Thursday, December 18, 2014

Three-Month Newsletter #4

As the end of the year approaches, some of you may be thinking of year-end giving. Additionally I am looking to enlist a few more monthly donors in the coming year to make up for those who have dropped off over the past three years. If you would be interested in a one-time or continuing donation as a way to join the ministry here in Puerto Supe, check out "Support Chele" for instructions on how to give by mail or online, or simply go to and click "Donate Now". 

US Tax deductible receipts are provided for South America Mission.
For those wanting tax-deductible receipts from Canada, check the "Support Chele" tab.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seeds of Hope III

The first of December began our third sewing bootcamp with Sylvia Rempel, from Sewing Seeds International (SSI). We had a dozen ladies for eight days of advanced-intermediate class. Most of them had attended either the first or second year and all were already familiar with the basics of sewing.
Seeds of Hope, our sewing school, was started in 2011 through SSI, and has continued over the last two years giving classes three evenings a week on everything from sewing basics to pattern making through a local teacher. It is incredible to see the things our ladies are making after just a year or two of classes. Though initially we had wanted to give classes for free, we were unable to find support from the government to make that possible, and the ladies pay S/.33 a month.
Over the past two years, SSI has sent a group of teachers for a week-long intensive course. Additionally, any teams interested and equipped to teach, like the team from Wheaton Bible Church this year, are welcome to participate.
I usually help with translating for the classes, but this year I also got to sew. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed the projects, and the 9-hour days flew by. Thanks for constant help and guidance by the two ladies below, my products turned out half decent.
Last year some of the ladies received loans to purchase machines, and some have started working with the teacher, who makes uniforms for schools and companies. Others are sewing for their families, and are beginning to sell products to their extended families and neighbors. 
 In addition to economic fruits, spiritual fruits have also come through the sewing program. The teacher was baptized this July, and her pre-teen daughter has recently expressed interest in studying the Bible. Two other women have been studying with Grace or I over the last year, one of whom has begin to attend church, decided to marry her daughter's father, and is growing in her faith and convictions. Each week Grace leads the women in short devotionals, and even those who do not consider themselves Christians, or who are decidedly culturally Catholic, listen respectfully and sometimes participate. 
Grace, Cesar, and the people from SSI have put a lot of work and time into building this program and keeping it running. Few things have gone according to plan, and the program we have today is not remotely what was imagined three years ago, but God's hand and provision has been evident all along the way.