About Us


City of Joy Rwanda was founded in 2011 by Todd and Andria Ellingson.

In May of 2010 Todd and Andria moved to Rwanda permanently. Todd had been a pastor for nearly 20 years and Andria a kindergarten teacher for 6 years. God brought Rwandan native John Kayitare into their lives and together through hard work and sacrifice, City of Joy Rwanda was born.

Our family and our community have experienced God’s grace in powerful new and fresh ways since we first began City of Joy Rwanda and we are determined to continue to develop relationships with our neighbors and the local government to bring life transformation through Jesus.

Here’s what we currently have going on:

Community Center 

In April of 2012 the Community Center was dedicated as the first building project of City of Joy. Almost immediately, two sewing classes moved into the Community Center for their training. Graduates from the sewing classes have formed an association and are beginning to support themselves through local jobs using their new trade. Graduates also sell their handmade items online with the assistance of City of Joy Rwanda. The vocational sewing classes last for twelve months, and students learn to sew various purses and bags as well as quilted bibs and clothing!

Joy Christian School 

Joy Christian School began holding classes in January 2013 in the Community Center. It’s been a long journey with a long way still to go. To think we didn’t even have electricity until September 2012! Now in January 2015 we added 4 new classrooms/teachers, moved to full day school for all 163 students, added a principal, serve children 2 meals a day and limit our classroom size to around 20 students! A donation of $40/month partial sponsorship or $80/month full sponsorship will pay for will pay for school supplies, uniforms, teachers salary, and help with additional costs.

Joy Christian Church

Joy Christian Church dedicated it’s new building on Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 with over 500 people attending! Pastor Lambert was hired to lead weekly worship and to be a school chaplain/teacher. Average worship attendance is around 200 as the Word of God is preached each week! Already in it’s short life Joy Christian Church: has children’s, youth and adult choirs; has held pastor’s trainings and youth conferences; and has had the privilege of leading some to surrender their lives to Christ!