|Christmas is a season to remember how often God begins His work of redemption in small, seemingly insignificant ways:
Like when He declared the birth of His Son to a group of poor social outcasts tending their flocks over 2,000 years ago--and like today, when He sees the struggles of people who are so often overlooked and gives them a way out of poverty.
Shirley is one of those people that poverty sought to dehumanize, but whom God saw and lifted up.
Despite many years of experience and her skill as a seamstress, the Filipino woman was struggling to find work.
Shirley's husband worked hard as a city transit driver, but their wages could not provide for their family's needs.
On top of that, their young children needed care, which limited Shirley's ability to search for work further from home.
But God saw not just her struggles, but also her talent and abilities. We were honoured to be part of HIs work in Shirley's life to empower her to provide for her family.
The seamstress was first introduced to us through her local church in the Philippines, and we were amazed by her skills.
We soon learned that Shirley's resume included working for Adidas, and were delighted by her work transforming recycleable materials into products that we could ship to and sell in Canada.
We weren't the only ones to benefit from Shirley's talents.
Each time we returned to the Philippines, we learned of new ways that the woman's hard work was paying off for her family.
The fair wages Shirley earned from sewing allowed the mother to purchase school supplies for her son, who was preparing for a year of university studies. He had also just lost his job, and Shirley financially supported him throughout his search for a new job.
Next, the family was able to save enough to buy a washing machine.
And then, we were excited to learn that Shirley and her family had left their small, crowded house and had a larger, brand new home just for them!
On top of that, Shirley's son succcessfully graduated college, secured a good job, and could join the communal effort to support the family.
Shirley's story is an amazing testament to God's redemptive work: He sees the unseen, honours what is so often ignored, and lifts up those who have been crushed by the forces of evil and pain that plague our world.
What an incredible God we serve, who brings glory to Himself while restoring dignity to those He comes alongside. Thank you for partnering with Him in that work.
Our prayer for you this Christmas season is that you will experience the wonder and restoration that comes when God intervenes in human lives:
That same wonder that sent shepherds running for Bethlehem long ago to meet the Saviour of the world;
And that same restoration that Shirley has experienced as God has intervened in her life.
Blessings & Merry Christmas,
Darren & Minako Polischuk
Founders, Work of Your Hand
- Purchase products made by Shirley and other artisans in the Philippines to help families continue to save, grow stable, and thrive.
- Become a monthly donor to support Work of Your Hand year round.
- Donate to our "Where Most Needed" Fund, which allows us to be flexible and react quickly in times of emergency and need.