This week’s story comes from Ramona Quezada, a woman who, while living amidst many struggles, stumbled upon the women’s social work and microfinance sites in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. There she found refuge, discovered God’s Word, and was delivered into the joyful and peaceful life God had waiting for her.
“Before I found the Lord, I was living a bad life. I was lost, I made poor decisions. I suffered and cried a lot. I was in an abusive marriage and was mistreated in every way.” One day, Ramona found the women’s social work site, where she met Daisy, the site leader, and started attending the site. “Daisy was the first one to truly talk to me about the Lord.”
Through Daisy’s social work site, Ramona learned of Jarabacoa’s microfinance site. Ramona took initiative and coordinated the first microfinance group, consisting of eight women. There, Ramona gave her heart to the Lord. “From then on, my life was totally transformed. I started reading the Bible. One day I came across Matthew 10:28, ‘Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.’ In that verse, I found my strength. I went to my husband and told him we were going to separate. He threatened me and he told me he had mortgaged our house and never paid it. The lawyers showed up and I lost my house. I fled to Santiago, where I stayed for a year and a half.”
After that time, Ramona came back to Daisy, and Daisy convinced her to return to Jarabacoa, where Ramona’s siblings, children, church, and ministry sites were. Ramona came back and continued attending the microfinance site. “There’s a lot to learn in microfinance; I learned about the Word, learned how to work, how to save, and how to manage everything God gives me.” God lead Ramona to a house, so she took a loan out through the site and bought it. Today, Ramona lives in that house debt-free! She runs a little corner store attached to her house. “My food, my medicine, my water, my income, everything comes from that little store.”
“I thank God for finding me, because I didn’t search for Him, He was the one who searched for me. And I thank microfinance, I thank Daisy, I thank Students International. I now live a quiet life, a life full of peace.” Ramona went from being a man-fearing woman, to a strong, God-fearing woman!