Esperanza is a mother of 6 children from Bolivia who sells empanadas and flavored ice in the local market.
When she joined a Five Talents savings group, she committed to saving 30 cents per week, sacrificing slightly more than a dollar of her hard earned income each month.
"When I saw the sisters of the church [come] to save together, I thought it was difficult to save for me because there are many expenses that I have to pay: rent, electricity, water, studies of my children, my business supplies, etc."
When her mentor shared the biblical parable of the Five Talents, however, Esperanza took it as a personal challenge.
"The day when we learned about the talents, I received the challenge of working with what the Lord has given me. "
"I saw that it is possible to start a business with very little money because if we are good servants with what the Lord has put in our hands, then He will entrust more. So I accepted the challenge to use some of the money from the group to invest in my business to grow my earnings."
The following week during their regular meeting, Esperanza borrowed a loan of $7.25 from the group. She used this money to expand her business and began increasing her profit each week, paying back her loan and setting aside more money for her business and for savings.
"I invested the money buying more materials for my business, and I went to sell my raspadillos (flavored ice). I [earned] a lot of money and [learned] how to separate some of our profits for everything, offerings, mercy, business supplies, etc. And I was very happy to do so."
Esperanza has experienced much pain and hardship in her life. Kidnapped as a young woman she was forced into early motherhood. Despite all of the challenges, she is grateful for God's provision and protection. She is glad that she can provide for her children and can serve as an example to other women in her community.
"God has truly been good to me, since I received Him in my heart. I have always seen His love and protection. When I did not know the Lord I suffered problem after problem. . .I had many wounds in my heart. Now everyday I'm happy because the Lord shows me that the good Father is with me. When I'm happy we laugh together. . .When I'm worried, He shows me His word to help me; at all times He is taking care of me and I'm grateful for that."
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