After leaving her abusive ex-husband, Ellen thought she’d have to raise her two young daughters alone. The future looked gloomy and hopeless. The reality of poverty is haunting. Although no longer living with her ex-husband, she still harbored an intense grudge against him. It seemed almost unimaginable to her that she would ever be able to forgive his cruelty.
However, things started to change after Ellen joined ICM’s Transform program.
Invited by Pastor Joel Laquip, Ellen became a participant of this 16-week training on Values, Health and Livelihood. Despite a 30-minute walk from her house to the venue, often dangerous on rainy days, Ellen was never discouraged from attending the program. Each session was invaluable to her and helped her to become more grateful for everything good in her life.
Then the impossible happened. Much to her surprise, Ellen has finally been able to forgive her ex-husband and move on from her past as she learned about the meaning and power of forgiveness from Transform. She no longer takes out her anger on her kids and the people around her. She values each of her relationships because she believes love will always triumph over hatred.
Alongside the change in Ellen’s attitude, she has also improved her family’s finances by implementing the skills taught in
Business-in-a-Box. Ellen used to be a laborer in other people’s fields but, after learning how to make snacks, she has started her own business. She earns PHP 300 (US$6.27) each week, which is far more than her previous job offered. Ellen also finds the job of making and selling snacks to be much more enjoyable. She likes being her own boss and being able to set her own working hours and rules.
Recently, Ellen has fallen in love again! This new partner has also
been the first one to notice all the positive changes. He says that she has become more understanding and he is happy for her. Ellen
shares her story whenever she gets a chance to chat with her friends. She wants to influence people around her, helping them to trust God and to believe that no matter how hard life gets, there is always hope and the opportunity to change.
ICM’s Transform program is a 16-week learning experience that expands the capabilities that the ultrapoor need to flourish. Weekly, ICM Health and Livelihood trainers join the community pastor and teach ICM’s interactive Values, Health and Livelihood curriculum.
By Yuxuan Su, ICM Intern