks, I was able to move around visiting our community small groups, mobilising them to come together to help one of our members, Bibiane, to make bricks and construct her house. Bibiane’s house was destroyed by natural disasters and she had been living at her neighbour’s house for months. We gave some masks to the group members, and they were able to meet together and do the work. The bricks were made and the house was repaired – it is now at the level of being ready for a roof. The masks helped us very much because otherwise we would not have been able to move outside our homes. We also have two group members who are sick, they have been injured and have broken bones – we’ve been able to visit them in their homes and comfort them.” THANK YOU for the incredible difference you’ve made! We absolutely love seeing generosity make an impact, bringing empowerment and hope not only for those we give to, but for us as well! Want to do more? You could Give today to help us to: Provide more masks to enable access to basic needs, as well as connection and support in communities Assist individual families still struggling with lack of food Repair and rebuild homes destroyed by recent flooding in Rwanda Click here to Support You could Become a CBL partner, making a monthly gift - click here to support You could share with your friends to empower others to be involved in making a difference You could Take the #endCOVIDforall pledge to continue in solidarity with others - click here to sign

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  • Our team | Compelledbylove

    Home Projects Get Involved About Us More Donate Our people The team KAREN VISSER CEO The thing I love the most about being part of CBL is having the privilege of seeing people’s lives be transformed, and knowing that through CBL, I personally have a part in that – that I have a role in facilitating or creating an opportunity for someone to move forward – it truly doesn’t get any better than that. ​ I also absolutely love being part of an amazing team of dedicated people, building relationships, collaborating, being challenged, and being stretched and grown as a person. It’s pretty tough to pick one highlight moment from the last year! But one of my favourites was a visit to Australia from our Rwandan partners, Christophe and Diane, from CARSA. Their visit was an incredible time of reflecting, sharing amazing stories, deepening relationship, dreaming and planning for the future. We are already moving forward in fantastic ways as a result of this face-to-face time and lives are being impacted through the work we are developing together. ​ MARTEN VISSER Board Member It’s my honour to serve as a Director with Compelled By Love. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and ideas to help develop our programs with our many partners. Together with Karen, I have been fortunate to spend time engaging on the ground with many of CBL’s projects. I am grateful to be able to stand with those who are marginalised and vulnerable in our global community and to see hope, justice and dignity restored in the lives of many. PETER VANDERZAAG Board Member I love being part of a team and an organisation that lives out its purpose to help others be the best that they can be. Standing beside partner organisations with a purposeful intent and a humble spirit to see them thrive resonates so well with CBL and my own personal aspirations. The highlight CBL moment for me this past year was spending a week in India together with Fiona visiting our partner and connecting with the students; some of whom I have seen growing up over 10 years. I know that our support is merely a spec in the population of India but to see a real difference being made in a young person’s life is truly heart-warming. ​ HOLLIE BONIFACE Chair/ Board Member What I love most about being a part of CBL is being part of an organisation that changes lives. We get to hear first hand about the difference that the Empower program makes to the participants. We can follow students through their studies, seeing them succeed in finding a career and changing the projection of their life. Because we are small, we can have that personal interaction and influence. I love it that we partner with in-country organisations in our overseas work - p eople who are experts in their country and culture. It is such a blessing to know them, to work through issues and to see them blessed through CBL's support. For me personally, I am growing through this interaction, learning more about partnership and development. Following this thought, a highlight this year for me was meeting our partners Christophe and Diane. Hearing about the work that they do, seeing their passion and learning through what they shared was inspirational and made me so thankful to be on the journey with them. ​ ​ Project Manager/ Board Member My official title on Team CBL is Project Manager. My role is to assist with the smooth administration of the organisation's projects. This entails developing and implementing project strategy, developing our programs and projects, collaborating with our partners and deepening our relationship with them. So practically speaking, I answer copious amounts of emails, take phone calls and enquiries, develop our budget and strategy, take minutes of meetings, submit reports to the board, communicate regularly with our partners, visit our projects, assist with events and so on. Do I love it? Heck yes! I love being part of team. It is so energising. I love that we have collaboration at the heart of who we are, because it is in the together that we can achieve so much more. I love people, so I get to chat and learn from our team, our partners, our donors, volunteers and supporters. This is just as fulfilling as chocolate! Accounts Manager Renzil, as Accounts Manager, has been a huge asset to our team using his financial knowledge and expertise in providing efficient, effective, transparent and accountable management of funds, assisting CBL to build resources and credibility. He has assisted in the payroll, superannuation, ATO reporting, receipting, audits and meeting a host of other financial requirements. This, coupled with his soft and generous heart, has made him a valuable team member.

