Operation Blessing International https://www.ob.org Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:05:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Kris Turns Suffering into Servanthood https://www.ob.org/kris-turns-suffering-servanthood/ https://www.ob.org/kris-turns-suffering-servanthood/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:05:07 +0000 https://www.ob.org/?p=66586 Kris Holder is a single mom battling multiple sclerosis. The disease forced her to leave her job of 2 years. Soon the bills were piling up and the pantry was empty. So Kris turned to Operation Blessing partner Bread of Life ministries. Here she can get fresh groceries for her family to have healthy meals....

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Kris Holder is a single mom battling multiple sclerosis. The disease forced her to leave her job of 2 years. Soon the bills were piling up and the pantry was empty. So Kris turned to Operation Blessing partner Bread of Life ministries. Here she can get fresh groceries for her family to have healthy meals. Kris now also volunteers at Bread of Life to give back and help others going through similar circumstances. Watch the amazing story above!

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Even Ministers Need a Helping Hand https://www.ob.org/ministers-need-helping-hand/ https://www.ob.org/ministers-need-helping-hand/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:00:55 +0000 https://www.ob.org/?p=66540 UNITED STATES: Enrique and Clara are both ordained pastors, and have dedicated their lives to the Lord. For twenty-one years they ran their own church, complete with its own food pantry. However, as they grew older the tables turned, and they found themselves in need of a helping hand. They moved to Chesapeake, Virginia, in...

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Clara receives an encouraging hug along with a helping hand from an Operation Blessing worker.

UNITED STATES: Enrique and Clara are both ordained pastors, and have dedicated their lives to the Lord. For twenty-one years they ran their own church, complete with its own food pantry. However, as they grew older the tables turned, and they found themselves in need of a helping hand.

They moved to Chesapeake, Virginia, in the early 2000s because they felt that the Lord was calling them to begin a Spanish-speaking church in the area. For a time Clara even worked at CBN in the prayer counseling center, which she loved. Then in 2006, a serious medical condition struck Enrique. His heart was only functioning at 25-percent of its normal capacity. Eventually, the doctors gave him twenty-four hours to live, and Clara stayed by his side in the hospital, crying, praying, and begging for her husband to survive. She said to him, “You need to fight. We have not completed our mission. You need to come back!” Enrique looked down and saw Clara crying in the hospital room. That seemed to provide him with the motivation to fight, because almost immediately, Enrique began to recover.

Miraculously, Enrique was released from the hospital. However, this wonderful blessing came at a price. He continued to have persistent health issues, and their medical bills continued to accumulate. At one point, the couple lost their car and had to move into a mobile home. Enrique currently needs twenty-nine medications and sees seven specialists regularly. His co-pays for his medications are higher than the couple’s monthly rent. Throughout all of that, Enrique continues to preach the gospel and reach out to bless others as much as he can. And although Clara now works full-time as a case manager for special needs individuals, the family was in need of a helping hand to make ends meet.

Clara holds free groceries from Operation Blessing partner House of Blessing in Chesapeake.

When Clara discovered Operation Blessing partner, House of Blessing, in Chesapeake, VA, it was truly a lifesaver. House of Blessing distributes food to over 300 people in need every week, and they reached a total of over 16,000 people in 2016. Clara receives free food and toiletries for herself, Enrique, and her eighty-year-old mother, Cruz, who now lives with them as well. In addition, Clara picks up food for her daughter, Kerene, who is a single mother of two. The help from House of Blessing has made a tremendous impact on their lives.

“I’m always a giver,” Clara said, “and now I’m at the other side and I feel what everyone else feels when they need help. What I get here is such a great help. I thank God because he promised he would take care of me every day of my life. I trust in God enough to know this is just a season.”

Clara shops for food for herself, her husband, and her 80-year-old mother, as well her daughter, a single mother of two.

House of Blessing is able to be God’s hands and feet, providing a helping hand to those in need. Thank you for being a part of this blessing in the lives of Clara, Enrique, and other worthy recipients, who put their faith and trust in God to see them through the hard times.

