22nd July 2019
Hope didn’t need to join the Ladies of Hope savings group in Nabuti, Uganda. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music and early childhood education, and her husband is a successful lawyer and a worship leader at their church. But when Hope learned about the savings group started by Samaritan’s Purse to help women in poverty better provide for their families, she jumped at the chance to serve.
“Samaritan’s Purse stimulated a gift within me,” Hope said. “They boosted my calling and helped me see what I could do.”
Ladies of Hope, part of the Keeping Families Together ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, is comprised of 100 women, many of whom travel long distances to meet at Deliverance Church each Friday.
During the ministry’s first year, the women saved a substantial amount of money. Out of these savings, some of the women started small businesses and from the profits were able to help their families. One mother bought a piece of land and built a house for her five children. Another woman installed her home’s first toilet, after using her neighbour’s facility for years.
Next, the women decided to work together on a group project — shoe-making. They learned how to use rubber and hand-woven straps to make colourful sandals.
But during the early months of the shoe project, Hope suffered a painful miscarriage. She spent a month at her home, mourning the loss of her child. But when she heard the joyful laughter of the women’s group meeting, she knew it was time to return.
“The women gave me a reason to get out of bed,” Hope said.
While Hope was away, the shoe-making business stalled. But Hope motivated the women to restart their work and to also reach out to others.
“We saw how [shoe-making] is helping us, so we wanted to help other women,” Hope said. Now, Ladies of Hope sends their members to other savings groups to teach them how to make shoes.
Hope saw another need, too. Many of the women’s children were unable to get a quality education, so as director of the nursery school that is connected to Deliverance Church she worked with the school leaders to reduce fees so more children could attend.
“Now their babies are getting a strong foundation,” Hope said. “This breaks the cycle of poverty. Every Friday, we teach the Bible to the children and they learn how to pray. The children preach Christ to their families.”
The children preach Christ to their families.
Although Ladies of Hope focuses much of its attention on finances, Hope believes that the biggest transformation among participants has been a spiritual one.
“When the group started, the women feared to enter the church,” Hope said. “They felt like they did not deserve to come.”
The women believed the church was for rich people and that they did not belong. But the church members warmly welcomed the women, and the women’s ministry leaders invited them to join their events. At one group meeting, 38 of the Ladies of Hope women accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
“The divide between rich and poor was torn down at our church,” Hope said.
Please pray for the women involved in the Ladies of Hope ministry and for leaders like Hope who faithfully share the Gospel and continue the important work of discipleship.