A Celebration of a Shared Dream

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with

With my heart racing, I grip the lectern. They’d been waiting for this—this group of beaming entrepreneurs in their Sunday best. As my eyes take in the familiar faces, my mind flashes back to a few years earlier when I’d stood in front of this group and promised that I’d bring a structured training to their community.

It was God who placed the dream in my heart to see entrepreneurs in poor communities break free from poverty. Commissioned by my church, I was just a Christian businesswoman with a burning dream in my heart. I started meeting with entrepreneurs every Monday evening and although I wasn’t really sure what we would be able to accomplish, I knew we had to try.

And then I met Louisa.
She was the
personification of despair.

Her head hung low and her eyes studied the ground as she whispered her name. Threadbare clothes hung from her thin frame. She was completely devoid of any sense of confidence. But she came—every Monday evening. I watched in amazement at Louisa’s transformation. Each week she’d hold her head a little higher, cautiously adding to the group discussion as her voice got a little louder, a little steadier.

I don’t think I realized it
at the time, but I was transforming alongside Louisa.

My travel company had once been my passion. But now, I found myself wanting to spend time with these entrepreneurs, rather than putting all my time and effort solely into my own company. The dream that God had placed in my heart was consuming me—and I’d never felt more alive.

From my lectern, I look around the room again. Louisa is a part of this group, and she is now a well-kept, healthy, confident woman with a successful cleaning business.

God, you did all this.

Today, we celebrate the graduation of these entrepreneurs. But it is more than that. It’s a celebration of a shared dream.

And I realize—
this is the birthing place
of many new dreams.

Owner of a Travel Agency, Durban
Paradigm Shift Volunteer

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