Our life is full of wonderful people that we have the chance to encourage and walk alongside. In line with our vision and goals, we are privileged to walk together through this hard and happy life.
This looks like bringing a pregnant friend to the hospital when she can't afford the taxi fare or making chicken soup for a sick pastor's wife and sitting on the bed with her for a nice germ-ridden chat. When we sit in these moments (or hours in the hospital!) together we gain trust and insight. From this place of trust and insight we are able to encourage, challenge and be a part of lasting change. Let us tell you a story --
One of Tina's friends is finishing her high school degree and has a wonderful dream of opening a sewing shop for personal provision but also utilizing the space to teaching other moms and young women to sew. A group of women from the Rock supported her education for a year and we continue to support this with our personal ministry funds. It's a joy to watch!
However, she often lacks money to purchase the material required for her sewing projects. At times we help her with this need as well but we've been praying for a better way. Just recently Tina ordered a chair from an upholstery shop and noticed remnant material lying around and asked the shop owner if she'd "sell it cheap for a good cause" and explained about our friend who was often in need. The shop owner urged us to come back together and offered to sell the remnant.
In great excitement Tina and her friend returned together hoping for a good deal. Our socks were completely blown off when the shop owner gave away (FOR FREE!!) a large bag of remnants and encouraged our friend to return whenever she had a need.
This need, of a young tribal woman, is now being met by a fellow Ecuadorian. Tina was honored to facilitate this connection. Engaging locals to view the need in their own backyard and do something about it can be challenging -- wherever you are -- but especially here where many are struggling to make ends meet for themselves. This little story gives our hearts a lift knowing we aren't the middle man and God is working on the ground here in the hearts of many! This is sustainable empowerment.