I have some very exciting news to share! Many of you know that I have spent the last three months teaching myself to make paper beads to start a new ministry with the brothel girls. Ashley spent that same time learning to make hand sewn coin purses with her nutritional program moms. We had ideas and dreams of how to market and sell these items to help the women we love so much better their lives with these new “jobs”.
Apparently God thought that our ideas and dreams were not even close to big enough!
In the last two weeks, God has taken our tiny idea and exploded it into a full blown women’s ministry that encompasses all of who and what NWHCM is! As we continue to Rescue, Restore and Redeem here in the Northwest zone of Haiti, God is telling us that the time is now to refine some of our thoughts on the Redeem aspect. Using mostly recycled products, Redeeming Gifts was born through much prayer and excitement. We will be able to use this new ministry to start redeeming these women in their own eyes, the eyes of the community and allow them to fully understand who our Lord and Savior is through in depth Bibles lessons and “Life lessons” as well.
Here is a breakdown of what we are looking to do: We have invited the women and girls in our programs in ministries to participate in, not only earning an income, but in the classes we will teach during their “work” time, the opportunity to bless the ministries at NWHCM through their tithes, the chance to pay for their college educations or start businesses of their own. Our plan is to sell each of the items here in Haiti on our campuses, online on a new website dedicated to this project and in stores in the states along with christian conferences, church bookstores, etc.
The programs should be fully self sustainable after our initial “start up” investment as we are paying the girls all of the profit on each item, only holding back what we need to replace the supplies used. They will then tithe a portion of their earnings back to the ministries of NWHCM. We will offer savings accounts and finance/budget lessons and help with business plans to help them achieve their goals.
Each program involved has in Redeeming Gifts has chosen a scripture and a word, in Hebrew or Creole, to call our section of the ministry. For example the ones chosen for the brothel girls:
Leviticus 26:13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high.
ga’al: redeem. to reclaim a person or a thing. often an economic transaction such as buying property back from a creditor or purchasing freedom for an enslaved family member.
Before I get all excited and start rambling about the brothel girls, let me tell you who we have involved and what they will be making so you can start joining us in prayer.
Brothel girls: hand made paper bead jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, earrings)
Prison women: patchwork hand sewn coin purses (using scraps of fabric left from other projects)
Nutritional Program moms: hand sewn and decorated coin purses
Orphanage teen girls: hand made, fabric covered journals made with homemade recycled paper
Miriam Center outreach moms: two styles of beautiful fabric tote bags
Granmoun women: weaving projects (mats, baskets, etc)
Jody is getting her women in the Mole involved too so our product list will be growing as will the different ministries involved. I love it! This has really become an “entire staff” project as we all work, dream, pray together towards making this successful. Please pray along with us as we seek the Lord’s vision in this whole thing and that we are able to use Redeeming Gifts to honor and glorify Him above all else.
Sixteen of the brothel girls have committed to the program and to seeking change in their lives and hearts through a relationship with Christ. We have had several meetings and classes so far and they have picked it up faster than I thought was possible! These sweet girls have the opportunity to go from being prostitutes to being missionaries to their own community through their tithes and offerings to the ministries here at NWHCM. Can you even imagine a more powerful sentence?!? As we invited them into the mission family, and have brought as many of our Haitian staff in to help and just love on these ladies, I have watched them lose the look of doubt and fear that always seems to be present. Just giving them their lanyards and name tags the other day filled them with beautiful pride and they all seemed to sit up inches taller in their seats!
We have already begun selling, and taking orders for their beautiful jewelry. I am so excited for what this could mean for them and their children! More than the financial freedom this will bring them, I am desperate for them to see themselves the way God does. Worthy. Beautiful. Daughters. Chosen. Covered by Grace. Redeemed. What a powerful testimony these sweet women could be! To turn from the live they felt forced into and trapped in… and, God willing, become passionate followers of Him… sharing that love and grace with everyone they know! I am covered with goosebumps and have tears in my eyes just even imagining the day we are all celebrating in Heaven together.
Here are some pictures of what the girls have been up to. If you have any questions about how you can help get involved, if you know of any store stateside that might be interested in carrying our products or you just want to offer up prayers on our behalf, please let me know!