“Put your trust in God; He will help you. My name is Tri Sugiyanti. I am a widow. I live in Bantul, a district in southern Yogyakarta, which is well-known as a city of artisans, including those who work with natural fiber, paints, wood, and terracotta, among many other types of handicrafts that we send all over the world.
“I spent my primary school and junior high school years in my village, and when the time for high school came around, I went to a vocational high school for clothing design. But, I left for two reasons: the first reason is that sewing was not my passion, and the second reason was that my family needed extra money so that my sister could also go to high school. So, I decided to give her a chance, and I applied as a factory worker.
“I now have my own workshop, which was left to me by my late husband. The crafts that best fit my interests were batik, painting, and wood carving. The best mask expressions came out of our workshop. We were a happy married couple with a good livelihood. Unfortunately, my husband became sick and passed away. He left me all of his workshop’s assets, but also its debt. When he was still alive, I helped run his workshop, but was not very involved. When he passed away, I was very confused and nervous about running the workshop.
“Since I was a child, my parents taught me to trust our God and keep praying to seek help from Him. So I keep praying during the difficult times. God really has had mercy on me; the workshop keeps growing, and not only could I pay off all of our debt and solve my family’s problems, but I was also able to have more neighbors come and work with me in the workshop.
“Now, I still live as a single woman, remembering my late husband, who was very loving, patient, and full of understanding. One funny memory I can still clearly remember is the last time we went out for dinner. After we finished, we went to the parking lot, but before I could get onto the back of his motorcycle, my husband drove away without me. He talked to me during the long drive, and when he heard no response from me, he finally realized that I was not on the motorcycle and turned around to pick me up!
“In my spare time, I love to go to the beach in my district. I just sit there thinking about everything I have been through and where I am now, thanking God for all that I have in this moment.”