Did you know that hair can be life-changing?
Theary is one of our faithful baptized members. She is a mother to three girls, yet she still lives with her parents and many of her siblings in a tiny house on stilts. Her husband sustained a head injury several years ago and has been very dependent since. She has faithfully cared for him for many years, rather than dumping him for someone else, as others encouraged her to do. Since he can’t walk, she carries him on her back, despite the fact that he used to abuse her and forbid her from studying with Christians.
Theary is illiterate and makes a meager income by selling fish at the town market every morning. She doesn’t have the money to buy the fish outright, so she gets them on credit and pays the distributor back at the end of the day. She often has to borrow money to buy a bag of rice for her family or to send her daughters to school. She is determined to give them the education she was never able to have.
Sometimes Theary calls us to see if we need any work done. She will cut grass by hand, scrub the house or do any other kind of work without complaining. When I pay her, she puts her hands together and says, “Thank You, God, and thank you, Carly.” She has never asked me for money without earning it. Her faith, honesty and determination amaze me. She is one of my dear friends.
Raquel is a nurse back in the States. A couple years ago, she grew her hair out until it was below her waist. She has beautiful, wavy brown hair and has never dyed it. Apparently, hair like hers can fetch a good price from the right buyer. She did her research and posted some photos of her hair on various websites. Eventually, she was contacted by someone who made fancy wigs. He paid her $800 for her hair. Raquel decided to donate this money to missions or a charity, but for two years she didn’t find a cause to which she felt impressed to give. In December, Raquel visited our project. She met Theary and came to love her sweet faith in Jesus and her devotion to God despite her difficulties. Recently, Raquel told me she wanted to give the money from selling her hair to help Theary.
At the time, Theary was struggling with her old, broken-down motorbike, which cannot pass inspection. Police have been stopping and fining drivers of unregistered motorbikes. Her profits are already so minimal, and these fines were just another burden. Not to mention the motorbike’s frequent breakdowns. I was so excited for Theary, knowing that she could now get a new motorbike because of Raquel’s gift. Our partners in Cambodia were able to go to town and find a motorbike within the price range. They brought it to Theary and presented the gift. She was overjoyed to have this new blessing, and she thanked them profusely. They sent videos and photos to Raquel so she could see the effects of her blessing.
We have heard of bake sales for missions, garage sales for missions, and many other kinds of fundraisers. But this was the first we have heard of growing hair for missions! Obviously, this is not something we all can do. But maybe this will inspire you to think outside the box and come up with creative ways to bless others. Money doesn’t grow on trees, but apparently it can grow on heads!