Church members sacrifice; raise funds for micro-businesses
In this material-driven world, our “stuff” can sometimes define who we are. And sometimes, our “stuff” can give a new identity to those who need it.
Last year Heidi Grooms was burdened by God “concerning all the ‘stuff’” the Grooms family had accumulated in their house. Her goal was to sell enough of their stuff to foot the bill for clean water well in a village in South Asia. From this idea “Proceeds from Poverty” was formed.
“We had heard the statistic that each year around 1.5 million children die around the world because of sickness and diseases caused by the lack of clean water,” Rainbow Forest Baptist Church Pastor Jonathan Grooms said. “(My wife) thought in her mind and heart, ‘what can I live without, so that others may live?'. As she shared what God was doing in her heart with her friends and church family, others wanted to join her.”
The couple set out to earn $3,000 to help people in poverty. More than $17,000 was raised.
“There were 5 different causes that people could donate their items towards, one of which was helping people to start micro-businesses,” Jonathan said.
Because of the funds earned during the Poverty for Proceeds event,
Jonathan and a team of eight were able to train 16 women in this South Asian village on how to start a micro-business. They were also able to give the women the tools they needed for the start up.
For Jonathan, one of the most memorable moments during his trip to the village “was to hear the stories of the women that were a part of the micro-business training.”
“One of the ladies shared that her husband was in an accident many years ago and has never been able to work,” he said. “She and one of her sons work in a field all day to try to earn enough income for her family to be able to survive. She came to the sewing training because it gave her hope for a brighter future.”
Hearing the amazing stories from the women was not the only highlight to his trip. “One of the other memories that I vividly recall was the times of worship we had together each night,” Jonathan said. “It was so beautiful to listen to the women sing praises to God in their home language. They prayed with such passion as they cried out to God for the needs of others, as well as their own. We went to South Asia to teach them, but really they taught us. We taught them a skill, but they taught us about worship, love and service.”