  • Home | Compelledbylove

    Home Projects Get Involved About Us More Donate Invest into a story bigger than your own. COVID-19 Our Response & Updates Read More HOUSING PROJECTS 2021 One family at a time Read More With local and global projects, your donation has the power to make a difference all over the world This is your moment to make a lasting impact We are Compelled By Love. An Australian-based organisation committed to seeing things made right where poverty and brokenness exist. Explore our projects below India Rwanda Learn More Our strategy is different If you are looking to make long-term, sustainable change, we are the right organisation for you! We implement programs by collaborating with grassroots organisations run by local people, to help them make a real impact in their own communities. People can experience poverty and brokenness in lots of different ways. We aim to see the whole person restored, ourselves included. What does this mean? You have a role in the fight against poverty. ​ ​ We maximise your impact by working strategically Give with confidence 98% of your dollar goes straight to local projects fighting po verty Learn More What we do We are industry leaders of: Community Development /keˈmju:nIti diˈvelepm(e)nt// ​ noun ​ 1. A process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. ​ Because of you, this is the impact we've made.... Rwanda India Australia 3,362 People have received trauma rehabilitation and counselling through the Empower program 86 People have been sponsored for education and medical assistance 556 Students have participated in our Australian school programs Recent Blog Posts Feb 22 3 min Isabelle’s House 36 Feb 22 4 min Masks and Thermometers 13 Oct 1, 2020 3 min How Your Generosity Made A Difference 16

