It's always a joy to see all of the beautiful clothes our sewing students are making. From beautiful blouses to colorful aprons, our students are learning a wide variety of sewing techniques. We are so proud of what they have accomplished thus far, and look forward to seeing what they create in 2016!
I am excited to share these photos with you, because they demonstrate how lives are truly changing for our sewing students in Port-de-Paix. Classes started on June 29, and just look at everything they have made this summer! When the students started, they didn't know how to sew, but now they're sewing skirts, blouses, and t-shirts. They are making great progress in learning how to sew, and they are really enjoying the class. One of the best parts about this program is that sewing is a valuable skill that they'll have for the rest of their lives. I will be traveling back to Haiti in October. I am excited to meet our students and teachers in person, and look forward to sharing more photos and stories with you.
I stumbled across this video from PovertyCure, an organization that facilitates the global conversation on poverty and equips its participants with resources that promote lasting, enterprise-based solutions that affirm the role of individuals and families in turning around their situations. The video introduces their recently launched toolkit that equips groups to make a positive impact on those they serve, both locally and globally. I particularly enjoyed what Peter Greer, President & CEO of Hope International, said: "Instead of us trying to start something, start from a humble posture saying, 'What is God already doing in that community, and how can we simply help that?' It's time for a changed approach to missions."
"What is God already doing?"
I love that question, and this ministry is a response to that question. When I first approached our mission partner, Larry and Diana Owen with Waves of Mercy, I was considering a microloans ministry. I had read a lot of articles about microloans, and thought it could be beneficial in Port-de-Paix. When I told Larry and Diana, they said what people really needed in their area was job skills and training so they could get good paying jobs to provide for themselves and their families. They told me how sewing, and other vocational skills, could make a real difference in their area.
Waves of Mercy already has several programs - street boys, nutrition, church, elementary education and community outreach - but they didn't have any programs geared toward adult education and job training. The Haiti 323 Project was a natural fit, and it plays into what God is already doing through their mission and in their community.
I know God knows what He wants to do in Port-de-Paix far more than I do. So I'm trusting Him to lead this ministry, and while sometimes it's a challenge, I wouldn't have it any other way.