New Home, Bright Future

Soraya is one of the very special women in Finding Hope’s Beading Program.

She joined in July 2014 and has been an essential part of our team ever since. Her beads are gorgeous, thoughtfully and painstakingly made, and show so much potential for being some of the best we have!

Today I sat down with Soraya and had a little conversation with her about money and how she has financially benefited from the program.

She started by excitedly telling me about the house she and her husband are building in a small lot across the street from where they are currently living.
Where they live right now is a tiny little shack made out of sticks and tin roofing with a dirt floor. They are squatters, although the term is used a lot more loosely here. She says she hates the feeling of being unsure whether the owner of the land is going to come one day and tell them to leave.

Soraya and her husband Osman have 3 sweet children who come to our Sunday School – Aymar, Astrid, and Osman Jr. Their little family is so important to them and they want to have a place to raise their kids while feeling safe and secure.
The Beading Program is a great fit for Soraya as she can work on her bracelets while taking care of the home, her kids, and the small pulperia (convenience store) they run out of their house.
As she’s received money for her bracelets, Soraya has been putting aside a small amount every payment to put towards the costs of building the new house. Every time her husband brings home his pay and gives her money to buy food and necessities, she buys what she needs and puts another small amount aside towards the house.
It’s hard to explain the rarity of this to people back at home. We’re used to our savings accounts, 401Ks, budgets, and investments. Most people here are living from check to check, using whatever they’ve earned that month to pay back the debts they’ve accumulated while waiting for the money. There’s no real conception of saving, of budgeting your money, or even of making worthwhile investments.

It was so refreshing to talk with Soraya and see her using the money she makes from the bracelets to invest in her and her family’s future. From what she shared with me, it is apparent that she truly appreciates the value of the money she and her husband work so very hard to earn. Soraya makes smart choices and has sound judgment.
Her husband brought up the idea of taking a loan out at the bank to help with the building costs so they could finish the house sooner. This is a trap so many people fall into here, banks and businesses and retailers all offering such low monthly payments you can’t help but believe you’re getting an amazing deal. Then, when you don’t budget your money right, or you lose your job, or you use the money to take your child to the hospital, the bills started getting higher, the payments pile up, and you lose what you’ve been working so hard to get.
Soraya told her husband that as much as she wanted the house finished as soon as possible, she just couldn’t let the bank own her new house before she got a chance to make a life in it.

“Day by day we’re struggling to build this house, but it’s all worth it. Once it’s finished it will be completely ours…that’s a feeling we haven’t had yet but we can’t wait to experience!”

I hope this is an inspiration to you as you support me, my ministry…when you buy a bracelet and see the picture of the woman who lovingly crafted your piece…
Lives are being changed! The future is becoming brighter for so many of the women and their beautiful, growing families.

I am so grateful to every single kind heart who has shown interest in Finding Hope’s ministry and believes in the work we are doing here in El Porvenir.

Please consider contributing to the last $600 we need to finish a campaign to build a roof over the Beading Workshop in the Women and Children’s Center. If you support financially, please share the campaign with your friends and family! Thanks in advance!

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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Heading into month 3 of living here in El Porvenir, I am getting a more of a feel for this town and starting to look for ways that God wants to use Finding Hope here in this community. Since Katlyn has been here for so long, she has lots of great relationships and friendships that I get to be a part of and share in. Our focus is mostly with women, so we get to hear many stories of their lives and individual situations.

I love them. I love each and every one of their precious hearts and beautiful faces. They are full of life and love, beauty and pain, light and darkness, and so many unique character qualities and traits. Having an opportunity to provide for their families by making and selling bracelets through Finding Hope is giving them power and control over their lives to make choices and decisions, and this gives them a small sense of freedom. It’s an amazing thing to see, and I attribute most of it to the dream the Lord placed on Katlyn’s heart to help these women in a real and effective way.

