Ladies of Hope is an exciting ministry made up of former prostitutes who have come off the streets of sin and into the arms of Jesus.
Diana Kamanzi is a pastor's wife in Mbarara, Uganda who was terribly burdened for the women she saw working the streets in prostitution. The problem of orphans and prostitution is endemic throughout Africa. Children and women are routinely thrown out into the streets to survive however they can. For the children, it is to the garbage dumps; for the women it is to prostitution. There is little or no hope for them -- the government refuses them, the churches ignore them, and society rejects them.
Diana and her sister-in-law, Ruth, decided they had to do something, so they took in several orphans into their homes as their own children and they started a class to teach former prostitutes how to sew. In order to support themselves to keep from returning to a life of desperation and sin, these former prostitutes learned how to make purses, bags and clothing. There have been problems that seemed overwhelming at times, but Diana and Ruth were determined that God cared about the destitute as much if not more than those who had no need, and He would somehow provide.
A prayer request in Texas led Pastor Tony Sheffield to decide that they needed to do more than just pray, and that Sunday the members of his church donated thousands of dollars to purchase sewing machines, fabric, and whatever supplies that were needed. The Ladies began to design purses to sell at hotels, stores and in the market. The Ladies of Hope were now in business.
Not satisfied with just buying the machines, the First Baptist Church of Maypearl Texas decided that they needed to purchase the finished products and place the Ladies of Hope's first major order - over 200 bags!
The excitement is not about ladies purses, money, or sewing machines, but about the hope that has been brought those who were lost in hopelessness. It is about what a group of people on the opposite side of the world who believe God can do when they care enough to get involved.
I don't believe this story is over. If this worked in Mbarara, it can work in Kampala, in Nairobi, in London, in China, and yes, even in America. I am looking forward to where God is going with this. He always thinks so much bigger than we do. He is, after all, the great God of Hope.