  • Statement of Faith | Compelledbylove

    Statement of Faith Introduction ​ ​Being a Christian organisation is an integral part of the identity of Compelled By Love (CbL) – our Christian faith is the very reason the organisation exists and from where we derive our name. Though Christians around the world are united as part of the Body of Christ, there is much diversity in the understanding and expression of the Christian faith, and therefore CbL has developed a Statement of Faith to clarify and make clear what we believe and what it means to us to call ourselves ‘Christians’. ​ ​ Statement of Faith ​ ​We believe that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world. We believe that Jesus is fully God, that He came to earth fully human, and was born of the virgin Mary and actually lived and died as real person, recorded in history. We believe Jesus came to earth to proclaim the Gospel – the good news – that the Kingdom of God is near. We believe He came to suffer the punishment and death that our sins deserve, and that He did this in his crucifixion. We believe that through His perfect, righteous life, Jesus procured for believers the blessing of the covenant. In these two things, Jesus lived the life that we should have lived, and died the death we should have died. We believe that Jesus paying the price for our sin is our only source of personal salvation. There is nothing apart from believing in Jesus that can make us right with God. Obedience to the law, or our own good works cannot contribute to our salvation – only God’s gift of Christ’s sacrificial death. We believe that after dying and being laid in a tomb, three days later Jesus was resurrected from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God. We believe in the Holy Trinity – God in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe that God desires and offers a personal relationship with Him through the repentance of sin, confession of faith, and the surrender of our lives in obedience to Him and His ways. We believe the Bible is the Word of God, divinely inspired though written by human hands. Nothing is to be removed from or added to the Bible as the authority of God’s Word. We believe in eternal life, that after our earthly life ends, we will be raised to life to live forever in God’s Presence. As the Bible outlines, we believe our Christian faith is evidenced by love for one another, and by the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. We believe we are no longer living under the law, but under grace, and that we are called to live lives that are set apart, different, in this world, but not of this world. Though under grace, we believe God calls us to a high standard of living, as Jesus outlines in His ‘Sermon on the Mount’, not through our own strength and wisdom, but empowered by the Holy Spirit. We believe God calls us to love our neighbours, seek reconciliation for all with God and each other, and spread Christ’s justice in an unjust world. ​ Christian Approach ​ In addition to our statement of faith, CbL has a Christian approach in the way we engage with our partners and communities, and anyone we interact with. This is first captured in our organisational values of love, people, excellence, collaboration, integrity and prayer. We recognise that we are part of the Body of Christ, and therefore are not in competition with other people or organisations – rather, we seek to see others flourish and to build capacity for the overall goal of advancing the Kingdom of God on earth. We believe that the spiritual realm is just as real as our experience of the physical, and that we are engaged in a spiritual battle on a daily basis, though we acknowledge that God already has the ultimate victory. This takes the focus off ourselves as individuals, and as an organisation we actively seek to collaborate and partner with others, as we believe that is what God desires of us, in order that we may effectively play the role God has for us in the midst of His much bigger plan for the world and for the lives of individual people. The Bible speaks about the Body of Christ having different members, who have different functions and gifts, and that each part is needed, as well as being interdependent on the other parts in order to fully function at its best. God gives people gifts for the edification and building up of the Body of Christ – and that is how CbL sees itself – with the gifts, skills, experience and resources that we have being used to build others so that God may be glorified. We are not interested in power, position, title, or earthly fame and acclaim – we want to see the name of Jesus lifted up and glorified, and to win His approval through the continuous shaping of our hearts and character to be more like Him. This approach removes competition and opens the way for a Christian approach, which we believe involves the following: Honesty and truth – it is not ok to lie to each other or to disguise the truth or misrepresent ourselves, another person or organisation, or a situation in any way. Speaking the truth in love – being upfront about issues that we feel need to be addressed, being willing to be vulnerable and share times we are hurt or offended, being willing to receive correction and discipline, and always doing all these things with a heart of love that has no other motive than to strengthen, maintain and build relationship for God’s glory. Believing the best – we seek the discernment of the Holy Spirit in our relationships and decisions always, and we listen to His leading and continually pray for Him to reveal truth. But in those first moments where we have been hurt or offended, or where there is doubt, our first response is to believe the best of our Christian partners, honoring them and the relationship we have built together. Pursuing personal relationship with Jesus – our Christian faith is not only lived out in our ministry – we pursue a personal relationship with Jesus through studying the Word for ourselves, through times of personal prayer and by engaging in Christian community as part of a church and small groups in which we are discipled. Being obedient – the Bible gives us the ten commandments as a basis for how to live, and the New Testament then expands on this with the teachings of Jesus and the Word of God revealed through the New Testament writers. We all sin and fall short and wrestle with different areas – but we have a hatred of sin, a desire to live right, and a spirit that seeks to be obedient to the Word of God. It is not ok to have an acceptable attitude towards sin, to leave it unaddressed, or to continue in sin when we have been convicted. Caring for individuals – each person has been created by God, in His image, with a unique plan and purpose for good. God loves each person and it is His desire that all would be saved. Therefore, individuals matter. Each person’s life is valuable and precious. We avoid gossip and slander and promote dignity and respect. We have hearts open to be used by God in someone’s life, whether that be in small or big ways. Practicing and demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit – the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. It is our continued endeavour to no longer live by the ways of the flesh, but to walk in the Spirit, practicing and demonstrating these qualities in our lives more and more as the Holy Spirit works within us. ​ Choosing Jesus ​For us, the Christian faith is not a religion – it is a relationship with Jesus Christ, a way to live, and a choice to surrender control of our own lives to the will and ways of Jesus. In some countries and cultures, Christianity is seen as being a religion or a tradition – in this type of thinking, a person might consider themselves to be born as a ‘Christian’, because their family attends church or identifies themselves as Christian. Or a person might label themselves as a ‘Christian’ because they go to church or are part of a community that regularly attends church or labels themselves as ‘Christian’. This type of identification lacks an intentional choice to follow Jesus, and is more something that a person ‘fell into’, or does by default. When we as CbL say that we are a Christian organisation, this is not the type of Christianity we are referring to. The Christianity we identify with involves first recognising that we are sinners and that our sin separates us from God and has us on a path to death and eternal judgement and punishment. Jesus’ death and resurrection offers a way for our sins to be forgiven, for our judgement and punishment to be removed onto Jesus, and for us to be made right with God, no longer separated. Taking hold of that forgiveness involves acknowledgement of sin, repentance – a turning away from sin – and a conscious choice to surrender the direction and control of our lives over to Jesus. From the moment of making that choice, we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus, in which the Holy Spirit dwells within us, leading and guiding us and changing us step by step as we obey His ways rather than our own human thoughts, ways and desires. Our Christianity therefore is not defined by engaging in certain activities or by following a set of rules – but it is defined by following Jesus and having a living, active relationship with Him that means we live differently to those who do not follow Him. ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

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