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Speak Up – Give Them A Voice

Following is the blog post I wrote for Mi Esperanza. I want to share it with you as well as the message as the year draws to a close.

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Isn’t there a part of all of us who secretly admire a two year old? They state their want – reasonably – at first. If there is no response, their want begins to morph into a demand – their voice becoming louder. If it isn’t getting a response, they throw in some tears and then will add in a full blown tantrum along with screaming to get their way.

At some point, we all learn the power of our voice.

Culture often dictates the power of our voices as women.

Life circumstances will certainly encourage our voice or – it will silence it.

A silenced voice, imagine mouths taped shut by helplessness as the unfortunate companion of hopelessness keeps them a prisoner of poverty both physical and spiritual.  Voices silent.

Social status certainly plays a part in this. I have been to India five times and visited in the villages deep in the farmlands amidst the rice fields among the Dalits – the lowest of the caste system long ago imposed on them.

Listening to the stories of our women of Mi Esperanza has given me great insight into the connection between a voice silenced and a voice given life.

Yet, the greatest awareness has come about as I have learned the power of my personal voice. For many years, as a young child, I learned not to use my voice – don’t rock the boat – keep peace. I carried that far into my adult life.

Only in the last few years have I given any energy to discovering what that has meant. In that process, I have come to have a deeper understanding of the importance of giving our women at Mi Esperanza the opportunity to discover their voices. For us to educate these women who no one has ever believed in and watch them as the months roll by in their classes and their confidence begins to grow through their new found skills – it is quite possible the greatest benefit – even beyond the skills – is watching them find their voices.

This makes me weep with joy.

Fifteen years ago, a storm was brewing in my heart. As I started processing it and talking about it, Lori came along side me and together we began a conversation. A few other great friends joined us and by December 2002, Mi Esperanza was born.

In honor of that year of dreaming and following those seeds that were planted during that time, we are launching our campaign for 2017. I believe the dream needs to be celebrated as we move toward the actual launch date because that is where God moved into the process. Over and over again, when we felt completely overwhelmed and under qualified, He showed up in big ways. He brought people into our lives that have been major contributors in building our programs.

People who have shared our vision of empowering women. Elevating women changes the world.

Each time another person joins us in our work with Mi Esperanza, our community grows. Our voice becomes stronger.

As our voice becomes stronger and the awareness of what we do spreads, the opportunity to grow our classes and empower more women becomes a reality.

Just as a two year old learns to use their voice in positive ways as they grow, we are committed to engaging with the women of Mi Esperanza – empowering their voices to change the world.

Our classes go into communities and do service projects. We strongly believe in showing them ways to give as they have been given through the opportunity of a free education.

I want to invite you to join our community. Be a part of discovering the combined power of voice.

Go to our website @ www.thewomenofmyhope.org

Subscribe. Read the real stories there. Shop in our online store. Give gifts that build lives – giving voices life. Donate online and you can even set up monthly recurring donations there.

Share our story. Join our page on Facebook “Mi Esperanza” and find us on Instagram @ miesperanza2.

Make it a point to become a valuable part of our community.

My voice – thank you for listening.

Your voice – become an advocate for our women – share our message!

Their voice – as they acknowledge the gift of their opportunity.

Community voice – showing the world there is a lot of hope.

Together we become an important part of the change this world needs.

My heart is full of gratitude this season for all the successes Mi Esperanza has experienced as lives continue to be changed.  It is a humble honor for me to be a part of this community.

Thank you for taking the time to listen.

Proverbs 31:8-9

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; 

ensure justice for those being crushed. 

Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, 

and see that they get justice. 

 

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