Matt and Teri Perrotto
From Matt and Teri Perrotto with Envision in Miami, Florida. Here is a story from their recent family missions trip to Cuba.
One of the areas we worked in was called Chicharron (nicknamed the Bronx), one of the poorest neighborhoods in Cuba. During our VBS, children just kept showing up. We started with around 40 of the church kids and by the end, there were approximately 150 kids not including adults. At the very end, we tried to hand out a small gift (pencil, eraser, small ball) to the kids. It was like a mob of people on black Friday. We tried 5 different ways to organize them into lines, but nothing seemed to work. Later that evening as we talked about the day, we shared what went well and what didn’t. As we were sharing, one of our team members, Suri, who was a Cuban national, helped us put it all in perspective. She said, “I never imagined that we would be able to stand in the streets of my country and shout, with a microphone, that Jesus loves you! This was made possible today, because we were there.” We also heard stories of children praying to receive Jesus as their Savior. In spite of the chaos, God was at work and it was a very good day.
Update from Shawn & Becky
This past year, as part of CCC’s ongoing work in West Africa, CCC provided missionaries Shawn & Becky with $5,000 to be used in a micro-lending program. Shawn & Becky used the program to spread the love and compassion of Jesus into the lives of people in need. This is their story.
Over the last 13 years of serving in West Africa, we have seen God use the financial gifts from places like CCC to testify of His goodness and provision for people in need. The simple truth is that it doesn’t even take a lot of money.
As part of a micro-credit project aimed at helping women support their families, all Fatim needed was $8. She was a poor farmer’s wife, a mother of six, and illiterate. She didn’t have much going for her and employment options were limited, so her family’s daily needs became overwhelming. She came to us for an $8 loan that she hoped could change her world.
With this $8, Fatim went into the wood business. Everyone needs to eat, which means a fire for cooking, so selling wood seemed a logical choice. She began by walking many miles to the wood market where wood was sold in bulk by truckers. Fatim got $8 worth of firewood, piled it high on her head, and headed home, where she began to sell it in her small village. She took her profits and bought an even bigger load and a profitable business was started! She faithfully paid back her small loan and was given larger and larger loans until she was able to buy a donkey and cart so that she could haul even more wood to sell. She paid back that loan and took another loan to buy a cow to help her husband increase the amount of acreage he could plant each year.
Food in the bowl, school bills paid, and a mama’s heart at ease. When you obediently give of the resources God has given you, it can become a catalyst for seeing lives in poverty-afflicted communities transformed. I think we all have $8 to spare, don’t you?