In 2016, the Women's Ministry took a trip to Haiti and began working with women who live in brothels in the city of Jeremie, Haiti. We had an opportunity again in May of this year to go again.
I had a passion to help women be free to survive, take care of their family and thrive through the art of learning a new skill. When Lindsay, a Rock Church missionary in Haiti, told me about her work and contacts with the brothel women, I offered to help teach them a new skill. The topic of jewelry came up. We crafted the idea of teaching them how to make paper beads. We researched what it would take to develop this training and then we were off and running.
We taught them jewelry making last year, and incorporated the sessions with scripture and encouragement. Also, we presented that creation is not only of beautiful earrings and bracelets, but it is how God made us. He made us out of raw material, created us his beautiful children, who have a design that only our Maker can appreciate. Teaching God’s love to these women through such a tangible project was inspiring. We ended up having product through the year after we left. Another team brought the product back and we sold it in the Women's Ministry marketplace at Christmas. The hope was that we would sell all of the jewelry that the women made, so this could become a permanent business. The women named it "Deklete", which means unlocked. This was a new chapter for the women at the brothel.
This year we returned to continue teaching and perfecting the jewelry business, but then something else happened that we didn’t expect.
We had the opportunity to actually visit their Cafe or Brothel place of business. The owners allowed us to enter, which has never happened before. They had us go to the top of the brothel and to our surprise, they insisted on all 7 of the women to come visit with us. When we got to the top we saw an unexpected and amazing view. The top of the brothel had a view of Jeremie and the entire surround area. We were able to see much of what we had previously visited and seen as we walked around Jeremie. It was like looking down on a topographical map of the area. God was laying it down before us; all we could do was sing praises and worship with prayer in awe.
The women came and we were told not to bring up the Gospel, but God had His own plans. He had the women ask us about who we were and to tell them more about Jezi (Jesus)! This was such a remarkable time, as we saw a new light in these women that we knew only God could ignite.
Needless to say, we were overwhelmed by His presence and we had three women accept Christ as their Savior. Praise God for all that Lindsey set up and all the life interventions that took in place with the women at the brothel. It was like walking into the throne room where God was helping us reap and plant more seeds.
I have always said we should be doing short-term missions yearly to visit, teach and plant seeds of hope and love to those who need it around the world. We don't visit Jeremie to give handouts, but to give the everlasting gift of His promise and new life! To live in freedom! Unshackled! Deklete! Unlocked!
To receive more information about Global Outreach in Haiti, visit sdrock.com/globaloutreach.
To receive more information about the Women's Ministry, visit sdrock.com/womens.