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Fighting for her Independence https://www.ob.org/fighting-for-her-independence/ https://www.ob.org/fighting-for-her-independence/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:00:49 +0000 https://www.ob.org/?p=66437 UGANDA – Stigma, abuse and heartache were not enough to keep Jane down. Though Jane knew the future would not be easy, she left her abusive husband and became the single mother to seven—including a child with special needs. One of Jane’s sons, Peter, has Down Syndrome, which means that, though he has long suffered...

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Jame smiles with her family, all thankful for the independence she found thanks to Abide Family Center and Operation Blessing.

UGANDA – Stigma, abuse and heartache were not enough to keep Jane down. Though Jane knew the future would not be easy, she left her abusive husband and became the single mother to seven—including a child with special needs.

One of Jane’s sons, Peter, has Down Syndrome, which means that, though he has long suffered from a hernia, the hospitals turn him away because of the stigma attached to special needs children in Uganda. Her youngest son, Brian, was withdrawn.

Still, Jane took the brave step to liberate her family from abuse and give them a fresh start.

Jane’s sister took the whole family in, but Jane longed to support her children on her own—she longed for independence. Jane found her chance when she connected with Operation Blessing’s partner in Uganda, Abide Family Center.

Her children were immediately enrolled in the Child Development Center onsite, and Jane met with the business instructor to learn how to develop and execute a business plan to support her family. The children blossomed under the program, and little Brian started to interact more with the people around him.

All seven children received regular meals, and access to medical care, while their mother studied hard to start her business. Since Peter was denied care for his hernia at many local hospitals, Abide and Operation Blessing interceded on his behalf and found a private hospital that would treat him without prejudice. Soon, he will have the surgery he needs.

Peter receives a check-up before his surgery.

Today, Jane has the independence she sought. She and her family moved out of Abide’s emergency housing into a house of their very own. She has a small business selling fish, and every few months the business instructor will visit Jane to check her progress and help her grow her business.

The children are all in school—growing and learning.

Jane took a risk when she stepped out on her own, but with a little help this single mother is taking great strides towards a healthier, happier future for her family.

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Healthy Days Are Here Again https://www.ob.org/cervical-health-restored-mother-two/ https://www.ob.org/cervical-health-restored-mother-two/#respond Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:00:53 +0000 https://www.ob.org/?p=66432 IQUITOS, Peru – On the outskirts of Iquitos, Peru, affordable healthcare services are not available to everyone. For families who don’t qualify for social services, going to the doctor can be a costly affair. Maria is a Columbian immigrant who has lived in Iquitos for more than ten years. Her husband makes rocking chairs for...

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Maria and her kids smile, thankful for her restored cervical health.

IQUITOS, Peru – On the outskirts of Iquitos, Peru, affordable healthcare services are not available to everyone. For families who don’t qualify for social services, going to the doctor can be a costly affair.

Maria is a Columbian immigrant who has lived in Iquitos for more than ten years. Her husband makes rocking chairs for a living, while she cares for their home and two children, Dani, 11, and Jordi, 9. Recently, Maria began experiencing abdominal and pelvic pain. As she was unable to afford proper healthcare services, her pain continued.Maria sits, a somber look on her face.

Operation Blessing International runs a Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Maria’s community. Maria learned about the program through an invitation from her children’s school, and decided to attend. She and the other attendees discovered what cervical cancer is and strategies to prevent and treat it, as well as learning about other issues related to cervical health.

OB Peru provided free Pap smear tests for the ladies who participated. Maria’s results showed she had cervicitis, or inflammation of the cervix. OB immediately helped to treat Maria’s condition, and in no time she felt healthy.

“Thank you so much for the medicines and for always checking up on me,” she said. “I am feeling a lot better and I am relieved now that I am healed. … Thank you for reaching out to women like me.”

Without the burden of constant pain, Maria is free to focus on her family. She also uses her story to encourage other women in her community to attend OB’s health lectures, in the hopes of helping them as she has been helped.

