Today is World Day of Prayer, "a worldwide, ecumenical movement of Christian women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year, and who, in many countries, have a continuing relationship in prayer and service." World Day of Prayer "promotes justice and equality for women through prayer, partnerships, service and celebration." These are principles that we at Jesus' Economy full heartedly affirm.

We Believe in the Power of Prayer

Here at Jesus' Economy, we believe that God can do all things through prayer (see our article, "Prayer that Causes Earthquakes"). Since the founding of Jesus' Economy in 2012, we have kept a prayer request list and asked you to join us by praying. Like the World Day of Prayer movement, we believe in empowering women. Business opportunities, especially for women in regions that are oppressive for women, are the key to that empowerment.

Pray with Us for Women Overcoming Poverty

Today, we ask you to join us in praying for two things:

  1. The many female artisans that Jesus' Economy supports through our online Fair Trade Shop. Through fair trade, artisans all over the world are overcoming poverty. Pray that the businesses of the women Jesus' Economy supports may continue to grow, so that they can provide for themselves, their families, and create jobs for other people in need.
  2. The Empowering Women initiative of our Renew Bihar, India campaign. The women empowerment ranking of Bihar, India is .379, making it one of the top ten worst places in the world for women. We have a vision for launching a new stage of business training for women in Northeast India, which includes providing microloans and connecting female entrepreneurs to opportunities to sell their products (especially in our online Fair Trade Shop). The launch phase of the project is currently 56% funded and it needs more support. Pray for the women of Bihar, India and that Jesus' Economy can generate the funds to launch our Empowering Women initiative in Bihar.

We believe that through prayer, anything can happen. God has provided a grand vision for Jesus’ Economy and we need to join in prayer to make it happen. Thank you for joining with us in prayer, especially for the women around the world who need the empowerment of business opportunities.

Since 2010, The White House administration has declared January for the prevention of human trafficking. This is because between 2008 and 2010, the FBI investigated 2,515 suspected incidents of trafficking in the U.S. Human trafficking is seen as modern day slavery and is increasing at a rapid rate both at home and across the globe. Globally, that number skyrockets to a staggering 20.9 million people forced into labor and human trafficking, according to estimates by the International Labor Organization

Human trafficking can happen to anyone. However, traffickers typically prey on vulnerable populations or "easy" targets such as women and children and those who are runaways, homeless, and victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Traffickers are looking for someone who will go with them without a fight whether that's a child or someone in a desperate situation in their life. And the less stable someone's life is, the higher the probability that they'll agree to go with someone under false pretenses such as the promise of a job or relationship. 

That's why it's so important we continue to empower people around the world and create jobs so they can lift themselves out of poverty and decrease their risk of being trafficked. Job creation and empowering women is at the heart of Jesus' Economy. It's why we offer handmade, fairly traded products to you in our Fair Trade Shop. It's why we started an empowering women program for women who need help jumpstarting their businesses. It's why we dig wells in remote villages so thousands of people can have access to clean water and stop walking miles to get it. 

With our Fair Trade Shop, we can give artisans all over the world a boost by offering their products to the western market and telling their story to a wide audience. Money doesn't just stay in the village anymore, exchanging hands without anyone actually doing better, it becomes international and whole families are lifted out of poverty.

Suddenly they're not choosing between food and shoes or school and walking to get water. It creates jobs for the artisans and allows them to give their family a "normal," stable life with consistent income. More stability means less chance of someone in the family being trafficked because of the promise of a job or lots of money. 

Because of our initiatives to empower women, we've seen women all over the world boost their business sales and provide for their families' needs. The more products they sell and training they get, the more empowered they become. Simple put, empowering women who were once impoverished and felt hopeless helps prevent trafficking.

We fight human trafficking and slavery every day with our Fair Trade Shop and plan to do the same with our Empowering Women Program in India. Join us, won't you? 

 Empower Women 

 

This Father’s Day, we celebrate fathers and honor the way they mentor and encourage their children. This kind of mentorship is present in fair trade, too.

Fair trade is about more than selling products. Fair trade is about people. For Jesus’ Economy, fair trade is about empowering people on a global level—helping them out of poverty and walking alongside them in encouragement. For us, fair trade is about mentorship and hope for the future.

Unemployment in Uganda is a huge issue, especially among young people. When young people can’t find stable work, the cycle of poverty continues. John Nyarwa, the proprietor of RWA Group Ltd., a registered Ugandan company with Christian values, has partnered with Jesus’ Economy to fight poverty and empower people in Kampala, Uganda.