Since I moved here, Katlyn and I have been discussing and dreaming up ways to make a positive impact on this community once the Women and Children’s Center is built. We are so blessed that God has given us very similar hearts for Central America and desires and hopes that line up almost exactly. As I’ve mentioned before, once the Center is built, we will have facilities for teaching the beading and bracelet-making, sewing classes, women’s bible studies, a feeding center, a daycare, and whatever else the Lord puts on our hearts. We believe this will be a great outreach to the community, a place to connect and do life together, somewhere safe and trustworthy.

We’re making some serious headway with construction, having just finished the bathrooms and getting ready to pour floors in, and hopefully having 3 rooms built by November. Even though it’s not finished, we’ve been praying for something bigger.

See, a lot of conversations we have with women here about their lives are very similar – they got pregnant at an early age, if the guy didn’t run away they moved in with him, he started abusing them, they can’t leave because they don’t have work and can’t find it without skills, and that’s what life is. It’s accepted and women settle for being under-valued, under-appreciated, lonely, and abused.
We were talking to one woman this past week who was telling us her story, which was very much like ones we’ve heard before, and she summed it up for all the women we’ve listened to with this phrase:
“So, this is how my life is now. It’s complicated.”

It broke my heart. She is unhappy with the man she’s living with right now, for valid reasons, but she couldn’t leave him even if she wanted to. She has 2 young children – 2 years and 1 month old – and doesn’t live anywhere near to her immediate family. She can’t get work anywhere to provide for her kids if she wanted to move out, and she wouldn’t be able to leave with such a small children at home anyway.
We can spend all day talking to her about how she should just press on, that things will work out eventually, that we’re praying for her, that we’ll come visit as often as we can…but the truth is, I’m not completely sure that her situation will change. We can disciple her and give her the hope of Jesus and his grace and forgiveness, but her husband might continue to abuse her.

We want to be able to do something bigger and more meaningful than just talk.

Our dream for Finding Hope is to be able to build a second floor onto the Center for women and children in abusive and dangerous situations. We want to make a safe place for them to feel secure and loved, a place where they can get on their feet and figure out the next steps.

It’s a big dream! We’re not even finished with the first floor, but we want to start praying about how powerfully God can use this building. There are so many logistics to think about and money to raise, and we realize it’s probably a ways into the future.
But we want to ask every person who reads this blog, thinks about Finding Hope, prays for our lives and this town, and is involved in any way to join us in dreaming more HOPE into El Porvenir.

And during the process of building everything, making new connections, and raising funds, please be thinking about and praying for these women who don’t have any other option but to settle.
They are real women with real stories and real lives. Mothers, sisters, wives, aunts, and daughters who are strong, powerful, influential, who love fiercely and live with passion.

“Speak out on behalf of those who have no voice,
and defend all those who have been passed over.
Open your mouth, judge fairly,
and stand up for the rights of the 
afflicted and poor.”

Proverbs 31:8-9

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Thank you for your continued support of the journey God’s put me on! If you would like to see pictures, feel free to add me on FaceBook. They upload faster on there. If you feel led to make a donation, there are a few ways you can go about that:

1. Write a check and send to Life Church. Make check out to Life Church, put Haille Krieg in the memo line, and send to 7001 Haggerty Rd, Canton MI 48187

2. Send money electronically through Life Church’s PayPal account. You can find that here: http://www.lifechurchcanton.org/#/about-life/financial-contributions. Make sure you specify that it’s for Haille Krieg.

3. Set up an Elexio account to have an amount taken out of your bank account each month. Log into Elexio Pulse https://lifechurch.elexiopulse.com and click on the “My Giving” link to the far right, you’ll see not only your history in giving, you’ll see a large link in the upper left that says “click here to Give Online”.  If you don’t have an Elexio account you will go to the above link and click on “need an account?” and follow the prompts.

All donations are tax deductible, which is one of the reasons for me going through my church. Life Church does send out donation statements for your tax purposes

pensamientos.

I always want to blog only when I have something to talk about.
But I’m finding that I really need to just start writing, writing about something, nothing, anything…whatever will start the creativity.

