Community makes an enormous difference in believers’ lives, and one young mother is growing into a new life with the help of her church.
When the World Challenge team first met her, Grace was a shy and timid believer. She described herself as a typical housewife who was only concerned about her own household and had very little to do with her community.
She preferred to stay home and do her daily chores rather than go out and talk with her neighbors or, worse yet, strangers.
When a Stranger Became a Friend
Grace, like many others in the Philippines, moved from her rural province to the big city in search of a better life.
She and her husband set up their home with their 9 year old son and 5 year old daughter. While her husband was at his job, she cared for the children, cooked meals for the family, kept the house clean, took her son to school and helped him with homework.
Although this was all very good work, it kept Grace largely isolated from her neighbors and community. Her home had become her comfort zone, and she rarely ever left it.
One day, she decided to enroll her son in one of the local church’s programs for kids. The program was run by Nanay Lucy, who took note of this new mother who was so quiet but devoted to her children. She approached Grace and asked if it was okay to visit her house and teach her about some practical ways that following God and biblical living could improve her life.
Grace agreed, and the team began to visit, going over health and micro-business lessons. Eventually, Nanay invited Grace to a volunteer’s training. Grace faithfully showed up to every class, unless there was a conflict with one of the children’s school programs.
Her reliability and diligence at her work was noted by more than one member of the team, and they decided to ask her if she would be willing to become a community committee member.
Unfolding Into New Life
Grace was finding that she enjoyed the work, the new friends she was making and the satisfaction of seeing life improve for her own family and others.
When the team approached Grace, she agreed to join the committee and volunteered to be the secretary. She took minutes for each committee meeting and began going on home visits to neighbors with Nanay. While Nanay explained the lesson, Grace helped give a practical demonstration of what her partner was teaching.
These days, she is excited to share how the health lessons have helped her son who suffers from asthma. The agriculture lessons have allowed her to successfully plant a garden by her home, something she’d thought she wouldn’t be able to do when they first moved to their house. Nanay and the others have noticed how these opportunities to share the lessons she’s learned with others have helped her gain confidence.
“CDE [the team] has helped me grow in faith and to get out of my comfort zone into the open.” Grace shared, joy lighting up her face.
As she continues to work in her church and community, her relationship with God and friendships with others have unfolded like the petals of a flower.