John started a business for screen printing because he wanted to create jobs for the young people of Kampala. His team creates hats and shirts from locally and ethically sourced materials. He is dedicated to using business to provide jobs and uplift his community. He has become a father figure to his young employees as he encourages them and brings them hope.

Fair Trade T-Shirts Create Global Change

The t-shirts available in the fair trade store were designed by the Jesus’ Economy creative team, KarBel Multimedia, and then produced by John Nyarwa’s company. These t-shirts were created on a global scale, for the sake of making the world a better place, one job at a time.

The t-shirts feature the Jesus’ Economy logo, which is a pinpoint. A pinpoint on a map marks a location, our pinpoint marks our destination as an organization, wrapping the entire world in Jesus Christ’s economy of generosity through job and church creation, and meeting basic needs. Our shirts reflect our desire to stimulate economic growth throughout the world.

John’s story is just one of the many partnerships Jesus’ Economy holds with artisans around the world to bring mentorship and hope.

If you’re still looking for a Father’s Day gift for your dad this year, consider buying him a t-shirt and telling him the story of one man in Uganda courageously taking a stand against poverty.

Fair trade changes lives every day. Join us in bringing hope through mentorship.

Beautiful fabrics create beautiful clothes, but they can also support impoverished people through fair trade. In Malawi, Africa, the Vipambi Women’s group works with stunning textiles to tailor everyday products that meet everyday needs. The artisans learn skills in sewing and business so they can be prepared to provide for their families using their tailoring trade.

The fair trade goods offered by the Vipambi Women’s group are practical as well as vibrant and engaging. My favorite item from the collection is the wrap skirt, which is versatile and easy to wear. It fits many sizes and can be worn a variety of ways to create more casual or more formal ensembles.

Featured Vipambi Fair Trade Products

Wrap Skirts From Malawi: Red Fan

 

This versatile, wrap skirt can be worn low on the hips or high on the waist; its long belt tie makes that possible. The skirt line is about at the knee or a little higher, depending on how it is worn and your height. This means that the skirt fits nicely with a variety of shoe, sandal, or boot choices.

Clutch Purses From Zambia: The Envelope Clutch in Goldenrod

Store everything important in these cute envelope-style clutch purses. They are perfect for keys, receipts, and anything else you want to put inside! With a zip closure and magnetic snap, everything is sure to stay put.

Shopping fair trade can transform and empower artisans like those working with Vipambi. Join us in transforming lives through fair trade


Shop Vipambi Fair Trade Products

 

Beautiful fabrics create beautiful clothes, but they can also support impoverished people through fair trade. In Malawi, Africa, the Vipambi Women’s group works with vibrant fabrics to create practical goods such as infant clothing and toys, aprons, and fashionable bags.

The sewing cooperative trains Malawian women in both sewing and business skills, equipping them with skills to build successful businesses in order to better provide for their families and their future. Many of the women trained through Vipambi have been able to use their income to send their children to Dowa College in Malawi, a teacher-training college.

Empowering the Impoverished Through Sustainable Trade

The Vipambi Women’s group works with Dsenyo, a Jesus’ Economy partner. Dsenyo is an organization committed to alleviating the suffering of the impoverished by helping local artisans learn self-sustainable trades. They use local and environmentally friendly materials that can be repurposed and recycled. 

Dsenyo works alongside artisans to improve living situations for impoverished people, promote a holistic economy, respect cultural traditions, and build global relationships. Together, Jesus' Economy and Dsenyo are empowering female artisans from Africa and Latin America. 

Shopping fair trade can transform and empower artisans like those working with Vipambi. Join us in transforming lives through fair trade

Shop Vipambi Fair Trade Products

 

In Jubilee, an impoverished village in Haiti just outside of Gonaives, Benson Thermidor uses his skills in business and entrepreneurship to create stable jobs. He and other artisans craft leather goods to sell locally and internationally, with the help of 2nd Story Goods and Jesus' Economy.

Beautiful handmade leather products create jobs

Benson was binding song books, Bibles, and texts for friends when 2nd Story Goods, a local nonprofit, asked him if he would be willing to teach his skills to others in the village who needed work.

Since that time, Benson's leather business has expanded greatly. He has trained other artisans in his community, and together they're making computer cases, totes, briefcases, wallets, and other items. Through this partnership, Benson's business has grown to include 25 men and women and a full-sized workshop. In this impoverished village, where work is often unreliable and low paying, Benson's studio is a grace to the community.

Promoting fair trade

Benson works with 2nd Story Goods, a Jesus’ Economy partner, to market his products in the United States. 2nd Story Goods co-labors with Haitian men and women on the outskirts of Gonaives, Haiti, to make beautiful products that create sustainable incomes for Haitian families.

