Who is ready for a Dignity Project Update?! Me! Me!
In January we were invited by our Assistant Bishop Reverend Martin to do training at his church. The ladies had been using our products for a few months and were eager for us to teach them how to make the reusable pads.
Here we are with Rev. Martin, his wife and 4 of his 6 children. Just minutes before this photo was taken I (Jade) was asked to name their newborn son. What an honor! I named him Caleb which means 'whole hearted'. I pray he serves Jesus with his whole heart all the days of his life.
My good friend Caroline (the woman on the far right) and I had a great day training these ladies! Caroline has been such a blessing to me. She helps me shop for sewing materials, speaks fluent Luganda (which makes the trainings a breeze!) and is a pro at sewing!
Here are the ladies shouting in praise over their new sewing machine!
I was so impressed with this group of women. Some of them had never used scissors before...let that sink in for a minute. They went from never using scissors to making a completed pad! Awesome!
The 2.5 hour drive home from the training was made a whole lot better since I got to sit next to this hunk.... :)
In February my good friend Andrea came to visit us. During her time here we traveled 7 hours away to a city called Kasese for a Dignity Project training. We were invited to come by fellow WGM missionary Meg Rambo and a group called Chalapi Uganda. Chalapi aims 'to see a better living environment and dignity for prisoners, ex-prisoners and the underprivileged population'. How perfect of a fit are we?!?!
Friday evening we trained 10 people from Chalapi how to make the reusable sanitary pads so that they could teach inmates how to make them as well as women rehabilitated from prison.
It was such an honor getting to know this amazing group of people! Their hearts are definitely burdened for this cause! During our time together one of the Chalapi ladies said to me, "We are the only friends of many of these inmates. We are the only ones who visit them". The next day I saw evidence of that statement being true as we visited the prison together in Kasese.
[No photos were allowed to be taken inside the prison]
The vast majority of prisoners here don't have access to things like snacks, extra undergarments, books, toiletries and feminine hygiene products. Women go through truly unimaginable circumstance on their monthly cycle; using things like dirt and scrap cloth to get them by. I could hardly even type that sentence I just wrote...it is just unbelievable.
Our intentions were to train the 16 female inmates how to make the reusable pads. But God had something else in mind! The Holy Spirit took charge from the minute we walked into the prison. I am in my 'grace zone' when I am loving on women. I could not get to the inmates fast enough! We gathered together under shade frees and sat on woven grass mats together. We gave each woman 2 packages of resuable pads, new undergarments and a hand stitched cross. I wish I could adequately describe to you what these items meant to them. The huge smiles. The deep sighs of relief. The tears freely flowing. It is so incredibly humbling to see a woman's dignity restored. For several of them, it was the first pair of new undergarments they had received since they were arrested.
After giving the ladies their Dignity Kits and Bibles, I shared my testimony with the ladies. "There is nothing you can do that God cannot redeem," I spoke out of my personal story. "When we accept Christ as our Savior, He replaces our guilt and shame with a spirit of peace, joy and daughter-ship," I was bold and they responded with cheers. Then by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, one-by-one eleven of the sixteen women stoop up, repented and accepted Christ as their Savior! It was overwhelming.
Our Chalapi friends are now discipling these women! God is so good!
After we visited the prison, Chalapi asked us to train fifty men and women from the community how to make the reusable pads. Meg and Andrea excelled during the training! I love how we each have a part to play in the Body of Christ!
This group of women won 'best completed pad'. They listened to our instructions carefully and took their time making the reusable pad. Ask anyone, I am a strict teacher. I love their laughter and joy here! They were so proud!
During Andrea's visit we also got to spend time with Meg's Bible study women. Josephine (the woman to the far right) is an amazing seamstress and has really taken an interest making the Dignity Kits.
God continues to keep me busy with The Dignity Project. This week I met with a missionary named Anthony who has a program that helps children who suffer from malnutrition. The mothers and caretakers of the children stay at the clinic with their kids for 4-6 weeks. Anthony realized that these women were suffering through their period due to the lack of supplies. He wanted to find a solution and that is how we connected. Now that he is aware on how to make the reusable pads and has the supplies, he is going to train a woman in his community how to make them. That woman will then train the ladies who come to the clinic while they stay with their children. So cool, right?! In the weeks to come I have been invited to teach and distribute Dignity Kits to women in a local mental hospital. Please pray for me as I serve these precious women.
We love you and appreciate your partnership!