Kathy Brooks remembers the moment her heart was bound to the women of Jubilee, Haiti. On one of her first trips to the desolate community outside of Gonaives, she was approached by an impoverished mother. The woman held a baby in her outstretched arms and in her eyes was a mixture of immense love and intense anguish. The woman pleaded for Kathy to take her infant child—not because she was no longer interested in being a mother, but because she wanted her baby to know a life beyond malnutrition, destitution, and hopelessness.
From that day on Kathy was determined to use her God-given talents to teach groups of women in Jubilee how to support their families. My last post gave you a glimpse into her husband Beaver’s work, as he disciples men and works on construction projects with our ministry partner Christian Light Foundation. Today I want to share with you how Kathy is encouraging women in this same community to master a skill and follow the Lord.
Ever since that encounter with the mother who was willing to sacrifice anything in order for her child to have a better life, Kathy has been teaching impoverished women how to make handicrafts like jewelry and journals, which they can sell to make a profit. Now armed with a trade, these women grow in confidence and dignity as they are able to provide food and clothing for their families. But like Beaver, Kathy’s top priority is always pointing them to the lasting hope found in Christ.
“If we do all this great stuff, but they don’t ever learn to follow Jesus, it’s nothing. Because it will turn right back into chaos the moment we walk away,” she said. “It’s essential that all of us become true followers of Jesus. He is the path of life and it’s a totally different thing when you watch somebody walk out the ways of the kingdom before you. That’s discipleship—and that’s the way of Jubilee.”
That’s why I love working at Cross. The wonderful projects we support are not just building homes, drilling wells, and distributing food—they are encouraging the poor to become Christian leaders in their own communities who will then lead others to walk in the footsteps of Christ.