Monday was a day for the books. It was one of those days when everything came together at once. As many of you know, I have the privilege of leading the Life Beads Jewelry Ministry at Abaana’s Hope. This program started with seven women and has now grown to empower forty-two women deep in the Ugandan bush.
The Life Bead’s ladies are tough, strong, and eager for a brighter future. Many of the ladies were forced to be child soldiers for the Lord’s Resistance Army, better known as Joseph Kony’s Army. The majority of the ladies never had the opportunity to get a real education simply because they happened to be children during the LRA War. All the women still carry physical and emotional wounds whether they were forced to participate in the war as soldiers or not. If they were not captured, they were forced from their homes to Independent Displacement Placement Camps and their childhood’s were striped away in seconds.
While we may not be able to jump in a time machine and prevent these sweet ladies from enduring unimaginable pain and suffering, we can help them where they are today. And today, God has blessed them with the opportunity to be apart of the Life Beads Ministry. It is our goal as a ministry to first share every week about the one true God who is the only one who can restore them and where they will find their self-worth. And after many months of prayer, we now have a holistic development program to empower them by teaching them basic grammar and mathematics, financial savings, health care, proper hygiene, and Biblical family care.
Each quarter we will be focusing on a different development program. This quarter it is all about grammar with the end result of everyone being able to write their names. When I first began to teach they were all so giddy and excited! They tried to pull their chairs as close as they could get to my small white board so they did not miss anything! Oh’ my goodness the joy as we started with our first four letters was energizing! I now understand why people love teaching! Watching their eyes light up and listening to their giggly voices was contagious! I cannot wait to do this every Monday!
For this program to begin we had to jump a lot of hurdles and let me tell you God showed up! We needed an honest and reliable Ugandan Life Bead’s manager to run the program and free me up from day-to-day jewelry making tasks. He answered that prayer in February of this year. We needed a room big enough for all the ladies to comfortably sit and work in while we hold classes. God just recently answered that prayer and we began working in the room two weeks ago! We needed child care so the ladies would not be distracted during Bible study or development classes. And we needed somewhere to keep the children safe away from all the dangerous jewelry tools (needles, pliers, scissors, paper-cutter, etc.). And He answered that two months ago and we now have a day care program for the children (read here about the day care). So today, I sing major praises on this blog to God! Would you join me and praising God for opening these doors to make the Life Bead’s Ministry even stronger?
Thank you to everyone who has prayed for this program and who has purchased their beautiful paper jewelry! If you would like to purchase your own Life Bead’s Jewelry and directly empower these women through your purchase visit our Etsy site, Life Bead’s Africa. To meet each one of the ladies and pray over them visit this link –>The Women. To find more information about hosting a Life Beads Jewelry Party visit this link –> Get Involved.