Tuesday, March 08, 2016

International Women's Day 2016

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — In honor of International Women's Day, we want to celebrate inspiring women across the world who have been empowered through the local church! This Hope and transformation would not happen without the faithful support of our allies. Donate today to ensure women and their families have Hope for Today, Hope for Tomorrow, and Hope for Eternity.

See what God is doing through these inspiring women in the countries Bright Hope works:

Susana and Antonia - Peru

Susana learns from our partner Antonia how to bead and make necklaces so she can provide for her family.

Antonia, our partner in Peru, has been encouraging new women in the community to join the Women in Action artisan project. Susana is learning beading and necklace making, skills that not only give her Hope and confidence, but also help her provide for her family.

Feli, Emiliana, and Marcela - Bolivia

Feli, Emiliana, and Marcela are strong women leaders of La Rocha church in Bolivia

In a “machista” male-driven society in Bolivia, La Roca church’s pastoral team is made up of strong women leaders. Feli, Emiliana and Marcela serve as wonderful examples for young girls in their church and community, helping to break down cultural barriers and empower the next generation.

Jane - Kenya

Jane mobilizes her friends and neighbors to participate in the empowering Savings for Life program

45-year-old Jane has been raising her three daughters alone since her husband died in 2006. In September of 2014, Jane joined one of Bright Hope’s Savings for Life groups in Mathare Valley. Through this program she borrowed loans to expand her business so she can pay school fees for her girls and pay her rent. Her daughters are her first priority and she strives to provide for their education and give them Hope for the future.

She has mobilized friends and neighbors to join the group, and serves as the box keeper. As box keeper, she has the trust of the entire group as she keeps the box that holds everyone’s savings. Savings for Life has empowered Jane and given her Hope for Tomorrow. She feels joy and relief, confident that her daughters will get an education and that her business will grow. 

Pastor Andrea - Chile

Pastor Andrea speaks in Santiago, Chile

Pastor Andrea’s mother abandoned her at the age of eight. After experiencing a difficult childhood like so many children in La Pintana, Chile, she decided to start a children’s program that provided a safe and loving place for children coming from some of the most dangerous shantytowns in Santiago. Now, there are 60 children participating in the program, and many who go through the program and graduate often come back to serve as volunteers.

Pastor Andrea is pictured here giving a speech for the national holiday "Día de los Evangélicos," which is a celebration of Evangelical Churches in Chile. She was invited to speak because of her hard work and dedication to her program, and her amazing heart for the children. We are so proud to be a partner with Pastor Andrea!

Willienne - Haiti

Willienne, left, teaches others in her community on microloans and savings

Willienne is a nurse who runs a successful clinic where she has been very involved with women's health. Her home in Western Haiti was at the epicenter of the January 2010 earthquake. When the earthquake occurred, Willienne sustained a head injury which rendered her unconscious. When she awoke and found many injured people flooding into the clinic yard, she immediately began to care for the many people in need.

Her upstairs apartment was completely destroyed but the clinic on the lower level remained intact. She and her family slept outside in the yard in a makeshift tent or in an empty clinic consultation room (when available) for the next three years, but kept the clinic functioning.

In 2013, Willienne was finally able to begin to rebuild her residence. Now, she has been trained in how to develop savings and microloan groups. Through these church-run programs, she has been able to assist many women throughout the country to change their economic futures.

Bena and Joyce - Zambia 

Bena and Joyce in Zambia use their profits to reach out to others

Bena and Joyce are two of 30 women who meet to learn together, encourage each other, and serve the poor in their community in Zambia. Together they use their grant to grow maize and make hand-sewn covers. With the profits from their maize and covers, they are able to do community outreach by visiting the local clinic, praying for and encouraging the sick, and supporting the elderly in the community, providing food, household needs, and friendship.

Marah - India

Marah was rescued from human trafficking and now helps other girls
At five years old, Marah was sold into sex trafficking by her family’s servant who was supposed to take her to school. She was sold to a brothel, and for ten years Marah experienced constant sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. One day a tea seller near the brothel helped her escape, and police brought her to a Bright Hope safe house. 

With the help of the caring women at the safe house, Marah has transitioned from a life of fear, chaos, and abuse to one of love and security. In 2014, Marah accepted Christ as her Savior and tells everyone she meets! She is learning computer skills and sewing, and teaches sewing to other girls. She even serves as the leader in conflict resolution to the other girls in the program.

We wish you a Happy International Women's Day! Don't forget to share on social media using #InternationalWomensDay

Jen Hatmaker Quote - International Women's Day 2016