So.
I guess I’ll talk a little bit about the things I’ve been thinking about lately.

  • Love. The lack thereof.
    I find it hard to describe my depression when I see relationships that are killing the souls of two people. I saw it so much in Nicaragua. I feel like there is just no heart connection. People get together because of attraction, or because they’re having a baby together, or because they need someone to provide for them.
    Fidelity was not even a concept to be grasped.
    My heart ached especially for the women, who are used and abused, expected everything of and given nothing.
    Countless times, after saying I’d rather just stay single than be with a man who cheats on me, I was told it was non-existent. That I was crazy thinking that and that I would never find anyone like that.
    How tragic to grow up knowing that’s what you have to look forward to.

    But is it really any better here in the States?
    There is just so much STUFF here that takes the place of time you could be spending with your love.
    And here, I’ve seen so much dissatisfaction. So much giving up after it gets hard. Because “you come first, you are your first priority.”

    So I guess I’m seeing the two extremes, women who are so selfless they let everyone take advantage of it and get trampled to pieces, and women who are so selfish, it’s not worth it to them to fight for hard things.

    Honestly, it makes me cringe to think of committing my life to one single thing. And if it’s just going to be one of these unhappy places, why?

  • Commitment.
    Jesus is teaching me a lot about committing to one single thing and not forgetting about it or leaving it behind as I experience new things every day.
    Specifically in my relationship with Him.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to love Him and praise Him in new ways with every sunrise.
    I know that this is such a mindset of youth, but I wonder if I will ever get bored of it and how I will ever keep things full of passion and life.
    I depend on myself so much in all relationships to be the do-er, to make sure that things aren’t getting dull. It’s stressful.

    He keeps reminding me to shut off my mind and just look with baby eyes at His creation and the little blessings He brings to my hands. He wants to fan the flame of my faith without doing the easy thing and just giving me the black and white truth.
    I think it delights Him when I figure it out on my own and take time to discover His majesty and intricate nature.

  • Faith. Hope.
    “Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

    It is so easy for me to view hardships and difficult times, depression and anxiety, fears…to see them as punishment for my unwilling heart. I believe I am suffering because I’m not good enough and I’m not doing it right.

    “I will erase their sins and wicked acts out of My memory as though they had never existed.
    When there is forgiveness such as this, there is no longer any need to make an offering for sin.” – Hebrews 10:16-17

    Because of the new covenant, I am set free to accept forgiveness for what I’ve done and hope for a better future. I do not need to feel punished, because that’s not the reality of what’s happening.
    I don’t want to be stuck in one moment, feeling sorry for myself and inflicting damage to my soul out of shame. I want to have faith and hope that the reason I’m passing through hard times is because the Lord is shaping me, growing me, teaching me how to be more like Him.
    He is teaching me to be selfless, to obey Him and authority, and to believe in hope, believe that all things happen for a reason, and believe that things can change.

  • Being me.
    Just because everyone around me thinks a certain way, feels a certain way, and acts a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s right. It doesn’t mean I can’t have hope or love unconditionally because no one else does.
    (I have met and have in my life truly lovely people who are different, who give me hope for a beautiful world. I am merely talking about my feelings on the general population)
    Even if I knew no one who believed the same things as I do, that wouldn’t stop me from feeling how I feel.
    I may not know as much about the Bible and faith and God as someone who’s been to seminary. But I know that Jesus has been the one steady, constant truth in my life.
    I know every time I’ve trusted Him, He’s come through.
    I know when I’ve had no one who loves me, He has.
    I know when I gave everything up to follow His calling, He responded with peace in my soul.
    I know every time I’ve poured out what I’ve felt was the last drop of love in my heart, He refilled me with abundance.

    The older you get, the more people doubt you. It’s hard to not look at people and wonder why they’re not doing what you’re doing.
    I’m trying really hard not to have that kind of view and egotism.
    I love how we’re all different, I embrace the different feels and sentiments and characters and talents.
    So I’m praying that God would show me how we all work together, instead of worrying that people are doing things “right”.

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