Twenty-five years ago, Analyn Saturnino’s world crumbled around her.
While pregnant with her first child, Analyn began to experience arthritic pains throughout her body. Her baby boy tragically died only seven months after being born, and as she mourned the loss of her child, Analyn’s physical pain grew worse. Her condition soon rendered her permanently dependent on a wheelchair.
Overwhelmed, Analyn remembers crying out to God in a moment of Job-like despair, “Why do you torture me like this? Just take me.”
The years passed, but Analyn still carried the lonely weight of her grief and disability. Together with her husband, she established a small sari-sari (convenience) store operating out of their home. Analyn dreamed of growing her business and moving into a separate building but knew it would be impossible on her family’s limited income.
When the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), HOPE’s partner in the Philippines, surveyed the local community, Analyn was initially skeptical. A staff member shared with her from the Bible about CCT’s Christ-centered approach, and even though she was not a Christian at the time, Analyn felt a sense of peace and decided to join a savings group.
As a member, Analyn began to study the Bible during her group’s gatherings. She soon became a Christian and now leans upon Scripture as her foundation in times of hardship. When the pandemic slowed down business at her store, Analyn confidently trusted God to provide—“No matter how hard life is, He will not leave me.”
With the loans she received through her group, Analyn purchased a separate building for her store and expanded her inventory. With increased revenues and savings, she relocated her family from their bamboo house to a more durable concrete house. In the future, Analyn hopes to scale her business, eventually opening a much larger store.
Analyn also serves as the leader of her savings group, despite the challenges of her disability. “I move around the community in my wheelchair,” she says. “I make sure that every member of our savings group is followed up with and present during our fellowship.” Analyn’s savings group has become a tight-knit, supportive community.
Whenever our members need help, each member of our savings group finds ways to help them.
Many things have changed in Analyn’s life since the loss of her child and the onset of her disability. Yet she knows that regardless of what hardship life brings, God is with her, and she is never alone.
To learn more about how the HOPE network impacts men and women like Analyn, watch “How HOPE Helps Families Flourish.”