The first Women’s Marketplace opens! 
There is much goodwill happening. Hands of Freedom’s vision of teaching women how to make a better living and to give them outlets for the sales of their goods is moving forward. Last December, we were blessed to have a small space donated to open a three-day Women’s Marketplace where local women sold products they have made. Local politicians were invited to witness how lives are being changed. As you can see from the smiles in this photo, everyone was very excited by this event and the progress we are making. 

Success with U.S. scarf sales is just the beginning  
Hands of Freedom is also grateful to those who organized sales of scarves in the U.S. After first seeing samples of the scarves last September, a group of dedicated volunteers collaborated to make this happen. Upon learning about the order, the women scarf makers were excited to choose the best fabrics and sit down to their sewing machines to deliver a beautiful array of 500 scarves. 

We are happy to report that to date, about 10% of this first shipment has already been sold. Thank you to everyone who has already made a purchase. If you haven’t yet placed an order, you can learn more about ordering the scarves here. They are also available in the Minneapolis area at the Hosanna! Lutheran Church bookstore, 9600 163rd St W, Lakeville, MN 55044. Call (952) 435-3332 for the bookstore hours.

In addition to financial support, having these little businesses gives these women a sense purpose. Our next step is to find a way to distribute and sell more of their products – from scarves to jewelry – in the U.S.  We have some logistical hurdles to climb but we will make it happen. If you know of anyone who would be open to selling these scarves or a distributor you could recommend, please reach out to Robin Kocina at

Additional impact on India’s homeless communities 
We were overwhelmed with gratitude when 300 people attended our preschool Christmas program. Some of these people, from troubled areas, were new to Hands of Freedom. It was yet another sign that our message is reaching people in these homeless communities. Instead of begging or finding scraps to survive, we are training people to make and sell products. To see hope in their eyes, where none existed before, is both humbling and motivating. 

Prayer requests

  • Please pray for the churches in India, which have come under attack in recent months. In one incident, 12 congregation members attending Sunday prayers were injured when attacked with swords, iron rods and bottles. Eight suffered head injuries and were taken to a hospital.
  • Please pray also for the general elections to be held in India in April and May. We are asking God for leaders who are supportive of Hands of Freedom’s mission to improve the lives of those living in the most troubled areas.