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ISIS Vs Qaraqosh: The Unbreakable City https://www.ob.org/isis-vs-qaraqosh-the-unbreakable-city/ https://www.ob.org/isis-vs-qaraqosh-the-unbreakable-city/#respond Tue, 13 Jun 2017 13:08:49 +0000 https://www.ob.org/?p=66451 In August of 2014, Qaraqosh, Iraq endured a lengthy and torturous occupation at the hands of ISIS forces. ISIS catapulted through Iraq’s largest Christian city and thousands were forced to flee or risk the gruesome consequences of capture. Over 2 years later, ISIS has been flushed from the city and residents are slowly returning to...

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In August of 2014, Qaraqosh, Iraq endured a lengthy and torturous occupation at the hands of ISIS forces. ISIS catapulted through Iraq’s largest Christian city and thousands were forced to flee or risk the gruesome consequences of capture. Over 2 years later, ISIS has been flushed from the city and residents are slowly returning to find their homes and their precious Christian artifacts smashed and scorched. The people, however, are undeterred. Operation Blessing, inspired by the tenacity and resilience of the citizens of Qaraqosh, has come alongside to help them rebuild their city. Watch the video to see how.

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When the Waters Rose https://www.ob.org/powerful-floods-mudslides-strike-peru/ https://www.ob.org/powerful-floods-mudslides-strike-peru/#respond Mon, 12 Jun 2017 14:00:16 +0000 https://www.ob.org/?p=66390 PERU – In the first few months of 2017, the waters off the Peruvian coast remained much warmer than usual in what meteorologists dubbed a “coastal El Niño.” The elevated ocean temperatures funneled massive amounts of moisture into the atmosphere, and soon the rains began to fall. Months of unseasonably heavy precipitation saturated the ground...

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Powerful floods turn a Peruvian road into a river.

PERU – In the first few months of 2017, the waters off the Peruvian coast remained much warmer than usual in what meteorologists dubbed a “coastal El Niño.” The elevated ocean temperatures funneled massive amounts of moisture into the atmosphere, and soon the rains began to fall. Months of unseasonably heavy precipitation saturated the ground and caused rivers to rise. The situation became critical in mid-March as powerful floods and multiple mudslides wreaked havoc across the Andean nation.

The mud left behind by devastating mudslides.

In the capital city of Lima, floods and mudslides destroyed at least 16 bridges and left more than 70,000 homeless. In Carpongo, a town on the outskirts of Lima, mudslides struck three times in three days, destroying or submersing 250 homes. Over 500 miles away in Iquitos, the Itaya and Amazon rivers reached critical levels. On the northern coast, the city of Piura that shares its name with the nearby river was completely flooded as the waterway burst its banks, leaving many citizens stranded on rooftops.

Across the country, washed out bridges and roadways caused travel times to more than quadruple, and many communities were entirely cut off. Damaged infrastructure and contamination caused municipal water to be shut off, leaving many people without water to drink for several days. There were reports of fights breaking out over the last supplies of bottled water. In all, more than 70 people lost their lives and the nation of Peru suffered billions of dollars’ worth of damage.

A little boy enjoys an Operation Blessing-provided breakfast after the devastation.

With offices in both Lima and Iquitos, Operation Blessing was one of the first organizations to respond to the crisis. In the days immediately following the disaster, OB Peru partnered with the Peruvian Red Cross to distribute food, water, hygiene supplies and clothing to those in need. OB Peru also mobilized volunteers to help flood victims clean mud and debris from their homes.

To help meet the urgent need for potable water, two pallets of safe water equipment were air shipped from Operation Blessing headquarters in the United States. Included in the shipment were 12 SE-200 community chlorination units, 50 H2gO handheld chlorine generators, 40 water filters, 50,000 water purification tablets and more.

OB Peru staff and volunteers distribute much needed relief to victims.

OB Peru and partners distribute relief.

