Friday, December 5, 2014

Fair Trade Friday: Box #3

Oh man, the first Friday of the month is one of my very favorite days. Like for real. It all has to do with Fair Trade Friday. It's a beautiful thing. Helping to empower women all over the world. The thing I love most is that my six year old looks forward to it too. She loves opening all the "presents". Together we read about all of the items in our box. Then sit down and research about where they are from. I love that time with her. You can also read about my first two Fair Trade Friday boxes here and here. So without further adieu...

This bag is from Friends of Mercy in Kenya. This fair trade reusable gift bag provides meals for one day. 

Next was a window wallet that was made in Rajpur, India by JOYN.  I love that the name of all the people who worked on this are right their on the tag! At the heart of JOYN lies a desire to see lives changed. To see those crippled by poverty and hardship dance for joy. To do this, JOYN has partnered with a nonprofit called JoyCorps to provide employees with not only steady jobs and a good work environment, but a daily meal plan, education for their children, English and vocational training, and medical care. Lives are changing as a result. JOYN continues to sell beautiful products handmade by artisans who do 100 percent of the work, from weaving to block printing to stitching. This brings JOY to those who make the products, and JOY to those who buy them.

The prayer bracelet and the hand crocheted fingerless gloves are from the Refugee Project in Houston, Texas. The United Nations has relocated more than 50,000 refugees to Houston, Texas, due to religious and ethnic persecution. The Refugee Project exists to empower refugee women by teaching them skills and product creation.

Kendall loves to be a part of it...

The next item was a beaded bracelet from Kenya by Global Crafts. Their mission is to offer income-generating opportunities to craftspeople in developing countries by following fair trade practices including paying in advance at least the market price for items, ensuring that craftspeople receive payment, and ensuring that the craftspeople work in fair working conditions. They work directly with artisans, craftspeople, and producer groups to achieve these goals and hopefully help improve the lives of some of the people with whom we share this planet.

The last item was our favorite! It's a Christmas ornament made out of paper beads from Nicaragua. It was made by the Bead Amigas. The Bead Amigas empower Nicaraguan women to create a better future for their families through art, education, and entrepreneurship. 100% of net proceeds from sales of these recycled paper beads are returned to their village in fair wages, training, and community development projects. They believe that the mutual exchange between women of different cultures, classes, and countries working for a common cause can change the world. 

Kendall already put ours on the tree! 

In one package we got items from Kenya, India, Nicaragua, and refugees from Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, and Thailand in Texas. I especially love getting to pray for each of the women who made these. It's an easy way to love and support women in other countries. You can join in on the fun here! Today there is no wait list! 

Thanks for loving mercy with me! 

In His Love, 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Saying Yes Changed Everything

We were in the front of a little church in Nsongwe Village praying for women during a women's conference. All of a sudden, one of my friends grabbed me, honestly I thought she was coming in for a hug, but she wasn't. She held me tight and whispered in my ear, "Your yes matters." She went on to say that because of my yes others would come to know Jesus and work on their faith. I was startled to say the least. How could she have known I had just been reading that very same phrase in Rhinestone Jesus? We weren't even Facebook friends yet! After that I just balled like a baby. I love how Jesus works. When you say yes to Jesus, He just trickles into every aspect of your life.

Saying yes to Jesus changed everything for me. When I said yes my life was in shambles. My husband was on his way to prison. I was a new wife, a new mom, and newly living with my mom. This was not exactly how I pictured my life going down. I remember kneeling at the end of my bed after putting my baby girl to sleep. I just laid it all out for God and the mess I was in. I asked Him to come into my life and everything changed.

Read more at We Are That Family!