Sharon Germaine teaches sewing to underprivileged Christian young women in the Philippines through a vocational training and discipleship program called Mustard Seed. Her husband, Daryl, trains young men at Working Hands, a program for young men, in auto mechanics and discipleship. Sharon recently wrote about a couple of new ministries she has undertaken:
“The sewing classes at Mustard Seed are usually several months long and generally geared toward young, single Christian women. My teaching assistant, Doring, and I recently started some smaller, shorter classes for the barrio women in our community who do not fit the normal student profile. This was an idea that we and Barbara Burchert, Mustard Seed’s leader, have been thinking about for several years.
“So far, we have only taught three women in this program, but they have been enthusiastic learners. One of them is not a Christian, but she asks questions and shows interest in learning more about God’s Word, especially when Doring gives devotions at the beginning of class. One of the other women is the mother of six children and lives in abject poverty with no running water or electricity. It has been fun to see her eyes light up as she finishes a project.
“Shortly after the barrio sewing classes began, I left the classes in Doring’s hands and started helping a Filipino couple set up a sewing factory in a location a couple hours away from Mustard Seed’s campus. I did this with fear and trembling, as I’ve never before worked in a factory. The factory is in a resettlement area for victims of some of the typhoons that have hit the Philippines in the last few years. Ben and Grace, the couple in charge of this venture, want to help the community that is in great need of employment. I started off by offering suggestions regarding types of sewing machines and advice for organizing the shop. I then helped with assessing people who applied for jobs.
“In the midst of all this, the shop was being painted and upgraded for the heavy loads of electricity that would be needed. It was a real challenge for me—feeling like a fish out of water—to be flexible while workmen were underfoot, dust was flying, and I was trying to figure out what to do next each long day. I helped out at the factory three days a week through the end of January, training new employees and keeping production running smoothly. I enjoyed getting to know the employees in the factory, and learned a lot.”