GFA-supported workers distribute income-generating resources as part of extensive International Women's Day ministry effort
WILLS POINT, Texas, March 27, 2017 /Christian Newswire
/ -- Outcast and overlooked women once reduced to holding their hands out to beg are now using them to generate their own income in Asia, after being given sewing machines through a major ministry effort by GFA (Gospel for Asia)-supported workers.
Photo: GFA's International Women's Day gift of sewing machines is helping women who would otherwise have limited means of providing for themselves and their families become self-sufficient. High resolution version of photo available.
Scores of machines were distributed as part of an extensive GFA-supported program to mark International Women's Day (IWD). Food, clothing and other supplies were also given away as teams visited hospitals, villages and slum communities to share the love of Jesus through acts of kindness and compassion.
The empowering distribution was organized to coincide with the global event celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and calling for gender parity. The IWD focus provided an opportunity to demonstrate God's love for women in countries where many, especially the elderly and widows, are left destitute because of their lack of opportunities and resources.
"Just as Jesus made a point of affirming women and meeting them at their point of need, we wanted them to know that they have not been forgotten," said K.P. Yohannan, GFA founder and director. "Our hope is that they will recognize their unique value and worth in God's sight."
More than 100 sewing machines were presented to recipients in one community, where local women receive tailoring training from GFA-supported workers to help make them self-sufficient. A community official praised the economic support and other programs "that help to uplift the women in society."
One of the women who was given a sewing machine at another event told how grateful she was: "My husband was unable to purchase one for me," she said. "Now I will stitch clothes for others and support my husband financially to meet our needs. This gift will help us earn our livelihood."
Other income-generating resources given out included mason and carpentry tools and bicycle repair equipment.
The IWD program helped alleviate immediate needs, as well as providing for the future. More than 500 people were given mosquito nets at another event to keep them from getting malaria or dengue fever.
"I could not afford to buy nets for my children," said one mother. "I am so thankful for and excited by this gift."
At other events, people received blankets, food packages, personal hygiene supplies, saris and water filters.
One team taking part in the IWD ministry effort visited a leprosy colony, providing food for families there and also giving some to those living in nearby slum areas.
The ministry efforts also gave participants the opportunity to tell people about ongoing services to and for women that are supported by GFA. Among them are literacy classes, health care education programs and support services for widows.
"No one is forsaken in God's sight," said Yohannan. "We hope that by offering help and support -- especially to some of the most marginalized, who are often women -- we can demonstrate God's great love for each and every person. He sees and longs to make himself known to everyone -- man, woman and child."
GFA (Gospel for Asia) has -- for more than 30 years -- provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 75,000 sponsored children, free medical services for more than 180,000 people, 6,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 400,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.