Our Story

Our Story

We are Lacey Klassen and Michelle Maisonville; two Christian mothers privileged to go to Rwanda and Kenya with Home of Hope
from April 30-May 15, 2013. We've had an amazing experience and are happy to share it with all of you! For more information on all of the good Home of Hope is doing, please visit http://www.homeofhope.ca. Thank you so much for all of your support!

Lacey and Michelle

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Randomness: We're still here

Whoa...it's been a busy couple of weeks!  I've been working at a new job.  We had a really awesome weekend in Calgary with our church.  Then, I came down with a wicked flu, which I'm still fighting off.

So here's where we're at.  Our online auction seems to be wrapping up.  It appears next week may be the last week.  We have a few more generously donated items.  I feel as though the auction is just naturally winding down.  So, we'll accept it and leave it at that.

In the meantime, Lacey and I have been busy making our preparations for the trip.  Lacey received a crazy amount of immunizations on Wednesday.  Ouch, ouch and ouch!  She's a trooper, though and got through all
of them.  I'm up next on April 12th.  Yay.

Both of us have a tonne of physical donations to take with us to Rwanda and Kenya.  I want to say thank you to some special Angels who made that happen for me.

We're constantly going through experiences of faith, which is amazing.  We've had a few emotional moments and have been working hard to battle against the negative spirits that are trying to shift our focus from doing His work.  Please remember to keep us in prayer.
Little Akida and his mom Valerie

Lacey is still accepting cash donations for her immunizations, visas, etc.  I'm still raising funds for Home of Hope and, by now, you know how you can donate for that if you so choose.  Please just keep us all in prayer.  Remember our families, too.  They are sacrificing a lot for us so that we can go do God's work in Africa.  Please also pray for the other donors like you.  We want to make you proud and be an extension of your hands in Africa.

Thank you so much for reading our story and for all of your help and prayers!


Friday, 22 March 2013

The Time is Drawing Near! Please Help.

I know that many of you may be getting tired of my pleas for help, but please read the caption of this photo. This is why I am going to Kenya!!! I have been placed on a medical team as well as a women's ministry team to assist these at-risk expectant mothers. I still need to raise $1194 to be donated directly to Home of Hope in my stead.http://homeofhope.ca/sponsor/onlinesponsorshipform I only have a few more weeks before the deadline! Please help me go to Africa. For these women, their babies and for all of those who have donated for me already. I don't want to let them down!
We want to REACH them before they need to be rescued:
One of  Home of Hope's FAVOURITE projects right now is helping starving, 

pregnant prostitutes in Kenya who see the sign to not throw 
their babies away. You can partner with us to help women and save their children.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Gee, It's Another Update!

A little princess from the Dream Centre
Yes, it's time again for another update.  Thanks to the success of the online auction, our flight taxes are now paid off!  Thank you for your help with that!  As previously mentioned, Lacey has completed all of her fundraising for Home of Hope.  She is now raising funds for her immunizations which are coming up soon.

I am still raising funds for Home of Hope.  I have a current total of $1006 into Home of Hope and cash donations in the amount of $280 which are going toward my immunizations.  I have also recently acquired a part-time job, which I hope will assist me in accruing funds for the trip.  I still require $1194 to be donated directly to Home of Hope no later than three weeks prior to our departure, so by approximately April 9, 2013.  My immunizations are scheduled for April 12.

That is all for now.  Thank you so much for your help and prayers!


Monday, 11 March 2013

Come to Jesus: My Testimony

Graphic courtesy Andrew Latorcai

I was born into a loving Christian home.  My mother had been raised in our denomination, the New Apostolic Church, and I became a fourth generation member of the church.  My dad had found faith in his youth and was a Deacon in the church at the time I was born.  I lived basically what one might consider a normal Christian life.  I was baptised and sealed (in our church the receipt of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands of an Apostle) as an infant; and, at the age of fourteen I was confirmed in the church, though I was more excited about joining the youth group than paying attention to the significance of the promise I had made to God.  I hadn’t really had many major experiences that affirmed my faith at that point.  It wasn’t until sometime later, still in my early teens, that I really felt the Holy Spirit moving. 

Come, Oh Holy Spirit, Come

We were attending service in a larger congregation about four hours away from ours.  It was a special occasion with two Apostles visiting the area.  I had been very sick with bronchitis.  I had to step out of the service so my coughing would not disrupt the congregation.  Although there were speakers and extra seating areas outside the sanctuary, I was not able to find a seat.  I missed the duration of the service and spent the hour praying that God would grant me a special blessing. 

