I want to share the story of Priya, a young woman who would tell you she is the least likely to become a business owner, or a leader. As with all of us we make our plans, and then God steps in! More than 80 years ago in the city of Coimbatore India, in the state of Tamil Nadu, a young Hindu man gave his life to Jesus, and was forced to leave home and family for his convictions. Today, 3 generations later his grandson and great grandchildren are continuing to tell people of the love of Christ.
My husband and I were introduced to the Paul family quite by accident. My husband retired from business and was invited to visit India by an acquaintance. To make a long story very short... he felt a pull on his heart to help the people in India... and thus begins this story. For the last 18 years we have been raising funds to dig fresh water wells, build churches, build orphanages and educated a new generation of Pastors.
I first met Priya when she was 14. She was the smallest, most timid teen I had met in a long time. We seldom spoke, but I watched her as she grew.
I discovered we had an interest in common. We both loved to bake. I returned to India over the years and began to bring her baking supplies she could not get in her city. Priya baked cakes, and every Sunday after Church she would sell them as her mission project to the Leper Colony near her city. People loved her little cakes and continued to buy them, I continued to provide her with "Sprinkles", and a variety of embellishments and equipment that were not available to her.
One Sunday, a Hindu man came to her fathers' church and purchased one of her cakes. A few weeks later he returned and explained he was the manager of two small grocery stores and asked her if she would like to have a small bakery in the corner of his stores.
And so it began... Needless to say she was very excited and the possibilities to expand her small business and be able to support her missions seemed an answer to prayer.
Priya named her Bakery Lindz and they began making mostly breads, puffs (the Indian sandwich), and cakes. Her reputation grew quickly and we raised funds to buy her a commercial oven and other equipment.
Eventually she had to have a way to get her products to all the schools and colleges she was contracted with, and so we raised the funds to purchase a small truck.
Then... as things were going well the grocery stores closed, and she had no outlet for her pastries. By now Priya's Bakery had begun to grow and provide employment for a few of the young men and women that had grown up in one of the orphanages her parents had begun.
It seemed that God had given her a dream of a way to help her family's ministry, and then it was taken away. One more time we were able to raise some funds to help Priya open a very small store front for her baked goods.
Lindz Café is a quaint little shop with a hot chocolate and an Expresso machine, and most importantly some of the most wonderful pastries you will find in Coimbatore India. Priya is a gifted baker with a touch for the unique and artistic. She has even introduced "Blizzards" and says Oreo is the favorite. The community has embraced her work and she has outgrown her facilities, and her equipment.
We have begun this fund as she moves out in faith to build a big enough building to have a full service bakery. This is a nonprofit endeavor with the proceeds going back into the work of the ministry begun by her Great-Grandfather, building churches, saving street kids, and spreading the good news in the villages of Southern India.
Priya is also taking classes to learn business administration so she may ensure her business will prosper, and grow.
Priya works tirelessly 6 days a week to make this happen. Our first need is $25,000 to build a building for her ovens and a cold room for her wedding and specialty cakes to be decorated. We need another $5,000 to refurbish a larger space to house Lindz Cafe.
She has turned a bedroom with a window air conditioner into her workroom, but she has definitely outgrown this space. Her hobby is now very definitely a business, one that can provide employment, and income for her missions' projects.
The need for these funds is immediate, and the building has begun. Priya had the first $5,000 that she has used for seed money, and now we need a minimum of $25,000 to finish.
Please consider helping this unselfish and giving young woman be able to continue and grow her small business for the work of the Lord in Coimbatore India.
Priya and "her boys" as she calls them feed 100 street people every week with what is left over and more added as needed. She wants them to understand that we are the hands of God here on earth.
"God has no body now but ours. We are his hands and feet here on Earth".
Thank you in advance for anything you can contribute to this project.