When Asha’s* husband was killed in a work-related accident eight years ago, she was left as a widow with no social standing and no means of supporting her three children. ABWE workers invited her to work at Heart House, a sewing ministry that shares the love of Christ by helping marginalized women earn a living, but Asha refused the offer. She said the pay and the work were beneath her and instead began to support her family by illegally cutting and selling wood from a nearby government forest.
Because the work has to be performed at night and in secret, illegal woodcutting is incredibly dangerous for a single woman. Asha managed to do it for nearly a decade until one night she was viciously attacked by several men. She barely had enough strength to walk into town, but managed to find church members who took her to a government hospital for medical attention and to report the attack. Afterwards, Asha went looking for the Heart House workers who reached out to her in the past — and ran into ABWE team members Les and Deb Collins.
“God put us together at the right time,” Les said.
The Collins immediately took Asha to Heart House where Deb took Asha under her wing and began teaching her a new trade. Deb helps oversee all of Heart House’s 32 women employees as they sew uniforms for the hospital and a nearby Compassion International school, along with making quilts, handicrafts, and cultural dolls. Each employee has a high production quota and Asha’s progress was slow, but Deb worked with her every day. After watching her repeatedly fail to thread a needle, Deb realized what was wrong: Asha’s eyesight. Deb purchased her a pair of glasses, and Asha has made rapid improvement. Through Heart House, she is now able to provide for her family and has started attending church again.
“She’s so thankful for the work,” said Deb. “There has been an amazing transformation in her spirit. She has seen God provide through Heart House and she has more hope than she has had in a long time.”