It is 2nd Story Goods' vision to help people move from poverty to abundance through education, creativity, and practical life experiences. In Haiti, which has a 40 percent unemployment rate (World Bank, 2010), the work of 2nd Story Goods and Benson Thermidor is desperately needed. For all these reasons, Jesus' Economy has partnered with 2nd Story Goods to give Benson's products a wider market.

Benson’s Fair Trade Products from Haiti

Cross Body Bags from Haiti: Sheepskin

Made from 100 percent sheep leather, this bag is the elegance you've been looking for. Each bag is handmade in Jubilee, Haiti's famous leather shop, run by Benson.

Cuff Bracelets from Haiti: Split Leather

What goes great with your favorite pair of leather boots? These leather cuffs. In an elegant gray or yellow, their understatement will be your definitiveness.

Genuine Goat Leather Tote Bag from Haiti

Made from 100 percent goat leather, this bag is the elegance you've been looking for. Each one is handmade in Jubilee, Haiti's famous leather shop, run by Benson.

Journals from Haiti: Burlap

Handmade in Haiti with locally sourced burlap, this journal is what you need to express yourself. The cover is made from recycled coffee bags—each with a slightly different design.

Sheep Leather Tote Bag from Haiti

Made from sheep leather, this bag is the elegance you've been looking for. Each bag is handmade in Jubilee, Haiti's famous leather shop, run by Benson.

Clutch Purses from Haiti: Sheepskin

Made from 100 percent locally sourced sheepskin, this clutch is sure to impress.

Leather Luggage Tags from Haiti

Made from sheep goat skin, you'll never have a problem finding your bag with these tags. They are so unique that they will immediately stand out in the baggage carousel.

Goat Leather Executive Portfolio from Haiti

You're sitting at your desk and you need to write a very important note to yourself. Where else do you look, except to your fair trade executive portfolio from Haiti? It has pockets for everything you need--from business cards to credit cards. Keep all your important thoughts in the one item that's got your back: the executive portfolio from Haiti.

Leather Passport Covers from Haiti

The perfect traveling partner to hold your most valuable tool: your passport. You won't lose sight of your I.D. in this sturdy cover with elastic closure. These covers come in either sheepskin or goat leather.

Saddleback Leather Journal, Made in Haiti

When it comes time to take notes, why settle for boring? This journal is a perfect conversation piece for your school or workplace. Handmade and sewn, with a goat leather cover, it will feel and seem different than any other journal you've owned.

Sheep Leather Executive Portfolio from Haiti

You're sitting at your desk and you need to write a very important note to yourself. Where else do you look, except to your fair trade executive portfolio from Haiti? It has pockets for everything you need--from business cards to credit cards. Keep all your important thoughts in the one item that's got your back: the executive portfolio from Haiti.

Sheepskin Leather Journal from Haiti

When it comes time to take notes, why settle for boring? This journal is a perfect conversation piece for your school or workplace. Handmade and sewn, with a sheep leather cover, it will feel and seem different than any other journal you've owned.

Baby Booties from Haiti: Goat Leather

Made from locally-sourced goat leather in Gonaives, Haiti, these booties will make cozy covers for your baby's little toes. They come in three sizes for babies through toddlers—small, medium, and large.

Baby Booties from Haiti: Soft Sheepskin

Slide your baby's tiny toes in these cushy slippers and they'll never toss their shoes off again. Okay, we can't promise that, but we can promise that they'll look adorable in these fashionable booties. Made from locally-sourced leather; you can feel good about this purchase. Plus, you are helping put food on the table for several families in Jubilee, Haiti.

Cuff Bracelets from Haiti: Leather

Wrap your wrist in this smooth, creamy-brown goat leather bracelet. Made to the snap from locally sourced, locally-tanned goat leather from Gonaives, Haiti. Enjoy this hip addition to your accessory collection.

Journals from Haiti: Goat Leather

Store your most secret thoughts in this sleek leather journal from Haiti. Handmade and sewn with genuine, locally-sourced goat leather, it will feel and seem different than any other journal you've owned.

Each purchase 2nd Story Goods' product supports the livelihood of artisans in poverty situations. Shop Fair Trade on JesusEconomy.org for 2nd Story Goods' products to create jobs and transform lives.

“Lena died!” The words sent a chill down my spine. Lena was Norris’ sister. This was a workday in Lae, Papua New Guinea, but Norris, my haus meri (maid), had just come to explain she wouldn't be working. As conversation flowed in Tok Pisin (the common trade language of Papua New Guinea) between Norris and my guard, I was relieved to learn that Lena hadn’t died as I understand the term, but rather had been rendered unconscious and transported to a hospital. As the days and years passed by, I wondered if Lena would have preferred to have died than to continue in her life of abuse.

