Story

Sifa Threads: Empowering At-Risk Women


Neema* was one of the first women to receive training through Sifa Threads, an ABWE ministry in Tanzania that couples teaching marginalized women sewing and entrepreneurial skills with Bible-based discipleship.

Missionary Stephanie Boon noticed that despite the excitement of the students, Neema seemed hardened and bitter. She soon discovered why: The young woman was pregnant. In Tanzanian culture, an unmarried pregnant woman is the lowest type of social outcast.

For Neema, the pregnancy also deepened the shame she carried after being raised by a single mother who worked as a prostitute. Humiliated and terrified, she tried to hide her pregnancy. But Stephanie stayed by Neema’s side and remained there as the two visited a midwife, where the young woman heard her baby’s heartbeat for the first time.

In that moment, Neema’s heart began to soften.

Just a week later, Neema went into labor and delivered an extremely premature baby boy, named Samuele, who only lived a few more days. Neema was heartbroken by her son’s death — but rather than let her despair break her, Neema began to let Jesus in.

“God used this in my life to wake me up,” she shared in a testimony she gave at church. “Now that I have had a son and watched him die, I know how much I loved him, and I can see how much God loves me.”