This press and mold were purchased by Javier with the business loan he received from For the Love of Missions. Previously each piece of leather was meticulously cut out by hand. Just this simple change from hand cutting to machine pressing has added much time to Javier’s day. This extra time can be used to experiment with new designs and products and explore new customers.
Check out this video to see how Javier uses the new equipment.
The mindset of scarcity is prevalent in our world today, but it was around back when Jesus was alive as well. He tries to teach his disciples, and us by extension, the mindset of abundance. This blog by Richard Rohr helps dig into this a little more. https://cac.org/scarcity-or-abundance-2016-01-29/
The families in the mentoring program enjoy the fun outings they take with their families to places outside the garbage dump community as a part of this program, but they also engage and enjoy the Saturday activities with guest speakers. This week the guest speaker talked to the families about the importance of nutrition.
The families are interested in the topics and look forward to implementing what they learn. If knowledge is power, according to the common expression, these families are gaining strength and dignity as the learn how to create positive change in their lives.
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Sometimes it is human nature to judge the ability or creative capacity of someone based on the environment around them. For these boys growing up in the Guatemala City garbage dump community, many fellow Guatemalans have discounted their potential.
How often do we do the same thing? Think about missions and outreaches in your circle of influence. Do they discount the creative potential of the people they are serving by making assumptions about their potential. One of the ways many ministries discount the potential of the people they serve is by assuming they know what is best for them or what is needed to change their circumstance and creating a program to do that to or for the people needing assistance.
For the Love of Missions believes that all people are created in the image of a creative God who has created each individual with enormous potential. One of the ways For the Love of Missions tries to live out this belief is by empowering those we serve to take an active role in changing their circumstances. This means, often, we have to silence our own assumptions of what we think would be best for someone else, and listen to how God has already equipped and prepared them for growth.
In just three months, the community of Popabaj is changing. While the physical conditions have not changed, the relationships between mothers and children, between women, and the dignity of each woman has grown. This brings to life the idea that all poverty is not material poverty, and that poverty alleviation can look like many different things.
Rosita and social worker, Ana, go to Popabaj each week (on Thursday) to work with the women and children. The women work together to make different aspects of a meal, rotating each week in order to learn different skills. They are learning to garden more effectively in order to provide nutritious food for their families. The mothers are learning how to interact and care for their children physically and emotionally. This new interaction with the children is already bearing much fruit as the children are happier and healthier. The community has started calling the program “Thursdays of Love.”
We are still in the beginning stages of working with this community, but God is making exciting connections and opening doors. In His timing, we will continue to see much poverty alleviation (both material and non-material). Join us in praying for Rosita, Ana, Edgar and Lia as they follow God’s direction for Popabaj.
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