Lydia’s Market

IMG_2683Lydia’s Market is the handcraft micro business of the South African Lydia’s Circle ministry. Lydia’s market was launched in February of 2016 as a way to improve the economic outlook of women who work in the eManzana garbage dump. These women work 12 hours a day 7 days a week and only earn income based on what they collect and only get paid when the truck comes to purchase the recycled materials they have collected. It is back-breaking work for VERY little income for the women. Lydia’s Market began because the truck had stopped coming and my sweet ladies were struggling in a serious financial crisis. God put it on my heart to help the ladies holistically and truly do life with them.


A rug made completely out of recycled plastic


Cultural Brooms each broom is used for a different purpose, indoor or outdoor ones.


Pension Day Sale

The ladies have been very creative with most to all the raw material for their products being sourced from recycled materials or is grown locally. They have made mats, jump ropes, placemats, baskets, and brooms with and without handles. Lydia’s Market purchases the products from the ladies each week after Lydia Circle (our bible study and time of fellowship) at a price just below market value in order to help cover the cost. Then I find local buyers in the community for the products and have found a strong demand for local products made with quality. I sell to individuals, families, tuck shops and at local markets on Pension Day. Tuck Shops are small stores throughout the township that most locals shop at. Pension Day is the day that women over the age of 60 and men over the age of 65 receive their government stipend. Many merchants set up a small market on the lawn of the building where the pensions are distributed to sell local products.


Jump Ropes


Baskets made out of plastic and long grass




A rug made solely out of plastic


One of the new groups in Mganduzweni

Thus far Lydia’s Market has provided income for 20 different women. About 4500 South African rand (about $300 US dollars) worth of funds have been paid out to the ladies. This is huge has most of theses women make roughly $2-3 US dollars on a good week, assuming the truck shows up. The whole goal of the Market at this stage is to break even. I’m not in it for the money, but view it as a way to support my ladies with a job in a way that avoids handouts and continual dependence. I am also blessed to show them God’s love and walk alongside the ladies who I have come to love. Donations towards Lydia’s circle and Lydia’s Market help make buying the product possible. This way I am not limited by the selling of the product to buy more. Also helps me to pay for my first Lydia’s Market staff person who helps with language translation and operations. This is a necessary role that helps me move the product while freeing up many hours of my week since the Lord has brought about many new opportunities with other women in similar economic situations.


Another new group in Phakane


John and Kay my new Ministry partners

The new opportunities I am taking about are five new women’s groups within a two-hour radius of eManzana. I have a strong passion for women’s ministry and discipleship. My goal with each of these sites is to come along side, them assist with teaching, and began Lydia’s Market locations following the same model we have proven works in eManzana. My longer term plan is to hire a local in each community to help sell and move product from all the sites. These new opportunities have come about because of a relationship with a new ministry partner named Kay West. Kay and her husband John have been missionaries in Southern Africa for six years. Kay is a brilliant teacher of the word who brings a joyful spirit to any gathering. I am excited for our partnership and am looking forward to what the Lord continues to do through both of us.
In order for this to be success and to get the new Lydia’s Market sites off the ground I will need some faithful supporters. Roughly $100-200 USD per month per site (6 sites total) is needed. Supporters who come on board for $50 US dollars a month or more will receive a product made by the women as a thank you when I come stateside in December for a brief family visit.  If you would like to sponsor one whole site message me for specific information and I will send you a picture of that sites ladies along with a product they created.  Thank you for your continued interest, prayers (PLEASE keep them coming) and financial support. I continue to partner with God to help change 1 life at a time.


Grass/Reed mats


The homemade loom for making plastic mats











Donations either one-time or monthly can be made at:

Empower a Woman. Impact Generations.

Lydia’s Mission empowers and teaches women skills in rural South Africa to feed, educate, and care for their children by earning a living wage. When a woman begins to grasp her value in Christ through discipleship and Biblical training, her life becomes the first ripple of hope…that will last for generations.