Update on Esperanza

Have you ever done something small, and then that small thing snowballed into something that quickly became something more than you ever dreamed possible?  Something beyond what you think you can do or handle?  You know when you are in ocean, wading up to your ankles, pleasantly letting the water wash over your feet.   Then out of absolutely no where, a giant wave hits you smack in the face and knocks you clear off your feet?  That is what underestimation feels like.

I was just reading in Isaiah today, God was speaking about his sovereignty, his power, his oneness… and he said, “I will equip you.” Simple. Powerful. Profound.

God will equip us. He said so. If I’m asking him to use me, if he calls me out on that blasted water to take a walk, well then gosh darn it, He’s gonna keep me from sinking.  Its when we try to do it on our own that we sink and flail about, searching for a dinghy.

Alex and I began Esperanza as a tiny nugget of a dream… Now it is…. on the cusp of something magnificent that can be huge for the youth and families of El Salvador.   In the days to come I’m going to share with you where the program is at, where it is going, and how you can help.  Its all about these kids.

But in the mean time, here are some gorgeous photos that will give you a tiny peek into what is going down!!View More: http://adorephotograph.pass.us/projecthope

View More: http://adorephotograph.pass.us/projecthope

View More: http://adorephotograph.pass.us/projecthope

View More: http://adorephotograph.pass.us/projecthope

{Photo credit: Adore Photography}

Its about these kids. And the time they are spending with their mentors.  The mentors who’s lives are changing as they learn new skills, and become role models to the younger ones.  Its about the moms and dads earning a fair wage.   Its about the families who never dreamed college would be possible for their children.  Its about every second they spend at the community center (temporarily housed in the church) is one more second they are safe  inside with us.  Its about not letting the evil forces controlling this country steal one more person from us.

This is how God moves. He moves in the people, in their lives.  He moves in you, every time you purchase one of our goods.  Every time you write with your pen, use your bottle stopper in your wine, wear your scarf, order a bed for a child in need, this is God working for good, through you.  Since the beginning he has used average, every day people to achieve his goals!  He can use you too if you let him.

esperanzaCollageGo to www.hopeforfutures.com to donate to the program!  Or leave a comment for more information on how your group, business or church can get involved by placing an order to sell at your personal event.

 

 

 

 

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Esperanza Sewing Project Update and the Best Tuesday Ever

If you walked into the sewing room at Iglesia Gran Commission last week, you might have seen fabric strewn about.

You would have noted the threads on the ground interspersed with discarded scraps of fabric.

You definitely would have seen chairs askew, scissors misplaced and bolts of fabric on the cutting table, not nicely folded.

But let me tell you a little bit about what I saw (before I cleaned it up).

I see opportunity. I see the chairs where Gaby, Kimberly and Leslie worked so hard to make extra scarves and some special orders two days last week. I see where Sylvia was sitting, smiling and sewing with precision.

I see all of the donated machines, and the donated fabric, buttons, thread and so much more…. that makes me smile so huge.

Once in a while, I get to be a part of something so completely amazing.

Last January, I told you about an idea… to find our girls in La Libertad a way to go to the University someday. 
In less than 48 hours you fully funded our Sewing School. 
In March, 6 girls earned 1 month of tuition each by sewing infinity scarves and selling them to a church women’s ministry in Toledo, Ohio. 
In June, they sold more scarves to visiting short term missions teams. I haven’t done the math yet, but it was about 20 more scarves. 
In September they have an opportunity to fill an order for another church in the U.S. 
Last week I shared with them what had been put into the account for them, and their jaws dropped. And oh the smiles and looks of increduality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Because of your generosity, a local woman and member of our church is earning a little bit of money to teach our girls important sewing skills. 

But Tuesday was one of the very best days ever in ministry. All along, the idea has not just been for the girls of our Development Center to be able to go to college, but also to minister to the women in our community as well. 
Tuesday I invited a woman I know, to come in and learn to sew bed sheets for the bed donation ministry. In a nutshell, people from anywhere, can donate the funds for a bed. In that bed donation is the money for the materials to build a cedar bed, a mattress, pillow, sheets, small stipend to a local we trained to make the beds, and a small stipend to someone we train to sew the sheets. 
Yes, we could go to a store in San Salvador and buy sheets and pillow cases. We could also buy a bed. But we want to help more people than just the bed recipient. We want to hire three people in the process 🙂 
So Tuesday arrives, I have a game plan. I made a list of words I would need to know to teach her sewing skills. (p.s. Senora Clifford of year 4 Spanish… my education in did NOT include sewing terms, you might want to consider adding it to the curriculum). 
I am all prepared to teach her basics and maybe get to the fabric later on in the afternoon. She comes in, and after I briefly introduce her to our machine, I take her over to the cutting table to show how I cut, and pin the fabric.  
She asks me if the pinning process is really necessary. I say yes. 
She asks for a scrap of fabric to try out the machine. I say yes. 
She expertly folds and doubles the fabric to create a beautiful hem….. as she guides it through the machine.
I think “so when you say you’ve sewn a little in the past, what you really meant was I’m an expert seamstress and I’m about to knock your socks off.”
So I worked on some fabric cutting, and she commenced sewing…. for 5 hours. I forced her to take a break for lunch. By the end of the time she had sewn 9 sheets and 7 pillow cases. 
In one day at her regular job, she makes $7/day. For 12 hours of work.  In 5 hours of sewing, and because we pay per item, she earned $45. And she was proud. I oooohhhhed and awwwwedddd and gushed over her meticulous work and then I took her to Pastor Giovanni to tell him, and gushed to him about her. 
I cannot even begin to tell you all of the feelings about seeing her face and her pride in her work that day.   
When you sponsor a child here, or you sponsor a bed, you are not just feeding a child. You are not just  putting a person into a bed off a floor. Those 2 things alone are HUGE!!! But you are also creating opportunity for God to do abundantly more with your sacrificial gift.   Having a child in our program means them learning skills to help them earn a college education.  Having a bed donation means hiring 3 local people who desperately need a good, fair job. That is what your gift does. That is what God accepts and stretches and grows, and molds  into His ultimate plan. 
And as Alex would say “How the hickity heck do we beat that?!”
Oh, and that incredible woman who will return Saturday to do more fulfilling, well paid work? Her sweet daughters received beds last week! So there is that too 🙂