Claudia and the Chocolate Factory

Over the past month Mary Lou has visited the Emanuel Chocolate Factory several times, bringing visitors and family to see this ministry.  They have all been impressed to hear and to see how over these past several years, this family business of two workers has grown to nine workers in their busiest times.  And, busy times they are as September is Colombia’s month of love and friendship, so they have many chocolate orders to fill!

We have written about this ministry before (check it our here and here), but let us review with you a bit about Claudia Espinosa, friend and co-owner with her husband, Jesús Alfonso, of the chocolate factory.  We met Claudia about ten years ago at the El Shaddai Covenant Church in Itaguí and began hearing about a wonderful ministry that she and several other women were leading called ‘Valuable Women in the Hands of Jesus.’  These leaders, who themselves had left their lifestyles of working in the bars, on the streets and in escort services, were reaching out to women working in the bars, because somebody had shared with them years before about the free gift of God’s love, forgiveness and salvation.  In Claudia’s case, it was Jesús Alfonso, who later became her husband (pictured here), who came into the bar to tell her that God loved her and had something much better for her life.  God wanted to use her past, her story and His transforming love and healing to bring many other women to Him.  As Claudia made the decision to give her life to Christ, and to only obey Him, God has used Claudia for His honor and glory many times over.

In the photos, you can see some of the factory employees, some of their products, Claudia’s family, and a photo with Elena.  Elena is a young woman (in the hairnet), who has chosen to leave the harsh life of the bars and streets to seek a dignified lifestyle.  Elena first learned how to sew through the 9-month apprenticeship program offered through the Corporation ‘Valuable Women in the Hands of Jesus’.  Presently, she volunteers her time helping other young women from the streets to learn to sew, and is under contract with the chocolate factory learning the art of chocolate making.  Claudia and her husband are proud of Elena and her tremendous spiritual progress and development of a strong work ethic as she continues to allow God to use her as well for His honor and glory.

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