Levi became the owner and operator of a bed & breakfast, creating jobs for unemployed youth. However, the bed & breakfast had to close down due to circumstances beyond her control. After a few months of re-strategizing, Levi picked herself up and opened a potato chips store at the market. Every day, locals queue up to buy her potato chips.
THIS IS HER STORY
Levi and Destiny were inspired by their friend Exodus. They left the commercial sex industry and joined the S&D Aftercare program.
Previously, Levi had completed a college qualification in international trading and commerce in her home country in Africa, but unemployment was so high that she could not get a job to support her family.
Soon after joining the S&D Aftercare program, Levi re-discovered her passion for baking and cooking, and prepared to open bed & breakfast business when she returned home. S&D funded her to complete a vocational certificate in food hygiene. Under the guidance of S&D’s staff, counselor and case worker, Levi organized a fundraising campaign by offering catering services, raising enough seed money.
How Levi made the decision to leave the red light districts
When Exodus ran into her friends several months after she joined the Sons & Daughters Aftercare program, she tried to persuade them to follow her path – leave the red light districts and build a new career. Destiny and Levi were hesitant. It all sounded too good to be true. One day, in her weekly counseling session, Exodus asked her counselor to pray for her two friends, Destiny and Levi.
In prayer, her counsellor got the words “exhausted heart”, “back pain” and “headaches”, and asked God to begin the healing process in the two women.
When Exodus shared this with her friends, they were stunned. The counselor had never met them, and yet those were exactly the problems they have been struggling with. Destiny and Levi finally understood that God is looking out for them, and calling them to become daughters of God.
“It was a big opportunity,”
Levi said of her 12 months at the S&D Aftercare program. “By the grace of God, I learned skills which are helping me in my home country and in my business now.”
Upon returning to her home country, Levi paid for the renovation of a five-bedroom house. She then re-painted all the rooms herself, and turned the house into a local-style bed & breakfast. Her business employed at-risk young people as staff, creating job opportunities in a community where jobs were scarce.
Unfortunately, due to local economic conditions and a difficult landlord, Levi’s bed & breakfast had to close down. She spent a few months re-strategizing, and then she went to the local market, rented a space, and set up a store to sell potato chips. Her store is so popular that every day, customers form long queues waiting to buy her potato chips. This modest business allows Levi to interface with many locals, build her brand as a food and beverage business, and to keep costs low and keep savings high. Levi is saving up to open a restaurant. That will be her dream come true.
Here are two verses that Levi has found empowering and comforting:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.