From our Executive Director
Stella grabbed my hand and led me down the red dirt road. She wanted to take me to her house — a tidy one-room flat she shares with her young son. Inside she showed me pictures of her siblings, the clothing inventory for her new business, and the journal she uses to record her monthly savings. We sat on her bed, and she shared with me her hopes, her struggles, and her dreams.
We were new friends. I didn’t deserve to be taken by the hand and welcomed into her story like that. Being with Stella inside her home, inside her heart, felt like a gift.
"Being able to provide for my family is the greatest joy I have," Stella told us this month. Pictured above, Stella and Abigail together in March 2018.
Turns out, it’s a gift I would receive again and again this year, as countless TOLI clients welcomed me in — to be with them in their homes, their businesses, their stories. This gift of WITH has been my favorite gift this year.
It’s this same gift of WITH that God gives us all at Christmas. The gift of Jesus, Emmanuel, "God with us." God gave us the gift of his son Jesus to be our rescue, to restore creation, and to reclaim us as the people he created us to be, by first coming to be with us.
That’s why WITH is essential to TOLI's mission. We come alongside people in vulnerable parts of the world, and work with them as they pursue God’s purpose, their own creative capacity, and their dreams for their communities.
In 2018, TOLI has grown in extraordinary ways:
partnering with 12 different local organizations around the world to bring microloans and the Gospel to more people and places than ever before
working with more than 550 clients this year—a 30% increase since January
our social workers walking with each client for at least 18 months, building relationships and opportunities to share Christ's love
gathering with each other on #TOLITuesday to pray monthly over the ministry, our staff, and our clients
God didn’t have to come be with us to save us—He could have done it from afar. He could have just done it for us. But he didn’t. He came in the flesh, through his own sacrifice, to be with us. Why?
Because God loves us. Because our rescue wasn’t just a job to do, but a love to share. Because you can’t have love if there is no with. That’s what I've learned this year. That’s what TOLI’s mission is all about. And that’s what we remember every Christmas when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, who longs to grab each one of us by the hand to welcome us into His home, His heart, and—if we let him—even into His story.
With gratitude and joy,
Thank you for standing with us.
Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and generosity. Without you, Stella may not be where she is today: successfully providing for her son and siblings, discovering her God-given gifts, and growing in faith. There's still time to join in His work this year. Give a year-end gift and help us start 2019 in strength, together.
Want to go deeper with TOLI?
> Come to our next #TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering: January 8 from 12-1pm (at TOLI, 5785 N.Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918)
> Save the Date: Thursday, May 9, 2019 for our Big Event at the Pinery
> Discover other ways to get involved here
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