During the 12 years that Machelle and Dennis Bender have been working with the Guarijio people, a strong conviction began to grow in their hearts that believers in the Guarijio tribe needed to find a new way to make a living.
Machelle and Dennis went to work to discover a community project that would financially support the Guarijio believers.
The location is isolated. The options are limited.
There really was no market for obvious options like leather work or making saddles. So, after praying, Dennis was excited to come up with a new angle. How about making soap?
Dennis found the directions online. He practiced with several batches of soap on his own. In his research, Dennis noticed that goat milk soap was very popular in the USA.
“Goats are very common in the tribe,” Machelle explains, “so we thought that would be the direction to go—goat milk soap.”
Two goats were donated to the project and Dennis began to teach Guarijio believers in their homes how to mix up the soap.
“The lye has to be mixed carefully and they need to wear safety glasses,” Machelle writes. “For several hours, they keep slowly stirring the liquid. The first day, the ingredients are mixed and stirred and poured into molds. The second day, the bars are cut, stamped and smoothed. After a few weeks, the bars are packaged.”
The Guarijio believers caught on to the soap-making process easily and soon were making the soap on their own. Goat milk soap has now been produced by Guarijio believers for about 1½ years. Production is increasing and in the last three months, they have made 1,000 bars.
Please join Machelle and Dennis in praying that they will find a consistent market for the soap. Eventually they hope to find a market that the Guarijios will be able to supply without Dennis functioning as the middle man.
As Guarijio believers are able to make a living at making goat milk soap, their hearts will be encouraged to live responsibly and in submission to the guidelines of God’s Word. Pray that He will bless this venture and give the Guarijio believers much joy in their obedience to Him.