Following the service, the ministers greeted the congregation members.  I shook hands first with one Apostle, who smiled and said. “Hello. How are you?” before moving on to the next individual.  I then shook hands with the second Apostle.  He paused for a moment and looked deep into my eyes.  Then, raising his hand, he placed it on my head and said, “God bless you!”  I began sobbing immediately and fell into my nearby Evangelist (our pastor, if you will).  I was overcome with the Spirit and with joy at receiving the special blessing I had longed for.  This was a defining moment in my life. 

Jesus is All the World to Me

As any child would, I had my zig-zagging moments of following and rebellion.  I was not a "bad kid," but I made my share of mistakes.  When I was eighteen, I began dating a long-time guy friend from high school.  He was of a different faith and my dad did not approve.  Being eighteen, of course, I thought I knew everything and did not believe him when he sat me down and warned me about this boy.  Our relationship moved ahead at lightning speed and we were engaged within the year.  I had been praying that God would move his heart and that he would accept our faith, but he did not.  Even when I prayed, I had pain in my chest and a lump in my stomach as though I knew what I was asking for was not God’s will, but I continued just the same.  Unbeknownst to me, my parents and my congregation and friends were praying that this relationship would end.  It did, just short of one year in, at the end of May 1999.  I was devastated.  Little did I know, God was about to teach me one of the most important lessons I would ever learn.

I was the only youth in my congregation.  One of my best friends had married young and she and her husband had invited me to spend some time at their home and later join them in a Christian young adults gathering.  I was happy to go along.  I was feeling lost.  I was lonely and wanted to be loved.  At the young adults meeting, we sang praise and worship hymns and discussed the Bible, of course.  We also chatted about the topics that affected our lives at the time and shared resources such as books, music, etc.  I was really interested in learning more about God’s design for dating and relationships.  I’m not entirely sure how I found it, but eventually I bought and read the book Lady in Waiting by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones.  It is a study of the Biblical book of Ruth.  I had already been taught that Jesus was my spiritual bridegroom, but hadn’t really given it much thought.  Through reading Lady in Waiting, I began to realize that the only “man” I needed in my life was the Lord and that only He could fulfill all of my needs.  I became hungry for His word, bought an NIV Bible which was easier for me to understand than the King James Version, and began to devour it!

Cut to Labor Day Weekend 1999 – I was now twenty years old.  It had only been three short months since my relationship had ended with my former fiancĂ©.  Our church was having its yearly Day of the Youth weekend.  This one was to be held in my home state of Montana with youth from the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan attending.  A common underlying theme of these youth weekends was to find a partner in life.  (My parents met at a Day of the Youth in Kitchener, Ontario in 1975.)  I had decided that I didn’t want to meet a guy and if I did, I would just have fun for the weekend and that would be the end of that. 
God has His own plans.

As I mentioned earlier, at the time I was the only youth in my congregation.  As I did not yet drive, it was arranged that the Canadian youth would stop in my town and pick me up to ride on one of their buses with them to our host city.  The appointed time came and I boarded the bus.  I knew one of the youth and his parents (*who just happened to be Lacey’s brother and their parents) on the bus and decided I would sit with his mother, but then…well, God has His own plans.  I got to chatting with some of the other youth and my eyes met those of a young man.  We had met before on another youth weekend two years prior and again when I visited the City of Lethbridge on Spring Break from college.  We started talking and were inseparable for the remainder of the weekend.  Two years later on August 19, 2001, my husband Michael and I were married.  I had waited on God’s timing and looked to Him to be the source of all I needed and He blessed me with a God-loving faithful husband.  We will celebrate our twelfth anniversary this summer.

