From Debt and Despair to Redemptive Hope
19 years ago, my husband left. Overnight, I became a single mother to our three young children.
To make ends meet, I started a small cosmetology business and soon had the opportunity to move into a store front at a shopping center.
The municipality of Quito decided to give retail space to single mothers like me to operate businesses. It felt like a dream come true! For the first time, I felt empowered as the leader of my household. Each store unit was small, so I decided to purchase five.
However, the more I worked with Quito authorities, the less helpful they were. I began to worry that they were taking advantage of us, and I was upset with myself for how naïve I had been to think they genuinely wanted to help.
Sure enough, the municipality decided to charge $6,000 USD per store unit—even though they had promised we would only have to pay $1,200 per unit.
I had acquired five stores, which meant I incurred an unimaginable debt of around $30,000!
I was consumed with insecurity, bitterness, and despair. But during this difficult time, I came to Verbo Mañosca Church and started participating in a women’s small group. There I began to understand that there is hope for people like me and I began to experience emotional and spiritual freedom.
It was also at church that I connected with Partners Worldwide and learned how to successfully operate a business.
As I started to improve my cosmetic business, I realized that my dream of owning a retail space at a shopping mall had not faded—even despite the bad experience with the municipal authorities.
Partners Worldwide helped me re-build my cosmetic business, and gave me the idea of creating an integral beauty shop. I began to envision a place where women can come for manicures, massages, hairdressing, clothing, and accessories—and a place that provides childcare for the customers too.
I wanted to make this dream a reality immediately, but Partners Worldwide taught me that there is necessary order, patience, and discipline required in every step of building a successful business. At that time, I didn’t understand blessing comes after obedience and discipline.
However, through following Partners Worldwide’s guidance I saw how doors started opening, debts were being paid off, and my business was steadily growing.
I was even able to achieve my dream of owning a retail store in a shopping mall!
In my shop today, I sell cosmetic products, I provide minimal cost cosmetic treatments to low-income teenagers, and I have hired a full-time employee. I also employ an elderly man to help me with paperwork, negotiations, and other business operations. He has become my right-hand man!
In addition to operating a cosmetics shop, I also help manage the mall. I now have the authority to grant other entrepreneurs shops so that they can grow their own businesses.
Today, my life and my family’s life is completely transformed and I give all the glory to God.
With the support of my church and Partners Worldwide, I now have hope for my future and my children’s futures. I no longer struggle with fear, insecurity, or low self-esteem because I know God loves me. He has been faithful to me amidst every challenge I’ve faced.