Season 3 – Episode 8

BIG IDEA  We get it.  Season 3 has been a bit on the heavy side, learning about the challenges of orphans and vulnerable children around the world.  So in this final episode we’re bringing nothing but positivity and joy.  We hear from Zoe and Alex, two formerly vulnerable children who are now fully supporting themselves as adults and sharing their gifts and love with their families and others.   
OUR GUEST(S)  Faith Ntinyari – Malawi
At age 16, Faith lost both of her and was left with four siblings to care for.  Three years later, she graduated from ZOE and now supports her family and others through clothing sales and design as well as farming.    

Alex Yanez - Ciudad España, Honduras
Alex is an entrepreneur who designs graphics and is studying to become an English teacher.  Most of his interview about the design program – is there more we can add here about his personal life, etc.?       
CALL TO ACTIONSend us an email at and we’ll send you a thank you card designed by Alex.  We’d love to hear your questions, suggestions for future episodes or just a hello to let us know you’re listening.  We appreciate you so much!   Can they place orders for thank you notes directly from Alex?  
Faith Ntinyari
Alex Yanez

As always, thanks for listening.

Love, the Bridging Cultures Podsquad

Season 3 – Episode 5 – Zoe Empowers

BIG IDEA  In this episode you’ll hear about Rahab, a young girl in Africa who lost her parents when she was just 15 years old and was left alone to raise her two younger siblings. Unfortunately, Rahab is one of millions of minor children who are orphaned, in severe poverty, and struggling to care for and feed their families. But as you’ll hear, the story ends happily.  Through the ZOE Empowers program, she now owns her own hair salon and is thriving!   Zoe Empowers is an organization that works with minor children who are heads of their households.  Participants complete a three-year program along with other orphans who support and assist one another.  They are trained in skills, encouraged to follow their dreams, and find hope and dignity.  
OUR GUEST(S)  Reegan Kaberia – CEO of Zoe Global and Kenya Country Manager Before joining Zoe Empowers, Reegan served both local and international child-centered community development organizations.  In March 2007, he joined the staff of Zoe Empowers, opening and growing the empowerment program initiative.   He holds an MBA in strategic management from Kenya Methodist University.  
LEARN MOREVisit to learn more about ZOE Empowers and hear amazing stories of success.  
CALL TO ACTIONSupport a ZOE work group or leave a legacy gift at  Your financial gift can have a huge impact and make a difference for ZOE families.  

As always, thanks for listening.

Love, the Bridging Cultures Podsquad

Thoughts of home swim in our head and memories of Malawi are strong. During our final devotion, we talked about how our lives will be changed forever as part of this amazing experience. Ethan and Emerson are thinking about homework, Doty is so looking forward to seeing her family and, most likely, many activities just waiting for her. 

We all talked about how we plan to keep Malawi in our hearts always. When we left Hugo and Chifundo at the airport, we gave and received warm hugs. Many of us are already making plans for how we can support the vocational students moving forward. We also talked about plans to visit Malawi again soon. We left part of our hearts is Malawi. We pray abundant blessings on our new friends and safe travels for our team. 

Today was a day filled with new learnings and fond farewells.  We started the day with a devotion called "let me be empty" offered by Emerson and Ethan. Hugo taught us a song in Chechewa "Kokomo Kuyemda mri  Yessu" which means we walk with Jesus. We all walked, danced and sang with the students. It was amazing!

Next, we received vocational training in shoe making (Eric) and table making (Elisa). Students and the team all had a chance to practice the skills we learned.  The sensation of all working together is phenomenal!  Several students shared their background, struggles, businesses and appreciation for the program. As the students departed, they gave each team member a gift made especially for us!  We felt so blessed yet sad to leave our new friends.

Next, we met with the community based trainers and Brenda to get an update on the status of the village savings and loan groups.  In less than 2 years, the villages have been transformed. They now have pride and a sense of community. As you change one community at a time,  the country of Malawi is transformed. 

After a delicious meal prepared by Juliet, we were off to visit a village to see their community gardens, borehole and solar lights. With the solar lights, students are able to study at night and the whole family benefits. The visit reminded me that Jesus said we are to be light to shine in the darkness

As we traveled back to our hotel we reflected on our day. Our hearts are overflowing with love for our new friends 

Business/Finance & Mindset Change trainings at the permaculture farm

As we arrive at the straw roof hut, Dianne and Brad prepare for their entrepreneurship and business presentations.  Brad opens the presentation by expressing to the group that they had not come up with any fun games to do in between the sessions. The topic they were going over was complex.  Luckily, during one of our session breaks, the students decided that we should all play a game of limbo. Having fun activities between sessions really helped with concentration. 

During the training, they went over a business model about making and marketing wooden tables and how to manage the business finances. Luckily, Dianne was extremely good at presenting this kind of information due to her career experiences while working for GM. Every now and then the group would break up to discuss what they learned and how they can apply it to their business. Many of the students already had experience starting a business so the small group discussions were a way for them to communicate what they did with less experienced students. One marketing technique students sometimes use is to offer free products and services in order to grow their reputation. What was revealing to Brad was that the entrepreneurs were eager to share opportunities to employ other students once their business had grown.

During the presentation, some of the babies would get cranky and begin to cry. Angela, Tina and Doty would take the babies outside and play with them so that their mothers could listen. Tina started a little daycare on Chifundo’s pink bus.

Next, Doty presented Mindset Change in order to encourage and motivate the students.  After the presentation was finished, one of the students had us come outside for a demonstration of pot making. He would melt aluminum and charcoal and use molds made of dirt and ashes in order to make the pots. Later that afternoon, we arrived back at the hotel. We owe so much to Hugo for facilitating, translating and inspiring all of the presentations and more. Upon returning to the hotel,  we went over our devotion and spoke about our internal struggles. We touched a lot on how easy it is to let ego take over and not listen to guidance from the Holy Spirit.  Thus ended another amazing day in Malawi.

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