Tuesday, September 10, 2013

kkp :: two years

On September 5th, 2011 Blake and I met with five ladies in a small shack and had a trainer begin to teach them how to knit. We had no clue what the next two years would hold for us.

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After only a few months we were ready to quit. The program didn't seem to be working. Women were leaving our program for a variety of reasons (husbands that wouldn't let them work, moves to other regions of Peru, being able to live off of handouts). We were in between rental houses and living with friends, so we had no where to call home. Our kids were still struggling to make friends and learn Spanish. There seemed to be no good reason to stay and figure this thing out. But we did. Blake and I are fighters. For better or for worse, we don't give up that easy. 

And I'm so thankful that we didn't give up. Because today I know that our program is working. Change is slow. It's painful. Somedays it feels like we take two steps forward and one step back with these ladies. But overcoming a lifetime of poverty and the low self esteem, hardness, loneliness, and hurt that it causes is hard. But these ladies are fighters and they don't give up that easy.

So, here we are, two years later, fighting together, growing together, overcoming together. We have seen many ladies leave abusive relationships because they now have their own income. We have seen them make much needed improvements to their homes. We have seen some ladies move up and become leaders in our program. We have seen them apologize for hurting each other. We have seen them become family.

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We celebrated our two year anniversary on Saturday with lunch and an intense volleyball tournament. We shut down the street where we now rent five houses for our program and partied. What struck me more than anything about that day was watching the ladies take responsibility for the kids of those who were playing in a volleyball match. These women, most who didn't know each other before this program, were passing their kids around and mothering them all. I grew especially emotional watching the ladies we started this program with two years ago. We all belong to each other now, our lives intertwined. And while I know that Krochet Kids Peru has been a blessing for these ladies, I also know that they have blessed us immeasurably. We are incredibly thankful to have been a part of these past two years and look forward to many more years to come!

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