By Natalie Sarrett
If you grew up in church, you remember the song so many Sunday schools started with: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”
Believers everywhere have an important decision to make: are we going to let His light shine through us? An issue that many faith-based communities are facing is how to reach out to others, help curb the crisis and also follow government regulations about isolation and social distancing.
One Send Relief partner in East Africa is helping her local community by hiring tailors to make face masks—not only giving these men and women the work that they need to keep their businesses running, but also creating more preventative measures to help slow the spread of the virus.
Having lived in East Africa since 1997, our partner shared, “I know what [Africa’s] health system is like. I know how close they live to one another. I know how they live day-to-day and struggle to have food to feed their families. But most of all, I know how much they need Jesus. We could give out all these items, but if we don’t share about the love of Christ, it is all done in vain. I want to not only meet the physical needs of people but also the spiritual needs.“
One of the tailors hired through this project is a local church member who was looking for ways to raise extra money to send her daughter to university. She was thrilled at this business opportunity and made over 125 masks in just three days! She has continued to make high-quality masks in the weeks since being commissioned and, through this new venture, she has provided food for her family, bought more material for sewing projects and saved money for her daughter’s college fund.
Another tailor involved in the distribution messaged our partner, saying, “I have been able to earn a living, take part in saving lives and acquire skills that I didn’t have before. It has boosted the popularity of my business and kept me busy.”
And the testimonies of hope didn’t stop there.
After printing dozens of hygiene and hand-washing brochures, our partner distributed bars of soap along with these pamphlets to those who were most at-risk of contracting the coronavirus: children, the elderly, the sick, addicts, and those who work in service industries like vegetable peddlers and taxi drivers. She also donated the leftover supplies to a small hospital struggling to manage the pandemic.
At one handwashing station she established, a young teenager approached our partner after a training and told her, “I like the way you are. You are so giving, and I want to be like that too.” This small comment provided the perfect opportunity for her to share the Good News of Jesus with this young girl.
Your generosity made this possible. We could not help with what our hearts have been burdened for without your support.
Luke 8:16 says, “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.”
Thank you for being the light.