One of my primary ministries here in Costa Rica is that of teaching crafts to women, many of whom live in the precarios (shanty towns built out of discarded roofing tin, scraps of wood, and cardboard boxes). Not only are many of them extremely poor, some are victims of past or continuing domestic violence.
The purpose of my ministry is not just the simple act of teaching a craft. It is much more important than that. The purpose is to help them regain self-respect and to learn that they are important; someone does care about them and their plight. The meetings bring them together with other women where they learn that they are not alone. During those meetings we work together on a craft (such as quilting, crocheting, embroidering, painting, cross-stitch, etc), have a Bible study, a time of prayer, and fellowship with one another. They experience the joy of friendship and discover that they are talented, valuable, precious, and that God loves them.
Originally I was working with 4 different groups. One of those now has its own leader and meets independently although I still help with supplies as God provides. Two of the remaining three groups have combined into one group, the group I am personally working with. The fourth group was disbanded due to lack of a place to hold the meeting. As the number of women participating has grown, so has the need for supplies and funds.
Recently I took part in a bloggy giveaway and gave away an apron made by the women. The response was incredible and many asked if I had aprons, etc., to sale. One dear lady told me I should check into an etsy account where the women’s crafts could be sold. I have been in the process of doing just that and hope to have the etsy site up and running by the second week of May.
In the meantime, I wanted to share pics of some of the items the women have made. I hope you enjoy looking at them and please, feel free to leave comments. The comments will be a special blessing of encouragment to these precious women.