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2023 Ministry Impact Report

2023 Ministry Impact Report

2023 Ministry Impact Report

Dear Friends,

Over the last few weeks, we’ve finalized our 2023 ministry impact numbers, and I want to share them with you. I also want to extend a huge “Thank You” for your love, prayer, and financial giving in support of Sew Powerful.
As a quick reminder of how this all started, on March 23rd, 2009, we felt God’s clear call to begin helping eight ladies achieve their goals. They were on a mission to make a difference in their very poor community, and God tapped us on the shoulder with a call to support them. At first, all we could afford was $50 a month.

Their goals were simple. They wanted the children of their community to have a good education, to be fed, and to know Jesus. They wanted their kids to have an abundant life. And so, confident that God had called us, we began.
15 years later, we are still responding to that original call like it was yesterday. Same passion. Same place. Same people. And God continues to demonstrate His grace and love for these precious people. Although we won’t have our official 2023 990 filings finalized for a few months, we received somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.3 Million dollars of support during 2023 and had an overhead rate somewhere in the 4% range.
The biggest surprise in the last 15 years, and the biggest miracle, is that God has tapped other people on the shoulder and recruited them to join this ministry. In 2023, we had 1,431 volunteers serve through Sew Powerful. They came from 12 different countries. Many work by themselves, but a growing number are working in groups. In 2023, we had 47 chapters where volunteers met together faithfully and worked in support of the mission.
Early on, we felt led to make a personal choice that we would approach Sew Powerful activities as sacrificial service, not for pay. We wanted to follow the teachings of Paul and his Tent-making example and provide for our own needs, not supported via donor giving. And that has been our practice with the volunteers who join us. As the ministry expands, we’ve put God in a tough spot. He’s got to tap people on the shoulder who have increasingly technical and professional skills in keeping with a growing ministry, but the compensation package is only redeemable on the other side of the pearly gates.
The good news is God has been working double time in his shoulder-tapping activities – to bring in incredible people who see their work as sacrificial service, done for Jesus, not for money. In 2023, we added a new Senior Team Member, Raquel Johnson, who comes to us with an incredible background in business. She joins Esther MKandawire, Sue Kirby, Jan Cancila, Dana Buck, Cinnamon, and myself on the leadership team.  
Meanwhile, in Zambia, because we are working amongst the poorest of the poor, we have a different goal – local employment for local impact. We strive to make good-paying jobs for our team members so they can provide for their families and do well by doing good. In 2023, we employed 96 people, and they’ve done fantastic work.
In his departing speech, Moses said, “How can one put a thousand to flight, and two ten thousand – unless the Lord is on their side,” And so it seems with our small team in Zambia. They are impacting thousands; in my view, it’s a testimony to God being on their side. The cry of those original eight mommas is still being answered today – and in a growing way. Our work has three primary areas of impact. This graphic demonstrates it visually:

The Sew Powerful Purse: We’re celebrating our tenth anniversary of the Sew Powerful Purse, a program we started in 2014 to help girls stay in school all month, even during their period. Donors worldwide make cute cross-body purses, and we ship those to Zambia. The sewing team there makes reusable feminine hygiene pads, and the soap team makes soap, and then the school outreach team does school assemblies to educate the girls, give them purses, and challenge them to stay in school all month, even on their period.
On average, six weeks of additional education is enabled per girl because of the program. In 2023, we collected 29,475 purses for this project. Those purses will allow 176,850 weeks of school as we distribute them in the months ahead. Although we experienced shipping delays in 2023 and were only able to distribute 12,445 purses, we expect to distribute close to 39,000 in 2024. In 2023, we administered this program at 50 schools, and that number is multiplying.
Feeding The Hungry: One of the most desperate physical conditions in Ngombe Compound, where we primarily serve, is physical hunger. Because the families are desperately poor, most only have one meal a day – typically a humble portion of corn, maize (called Nshima), and vegetables. Usually, the family gathers mid-afternoon to eat that meal, and then there isn’t anything further for the day.
In 2015, God gifted us a ten-acre parcel of land to grow food for hungry kids at our initial partner school. It wasn’t much, but it was a start. The 3 Esthers Farm was born. We started with the ability to help just one school with occasional crops of vegetables. Today, our team of four farmers grows vegetable crops and orchard fruits. All the food is taken straight to ten needy schools in Ngombe Compound.  
That food is supplemented by the incredible generosity of Convoy Of Hope, which provides a nutritionally fortified rice product (something akin to Spanish Rice). In 2023, we fed 5,600 children hot lunches daily at the ten local schools and supplemented it regularly with vegetables and orchard fruits from the farm. We employ a cook and school coordinator at each school to administer the program – and they do it with joy and love.
In addition to the school-based program, we also have a backyard garden program designed to empower teen boys (and girls) and serve the widows and most needy households of Ngombe with fresh food. The teens are paid to manage ten backyard gardens each, so in total, we have 120 under management. Each house we serve has ten people on average, primarily children.
The poorest of the poor in Ngombe are widow-headed households trying to care for many children and grandchildren. So, this small program helps roughly 1,200 people. James 1:27 in action.
Sharing Jesus: Over the last few years, God has opened doors for us to integrate Gospel Literature distribution into our ministry effort – in partnership with One Hope International. In 2023, we distributed 10,362 copies of the Book Of Hope Literature.
We do this by conducting special school assemblies – after the Sew Powerful Purse program distribution has been completed. In December, we began recruiting a child evangelist to join our team, and one of our team members applied. We didn’t know she was the children’s pastor at her church on weekends, and she said she’d love the opportunity to lead this project going forward. So, please pray for Frienda that God uses her in mighty ways in 2024.
In Summary, during 2023, we accomplished the following:
Volunteers Mobilized: 1,431
Chapters Supported: 47
Countries Included: 12
Zambian Team-members: 96
Daily School Lunch Beneficiaries: 5,600
Women Empowerment Beneficiaries: 74
Sew Powerful Purse Beneficiaries: 12,445
Sew Powerful Purses Collected: 29,475
Boys Empowerment Beneficiaries: 11
Agricultural Initiatives: 120 Gardens, 1 Farm.
Widow-Headed Household & Vulnerable Families Members Served: 1,200
Schools In Partners: 50
Book Of Hope Literature Distributed: 10,363

2024 Goals

As I write this, we are already well into 2024, and our high-level plans include:

  • Grow our Zambia team by 20%
  • Receiving 33,000 Sew Powerful Purses
  • Distribute 39,000 Sew Powerful Purses, which includes some from 2023.
  • Feed 9,000 children daily lunches in 20 local schools
  • Share Jesus with 40,000 children

We are confident that with your prayer, volunteerism, and financial support, we can accomplish these goals and create abundance and hope in a desperate place. We look forward to partnering with you in this transformative endeavor.

Jason Miles,
CEO, Sew Powerful

More About Jason Miles: Jason holds an MBA with an emphasis in International Non-Profit Management, as well as an undergraduate degree in Organizational Management. He served previously as the Senior Vice President of Advancement at Northwest University, and prior to that as Executive Director at World Vision where he served for sixteen years. He co-founded Sew Powerful in 2010 with his wife Cinnamon.

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