Today was our first day of instruction. All of the women came in with pen and paper in hand and ready to learn. We went over their kits and how to use all of their tools. I know I shouldn’t, but I already have my favorites!
At the last minute, we a few of the women only want to learn how to do manicures and pedicures. What’s the first rule in missions? Be flexible! Now, we have two separate classes. In the first we will be teaching hair cutting, styling and make up. In the second class we will be teaching manicures, pedicures, and eyebrow shaping.
I gave the introduction in the manicuring class. It’s a small class and we wanted to get to know each of them. We ask them why they wanted to be involved and take the class and what are their hope and dreams for their future. That’s a question that these girls don’t get asked very often. Women in this community, as well as most impoverished communities around the world, are not offered the opportunities that men do or even women in middle and upper class societies. These women don’t have big dreams because in most cases they don’t have hope.
Nevertheless we asked them want they wanted out of this training and what they want for their lives. None of them wanted money, or big house, or a car, or security, or even the have a better education. They all said they want their children to safe and to grow up to be good people. They didn’t want anything for themselves.
One woman in the manicuring class came with her nails painted and her hair done. She was very shy, but eager to learn. She has 4 children and has lived in the favela her whole life. She is illiterate and has no desire to learn to read or write. She only wants to show to the example of a good work ethic to her kids.
Providing hope for a community, specifically the women of a community, where drugs and sex are so blatant and expected of them is going to be a huge task. Trying to change ones mindset from being nothing unless you prostitute yourself to being empowered to choose to leave that lifestyle will not happen over the next 2 months. It all starts with planting a seed, praying over it, and seeing what happens.
Meet the incredible women who we have the honor of educating. You can just see the hope in their eyes….
Oh…… I got 2 of my 3 suitcases yesterday. 1 more to go!!!