Stitching Dreams

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By Sarah K. The morning is in full swing at Kiran. Sitting in the middle of the room, Kashvi is crocheting colorful yarn into egg-shaped balls that will become owls and octopi. Next to her, Eva is sewing a handbag from cloth with a delicate floral design set against a white background. Near the window, Anaya has stopped sewing a pocket into a handbag to examine the design of a layered necklace made from recycled sari cloth. Her fingers run the length of a strand of cloth beads before stopping to prod at an individual bead. “There must be something wrapped inside of this,” she observes aloud before passing it on to the next seamstress for consultation. In their own casual – but expert – way these women are reverse-engineering products like this necklace all the time. Kiran is a not-for-profit business started by the staff at Shalom, an NGO … Read More

University Student Outreach: a Campus Tour

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By Violet Chiang I thought I was done with that life – those days in university that included late nights writing papers, a caffeine addiction that enabled the aforementioned late nights as well as 8 am lectures. Not to mention sharing a bathroom with three other girls and dining hall food. But here I am, back on campus. This time, I’m at a university in China to learn more about the cross-cultural work SIM is doing on campuses and what it means to live life with students. The Classroom Surviving your morning lecture Thomas and I are late for his 8 am lecture (my fault, of course). All of his students are already there, seated and ready, notebooks laid out and pens plucked out of pencil cases. Travel mugs of hot tea line the long desks, some with tea leaves still suspended in them. Thomas is a SIM cross-cultural worker … Read More

Open Doors: Affordable Education Where It Is Scarce in South Asia

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By: John Stuart Since its humble beginnings more than four decades ago in this South Asian city, Allied Model School (AMS) has been about opportunity. What started from the vision of a local believer has transformed into a community where students and teachers receive education and training that is truly bettering lives. Under the management of SIM since 2003, about 600 students and staff are currently part of the AMS family. There are few options for a good education in this part of South Asia; many lower-income families spend nearly all their income on their children’s studies. AMS was established to provide an affordable Christian education in these communities. It’s a place where students, regardless of their religious background, benefit from a solid education in a safe environment. For students from a Christian background, the school has tremendous spiritual influence, as these students receive practical Bible teaching. This education is … Read More

Being one in a million: hope through occupational therapy in Niger

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By: John Stuart Amir first came to Galmi Hospital after suffering a major electrocution injury – while surgeons were able to save his feet, both his hands were amputated. Amir was crushed. But Deb Knight never gave up on Amir. She knew what was possible for him. Deb is one in a million, and then some. She is the occupational therapist (OT) at SIM’s Galmi Hospital in Niger since 2011 and is the only practicing OT in a country of 17 million. In a country with so few medical personnel, Deb immediately saw the need for training in OT skills. “Once our patients finish in the hospital there’s really nothing for them for occupational therapy,” Deb says. “Niger is so big and people come from so far away and they lack some cultural understanding and exposure to occupational therapy as a norm of healthcare. So getting our patients to come … Read More

MY STORY: A spirit of freedom

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Prang and her family had a history with oppressive evil spirits. When Prang began knowing Christ, she finally felt peace and freedom from the spirits that used to plague her. “She’s experienced many struggles in her life and has been really open about it,” says SIM cross-cultural worker Genine Thomas, who has developed a strong friendship with Prang, who is her family’s  house helper in Thailand. “I see her more as a friend than my house helper. I’m thankful she can be open with us in sharing what she’s feeling, asking for advice, and reading the Bible. She’s growing more as a Christian.” I began wanting to know more about God because I was having a lot of terrible problems with evil spirits that were bothering my family. My mother was a medium and she communicated for an evil spirit. When my mother was possessed by the spirit, she would … Read More

Abraham escaped the horrors of war only to face a new, more deadly enemy

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When Abraham was just a boy, he witnessed the carnage and cruelty of Liberia’s civil war. His family had to flee to Ghana where they lived as refugees for ten years. They returned to Liberia only to face a new terror—Ebola. “It was more deadly,” he says, “because Ebola was an unseen enemy.” Abraham watched his little sister become sick and die. “It was the most difficult part of our lives,” he says, “but we tried to withstand.” But his burden of grief only got heavier. Then Abraham went to one of ELWA Hospital’s Trauma Healing workshops, where they address the emotional wounds of survivors. “There was a day for ‘taking our pain to the cross,’” he recalls. “And I stood there, and tears came to my eyes.” He describes his experience as lifting a burden, “like you have something on your head—and it has been removed.” That was a … Read More

A Lifetime’s Job

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by: Sarah K Lent begins on March 1; in the weeks leading up to Easter, Christians around the world spend extra time fasting, praying, and reflecting. This year, SIM Stories invites you to journey through Lent with Chetna, a community health, and development program in North India. May their work inspire you this Lenten season. When Madhu studied community development, his university professors said it was a job that would take a lifetime or more. Perhaps back then, he didn’t feel the weight of that as he does now, twenty-five years later. Jolting along the unpaved dirt road, Madhu goes through a list of unusual things he’s seen while driving. Once there were two men with a long metal container precariously balance on their heads as they zipped down the road on their motorbike. “People here have a lot of creativity,” he laughs. Bihar isn’t a place usually lauded for … Read More

Ingessana People Discover the Truth About Jesus

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by Tim Coleman “Are you the man who talks the truth about Jesus?” ask the young Ingessana people. Getachew hesitates as he sizes up the young people. They have turned up en masse to his house from the refugee camps outside the village. Historically, Ingessana people are known to be hostile to strangers. “Yes,” he replies. The leader of the group hands over a piece of paper and asks him to read it. This is a monumental moment. Practicing African Traditional beliefs, many Ingessana people became Muslims in a time of need. Islamic missionaries came promising food and water during a drought. What was required in return for the provision was for the Ingessana to become Muslims. Many of them converted. Due to war, over the last five years, a number of Ingessana people have been forced to leave their homeland of Blue Nile state in Sudan. Many now live … Read More