Spring Baking & Hospitality Update

There are several aspects of my job that I enjoy. One is seeing how much someone can
change over the course of a short six months. The other joy is to have the privilege of
walking alongside people over time. We know most any change takes time. Deep lasting
change, the change that is breaking the years of lies and darkness, takes even more time.
Time – advancement – setbacks – patience – baby steps. A seed doesn’t take root and grow
into a strong elm overnight. It takes years of weathering storms and being nourished and
fed before it provides shade and shelter.

Three of the women from batch one are working in the kitchen program or in the center in
some capacity. I have had the privilege of being with these three for almost a year now.
Recently, I shared about “April” and how she is stepping into her social caring role. Back in
February, I shared about “Rinku” and how she is growing as a leader and trainer. Now it is
my delight to share about how I have seen “Nikita” grow and take hold of her life and opportunities.

Since January, Nikita has been working the reception desk in the training center. She is a
ball of energy and joy and is the perfect person to greet those who come to the center. She
also spends the day at the desk working on her numeracy and literacy, seeking to learn and
improve her situation.

Without going into too many details, recently she shared an experience she had with
someone in which the other person said to her, in a negative, manipulative way, “You’ve
really changed.” (Because she wasn’t going to give into the pressure to skip work.) She
ended up telling that person, “You go your path, I’ll go mine.” She told me, this job feeds
me, that person wont feed me. This job is my responsibility. I want freedom, I want to keep
walking the path of freedom. For so many years, I have wanted this & this is my opportunity now, I won’t give it up.

She was empowered to use her voice to say no! She showed courage to stand up
against someone who was not looking out for her best interests. She understood her
dignity and worth. She made a choice for her freedom, for her life!

I can’t begin to tell you just how powerful this step is. Women (people!) here don’t
understand choice, real choice. It is complicated to explain but knowing the fact that Nikita
was able to say no and make a choice for herself and her future is truly amazing! I am
privileged to be walking alongside her as she continues to take courageous steps in her