Just as God Leads Me, I Would Go

In the Summer of 2005, my husband and I and our two small children made the move from Edmonton, Alberta to a smaller town in the southeastern part of the province.  I had not wanted to move there as I quite enjoyed the diversity of our large congregation and the amenities offered by a bigger centre.  Still, we went and I did my best to adapt into the new area.  I never felt completely comfortable there and had a difficult time trying to fit myself into the new congregation.  Our children were only two years old and nearly four months old when we arrived.  My youngest was especially colicky and I had a difficult time gaining much from the services through his cries.  The children grew and soon I was back singing in the choir and helping out in other ways in the congregation.  Yet, I never really felt completely a part of the church family.  Several years into our move, we began to experience challenges in the congregation.  These challenges grew to the point that our faith was severely tested.  We sought out strength from a minister from another area.  Within a few years’ time, we began to travel from our city to Lethbridge to attend services.  Many times we were asked, “Why don’t you just change denominations?  Surely there must be another church in town you can attend?”  Truthfully, and I can only speak for myself, the thought did cross my mind.  If we are all one body of Christ, then why can’t I try somewhere else?  However, the promises I had made on my Confirmation Day and the days of my children’s baptisms and sealings came back to me, as did the fact that I believed in the power of the living Apostles in our church.  I could not give up, even though I was weary.

Our family continued to travel, every Sunday, to Lethbridge for services sometimes staying overnight in a member’s home, only missing one or two due to weather or financial difficulties.  (It was quite expensive to travel four times a month.)  Every time we left the services with joy in our hearts!  The sermons moved me more than I had been moved in years.  I really felt such a connection to the Lord there and felt so much love from the congregation members.

Eventually, we knew we would have to make a decision about whether we were going to continue to make the trip or try to go back to our former congregation.  My husband applied for jobs in Lethbridge.  During that time, he was also up for a promotion with his current employer.  He is a very loyal person and so, when he was offered the promotion, he took it.  The other jobs did not come through.  We continued doing as we had been. 

In September 2012, our congregation celebrated a Church Thanksgiving Day.  On this day, the service was particularly touching to me.  Many members of the congregation, myself most definitely included, were in tears.  I felt a stirring in my heart that maybe, just maybe we were to move to Lethbridge. 

On the way home from the service, my husband shared with me that the night before when he had attended a gathering with one of our ministers, a man who was the pastor at another church began asking him questions. 

He asked him, “Do you know what you are supposed to do with your life?” 
To which my husband replied, “I need to do God’s will.” 
The pastor then asked him, “What is God’s will?” 
My husband responded, “I don’t know.” 
Then the pastor said, “I think you do, I just think you’re too afraid to do it.”

When my husband shared that with me, I realized that I was the one that was afraid.  You see, during the time we had lived in our other town, I had become a doula and established my practice, which by this time was just beginning to thrive.  I had made some wonderful friends that I didn’t want to leave behind.  I also am not the greatest when it comes to change.  Stability is a value that I was raised with and was very important in my family.  Still, I was moved by what my husband had told me.  So, when we arrived home, I held my Bible in my hands and prayed that the Lord would show me exactly what he wanted for our family.

I opened the Bible to Judges and my eyes fell to Chapter 1, Verse 2:

The Lord answered, “Judah shall go up; I have given the land into their hands.”

That was my answer.  My husband received confirmation of a job in Lethbridge shortly following and we moved to Lethbridge in October 2012.

Come to Jesus

God has taught me so many things and he continues to show me more each day.  I am so thankful for my parents instilling faith in me from the start.  I am thankful for my wonderful husband, our children and our new church family for all of their love and support.  God does great things, we need only to place our needs in His hands and fully rely on Him and His loving Son.  Thank you, Jesus, for dying for us all that we may live.  May I always remember that when things seem toughest, all I need to do is come to You.


Come to Jesus is performed by Chris Rice

Friday, 8 March 2013

Cost Breakdown - An Update

Sigh...as you can see our total $ to raise has increased as we have received updated information from Home of Hope on what we owe them after flights, then we've been told about visa costs, and have to cover flight taxes and immunizations.  So, I thought I would provide you a breakdown as to what we owe and what we have each received thusfar.

        HOH     Taxes      Immun Visas Incident.      Total Ea.
Lacey 2200.00 400.00 500.00 80.00 500.00 3680.00
Michelle 2200.00 520.00 500.00 80.00 500.00 3800.00
Total           $7,480.00
Earned Thusfar
Lacey $2,640.00
Michelle 1267.00
Auction 885.00
Total $4,792.00

The Auction totals are going toward the Taxes, so we're nearly there for those!  If you would like to make a direct donation to Home of Hope for myself, please do so by using the "Donate Now" button above and be sure to enter my name in the "Comments" box.

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated!  You are so amazing and we are praying for all of you to be richly blessed!

