Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

12/20 - Sometimes empowerment means tie-dye

There are seasons in our lives when we need to be granted the opportunity excel. Whether this is in our personal relationships or in our vocational duties, we need a chance to prove that we are capable of accomplishing something important on our own. At Forgotten Voices we speak frequently of empowerment. While this term has come to mean many things to many people, we simply define it as the process of providing someone an opportunity to excel - a chance to demonstrate their innate value as a child of God and as being created in the image of the Invisible.

Empowerment comes in many forms. One such form of empowerment recently championed by Forgotten Voices is providing south Africans with the opportunity to begin their own, local income generating businesses. Partnering with CURE International in Zambia, Forgotten Voices is enabling twenty women to receive training and supplies to begin their own cloth tie-dying business, a popular and profitable local trade. These woman have traveled from all over Zambia, bringing their children to receive orthopedic treatment and care at the CURE hospital. Often, the mothers will stay at the hospital for several days or weeks while their children receive expert medical attention. Recently, one of the directors at this hospital expressed a need on behalf of these patiently waiting mothers. Many of these women had communicated a desire to learn an appropriate skill or trade during their stay which they could use to generate income and provide for their families upon their return home. With God's help and the generous support of donors, Forgotten Voices has started a program to train these mothers in the business of tie-dying by providing them with the necessary funds to purchase the initial materials. As the woman's expertise and business began to generate an income beyond that which is consumed by her family, the original funds are returned to the hospital and the money is provided to yet another woman so she too can begin a similar business.

The underlying premise of this exciting initiative is that, in order to emerge from poverty and remove themselves from the oppression of usurers and exploitive middlemen, the poor in southern Africa need access to small amounts of funding, without which they cannot be expected to launch their own enterprises, however small these may be. This empowers these amazing, driven people to purchase their own tools, equipment, or other necessary means of production and embark on income-generating ventures which will allow them to escape cyclical poverty. In a real sense, this concept was conceived to meet a local need in Zambia and act as a mechanism for others to realize their God given potential for productivity and experience the divine blessing which results as a consequence of gainful, liberating labor.

I am extremely proud of the way God's people have responded in this Advent season by giving to the work of Forgotten Voices. I find it truly amazing that we can so significantly empower one another when we share our resources. For the many who have already given, I thank you. Together, God is magnifying the impact of your gift - no matter how small. Please consider empowering a Zambian mother this Christmas with a gift to Forgotten Voices. This will truly be a gift that continues to give all year long.

Please click here to give.

Good work and blessings,


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