The floods and mudslides have ruined crops, damaged key infrastructure and destroyed many homes, roads and bridges. As many as 500,000 have been displaced by these events, and the road to a full recovery may take years. While the people of Peru work to rebuild, Operation Blessing is coming alongside with more than just emergency relief. Through our core programs of safe water, medical aid, orphan and vulnerable children care, and more, we’re helping the beautiful country of Peru recover and rebuild.

HOW YOU CAN HELP


Your support is critical in helping families fight poverty. Click here to make an online donation today and let your gift make a significant impact in the lives of those who urgently need it.

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A Healthy Family is a Happy Family https://www.ob.org/healthy-eating-healthy-family/ https://www.ob.org/healthy-eating-healthy-family/#respond Sat, 10 Jun 2017 14:00:45 +0000 https://www.ob.org/?p=66384 RWANDA – Deep in the heart of Rwanda, many families struggle to provide for basic needs — even enough food for the day and a clean place to live — let alone pay for school fees and home improvements. Malnourishment and lack of education persist, leaving children more vulnerable to remaining in poverty as they...

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Mukashema smiles with her children, thankful for the changes since they started healthy eating!

RWANDA – Deep in the heart of Rwanda, many families struggle to provide for basic needs — even enough food for the day and a clean place to live — let alone pay for school fees and home improvements.

Malnourishment and lack of education persist, leaving children more vulnerable to remaining in poverty as they mature and even repeating the cycle in their own families. It is a pattern that can span generations.

Gardens for Health International (GHI) is an Operation Blessing-supported organization that seeks to provide agricultural solutions to childhood malnutrition through education and practical help starting home gardens. Mukashema, a young mom, enrolled in GHI’s program in an effort to better care for her three children, Sendrine, 5, Emanuel, 2, and Jean de Dieu, who is just 6 months old. Mukashema learned the “one pot, one hour” meal technique and how to prepare a balanced meal using GHI’s four color wheel, both of which have changed how her family eats.

Before Mukashema and her family enrolled in GHI, Emanuel had been diagnosed with malnutrition. Once Mukashema and her husband, Tuyizere, began creating more balanced meals from their new home garden, Emanuel’s growth progressed significantly. Mukashema’s family is healthier thanks to Operation Blessing and GHI’s agriculture and nutrition training.

Mukashema smiles at her youngest child.

The connection between nutrition and a clear mind for learning is apparent, and Mukashema knows that in order to have happier, healthier kids, taking away the burden of hunger is a top priority. “I find that when kids are not well-fed, they always think about that hunger. But when they are full, they are always happy,” she said.

GHI also offers an early childhood development (ECD) program, which Operation Blessing supports by providing funding for supervisors, materials and training. This program educates the children on healthy eating and living practices. “When Sendrine comes home from school, she shows me what she has learned, and I can’t help but smile,” Mukashema said. She has high hopes for her children that they will continue with school and be able to find viable jobs when they are older.

Mukashema hopes to help other families start their own home garden to bring the cycles of poverty and malnutrition in her community to an end. Reflecting on the success of her home garden, Mukashema feels a sense of pride and accomplishment that she would like others to experience, stating that “now, we are feeding our children vegetables … and they are growing.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP


Your support is critical in helping families fight poverty. Click here to make an online donation today and let your gift make a significant impact in the lives of those who urgently need it.

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June Happenings https://www.ob.org/june-happenings/ https://www.ob.org/june-happenings/#respond Fri, 09 Jun 2017 14:00:54 +0000 https://www.ob.org/?p=66292 Operation Blessing June Happenings June Happenings covers some of the latest projects from Operation Blessing International as featured in Blessings Magazine. GUATEMALA: School children peer out the doorway of their brand new classroom, which was built by Operation Blessing. WEST BANK: Solar lights from Operation Blessing are a hit with these Bedouin children living in...

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Operation Blessing June Happenings

June Happenings covers some of the latest projects from Operation Blessing International as featured in Blessings Magazine.

June Happenings kicks off with school children peering out of the doorway of their brand new classroom, which was built by Operation Blessing.
GUATEMALA: School children peer out the doorway of their brand new classroom, which was built by Operation Blessing.

