Livelihoods Project Helps Widow Start a Successful Business

February 8, 2018 • Philippines
Rachel Saballa, left, with fellow graduates of a Samaritan's Purse livelihoods program in the Philippines.
Desiree Carlson recently served as a Samaritan’s Purse intern in the Philippines.

“When my husband died, I didn’t know how I was going to raise my two kids without him. The Samaritan’s Purse livelihoods program taught me a way to support my family,” said Rachel Saballa.

Rachel is 36 years old and lives in the Philippines. In 2013, her husband died of a heart attack. Rachel did not have many friends or family members to help her in Manila.

Rachel began work in a factory processing inventory, yet her salary was significantly below minimum wage. She worried about making enough money to provide for her children. The only time she felt comforted was when she prayed.

In April 2017, a Samaritan’s Purse ministry partner, Annaliza Bernal, visited Rachel’s home. Annaliza explained that the Samaritan’s Purse livelihoods project taught people how to plan/design, start, and run a business. When Rachel first heard about the program she was not interested, as she thought she was too old to learn a new trade.

Rachel was accepted into the program and started attending the trainings. She felt empowered because our staff treated her with kindness and she experienced camarederie among the teachers and students.

Rachel also attended her first Bible study during the project, led by Annaliza. Through the Bible study and the witness of Annaliza, Rachel prayed to receive Jesus Christ as her Savior.

Rachel graduated and opened a business as a rice cake vendor using what she learned during the program. Starting a business was a lot of work, but Rachel became a successful business woman and a leader in the program.

“If God isn’t with me, I will not accomplish anything in my business,” Rachel said.

Her business is so successful that she told me she might need to hire additional help. I can see why her business is thriving: The rice cake she offered me was delicious.

Rachel said she is excited about continuing to expand her business. She also plans to continue attending the Bible study led by Annaliza.

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Philippines gardening
Philippines Projects Samaritan's Purse is working to improve the quality of life for impoverished families in both rural and urban areas of the Philippines. We are training women and expectant mothers on best feeding practices for infants and young children. Our teams are providing clean water, latrines, and hygiene education. We’re also supporting families through livelihood projects such as community gardening and pig raising, as well as vocational skills and microenterprise training. Most importantly, our staff are sharing the Gospel. We partner with local churches to offer evangelism and discipleship courses so that they can reach their communities with the hope of Jesus Christ.

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