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Lorella Rouster

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After helping found ECM in 1985 and serving with her husband John for 18 years as International Co-Director, Lorella is now dedicating her time and energy to Congolese children and families as an ECM missionary with the Mwinda Project.  Mwinda=Light in Kikongo, and Lorella is opening the light of God's Word to the new generation in DR Congo.

In past years, Lorella trained “Teachers of teachers” to multiply Bible teachers for children in Congo. All training is now in the hands of the Congolese. Through their efforts, over 4,500 Sunday schools and other children’s ministries have been developed in Central Africa, reaching an estimated 370,000 children weekly.

Now in her mid-70’s, Lorella says she has received her final assignment from God–writing Kituba-language Bible lessons for children to enable Sunday school teachers to evangelize and disciple the new generation in Congo. She has through 2 Chronicles and selected stories from the Life of Christ. Her goal is to cover create a library of lessons covering all the major events of the Bible and covering a teaching period of about 10 years. Her potential audience in Kikongo alone is about 3 million children!

In addition, Congolese staff are translating these lessons into Lingala, Tshiluba, and sometimes French. Once a year, Lorella travels to Congo to see teachers using these lessons and to confer with Congolese staff for training, evaluation, strategizing, and most important, prayer! John has officially “retired” from ECM and can no longer travel to Africa due to health reasons, but volunteers actively and lifts much of Lorella’s household load to give her more time for developing lessons.

Lorella also serves as Congo Projects Advisor (by e-mail and through the annual gatherings in Congo) and is responsible for continuing professional development of the Congo staff.

She has written her first book, “God Uses Crooked Sticks” about her family’s 30+ & counting adventure of serving and learning with Jesus in Africa. (Cost $20 postpaid for a personally signed copy. All proceeds support the Congo Ministry, helping with staff salaries and benefits.) Look for “God Uses Crooked Sticks” on ECM’s website marketplace.

Lorella is seeking to raise funds for a Ministry budget of $60,000 per year. This covers the printing in three languages, transport, and distribution of her Bible lessons into “Teachers’ Resource Libraries.” These libraries loan Sunday school lessons, operating as a lending library. This permits the lessons to be taught over and over by different churches enabling maximum use. It also includes her annual three-week ministry trip to Congo, including travel costs to convene staff.

Additional ministry projects include the recording of Sunday school songs in Kikongo and their distribution to trainers on flash drives that connect to their phones, and a weekly radio broadcast for children in Kikongo, called BIBLE KITOKO.

How you can partner with Lorella:

As the founders & original visionaries for Every Child Ministries, John & Lorella have served with ECM since the beginning in 1985. With her husband John, Lorella served as African Field Director, Director of Teacher Training, and as International Co-Director. John retired in 2016, but Lorella continues to serve as a literature missionary to Congolese children. Her present ministry is creating a Whole-Bible series of lessons for children in Kikongo.  Lorella considers this her final assignment, and she is giving herself to it with passion.

Write to Lorella at to:

• Order a copy of her book, “God Uses Crooked Sticks” (also available on website marketplace)
• Invite her to speak at your church or group setting on a variety of missionary topics
• Partner with her on a children’s project for VBS or Sunday school classes supporting children’s ministry in Congo

How you can bless Lorella:

  • Lorella needs prayer partners! Email Lorella at to receive her monthly news & prayer letter to guide your prayers.

  • If you like to sew, you can create Wordless Books in felt.  These are books that use simple color symbolism to help teachers explain the Gospel to children.  Just email Lorella for easy instructions.  Lorella would love to give one to every teacher.


She also needs gifts for her Ministry Budget for the creation and distribution of literature to Teachers’ Resource Libraries in Congo, and for her annual ministry trips to Congo. Designate gifts for this purpose “The Mwinda Project” or give to the project online

Examples of what your gift can accomplish:

$10 can print and deliver one Bible lesson book to Congo. Placed in a Teachers’ Resource Library, it will be used over and over!
$70 can buy enough markers to visualize Bible verses and pictures for a year.
$160 can pay for 20 heavy-duty tubs for transport & storage of Bible lessons.
$200 can transport one 50# tub of materials to Congo.
$600 can put weekly kids' radio programs on the air for six months.
$1,000 can pay Congo staff expenses for their annual gathering with Lorella.
$3,000 can provide Lorella’s total expenses for one annual ministry trip.
Gifts of all amounts are helpful and appreciated.