“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” Psalm 3:3
“Your husband died of AIDS! You are also going to die on us.”
These words from her boss echoed in Grace’s ears as she was being fired. This was the first she’d heard that her husband had died from AIDS, and not tuberculosis, as the doctor had told her. She soon learned that she was HIV positive and her world began to unravel. She started planning a strategy to take her own life, but on the day she decided to end it, she heard a clear, audible voice telling her not to do it. With the sudden realization that her children might have to live in the streets, she determined that day that she would seek to get well and continue with life no matter how hard. Grace knew God, but had turned away from Him. She sought Him now and soon discovered the Tushauriane Women (an HIV-AIDS support group in Nairobi Kenya overseen by Sports Outreach). Through prayer support and relational mentoring Grace grew in her faith, eventually desiring to help strengthen and disciple other women in desperate circumstances. She now devotes time to Sports Outreach’s Girls of Destiny, a group committed to empowering girls aged 8-18 with confidence, knowledge, and skills so that they can offer economic and spiritual leadership in their families and communities. Grace now holds her head high and is training girls in everything from knitting to beadwork.
Enter 17-year-old Martha Masungo, one of Grace’s neighbors. She used to just sit at home taking care of her sister’s daughter. One day, Grace asked Martha to come to the Girls of Destiny training. She was eager to go because she had always wanted to help her family out economically and knew the program would teach her valuable skills. Girls of Destiny has given Martha focus and prevented the idleness that sometimes leads to pregnancy. Seeing her siblings burdened with children out of wedlock has given her motivation to seek another lifestyle, one that with God’s help will bring stability to her family and glory to Him!
Grace’s life has been transformed. She is continuing the cycle of empowering the next generation of women like Martha to lead productive, godly lives in the midst of a culture that is not kind to women. Similar scenarios are being lived out in Gulu and Kampala, Uganda, as well as poor communities in Nuevo Cuscatlán, El Salvador. In these areas, a large part of bolstering the status of women is through vocational training programs that teach the skills needed to provide for themselves and/or their children.
Our vocational school near Christine’s House (Gulu, Uganda) is in its second year, with a current class of 12 students (30 students a term would be ideal). In Nairobi programs are bustling with girls and women; and our handcraft program hosts over 30 children, teenagers, and mothers. NONE of these women’s empowerment programs can properly serve to encourage, train, disciple, and empower women without resources (such as tuition, computers, sewing machines, fabric and accessories, ovens, baking utensils, hairdressing supplies, dryers, and even desks, tables, and chairs). Would YOU consider stepping in with a donation to go toward the operation of one of these life-transforming programs?
During His time on earth, Jesus provided an example of a man who highly esteemed women. Let us do our part, in our own place and time, to reinforce the value of women as well!
The Sports Outreach Ministry Team
Lipscomb Women’s Soccer Team (El Salvador, March 2019)
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INFO@SPORTSOUTREACH.NET | 434-582-4707