God’s very first act recorded in the Bible was that of creation: “God created the heavens and the earth.” From the beginning of time, he has been the ultimate Creator, and we see his beautiful artistry on display from the great expanse of twinkling stars at night to the thunderous roar of ocean waves colliding with sand.
And just as God created all there is, he also made each of us in his image — and therefore we, too, were made to create. In Ephesians 2:10, we read: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Meet the entrepreneurs — both men and women — who are making a living with their hands, from colorful candy in the Dominican Republic to beaded jewelry in Tanzania. Join us in praying for these artists and creators around the world who make their living using their hands.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.—Ephesians 2:10
A family textile business | Imbabura, Ecuador
Twenty years ago, Josefina wanted to start a family business to earn extra income so her daughters could go to college. She constructed textile machines herself, fashioned out of spindles, rubber bands, rope, and wires, and soon they were humming with activity. In 2012, she received a $500 loan from VisionFund, World Vision’s microfinance institution, to expand the business. Now, in a small, cramped room in their home, the handmade machines struggle to keep up with demand for the family’s textiles — the vibrant cloth and fabrics are popular with locals and tourists alike.
Father, thank You for honoring Josefina’s hard work and effort to create a better life for her family. Provide her with the resources to meet the demands of her business, so it may continue to grow and bless her family.
The bakers at Bishop Mkrtich Proshyan’s Bakery | Aragatsotu, Armenia
In a poor area near Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, a bustling bakery serves up traditional lavash, sausage rolls, cheese-filled pastries, and other tasty breads. The bakery is Bishop Mkrtich Proshyan’s brainchild: his vision to feed hungry families, provide bread for area seminaries, and help supply food for three charitable kitchens and an orphanage. “We wanted to create something to improve life for local people,” he says. “Bread is very practical. And right now there are so many people who have a great need for the church to help them.”
The bishop and World Vision worked together to build and outfit the bakery. Now, each day, some 1,200 people partake of the bakery’s various offerings: those who rely on charitable kitchens to make ends meet; families too poor to afford bread; young men in seminary; and the bakery’s paying customers, who wait in line to purchase the fragrant addition to their next meal.
Almighty, just as You give good things to Your children, we thank You for putting local needs on the heart of Bishop Mkrtich. Energize the hands of all those who work in the bakery and give them fresh eyes to see the impact they’re making on their community.
Wakgari Lemma the carpenter | Chitu, Ethiopia
Watch the video above and see how Lemma’s life of hardship and poor choices transformed into a career that blesses young people in his community. Lemma turned to drinking to fix his problems but didn’t find fulfillment. He received a microloan to start a carpentry business, and today Jesus inspires him to train others. He’s taught his craft to 45 people and works to transforms others’ lives — just as his life has been changed.
Savior, it’s amazing to see how You don’t give up on any of us and how You use us to make great things but also to make great people. Thank You for the work You’ve done in Lemma’s life. Grow his business and encourage those he teaches. Bring people who unknowingly thirst for You into his path so he may share Your love with them.
Sugary treats from Rondon Candies | The Dominican Republic
Since 2008, brother-and-sister duo Remy and Loorela have run Rondon Candies, making each sugary treat by hand. When they needed additional capital to purchase equipment to speed up production, the two took out a loan with VisionFund. Three years and two additional loans later, Rondon Candies produces over 10,000 candies per day with 11 employees. Remy and Loorela are able to support their families and provide jobs to people in their community. Remy has aspirations to expand the business, purchase a larger facility, and produce more candies. “One day,” he says, “people will see our candies all over the world, and that will give them hope to follow their dreams.”
Master, You’ve blessed these siblings with a sweet idea. Continue to give Remy and Loorela the resources to fulfill their passion for worldwide distribution of their products. Don’t let weariness or struggles keep them from their dream.
Migungani women’s group | Magugu, Tanzania
The women in Migungani women’s group sit and work below the trees their group is named after. Since 2004, this successful group of Maasai women has been creating colorful necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and round collars traditionally worn by the Maasai tribe. World Vision gave them training in beading, customer service, and conflict resolution, and helped them form a savings group — which has accrued nearly $1,000.
Jesus, thank You for gifting these women with creative minds and hands. We know they reflect who You are. Continue to guide their hands as they create beautiful pieces and use the profit to make their families’ lives and community better.
Painter Joel Quispe Diaz | Ayacucho, Peru
Joel, now 23, has a future as bright as the colors on his painter’s palette — but his life wasn’t always so vibrant. The trouble began when Joel was 3 and his father abandoned the family. Through years of challenges and setbacks — including laboring as a child worker at the market in his hometown, Huanta — Joel managed to nurture his artistic talent. He’s now a student at the Fine Arts School of Ayacucho, thriving among other painters, sculptors, and creative thinkers. “I can express my feelings through my pictures,” he says. “It is like making a poem with colors.”
Read more about Joel in “Peru’s Moving Past,” World Vision magazine’s in-depth story about 18 years of community development work in Huanta.
Comforter, we can’t begin to know the pain that Joel has experienced, but You do. Wrap Your loving arms around him as he paints so that Your Spirit comes alive in each of his works. Speak to him as he paints so he may know that You see and love him.