July 29th, Newsflashes from the Persecuted Church

July 29, 2014 by Open Doors

 Open Doors USA: Newsflashes from the Persecuted Church

(Published every Tuesday & Thursday)

July 29, 2014

India: Sewing Center Equips Rural Women to Help Support Families

“Unwillingly, I had to labor daily for a living but I wanted to do something better and consistent. But with no professional skills, I hardly had choice,” says Rambatti Dugga, 20, who comes from the Gond tribe of Narayanpur, a district of the Indian State of Chhattisgarh.

Rambatti’s dilemma has now been solved, however, since she enrolled in the Narayanpur Sewing Training Center, initiated last year by Open Doors’ Community and Lifestyle Development project.

Seventeen women participated in the eight-month training program of tailoring, stitching and making clothes.

“I am so grateful to Open Doors for starting this in our vicinity. I traveled from Krushnar village to attend this program, and today I can start my own business,” added Rambatti.

Each woman was awarded a certificate at the end of the training program.

“I have learned cutting and stitching clothes in the training program, and this will help me get a job and earn my livelihood,” said Sangeeta Kachhap, one of the students.

This project, which began Aug. 1, 2013, was specifically started in Narayanpur to uplift and empower the women of the Gond tribe who live their entire life in depressed  conditions.

While there are Christian women among the students, the project’s prime beneficiaries are non- Christian neighbors. The sewing project and other community-oriented projects have been initiated not only to address the dire economic situation that most of the women’s families live in, regardless of their faith, but also so that the Church can contribute positively to the community around it.

The program targets the large population of women in the rural areas, where there is no opportunity for them to learn new skills. In fact, most women are not educated, so men are the primary bread-winners for the household.

Their common means of livelihood is hunting, fishing, collecting forest products and agriculture. But because the agricultural land is not very productive, these Christian families are extremely limited in their source of income.

The sewing training project has not only mobilized married women but also young girls, to help them be independent and economically self-sustaining.

Deepika Elkana, 20, a Christian who has benefited from the training, said she has found the course “extremely helpful.”

Besides improving their standard of living, the women gain self-confidence and self-respect.

“When you impart a skill to a woman, she does not keep it to herself but passes it on to other village ladies, thus being a blessing to the community,” said the Open Doors coordinator overseeing this project in that area.

Cameroon: Boko Haram Kills Missionary

According to Open Doors’ field staff, Pastor Kesvere Jean Marcel, a missionary connected to the Fraternal Lutheran Church who worked in the extreme northern part of Cameroon, has been brutally murdered. He was abducted by suspected Boko Haram members over the weekend.

He leaves behind a wife and eight children. No further details are available. Please pray that the Lord will be near to this family and comfort them as they try to come to terms with his death.

(For more information or to set up interviews, call Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email [email protected]. The Open Doors USA website is www.OpenDoorsUSA.org)

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