Gospel for Asia: Breaking Extreme Poverty with a Needle and Thread
WILLS POINT, TX — Gospel for Asia (GFA) — Discussing how one man was able to sew his way out of extreme generational poverty by making clothing for customers on the side while still doing his daily labor in the tea fields.
Nalah pulled fabric away from his sewing machine to show his customer the finished product. He had just finished telling his client, one of his neighbors, the story of Jesus — the God who saved his life. When the customer left, Nalah started up his machine once more to fill another order. As the sewing needle bobbed up and down and the hum of the machine filled the air, Nalah was grateful for his new life in Christ.
But sewing wasn’t just something Nalah enjoyed. It wasn’t a hobby or a chance to express his creativity. For Nalah, sewing meant getting his family out of extreme poverty — a treacherous cycle they had been in for many generations.
Born in the Tea Gardens Made Life Hard
Nalah grew up watching his father labor in the tea fields, trying to maintain his family’s livelihood. He knew well the desperate poverty all the tea workers endured. Soon, their daily struggle became his own as he had to forsake his education to work alongside his father.
Life carried on as it did for every boy in the tea gardens. Inadequate living conditions, lack of clean water and proper sanitation, and malnourishment was the norm for Nalah and all the other tea worker families.
Despite his challenging childhood, Nalah grew up and started a family of his own. He became the father of three daughters and one son, all of whom needed to eat each day and get an education. The problem was Nalah couldn’t provide for them as he longed to. He sank into a depression and turned to temporary liquid pleasure to find relief.
While Nalah drank, he gambled his hard-earned money with his friends, trying to crowd out his sorrows like so many of the other men in the tea gardens have done for years. Nalah’s life was spent in misery, while his wife and children suffered all the more from the distance alcohol and gambling brought to their family.
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