“I thought that I was going to die.” Leydis sat on a small stool perched among broken appliances and quietly shared her experience of encountering Jesus for the first time. We (four volunteers from Pan de Vida) sat listening intently. “The doctors said there was nothing to do about the leukemia, so I went to my family’s farm to die. Jesus came to me in a dream and said ‘Woman of little faith, I am going to heal you because I want to bless you.’ After that I went home to my husband Bill, and we started going to church. The doctors said my blood was essentially just water. They didn’t know how I was healed, but I knew.” Leydis wanted to share this story at the very beginning of our conversation with her, and it set the tone for the rest of our conversation with her. Even as she told us how she and her husband had to leave Venezuela because they simply could not feed their two children, Leydis made it clear that she had been blessed by God.
This thread continued as she spoke of her early days in Ecuador. Initially, she and Bill struggled to find jobs even though they are both educated professionals who left behind careers. They began to search for a church who could support them spiritually during this time and soon discovered Pan de Vida’s evening services. Here their faith was bolstered through fellowship with other believers. Thankfully Pan de Vida was also able to help with securing work and an income. By providing a micro-loan, Pan de vida helped Leydis and Bill launch their appliance repair shop which has grown faster than they could have expected.
Now, Leydis and Bill arrive at their small shop at 8:00 a.m. every morning to begin work. Leydis relies on her training as an economist to handle the financial side of the business while Bill makes good use of his engineering skills, managing the actual repairs. They know that God provided the rapid growth, and they are hoping to soon be able to employ other Venezuelan refugees in order to share this blessing.
When making deliveries from his repair shop to other parts of Quito, Bill has no choice but to haul his machinery using public transportation. He hoists refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves and other heavy appliances onto the city bus and holds them securely, painstakingly ensuring a safe arrival to their owner. Securing proper transportation would allow unprecedented growth for this small business, but is not financially feasible at this time without outside support from donors. Please, prayerfully consider donating to this cause through Pan de Vida by giving monetary donations or by donating your time as a volunteer in Quito.