WRAPS (pics and text by Kym Bachtell)

Imagine yourself being a young lady in Ethiopia.  You have worked all your life alongside your family and you want to go to school.  An opportunity arises and you are able to go!  An education…. Something our children grumble and complain about every day about 6:30 am.  And then again post dinner when it is homework time.  But here in Ethiopia, it is a privilege to be able to participate in an eduction.  It is a way out of their impoverished lives.  It gives them an opportunity to provide for their families.  It is a way to raise up the next generation.  Schooling is not something everyone can take advantage of when the family’s needs require all hands on deck just to survive.

Put yourself in that young lady’s shoes.  They are worn.  Her clothes are a simple covering and undergarments are almost unheard of.  She knows that an education will provide for her family and later allow her to be a more effective wife and mother.  She is on her way to school!  But, she must miss a quarter of her education.  Because she is a young lady.  A young lady who begins menstruating.  A young lady without under garments.  There is no way to conceal her cycle.  Therefore, she must remain home as she is unclean.  Do you remember the biblical testimonies describing the isolation of those who were unclean?  These young ladies still live that life.  And as a result, they are not able to fully engage in the very thing that will leverage them out of these conditions.  Their education.  Something our children take on as a chore in their lives, these children cleave to as hope for a more promising future.

Two of the missionary’s wives, Allison and Ingi, had a heart tug to push through that barrier.  God called them to make a way for these young ladies to be able to participate in their education at all times.  Two years ago they began, through trial and error, assembling a solution:  WRAPs.  Washable, Reusable, Affordable Pads.  They spent this time teaching 4 local woman a new craft.  Sewing.  4 women are now working to help provide for their families.  And they are working to raise up the next generation to have the ability to be educated and also go to work to provide for their families.  They spend their days cutting, assembling, pinning and sewing these reusable pads for all the ladies in Soddo.  As of last week, the government finally gave them a permit to begin selling them!

Yesterday, we went to Wolaytta Village to see what God has provided for this vision to continue to unfold!  They had received a grant of $6000 American dollars to construct a factory for the expansion of this ministry.  These four ladies have been sewing in a large shipping container similar to that of a box car from a train.  They will be moved in the next week or so to this beautiful building overlooking Soddo!  Their vision is to have 30 women working to make this product in the very near future!  This will be such a blessing for all ladies!

The next phase is to sell the product now that they have their license.  They can offer a package of 8 pads and a waterproof bag to hold them until washing.  Also the instructions for care. One of these packages costs $8 American dollars.  The average laborer makes $1 US dollar a day.  Perspective……

God is moving here.  Progress is being chased with a vengeance.  The culture does not embrace technologies or advancements easily.  But God moves in every area they are willing to receive.  In all the areas of lack and darkness that attempt to cover this country, His light shines brighter than I have ever witnessed!  Seek, and ye shall find! Knock, and His doors open!