The Who & Why of WOW

 What began in February 2011 as just three women at a coffee shop with hopes and dreams has grown into WOW – Women for Oppressed Women. Pictured here is WOW’s volunteer board. The group also is fortunate to have hundreds of special supporters known as the Friends of WOW.

What began in February 2011 as just three women at a coffee shop with hopes and dreams has grown into WOW – Women for Oppressed Women. Pictured here is WOW’s volunteer board. The group also is fortunate to have hundreds of special supporters known as the Friends of WOW.

In Chaimite and Koka Misava, two villages in the middle of Mozambique on the continent of Africa, women work tirelessly to care for their children, their homes and one another. God laid this country and her citizens on the hearts of The Chapel in Akron, Green and Wadsworth, Ohio; and the church began a mission to care for both the physical and spiritual needs of these precious souls.

In an effort to help the villagers, Chapel member Julie Davis desired to train the women to knit handbags from hemp. The goal was to bring a sustainable business to the villages – one that depended little on foreign aid for supplies or purchases. Julie shared her vision with another Chapel member and knitting enthusiast, Kathie Brown. Kathie soon designed a pattern for the bag, trained knitters from The Chapel on how to train women in Mozambique, and sold the handbags here in the United States. The project was an excellent introduction for these women to micro-enterprise, and the villagers’ hard work soon resulted in a profit of about $7000! However, there were even greater needs – and therefore, greater business opportunities – in sustainable farming.

In February 2011, Kathie approached two friends, Linda Thompson and Linda Maynard, whom she had trained and advised before their mission to Mozambique – and asked if they would join her in a new idea. Kathie wanted to throw a gala purse party in order to help the Mozambicans launch a new microenterprise in their villages. The two Lindas responded enthusiastically, albeit it naively, “Count us in! What’s a purse party?”

Over the next five months, Kathie, Linda and Linda not only found their own definition of a purse party, but they found a small group of like-minded friends to join them in the effort. That group soon took on a name: WOW – Women for Oppressed Women. Click on the next page to see the rest of their story, which really is His Story and Where He Has Led.