Maria is a mother of five and the wife of an indigenous pastor serving in the mountainous regions of Southern Boliva.
Maria only attended school until fifth grade. She is often shy and until recently doubted her own abilities. "I've always wanted to serve God, but I did not have much confidence in myself", she said.
As a result, Maria's husband actively served in ministry and managed the finances for both their family and the church. Maria did not feel confident to count or plan for money or speak in front of others. "My husband was the one who preached even in the women's meetings because I did not feel able to."
However, when Maria joined a Five Talents savings group, she received training on financial planning, investment, and small business development. She also gained confidence and leadership skills and learned to develop new talents such as public speaking.
"I was very shy because I saw others as superior and I was not confident to teach something to others. But my time in savings groups and the testimonies of other women helped me appreciate who I am."
Now Maria serves alongside her husband and often teaches other women about developing their talents to serve God and their community.
"I am a leader in my family and in my church also. I am more courageous and I am giving a good example to my daughters."
Maria looks forward to starting her own business and one day hopes to have a home where her children can have their own rooms. Already she has seen a great change in her family's finances because of the lessons she has learned through Five Talents.
"Before we always had to borrow money from other people to pay our needs, but now we can save and we see the fruit of our savings."
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