On my first full day here I was able to meet with all the young people from the larger Nuevas Fuerzas group that we’re working with. The world would describe this group as having ‘learning disabilities’, yet what they’ve learned in a short period is remarkable. They’re producing beautiful cards from Peruvian fabrics, and beads from recycled cereal boxes (hard to believe I know, but have a look at the finished result in the picture on the bottom left!) They were thrilled to bits to hear that all the cards they’ve sent to the UK so far have completely sold out, and they proudly told me that they’re selling well in Peru too. Christian, one of the group, stood up to make a welcome speech and said how pleased they were to be earning money from their work, which enabled them to buy the things they needed and help their families. It’s still very early days with this project, so it’s wonderful that those involved are already seeing the benefits. I told them that when they produce work that sells, two good things happen:
1) They get paid!
2) The world gets to see how talented and brilliant they are, and that’s just as important. It’s an opportunity for them to shine their light out all over the world, so people are able to see that God’s blessed them with talents and abilities just like everyone else.
We have to stay out of Peru for a few days in order for Ellie to get a new visitors permit when we return, for the remainder of her 9 month stay, so we’re using the time productively to reflect on what we’re done so far, plan what we’re doing next and work on new designs. I bought way more beads with me on this trip than clothes – something I’m slightly regretting now I’ve discovered how cold it is here! We set off back to the relative warmth of Arequipa on Monday, arriving sometime the next day after more hours on busses than I care to calculate. Suffice to say, its’ a long way, so please pray we get back safely. Can’t wait to get back and meet up with the rest of the differently-able people we’re working with here, it’s so encouraging to see the beautiful work they’re all creating.
Look out for pictures next week!