Day Five

Rachel Esterhuyse | March 8, 2012 | 3 Comments

It was another amazing day in Jarabacoa and Marilyn got to share a lot about her site with us….She is working in micro-finance.  This is a really incredible site. Each of the local communities has one of their female leaders work at the bank and recruit other strong women to give loans too in order for them to start a business. Once they are approved, they are expected to pay back a portion of this loan every two weeks. You may wonder what if they do not have the money or don’t pay on time, etc….Well, they have a women’s group and they all hold one another accountable. If one woman does not pay, the other woman need to come up with her money. It is a great way to motivate each other and keep each other’s businesses strong and profitable. They also have an opportunity to open savings accounts.

With all this being said, the Students International site leaders and team do go in and help interview the ladies who apply for the loans and savings accounts; but they also take the time to connect. These women are now running these businesses as well as running a household, feeding a family and caring for their children. They may just want time carved out for the team to talk with them or pray for them, specifically for their health or marriage….Whatever it may be, Marilyn said, “Boy, it is so easy to love these people.”

They are also spending time with the women to help balance their heavy load of responsibilities…even if it is just for a day or even an afternoon. Marilyn had the opportunity to see a colorful array of businesses. They went and helped one young woman at her restaurant by cleaning dishes and mopping the floor. They went to a local beauty salon and spent time with the owner’s daughter; but a true highlight was going to a “chicken store”….Basically a place where the women buy the chickens from the local farmer and they are responsible for the entire process from slaughtering the chickens to making them clean enough to sell. The team went in and had the opportunity to do all or none of this process and Marilyn did quite a lot!! After a busy morning, they spent the afternoon handing out invitations to the women in the community, specifically reaching out to those that don’t know Christ. The invitation was for a faith-based womens’ support conference–the first of its kind in the local area!

Marilyn is walking away from the experience up until now really struck with the easy connection with the natives as well as a deep respect and love for the SI staff. The site leaders balance each other out and never waiver from showing such a strong love of the Lord that is then directly reflected in their time spent in the community. She said she would definitely consider coming back here again even if she had to clean some chickens…..


  1. Rach says:
    Love the stories!! Keep 'em coming!!
  2. Bowie says:
  3. Shannon says:

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