[Stories of Freedom]
Bolivia Ministry, Michelle, Erika, Maria Jose & Mother Gladis
The Lord truly opened doors in Bolivia for our wonderful group of volunteers in April. We were actually able to enter half dozen brothels to meet women and invite them to our event. In some cases, we were able to pray with women in the dark oppressive atmosphere of the brothels.
On Thursday, April 3rd, we had our first evangelistic event. It was a great start. A dozen women came straight from the brothels. The volunteers provided the location, the decorations, refreshments and transportation. Two children prayed to receive Christ that day. All of the women heard the word of the Lord, many for the first time.
On Friday April 4th, we started our vocational program and one woman declared that she was definitely leaving prostitution. The following week she started the baking program and we are selling cookies to a university and at a church. Others have started a sewing workshop. Three of those have since moved out of a brothel and House of Hope is working with them to create employment opportunities. This task is complicated by the fact that they are far from family and friends. In human trafficking, brothel owners control women by moving them great distances. To keep women from leaving, brothel owners demand control of identification papers and other belongings, such as clothing.
Please pray for these women as they make decisions to serve Christ and leave prostitution behind. Pray for those who are leading the vocational program. Pray for the volunteer group as they plan the next evangelistic meeting for May 15th. Pray for Angela, one of our Nicaraguan leaders, as she prepares to travel to Bolivia with me in July to share her testimony and experience with attendees. Pray for me as I raise money to buy land for a residential & vocational center. God is moving things with this new ministry very quickly.
STORIES OF FREEDOM
Michelle is a 10 year old little girl who is very intriguing and wiser than her years. When asked what she wants to become, she answered "a Judge." Her reasoning? She said there are men who rape little girls and the judges release them. She wants to be a judge that will not take bribes and will uphold and distribute justice. Michelle said that there are a lot of children who want to go to school but never get the chance and she is very happy to have the opportunity. She has many friends at school and is currently learning about grammar and learning English, which is her favorite subject. Michelle is the type of little girl that will grow up and change Nicaragua. With the help she receives from METAD (Medical, Education, Training, & Development Inc. - A House of Hope educational program supporter), that really could become a possibility.
Erika is the mother of 3 children which get help through the METAD educational fund. Erika stated that all the families who receive help, including her own, are extremely grateful for all the help they receive. Erika says an uneducated person is worthless and nothing. They are not able to contribute to society and are doomed to a life full of hardship. She hopes that all her children will continue their education past high school and attain careers in the professional world.
Erika also explained that two of her children receive school uniforms and her oldest son receives a scholarship. The scholarship has been a huge blessing for Erika's son. Because of the scholarship he is able to attend a private Christian school that provides a better education as well as tutoring. Erika is very proud of him and his dedication to school. Without the help of METAD, a good education would not be an option for her son.
MARIA JOSE AND MOTHER GLADIS
Maria Jose is a sweet 11 year old who attendees Tuesday morning services with her mother. She feels very happy about the help that METAD has provided for her through House of Hope. Her father left her family and they do not have much money for necessities. Attending school is not something that would be possible for her without the help of METAD.
In the future, Maria hopes to take her love of math and become a business administration professional. She looks forward to one day attending a university to attain her dream. It is very important to her that she do well in school, and get a good job so she can have a happier life and help her mother. If she were not in school, Maria says her life would be very hard and she wouldn’t be able to learn the things kids need to learn. Maria Jose said she would have to find a way to study, as she can’t imagine her life without her wonderful school and learning new things everyday.
Gladis is the mother of Maria Jose as well as 3 other children, who are older and married. Gladis expressed that she is very grateful for METAD paving the way for Maria Jose to attend school. She sells tortillas for income and has bills that need to be paid. Gladis delights in funding from METAD which provides Maria Jose's uniforms and pays other school expenses. Gladis is not able to read or write and was never able to attend school because as a child she was required to help financial support her family. Being able to watch Maria Jose learn and flourish has been a wonderful experience for her. She is always encouraging Maria Jose to do well in school. For Gladis, a generational cycle of poor education has been broken. Her daughter, Maria Jose, will now be able to start life with many more opportunities.
Please continue to pray for the women and children at House of Hope. Pray for our wonderful staff as they take on more responsibility. With your assistance, many lives are being transformed.