Solar lights from Operation Blessing are a hit with these Bedouin children living in the Judean desert.

WEST BANK: Solar lights from Operation Blessing are a hit with these Bedouin children living in the Judean desert.

A young woman holds a chicken on a chicken farm in Honduras.
HONDURAS: Chicken farming is one of Operation Blessing’s most effective microenterprise programs in Latin America.

Monica Eriksen, Operation Blessing’s livelihood program manager, visits with a group of Nepalese school children.
NEPAL: Monica Eriksen, Operation Blessing’s livelihood program manager, visits with a group of Nepalese school children.

Operation Blessing’s U.S. disaster relief team surveys the damage after a powerful tornado impacted the community of Oak Grove, Missouri.
MISSOURI: Operation Blessing’s U.S. disaster relief team surveys the damage after a powerful tornado impacted the community of Oak Grove, Missouri.

Alex, a member of the Operation Blessing-supported baseball team, the Tabarre Tigers, enjoys a field trip to a nature reserve.
HAITI: Alex, a member of the Operation Blessing-supported baseball team, the Tabarre Tigers, enjoys a field trip to a nature reserve.

 Operation Blessing workers distribute food supplies to vulnerable families during a famine in South Sudan.
SOUTH SUDAN: Operation Blessing workers distribute food supplies to vulnerable families during a famine in South Sudan.

HOW YOU CAN HELP


Your support is critical in helping families fight poverty. Click here to make an online donation today and let your gift make a significant impact in the lives of those who urgently need it.

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Sinaloa, Mexico Celebrates Safe Water And New Classrooms https://www.ob.org/sinaloa-mexico-celebrates-safe-water-and-new-classrooms/ https://www.ob.org/sinaloa-mexico-celebrates-safe-water-and-new-classrooms/#respond Thu, 08 Jun 2017 20:35:33 +0000 https://www.ob.org/?p=66378 Families in the small town of Sinaloa, Mexico have a good reason to celebrate. Now, safe water flows in their community, and brand new classrooms have been finished at their school. Watch this video to see the needs the community had, and how Operation Blessing was able to help.

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Families in the small town of Sinaloa, Mexico have a good reason to celebrate. Now, safe water flows in their community, and brand new classrooms have been finished at their school. Watch this video to see the needs the community had, and how Operation Blessing was able to help.

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Martial Arts Champion Has New Pupils In Haiti https://www.ob.org/martial-arts-champion-new-pupils-haiti/ https://www.ob.org/martial-arts-champion-new-pupils-haiti/#respond Wed, 07 Jun 2017 16:21:15 +0000 https://www.ob.org/?p=66327 Tang-Soo-Do champion Thomas Jocelyn has found his newest students in the most unlikely of places – a tiny fishing village in the nation of Haiti. Far from the capitol city of Port-au-Prince, the village of Medan Belize is home to 54 families and a school operated by Operation Blessing. The Tang-Soo-Do program teaches the children...

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Tang-Soo-Do champion Thomas Jocelyn has found his newest students in the most unlikely of places – a tiny fishing village in the nation of Haiti. Far from the capitol city of Port-au-Prince, the village of Medan Belize is home to 54 families and a school operated by Operation Blessing. The Tang-Soo-Do program teaches the children how to focus, control their emotions, and defend themselves. Watch the vid to see these kids in action!

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Nightmare Turns Safe Water Dream https://www.ob.org/nightmare-turns-safe-water-dream/ https://www.ob.org/nightmare-turns-safe-water-dream/#comments Wed, 07 Jun 2017 16:09:53 +0000 https://www.ob.org/?p=66321 HONDURAS – While most of us take the ease of turning on the kitchen faucet for granted, in remote areas of the world, the quest for water can be a daily struggle. For young Wendy and Omar in El Campanario, Honduras, fetching water was nothing less than a nightmare fraught with fear and danger —...

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Wendy stands with her yolk, dreaming of safe water.

