Last week we wrote about Yola, a 27-year-old micro-entrepreneur in Bolivia who is learning to bake empanadas in order to create a winter income for herself and her sons. But in the first post we didn't tell you her back story.
Tragedy struck in her family when her husband left her for another woman.
"I felt very bad and sad, because he humiliated me [by leaving] with the other woman," said Yola.
Heart-broken, she took her two children, Tito and Diego, to her parents' house. But there she received no solace. "My father each day insulted me in many ways and told me I wasn't a good enough woman and that's why my husband had left me," Yola recalled.
Back in her home, she struggled to recover from her broken heart and wounded spirit. Yola returned to selling raspadillos but, being alone, she could not earn enough money to buy her eldest son's school materials. As a result, he performed poorly in class.
"I continued to cry a lot every day and my sons also cried because they saw me crying," said Yola. "Then one night I had a dream and I saw a resplendent Jesus (I wasn't a Christian) and Jesus said to me 'get up daughter'. The next day, I went to the market and a woman was at my side selling towels and she said to me, 'Why are you so sad my sister?'
"I am normally very distrustful, but when this woman called me 'sister' I told her everything that had happened. She told me that her name was Victoria and that at her church I could leave all my problems with Jesus Christ. She said that He would help me. Desperate, I asked for the church's address and that same night I went and she was waiting for me. Victoria helped me to find Jesus Christ."
Shortly thereafter, a woman named Adriana invited Yola to join a Five Talents savings group. "I joined the group, and I was very happy. In a few weeks, my whole life had changed -- I sang, laughed, and even the President of the group, Adriana, rented me a room in her house so that my boys could go to a good school. I began praying and selling more at my business."
It was during her business training meetings with Five Talents that Yola began to see the need to create income for the winter. So with a Five Talents loan, she purchased an oven to bake empanadas.
"Now I look in the mirror and I don't cry," Yola said. "I am a new creation."
She adds: "I want to give thanks to my new sisters in the savings group and tell all women that with God's help we can leave poverty. We don't need a man to be valuable; we already are. God shows us that we are valuable to Him every day."