With your support and prayers, an Open Doors training course is equipping Christian women from a Muslim background to weave vital facemasks for their communities.
Your support meant Open Doors courses could equip mask making in the Southern Philippines
By now, you’ve probably got used to seeing facemasks whenever you go out – and wearing them yourself, if you’re able. They’ve become essential items in this extraordinary year, and that’s true around the world. But did you know that your support for persecuted Christians in the Philippines has helped make masks available to many people?
That’s thanks to women like Lita, a believer from a Muslim background in the Southern Philippines. She attended a project funded by Open Doors supporters: the Kaholatan weaving project. It helps persecuted Christian women learn weaving skills and sell their products, in order to support themselves and their families.
When the training was established, it was with the aim of sustaining long-term livelihoods – making mats, slippers, wallets and so forth. Nobody knew how vital these skills would quickly become for making facemasks.
Persecuted Christian women learned vital skills
“At the beginning of the training I made many mistakes,” remembers Lita, who was the oldest person on the Kaholatan weaving project. “But after many tries, I was able to create masks that were good. Even with my age, I still push myself to do these things because I know what I do here is for the Lord.”
When the pandemic hit, many believers didn’t have the means to buy vital facemasks for their family. Lita, and the other women in the project, were more than willing to use their new-found skills to give back to brothers and sisters in need – making and distributing masks. “As long as I have strength in me, I know that I can still give,” says Lita.
Lita’s friend Merita agrees: “When I think of the people who are going to need the masks, I am able to push myself to make more and do my best, even when it’s hard to do.” For the women, this was not just another project; this was a way they could use their skills for God’s kingdom.
Believers like Lita were able to bless their communities
Amazingly, the women were able to make around 1,000 facemasks for the people in their communities! Your gifts and prayers are also helping provide vital food and aid to persecuted Christians and their communities – but this training is a way that persecuted believers can be empowered to support their own neighbours too.
Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Southern Philippines as they face ongoing challenges of the covid-19 pandemic, as well as persecution from some in their community. While parts of the Philippines are dominantly Christian, areas of the south are Muslim majority, and leaving Islam for Christianity can mean believers are ostracised by their community.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.