On this particular occasion, her husband’s abuse left her hospitalized for quite a few days, and it was not an isolated incident. On another occasion he threw a table at her while screaming, “I wish you would just die.” Finally, she mustered up the courage to go to the authorities and report her husband’s abuse. I typed her statutory declaration for her and shed more than a few tears when, after listing her husbands abuses, she wrote, “I just want to die.” She now had the courage to escape the situation, and had made the right move, but desperately needed hope.

Lena's story reminds me of another, albeit very different, encounter between a man and a woman: a story in John 8:1–11. In this story, we see how Jesus treats a woman who an entire mob of men wanted to stone. Jesus doesn't immediately answer the woman’s accusers, but rather stoops to write with his finger in the sand. I can just imagine the seething, angry, self-righteous men straining to see what on earth Jesus was doing. Then Jesus stands up and speaks: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one the mob slinks away until only Jesus is left with the trembling, cowering woman.

Jesus speaks to the woman, still terrified and perhaps crouched on the ground awaiting the impact of the first stone. “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” Slowly, hesitantly, she looks up and rises to her feet. “No one, Lord,” comes her reply—relief, hope, and joy returning to her. Tenderly Jesus allays her final fear, “Neither do I condemn you,” and then he admonishes her, “Go, and from now on sin no more.”

When Jesus addresses the woman in the story there is no sarcasm in his voice, nothing demeaning about the way he spoke to her, and, best of all, no abuse. Jesus’ gentleness and kindness stands out as being completely different from the attitude and behavior of every other man in the story. This is the kind of behavior toward women that we need to emulate and that we need to foster in other men. This story gives Lena, and others like her, hope.

 

Note: The earliest manuscripts of the Gospel of John do not include John 8:1–11, nonetheless, it is beneficial for teaching and discipleship, as this article demonstrates.

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On today's Live Your Belief Podcast, Kalene Barry, Chief Projects Officer for Jesus' Economy talks with Victor Momoh, founder of the Sierra Leone branch of Global Missions Africa. His ministry goal is to bring the truth of Jesus to a predominantly Muslim nation and to unleash Africa's potential through the work of the Gospel. Find out how Victor and his team are doing this work. Let the Spirit bless you through their story. Listen below.  

Featuring Victor Momoh, Administer at Global Missions Africa: Sierra Leone

About Global Missions Africa

Global Missions Africa wants to ensure that Africa is for Jesus. Their pan-African missional efforts aim to reclaim Africa as an inheritance of God's purpose until the Word reaches every nation on the continent. They are currently working in Sierra Leone, Ghana, South Africa, and Madagascar -- ministering the Word, planting churches, training pastors, meeting basic needs, and providing entrepreneurship opportunities. To find out how you can support this great effort, write to Victor at globalmissionsafricasierraleone[at]gmail[dot]com.  

Or by mail, write to:
Global Missions Africa, Sierra Leone
7 New Signal Hill Road, Congo Cross
Freetown
Sierra Leone 

 

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On today's Live Your Beliefs Podcast, Kalene talks with Hayley Donor (Development and Communications Associate) and Brittany Barb (Sales and Branding Associate) of Indego Africa, a non-profit dedicated to women's empowerment in Rwanda. 

 

About Indego Africa

Indego Africa is a New York and Rwanda based non-profit whose mission is to break intergenerational cycles of poverty by providing female artisans with the tools and support to reclaim their own futures, flourish as independent business women, and drive development in their communities.

Shop for Indego Africa products in our fair trade shop. Find out more about how you can get involved with Indego Africa at their website

 

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On today's Live Your Beliefs podcast, Kalene Barry and Kathy Brooks, co-founder and director of 2nd Story Goods, talk about the changes she has witnessed God bringing in Jubilee, Haiti. Through partnership with local entrepreneurs and a healthy reliance on God's faithfulness, Kathy and her fellow Kingdom workers have witnessed miracle after miracle of community driven change. "[Haiti] is ready for a different reality," Kathy says. You won't want to miss her stories of the positive steps Jubilee residents are taking towards that new reality. 

About 2nd Story Goods

2nd Story Goods is dedicated to helping Haitians harness their natural skills and talents to create sustainable economies for their communities. They train and purchase goods from dozens of skilled craftspeople, which you can get in our fair trade shop. Find out how you can get involved with 2nd Story Goods on their website

 

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