One day, a notice circulated from the local GFA workers: They were opening a tailoring course for women seeking to improve their economic standards. Leena felt the familiar drum of hope beating in her heart at the news. Again, the world of dreams took shape in Leena’s mind. The possibilities of a new life for her family were potentially within grasp. All she needed was to learn the skills that would help improve the quality of life for her children.
According to The World Bank, “One third of the working age population in low- and middle-income countries lack the basic skills required to get quality jobs, leaving them unable to achieve their full productive potential and limiting economic investment and growth.”5
Leena, ready to achieve her full productive potential, went to visit the GFA workers offering the tailoring course, eager to discover if she would finally be able to learn how to sew.
Once again she found herself in the familiar position of asking if she could learn how to sew.
Of course, came the reply she longed to hear. Perhaps Leena tempered her emotions, thinking back to the last time she went chasing after her dreams.
How much would the classes cost?
They were free.
Free! It wouldn’t cost Leena’s family a penny. The mother smiled. Hope soared.
Acquiring Skills to Overcome Poverty
Soon Leena was spending two hours every day learning the basic skills of sewing.
She took turns practicing how to thread a needle and hem straight lines on the manual sewing machines with the other women who had enrolled in the class, perhaps with hopes and dreams similar to Leena’s of one day being able to better care for their families.
As the course went on, Leena learned how to measure and cut fabric to create different articles of clothing. She even learned how to measure clients, preparing her to one day own her own business.
With every skill Leena mastered, she grew more and more confident of fulfilling her dreams. After six months, Leena stared at a certificate bearing her name, declaring her achievement in becoming a tailor. Leena had done it. She was equipped with the knowledge and skills she needed to get her family out of poverty; now she needed to use them.
Last Piece of Her Dream
Leena walked to different tailoring shops, asking at each one if they could use some help. They gave her blouses to hem and mend, earning her a few cents for each one she completed.
How nice it would be, Leena thought one day, if I had my own sewing machine. Then I could earn more and truly meet my children’s needs.
Maybe deep in Leena’s heart she said a silent prayer for a sewing machine to the God she had learned about through the tailoring class. The God who loved her and had created her knew the desire in her heart to take care of her family—it was the same as His—and He wanted to surprise her.
One day Leena received notice that there would be a gift distribution at Naomi’s Bridge of Hope centre, and she was asked to attend. There, the final piece to Leena’s dream came true: She received a sewing machine.
“I thank … the leaders [of this ministry] for this wonderful help,” Leena said. “I hope that [it] … wipes the tears of many needy people.”
Now Leena has a new hope for her family, especially for her children’s future.
Fulfill Someone’s Dream
The gift of a sewing machine—and the skills to use that gift—made a world of difference in Leena’s life. She knew the way out of poverty but was only able to pursue that path when others came alongside her to help.
There are many other parents like Leena who are looking for a way out of poverty. They see their children’s suffering and want to provide a better life for them—if only they could.