July 19, 2012

Worlds Apart . . . part 4

Monday and Tuesday were by all definition of the word . . . intense.

I will have to describe these days in several posts I'm sure.

We worked with House of Hope these days - here is a brief overview of the ministry:
In 2001, after speaking to a group of prostitutes, God began to birth a vision to help those women. The Holy Spirit confirmed the need to open a vocational center for the women and to provide them with a means to make a living and establish them in the Lord. Since that initial encounter the Lord has provided us with the land and we have built structures for job training, and housing for young girls and women with children.

Now, after almost ten years of evangelistic outreach to prostitutes in Managua many
women have come to know Christ and a valiant group has made a stand to stop working the streets and attempt to support their families by various means, such as peddling candy and trinkets or doing laundry and ironing.
source: http://houseofhopenicaragua.com/

We traveled down a bumpy dirt road to meet the gates of House of Hope. Once we arrived, we had a tour of the campus.
 The ministry provides vocational training for the women to make and sell jewelery, cards, potato bags, ornaments, etc. They provide housing for some of the women, and have dorms for the children. They help the women and girls get access to better school and obtain uniforms. They have a micro grant program that helps the women start their own business - for example, there is a lady who now sells firewood, and other women who sell drinks. They told us that when a child has a school uniform, they are safer - people know that someone cares about that child, and if they were to go missing, someone would go looking for them.

All of the construction at House of Hope has been from short-term mission trips, they also have medical teams that come down periodically.

The housing is very modest here - but the women take pride in it. Our guide, Laura, told us that they will clean the tile floors several times a day.
Tuesdays are big days at House of Hope . . . in the morning is a worship service for the women, and they now have an attendance of over 400. Usually after service is when the women work on their vocational training/projects. April, the founder, along with Oscar (who has an amazing story) evangelize at the brothels . . . and as the ministry has grown, several of the women now evangelize as well.
at service
Women in Nicaragua are not respected the way we are used to in the states. Poverty is so high, education is lacking, and many women do not see any option other than prostitution if they want to provide for their children. House of Hope is so wonderful for so many reasons - and these women are learning how to sell something other than themselves for the first time, due to the vocational training and micro grant programs.

more to come . . .

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