Hope’s Story: Spreading the Gospel through Business Training

July 18, 2019 • Uganda
Hope is excited about the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ while teaching other women how to support themselves through microbusiness.
Hope is excited about the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ while teaching other women how to support themselves through microbusiness.

Ladies of Hope, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, is helping women in Uganda escape poverty by teaching basic business principles and skills while also sharing with them the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Hope didn’t need to join the Ladies of Hope savings group in Nabuti, Uganda. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music and early childhood education, and her husband is a successful lawyer and a worship leader at their church. But when Hope learned about the savings group started by Samaritan’s Purse to help women in poverty better provide for their families, she jumped at the chance to serve.

“Samaritan’s Purse stimulated a gift within me,” Hope said. “They boosted my calling and helped me see what I could do.”

Ladies of Hope, part of the Keeping Families Together ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, is comprised of 100 women, many of whom travel long distances to meet at Deliverance Church each Friday.

Microbusinesses Take Off

During the ministry’s first year, the women saved a substantial amount of money. Out of these savings, some of the women started small businesses and from the profits were able to help their families. One mother bought a piece of land and built a house for her five children. Another woman installed her home’s first toilet, after using her neighbor’s facility for years.

Sandals like these are just a few of the items women are learning to make as they seek to grow their businesses and support their families.

Women are learning to make sandals like these as they seek to grow their businesses and support their families.

Next, the women decided to work together on a group project—shoemaking. They learned how to use rubber and hand-woven straps to make colorful sandals.

But during the early months of the shoe project, Hope suffered a painful miscarriage. She spent a month at her home, mourning the loss of her child. But when she heard the joyful laughter of the women’s group meeting, she knew it was time to return.

“The women gave me a reason to get out of bed,” Hope said.

While Hope was away, the shoemaking business stalled. But Hope motivated the women to restart their work and to also reach out to others.

“We saw how [shoemaking] is helping us, so we wanted to help other women,” Hope said. Now, Ladies of Hope sends their members to other savings groups to teach them how to make shoes.

The Gift of Education

Hope saw another need, too. Many of the women’s children were unable to get a quality education, so as director of the nursery school that is connected to Deliverance Church she worked with the school leaders to reduce fees so more children could attend.

“Now their babies are getting a strong foundation,” Hope said. “This breaks the cycle of poverty. Every Friday, we teach the Bible to the children and they learn how to pray. The children preach Christ to their families.”

“The children preach Christ to their families.”

Spiritual Transformation

Although Ladies of Hope focuses much of its attention on finances, Hope believes that the biggest transformation among participants has been a spiritual one.

“When the group started, the women feared to enter the church,” Hope said. “They felt like they did not deserve to come.”

The women believed the church was for rich people and that they did not belong. But the church members warmly welcomed the women, and the women’s ministry leaders invited them to join their events. At one group meeting, 38 of the Ladies of Hope women accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

“The divide between rich and poor was torn down at our church,” Hope said.

Please pray for the women involved in the Ladies of Hope ministry and for leaders like Hope who faithfully share the Gospel and continue the important work of discipleship.

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Uganda Projects Samaritan’s Purse has been active across Uganda since the late 1990s and is currently working to meet the needs of these refugees by helping to provide food, water, latrines and other hygiene items, and temporary shelter. Whether drilling wells, empowering women to start a business, distributing food to refugees, spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS, or providing livestock to impoverished families, our aim is to demonstrate the love of God to individuals and communities in great need.

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