Stitching to Survive

Stitching to Survive December 8, 2019

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA) – Discussing the lives that are trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of poverty, and the gift and hope that a sewing machine can bring, opening doors to a better life.

Poverty is one of the greatest physical burdens facing modern humanity, if not the greatest. The World Bank, a main source of information on poverty, considers a person to be in extreme poverty if they make less than $1.90 a day.

Gospel for Asia (GFA) – Discussing the lives that are trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of poverty, and the gift and hope that a sewing machine can bring, opening doors to a better life.

Those in Need and Those Who Help

The United Nations, in its fight to end global destitution, set specific development goals in its 2030 Agenda. By 2030, the aim is to have no more than 3 percent of the world’s population—255 million—living below the poverty line.

The strides made toward ending global poverty have been monumental. In 1990, 1.85 billion people lived in extreme poverty, but today that number is down to 600 million, or 8 percent of the global population.

More work yet remains. Despite the progress made, millions remain burdened in a destitution that is passed down—generation to generation—forming a seemingly unending cycle of absolute poverty. GFA seeks to uplift families and individuals in situations such as these with income-generating gifts.

An income-generating gift can be anything from a cow to a trade-related tool. In Nalah’s case, it was a sewing machine.

Caught in a Cycle

All Nalah knew growing up was poverty. His father, a poor laborer, worked hard to provide for his family, but he earned barely enough money for food, let alone for education. So Nalah didn’t go to school, but he learned enough of his father’s work to follow in his footsteps as a daily laborer.

As an adult, Nalah found himself in the very same position his father once held—working in the fields, making barely enough money to support his wife and four children. Unable to properly provide for his burgeoning family, Nalah turned to the only source of happiness he could find: drink. Nalah drank and gambled his sorrows away, while the poverty and problems he and his family faced only grew worse.

Given a Gift, Given Hope

One day, Nalah happened to meet a traveling evangelist who shared with him of God’s love. When Nalah heard he was loved and cherished despite his failures and inadequacies, he found a spark of motivation to change his ways.

“I want to live a good life for my family,” Nalah thought to himself. That very moment, Nalah decided to readily welcome God into his heart.

Some days after this miraculous meeting, Nalah met GFA-supported pastor Gunesh. The pastor began encouraging and visiting Nalah, rejoicing in his newfound faith. During his visits, Pastor Gunesh saw the financial struggles Nalah and his family experienced. Poverty hung over them like a cloud. Determined to help this family, Pastor Gunesh requested Nalah receive a gift at the next gift distribution his leaders organized.

To his surprise, Nalah received a sewing machine during the next distribution! Through this gift, Nalah, and his son, began stitching clothes, and soon they were making enough money to not just survive but also to thrive.

“I did not just receive a sewing machine,” says Nalah. “But I have received a source of income.”

Nalah and his family join the many who’ve been helped with income-generating gifts through GFA or other organizations. They now have the opportunity to better their lives and the lives of their children, and work to eliminate generational poverty.


Learn more about how generosity can change lives. Gifts like pigs, bicycles and sewing machines break the cycle of poverty and show Christ’s love to impoverished families in Asia. One gift can have a far-reaching impact, touching families and rippling out to transform entire communities.

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