Our governance committee has a special view of Big Ocean Women and the impact of our organization. We are the ones who watch the donations come in, and we are the ones who see those donations turn into aid for precious women and their families all over the world. May we say that you are more than one drop in the big ocean of change—you are saving lives throughout the world!
The pandemic has made life especially difficult for many of our cottage members. For example, in South Sudan life for our members is already difficult, but during this time, the young teenage boys are breaking into homes, holding the mother at gunpoint, pulling out young girls, and gang raping them. This happened to one of our precious cottage members. Her 8-year-old daughter was the victim. Our cottage leader sent a desperate plea for money to buy locks for their homes so that the boys cannot get in. She was able to use your generous donations to buy food for her cottage members and to buy locks.
Our leader in Nigeria was so very grateful that Big Ocean Women money arrived in her bank account on a day that the lockdown was lifted for just a few short hours. She was able to get the money and buy and distribute the basic food items that could sustain her cottage members for a short time. We may not understand what a lockdown means to these cottage members in Jos, Nigeria. When they cannot leave their home, they cannot go to work or go out and sell produce or goods. Each day’s earnings are spent on each day’s food. No earnings = No food. They have very little food stored in their homes. Your donations save them from starvation.
Your donations do the same for the members in Ecuador. They live in the Amazon forest on land that has been theirs for generations. The problem is that they have no legal deed for their land, no government document on file that gives them any rights. The legal fee required to get that document is far beyond their ability to pay. No rights = No government aid in times of need. They make and sell jewelry and baskets and other items, but because of the pandemic there are no tourists. They forage the land for yucca and plantain but now that is gone. They make tea from herbs and drink that to ease their hunger pains. They are in a very precarious situation which makes them even more vulnerable to those who would take their rich land away and strip the land for monetary gain.
Big Ocean Women recently sent a donation to Families Mentoring Families in Ghana. That donation was generously matched by the Healing Hands Foundation of DoTerra. FMF is made of families who have been “called” to move to Ghana to make a difference. Right now they are building a family restoration facility which will house family members at risk. Their ultimate goal is to help families heal from their many wounds and make the changes necessary to build a solid, healthy, happy family. They found that most of the children in the orphanages there have parents who live nearby, but their parents are unable to take care of them. FMF helps fathers regain their self-esteem by gaining skills that can be used to provide for their families. FMF helps mothers regain their self-esteem by helping them also gain skills, especially in the areas of parenting, homemaking, cottage industry, and basic education. When the parents are ready, the children are returned to their parents. Their family is reunited but in a very different way. They now have the skills to love and support each other. Did you catch the significance of the organization’s name, Families Mentoring Families?
So many of you responded to our call to help our sisters and brothers living in the Navajo Nation. Your generosity filled a 27-foot truck with essential food and water and sanitizing supplies. The donation was more than just goods; it was a loving offering of friendship and connection.
I hope that you approve of the way we are using your generous donations. I hope you feel this:
We are changed because of the connections we have made to our sisters and their families throughout the world. We are all in this together. Our perspective has been broadened and our outreach has been extended. Our capacity to give and be generous has expanded. We can feel greater and deeper love. This is a wonderful blessing.