My eyes were opened to poverty on a level I would have never imagined. Over the past three years, I have had the privilege of visiting a city dump where women and children dig through trash to try and salvage something they can sell. This past December, I visited a fishing village where, if they don’t catch any fish, the family doesn’t eat. The greatest challenge I see for this country is that many women have no way to be educated and then to work to support their families.
Most of us have never had the challenge of finding our next meal, living in plastic homes with dirt floors, no running water, no electricity or being forced to sell our bodies to feed our children. Two out of three (68%) struggle to survive on little more than $1.00 per day. We can’t imagine what that would feel like.
On my second trip to Nicaragua two years ago, the Lord began to put a tremendous burden on my heart for these people. When I returned to Greenwood, the tears flowed for days. Through many confirmations, it became evident I was to come back and share with the Board of A Place for Us Ministries (APFUM) and our community the needs of the women and children in Nicaragua.
After this last trip in December 2014, the APFUM Board of Directors has agreed to set-up a beauty training facility that will teach hair, makeup, nails, jewelry making, sewing (sewing machines donated there and are ready to use) (fair market trade), biblical studies, budgeting, parenting, and how to run a small business — creating a better life for the entire family.
A Place for Us Ministries, International exists to infuse the Good News where we operate. We want to be a restorer of hope and justice, to help fight extreme poverty, and to combat global sexual slavery and exploitation by teaching women skills necessary to create income in the beauty field. This training will allow young women to leave behind lives of prostitution, abuse and extreme poverty. The social and economic impact will become absolutely life changing as each student develops a new set of skills, as well as the sense of dignity and self respect that will add tremendous value to their surrounding communities.
On a ‘really good’ Nicaraguan salary of $8.00 USD per day, it will not take many beauty customers to help these ladies feed their families. Some of our graduates may receive a chicken or a fish for a haircut or beauty treatment — while others may travel on a bus to a nearby town to a salon. Either way, it has been predicted that providing hope through education of one woman in this culture can impact up to 25 family members. Wow!
. . . in Santa Teresa, Nicaragua, where most live on less than $2.00 per day due to limited education and job opportunities.
The purpose of Papa’s House is to host teams for sports camps, medical missions, teen ministry, and other missions activities. It also will have a training center to teach men and women trades and skills, and it will contain a preschool to teach English using the Bible. Papa’s House will be a place of outreach for prayer, movie nights, and encouragement to the locals in nearby villages.