Zoe Empowers trip to Rwanda

Campaign Created by: Michelle Graham

The funds from this campaign will be received by Michelle Graham.

Goal: USD $6,000
Raised: USD $ 3,970

As you may know, my journey in ministry has been taking me to the dark places where I have encountered the light of Christ: in prisons and hospitals, in the Holy Land and around the globe. In just 7 weeks, I will be adding another destination on this path.

Tyson and I are heading to Rwanda, along with others from our church in Raleigh, to partner with an organization called Zoe Empowers. This ministry has been identifying child-led homes, who are among the most vulnerable, and walking them through a 3-year empowerment program to equip them with education, income, community, and safety. We will get to witness the empowerment model in action and how Zoe Empowers is changing lives socially, economically, and spiritually.

Why am I so excited? Rwanda has been on my radar for decades, and I have wanted to learn how a nation recovers from the devastation of genocide. In my calling as a peacemaker and pastor, I anticipate learning from Rwandans, as well as the empowerment model they developed, will be an important building block that will shape ministry in the years to come.

I’m also elated that our 17-year-old wants to join me! I expect this trip to shape him in ways that our life in North Carolina cannot. Tyson is a deep thinker, and I know he will be asking tough questions about justice, culture, and spirituality that will be profoundly formative.

Our trip will cost about $6000 for the two of us to attend. We have committed to go, trusting that God will prompt some of you to contribute as a way of investing in both the ministry of Zoe Empowers and the “butterfly effect” of how this will be paid forward in us and in those we serve here in the U.S.

If you’d like to join us by donating and praying, you can do so right here on this site.

If you’re curious about the work of Zoe Empowers, you can check it out here:  www.zoeempowers.com 

Our trip is February 21 - March 1st, and I can’t wait to share about it with you afterward!!

Grace and peace,



Update #2
February 21, 2024
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It's Rwanda Eve! I just finished miraculously squeezing all of these things into a suitcase and backpack.  We leave tomorrow (Wed) and will spend the next 24 hours in transit.  It's hard to believe it's really happening!!

Would you join us in praying:

- for our team to bond quickly, to communicate well and to have a posture of grace and flexibility. 

- for our learning; that we would be transformed by the Rwandan people, their wisdom and stories, and by our experiences 

- for our awareness of the presence and voice of God

- for physical endurance, safety, and adjustment to jet lag

- for the people we meet, that we would be mutually blessed by one another

Can't wait to have more to share!

Update #1
January 30, 2024
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It's just THREE short weeks until we leave for Rwanda!

Our preparation is under way.  Recently we met our team of 12 via video call:  6 from our church in Raleigh, 5 from another NC church, and one from Illinois (what are the odds?!).  We are an assortment of life stages and international experiences.  Tyson is the only teenager, and I'm so impressed that he seemed unfazed by this.  The last two weeks have also included travel vaccines and medications, which is all making this trip feel more of a reality.

The next few weeks Ty and I will be submerging ourselves into books,  movies, and articles to help us become more familiar with Rwanda, namely the affects of genocide and how they have been moving forward toward healing.  (Please reach out if you have recommendations!). Herein lies our first prayer request: that God would begin our learning and transformation experience before we set foot in the airport.

It means the world to have a community of support surrounding us and engaged in this experience!  

Umugisha ("blessing" in Kinyarwanda language),

Michelle and Tyson


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