HONDURAS – While most of us take the ease of turning on the kitchen faucet for granted, in remote areas of the world, the quest for water can be a daily struggle. For young Wendy and Omar in El Campanario, Honduras, fetching water was nothing less than a nightmare fraught with fear and danger — a nightmare they endured twice each day.

Wendy, age 8, and her 11-year-old brother, Omar, are the youngest children of a large family. They live in a home constructed mostly of mud, and their father earns a living by working coffee plantations and cornfields. The children’s duty of fetching the family’s water was a difficult chore in the best of circumstances, as it required over half an hour of hiking through the mountains. They often dealt with dangerous snakes getting into their containers, and they would haul the water home using a makeshift yoke that allowed them to handle several gallons each.

Omar carries a container of water.

Even then, the water was dirty. Omar said, “Sometimes the snakes died and there were bad odors … it also had mud inside. It had a very ugly color, almost green.” In addition, the water was contaminated from the nearby coffee plantations whose chemicals leached into the water system. Their mother would boil the water, but still they still suffered from severe stomach pains and diarrhea. Once, their father even needed stomach surgery, and they believe the water was to blame.

Just as dangerous, a ruthless family from nearby would occasionally lie in wait for the children, to threaten them and steal their water instead of fetching their own. Wendy and Omar would arrive home traumatized and empty handed.

Wendy and Omar smile together.

They watched closely for the unscrupulous family as they traveled, and they often hid in fear. In those desperate moments, the children would cry out to God. “We asked God to keep us safe,” Omar said. “Each one of us made a prayer in our mind so that they would not find us. I said, ‘My God, save us! Let them not see us.’” Their mother went along with them when she could, but it was not always possible, and the family needed water to survive.

Recently, a team from Operation Blessing came to their village to offer lasting change. In three months’ time, OBI built a 5,000 gallon water storage tank, a treatment system and a network of pipes, which now safely delivers fresh water to each home in their village!

Wendy smiles as safe water pours into her cup.

They no longer have to suffer from stomach ailments or hike long distances to haul dirty water home. Wendy and Omar now have safe water readily available and will never have to make their nightmare trek again. In addition, the troublemaking family moved out of the neighborhood. Wendy, Omar and their entire community thank God and Operation Blessing for this water project, which has changed their lives forever!

HOW YOU CAN HELP


Your support is critical in helping families fight poverty. Click here to make an online donation today and let your gift make a significant impact in the lives of those who urgently need it.

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The Art of Recycling Glass https://www.ob.org/art-recycling-glass/ https://www.ob.org/art-recycling-glass/#respond Mon, 05 Jun 2017 16:33:25 +0000 https://www.ob.org/?p=66283 ISRAEL – For many years, Sawsan has taken glass shards and turned them into works of art in the Holy Land. But, financial struggles made it difficult to expand the business in order to truly support her family. Using soldering tools, glasscutters and more, Sawsan and her sister transform recycled bottles into colorful angels, crosses...

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Sawsan holds up a glass cross she made.

ISRAEL – For many years, Sawsan has taken glass shards and turned them into works of art in the Holy Land. But, financial struggles made it difficult to expand the business in order to truly support her family.

Using soldering tools, glasscutters and more, Sawsan and her sister transform recycled bottles into colorful angels, crosses and more! They turn trash into priceless treasure.

The women hard at work cutting glass and turning it into treasures.

A close up of hands working with the recycled glass.

“We support our families,” Sawsan said. “We need the money we earn. We like our work, of course, but also we must work.”

The sisters needed help, and that is when they met Operation Blessing. OBI immediately saw how hard Sawsan and her sister worked and jumped in to help the artisans. With additional resources, the business has renewed purpose and products.

“With the help of Operation Blessing, I can do what I dream about all the time,” Sawsan said, grateful to be able to provide a better future for her family. “Thank you for this opportunity.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP


Your support is critical in helping families fight poverty. Click here to make an online donation today and let your gift make a significant impact in the lives of those who urgently need it.

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