Santidougou Widows’ Center

This week we learned how an Alliance Women’s group started in one of our districts. Many years ago, a Santidougou pastor was invited to speak at a district women’s conference in a neighboring country. Moved by the experience, he returned home determined to begin holding an annual conference for the women in his district. His wife, Elizabeth, caught the vision and helped to organize the conference. She was then elected the first District Alliance Women’s president.

More than forty years later, the Santidougou District is still holding an annual Alliance Women’s Conference. They have also formed cell groups in each local church that organize prayer chains and meet weekly for Bible study. They have opened a girls’ trade school that serves about seventy-five young women who have not had the opportunity of formal schooling. Now annual conferences include those for pastors’ wives and teen-age girls.

A few years ago, the Santidougou women leaders shared with me their vision for a widows’ center. They wanted a place where widows could gather for prayer, offer training in practical skills, and provide storage for project materials. The Santidougou Alliance Women took up a collection that got the project started. Then the U.S. Alliance Women and other friends contributed generously, so that they now have this beautiful building, named after Elizabeth, their first president. We give thanks to the Lord Jesus and also to you who have supported us.

We love a history that involves many different people working together to accomplish something great. The Apostle John encourages us to “work together for the truth” (3 John 1:8). It is our privilege to be your sent ones in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus and in collaborating with other believers in caring for widows.

 

Pray for the Elizabeth Widows’ Center as projects are organized and the facility is put to use. Pray for a small business training that is taking place this month for widows.

Watch the video.

West Africa: Not Belonging

Before Ami* was born, her family moved to a neighboring country where Her father had found work. She attended primary school, but her father died when she was 10. This left Ami’s mother with no means of feeding her children and enrolling them in school. Then Ami lost her hearing.

Ami’s mother returned to their hometown in hopes that family would help provide for her children. They moved into a crowded courtyard in the city. Ami’s siblings were quickly placed in school and eventually invited by relatives to live with them. Ami was left alone in the courtyard, watching other girls her age attend school and feeling like she didn’t belong.

One day while going to the market, Ami, now 15, noticed some girls at a sewing school who were communicating with their hands. She went inside and watched the girls sewing. She started to pick up hand gestures, but what she really wanted was to pick up the needle and thread! She longed to be a part of their group and learn to sew.

Ami’s desire became a reality when a member of our Alliance team— which had started the school—noticed her. After she communicated her desire to learn how to sew, we visited her family. They were thrilled when we offered to provide a scholarship for Ami at our sewing school. We also hired a tutor so she could learn sign language.

Ami is a young woman with unique vulnerabilities because she was unable to receive an education and is also deaf. Our prayer is that by interacting with Christian teachers and learning to communicate, Ami will one day make the decision to follow Christ and it will be written on her hand, “belonging to the Lord.”

Please pray for vulnerable young women in West Africa. Pray also for funds to build a learning center in “M” village that will provide training in practical skills, general education in reading and writing, and spiritual formation to young women.

Alliance Women hopes to raise $36,500 for this learning center. Giving information  can be found at www.alliancewomen.org/give.

Belong project resources, including this story.

 

*Name changed

Weaving a New Story

Mariam* dropped out of her village school because her family lived in poverty. She soon found it was easy to earn money by visiting the young men in her village.

When Mariam became pregnant, her family kicked her out, and she went to live with an older relative in the city. When her relatives found out that Mariam was pregnant, they tried to send her back to her family, but they refused to take her.

Mariam gave birth to a premature baby. Through our team’s hospital ministry, we met Mariam, helped with her medical expenses, and walked her through the heartbreak of her baby’s death. During this time, Mariam accepted Christ as her Savior.

Mariam began attending church and started counseling sessions with a woman there. We also bought her a weaving machine and paid for her lessons. After some negotiating, her family accepted her back into their village. Mariam is now an excellent weaver, and we received word that she is getting married.

We are thankful  for this happy news and pray that God will use us to help other young women in West Africa.

Please pray for the many vulnerable young women in this region. Pray also for funds to build a learning center in “M” village that will provide training in practical skills, general education in reading and writing, and spiritual formation to young women. For more resources on the project visit www.alliancewomen.org/resources.

Alliance Women hopes to raise $36,500 for this learning center. Giving information can be found at www.alliancewomen.org/give.

Download this story. 

*Name changed

Feminine Hygiene Kits

Shared with permission from Becky, an Alliance CAMA worker in West Africa.

Thanks to the Alliance Women, we were able to distribute feminine hygiene kits to the girls at our vocational school.

I got such a kick out of all the giggles when I was explaining how to use them!

I am so thankful for the phenomenal leadership of our partner, Marthe! Her love for Jesus and these girls is so evident!

 

You can participate in this Hands-On Project. Download the instructions.