The 14-Year Old Shoemaker
April, 2016

Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." Matt. 25:40

Published by the Society of the Good Shepherd, P. O. Box 122, Amberson, PA 17210. (717) 349-7033

Here in the United States, we think of people starting a trade when they’re in their twenties or perhaps late teens. However, in many countries of the world, people often begin working when they are still children. Carlos Gómez is such a person. He had to quit school when he was thirteen in order to help support the family. A local shoemaker took him in as an apprentice, and by the time Carlos was fourteen he was making shoes himself. He continued to perfect his trade, working in various shoe shops. Honduras microloan

Carlos grew up not knowing Christ, and he followed the path of so many other youths—drinking heavily and living for pleasure. Thankfully, he did not get involved with any drug gangs. However, as he eventually learned, a life of alcohol, immorality, and other so-called pleasures doesn’t result in bliss. It brings with it a lot of problems and misery. Thankfully, at the age of 26, Carlos found Christ, and his life changed dramatically. Honduras microloan

By now, Carlos was a master shoemaker. However, he realized that he needed to also learn the marketing end of the business. So for 2 years he worked in sales for other shoemakers and shoe companies. Finally, having learned all sides of the business, he felt he was now ready to start his own shoe shop.

About a year and a half ago, Carlos married a godly Christian sister, and he also opened up his own shoe business around the same time. Ever since becoming a Christian, Carlos had been saving his money toward his own business, and so he had the money to buy the needed tools and sewing machines. He converted the front porch of his house into a shop, and this is where he operates his business. Honduras microloan

However, as is so often the case in Honduras, Carlos’ business was under-capitalized, and so it was hard for him to grow his business. Since he didn’t have sufficient collateral, the banks would not give him a loan. Then he learned about the Society of the Good Shepherd. Carlos applied for a loan from the Society. The local directors talked with Carlos’ pastor and learned that he is a godly, stable Christian who is active in his church. The directors also visited Carlos’ business and were impressed with his operations. So they approved giving him an interest-free small business loan.

With the help of the loan, Carlos’ business is growing nicely. He currently employs four helpers at his shop. To keep his overhead low, Carlos still operates his shoe business from his enclosed front porch. In addition to direct sales from his home, Carlos sells wholesale to vendors at the local market.

Honduras microloan Although we are excited for Carlos that his business is prospering, we are even more excited to know that he is prospering spiritually, putting Christ first in his life. Nancy Barahona

The Society of the Good Shepherd, P. O. Box 122, Amberson, PA 17210 • (717) 349-7033

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100% of all donations go to the designated work in Honduras. We pay our own overhead and travel expenses. All loans made are interest-free. The Society of the Good Shepherd is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible.