We made 101 sandals and 16 bags in the last two weeks! We are so moved and blessed by the progress of this small social business that is now providing a way to for seven moms to feed their children.
It began with a visit to the home of a widow and her recently orphaned children struggling to even provide sugar water for a meal. In an effort to provide a fair wage to women facing this reality every day and the dream that one day it could help sustain the work of New Hope; Rosa and I created the first few pairs of sandals that were sold during my children’s school function in late November. I remember wondering if it was even worth taking them to the event because we only had a few, but we took orders for 23 that day and the momentum was set in motion.
As Rosa and I sat the other day to reflect on all that God has done since November we were awed by the grandness of His love and care for us. 101 and sandals in 14 days—that’s incredible! She shared how this has changed her life, answered her prayers, and blessed her beyond measure. It’s more than the finances that she desperately needs but the friendships and the confidence and empowerment that comes from working in community for its advancement. They celebrate every sale together because they know what it means for their families and the girls of New Hope.
Rosa has the gift of hospitality, a gentle tongue, a heart for relationships and the best coffee in the DR. When you walk into the workshop, currently functioning in her home, you will immediately sense the calm welcoming atmosphere where you can always find freshly brewed coffee, laughter and a listening ear. It is an atmosphere that may never be tolerated in North America for its perceived lack of efficiency. There are babies being attended to and laundry being done--women leave to make lunch or take the clothes off the line at their homes down the street and return at their leisure. But they are getting the orders filled, caring for families and enjoying each other in the process.
Rosa begs God to bring more, to open the doors of heaven. My prayer is that God uses this place to not only provide jobs and funds, but fellowship and discipleship, light in the darkness and a door to hope and change. 14-16"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (message)