Please pray that we can be spiritually and emotionally ready for this trip.  I have been so busy with all of the upkeep and logistics of fundraising, and now I have a new job (thank you for your prayers about that!) that I feel I really need to spend more time on preparing spiritually.  Please pray that I am able to do so and not allow the stress of all of the logistics to keep me from it.


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

My Testimony

It has been awhile since I've had the chance to blog, and as I sit here, two of my children are making requests of me. It is hard to sit down and accomplish anything that takes longer than 2 minutes in my house, but I am going to do this!!

I feel I want to be ready for our trip to Africa - not just financially, but emotionally, physically and most important, SPIRITUALLY. It is for God that we are doing this, and I want to keep Him as the center. I was reviewing my notes as to what we are to do to prepare, and I was reminded that we will most likely be called to share our own personal testimonies. I have shared it with specific groups before, but never wide open on the internet. I couldn't think of a wider audience to share it with.

My testimony starts as a young child. I was raised by God-Fearing parents that have a large reverence for God. It was truly a blessing to be raised in the home that I was. I understand that I was raised not only with the skills I needed to be a good, contributing member of society, but also with a relationship with God.

I attended the church I grew up in, happily serving, but often relying on my own human effort. I got married to my awesome husband at the age of 18, and I grew closer to God, having my still time with Him during my 1/2 hour commutes to university (yes, I do understand the irony of "being still" while driving at 100 km/hr). Nevertheless, while I was growing in the Lord, is was a very slow, gradual climb.
Promise Keepers Canada

During this time, my husband had met some other men during a Promise Keepers weekend. They decided to get together once a week. While the group started rather informally, within a year, its focus had become spiritual. These men gather to pray and listen to God. It was during one of these evenings in early January 2011 that proved to be a major turning point for our family. My husband was told by God, very clearly, that we were to go to Streets Alive, our local street mission. We were to go there for church, as well as volunteer in as many ways as possible. While my husband was questioning whether or not he had heard correctly, God used two other men as His voice. Jake would ask God a question, and the answer would come immediately through one of these two other men. (The fun part was, these two other men had no idea that they were being used in this way by God, they just were having a conversation, and were having trouble understanding each other.) By the time my husband got home that evening, I was fast asleep, and he knew Gods will for us, but had no idea how we was going to bring up the subject with me. So he prayed while reading the Streets Alive Mission  - Matthew 25:35-45. God told him to simply tell me that I needed to seek God for a scripture.

Streets Alive

The next day, I knew something was different about Jake. He had an energy that I had never seen before. When I asked him what was up, he simply instructed me to seek God for a verse. I was quite curious, so as soon as he had left for work, I got straight to it. I prayed, and opened the bible to the old testament (where I had been currently reading). God said no, and I moved on to the new testament. The first verse I came across was Matthew 25:35-45. I knew that this was the scripture that I had prayed for. It just doesn't come any clearer than that folks. It was pretty obvious what we were to do. And I am happy to say that we have done it. And it has given me freedoms that I never knew I could have. God has showed me time and again how He moves, and that it won't be done by my own power. He removed me from a prison of my own making - thinking that I had to do all the work. What freedom there is in knowing that I don't!

There is more to my testimony as God has taken me from a slow growth in Him, right on up to an exponential climb, but it will have to wait for another day. If any are interested in me blogging about that, please leave a comment below.

It appears my two minutes are up, as one of my children has locked themselves in the bathroom. God Bless!!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

You are Amazing, God!

Peter Tumaini was found abandoned and nearly suffocating...
He was rescued by HOH & has been living
in the Dream Centre for almost 2 years. He is a living miracle ♥
Wow!  Praise be to our Lord!  We've had so many miracles occur over the past few days.  The online auction is going so well.  You are all so generous!  We've had quite the "battles" over a few items and it has been really fun to watch.  We've also had some wonderful friends offering to donate their time and talents to our cause.  It's so touching and has brought me to tears of joy and thanksgiving so many times.  I want to say a special thank you to Sarah, Corrine, Dawn, Tina and Dwayne for their thoughtfulness and their amazing ideas!  Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us and who has spread the word about our cause.

I will post updated auction totals on Monday.  Remember, we do not run the auction on Sundays as we observe the Sabbath.

I wanted to share with you all this insightful video from 2011, when Home of Hope opened one of the Dream Centre homes for children.  Take a tour and learn about the wonderful work they are doing to help save babies!

Thank you again and love to you all!