Hello, friends! Welcome to Day 5 of our 40 Days of Birthday Gifts! I don’t think I realized how much work it was going to be to put these posts together. Whew.
I also didn’t realize what a BLAST it would be, introducing you to really awesome people and helping make connections (one of my FAVORITE things to do)!
Joining us today is my friend, Lori Connell, founder of Mi Esperanza, a beautiful ministry working with beautiful women in Honduras.
I met Lori a year ago in West Virginia at a Women of Purpose Conference where I got to share some of our family’s journey the past few years.
The WOP conference serves two purposes: encouraging women in the U.S.A while raising money for a Revive conference for 125+ missionary women in Honduras.
LOVE. Like so much.
At WOP, I got to hang out with Lori and see firsthand her heart for the women of Mi Esperanza.
Mi Esperanza means MY HOPE and began in 2002 with a vision to provide life sustaining change in the lives of women in the villages surrounding Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Oh, I love this.
Through donations, grants and 100% of the profits from our ethical fashion brand Mi Esperanza provides free skills training to impoverished women who otherwise would not receive an education. Through our courses; sewing, cosmetology, computer skills, and jewelry making, women gain the skills and confidence to seek employment or step out as business owners with the help and support of our micro-loan program.
I chatted with Lori this week about her work with Mi Esperanza. So encouraging and inspiring.
Me: Lori, what’s your favorite/most rewarding part of what you do?
Lori: Watching transformation in the lives of women….up close. In the midst of the most difficult circumstances women in poverty are resilient, they have to be… too much comes at them day after day to be anything less, they ARE survivors. When we can offer hope to the resilient what happens next is just beautiful and amazing. I am blessed to see lives change in all kinds of ways. Whether it is the woman who graduated our beauty school and has now opened two salons and is earning an income that is providing for her family in ways that were only once dreams or the woman who comes to our center not able to look you in the eye from the lack of self worth to leaving with a head held high knowing she is someone special. I’m never not amazed, humbled and inspired by these women.
Me: What’s the most challenging/difficult part of your work & ministry?
Lori: Still… 16 years later watching injustice and the plight of women and their children..it is what first struck me when I came here and it is still a “burden” today. On a personal note, being away from my family. I live and love between two worlds, and that tension can be very challenging and heartbreaking.
Me: What small thing could we do today to help Mi Esperanza?
Lori: 1. I know it sounds like the simple go to answer but, pray for us and our women. I do believe that it is strong partner in what we do. 2. Then the answer everyone is expecting..donate. Any donation to our work and I mean any is helpful in keeping the center open and serving women. 3. We all shop, for ourselves and gifts…so when you are shopping visit our on-line store. We have really cool, great quality, handmade, fair wage stuff. Each item you buy supports our program AND gives meaningful and life changing work to our women. What’s not great about that?!
p.s. Mi Esperanza has just announced something VERY NEW and EXCITING. A partnership with some talented designers and social entrepreneurs who will be employing Mi Esperanza’s artisans to produce their own designs. It’s called Hope Supply and sounds AMAZING. Can’t wait to see it all unfold!
Now, THE GIVEAWAY.
Today, Lori and the women of Mi Esperanza/Hope Supply are giving away ONE handmade, hand-dyed tote bag in turquoise (a $58 value). Squeee!
To be entered to win, you have to do 2 very simple things (like, seriously, you can do it in under a minute if you’re quick):
1b.) Share this post or the Mi Esperanza website on one of those mediums.
2.) Come back and tell me really quick what you did.
So, 1.) follow or share. 2.) report.
And if the Mi Esperanza story has pricked your heart (like it has mine), go check out their store and buy something! Your purchase keeps their ministry going, enabling more and more women to support themselves and their families.
I’ll announce the winner of the Millie tote in the morning! Tomorrow is Sunday, so it’s Recap of the Week & Give Praise to Jesus day! Then Monday will be another give-away! Thanks for being so awesome, friends!