You bought those beautiful aluminum and glass earrings and those adorable daisy clips from Jesus' Economy and 2nd Story Goods, and it has made a difference.

Anite, pictured below with her daughter, is the creator of the daisy clips and other daisy art. Through the sale of her daisies, Anite has been able to add new concrete construction [pictured] onto their thatch house. The new construction is taller, which is better for the flood season, and features a brand new bathroom. Without Anite's hard work and your support, this would not have been possible for her family.  

Anite and her daughter.  

Ginny contributes her talents to the group of women who make earrings in Jubilee. Through the profits from the sale of the earrings, she and her husband [pictured below with their youngest child] have been able to build a new home. Their home [pictured] is about five times the size of the tin home they used to have and is made of concrete, as opposed to mud or scraps of tin.

 

2nd Story Goods is making a difference in Jubilee. Jesus' Economy is proud to partner with them to accomplish this work. Find out more about 2nd Story Goods and shop online to support more artisans in Jubilee. 

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This is the story of how a few miracles in Bihar, India transformed a family's life—leading them to host an empowering women program.

 Share this video with your friends. Use hashtag #EmpoweringWomen and tag @JesusEconomy (or @Jesus' Economy on Facebook).

Empower Women in Bihar, India

Learn more about our empowering women program in Bihar, India.

 

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What does it mean to be Jesus to others? How can we use our skills to empower people in need? In this video, CEO John D. Barry talks about how we can be like Jesus and use our gifts to receive those around us who are hungry, thirsty, and needy.

Being Jesus to Others: A Story from Bihar, India

Share this video with your friends. Use hashtag #EmpoweringWomen and tag @JesusEconomy (or @Jesus' Economy on Facebook).

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Most of us don't realize it, but it's within our power to transform lives. We can create jobs and we can renew homes. In Bihar, India, one of the most impoverished places in the world, we're working to empower women. In this video, I tell you what we plan to do to renew homes in Bihar, India.

Empower Women in Bihar, India

Join us in creating jobs for women in Bihar, India.

A Month Dedicated to Empowering Women

This month at Jesus' Economy is dedicated to women who have empowered others and lifted their families out of poverty, as well as raising awareness about the issues women are facing. Throughout this month, tag @JesusEconomy (or on Facebook: @Jesus' Economy) and use the #EmpowerWomen hashtag to tell us about the women who have empowered you.

Let's celebrate empowering women together!

Jesus' Economy model wearing aluminum cuff bracelet

I regularly wonder if I truly love people. Am I living the entire message of the gospel or just part of it? I think this is one of the most important question Christians should ask.

If I don’t have an income, how will I have time to do anything but survive? If I suffer each day from malnutrition or waterborne illnesses, how will I have time to do anything but pray for salvation from my situation? I may want to serve "the one who saves" but it will be very difficult for me to do so if I am praying for salvation from my daily circumstances.

Living Holistic Community Development

The idea of truly loving people is why we here at Jesus’ Economy have a holistic model. In each developing world community we serve, we address business issues, spiritual problems, and the needs of a community. We do this through church grants, microloans, and the meeting of basic needs. Our church planters also engage directly with those receiving microloans and business training. This allows for us to bring biblical ethics into business to alleviate corruption.

In addition, we create jobs by providing an online fair trade shop. Through our shop, we not only buy products from artisans from around the world, we also buy products from the people receiving microloans through our holistic projects. We complete the economic cycle by also becoming the guaranteed buyer.

See the Full-Size Infographic about our Holistic Model

This Idea Could Change Our Entire World

I often wonder if we all practiced loving a whole person, not just their need, how our world would change? And I am not just talking about you donating to Jesus' Economy here; I am talking about truly engaging in relationship with other people, to empower them to overcome the spiritual (a lack of living fully for Jesus) and physical poverty (a lack of resources and access to them) they're facing.

The Holistic Model in Practice in Bihar, India

In the instance of our Renew Bihar, India project, we're practicing our holistic model, because we want to see hope, hearts, and home renewed. 

Here's how it will work. 18 church planters will receive grants and 18 water wells being drilled in the same regions those planters are serving. In addition, 40 women will be empowered to develop products for the western market—by receiving business training and microloans if they so desire.

With the knowledge of how to develop a product for the western market, these women will then be able to expand the businesses they own and hire others. We will become their buyer at the end of the microloan cycle to further jumpstart their business and economy—we will then sell those products to you right in our fair trade shop and reinvest any profit.

We will also establish a medical clinic for the impoverished. We’re creating jobs and churches, while meeting basic needs.

Living the Change We Want to See

I want to have the same level of care I have for the people of Bihar with everyone I meet, every day. How can I empower them to live for Jesus? How can you do the same?

God Loves the Whole Person

I believe that God cares as much about a person’s daily income as he does their spirituality, because work life is connected to spiritual life. Above that, work itself is spiritual—everything we do is. We may not acknowledge it, but every decision we make affects others, in some way or another—either by what we are doing or by what we aren’t doing.

God loves a whole person—not just the person when they’re praying, or when they're going to church, but also when they’re living the rest of their life. Our aim here at Jesus’ Economy is to do the same.

Jesus' Economy is about holistic community transformation. Our model incorporates each part of the life of a community: creating jobs, planting churches, meeting needs, and training leaders. We believe that all of these efforts are connected. In addition, we believe in keeping the global economy in mind: This is why we sell fair trade products online and offer microloans, as part of our process.

See the full-size version of the infographic explaining our model.

Selling locally is wonderful, but when products are also sold online, the amount of income coming into an economy drastically changes, allowing for sustainable change to occur faster. 

But even with an online marketplace available, if job creation efforts face the difficulties of corruption, they will be hindered. Healthy churches can alleviate corruption by providing ethical guidance to communities.

The physical needs of a group of people must also be met. This is why the meeting of basic needs, like providing clean water and access to medical care, is also part of Jesus' Economy's model.

However, meeting basic needs will not take care of the long-term problems: You may be able to feed a person today, but they need a sustainable solution. This also gives a person the dignity of choice, instead of forcing them to take a handout. That's where job creation comes in, bringing things full circle.

Yet there is still one more component to alleviating poverty: Job creation and church planting both require training. Training that is ethical in nature, and paired with mentorship and accountability, can create lasting positive change for communities. Training is the key to unlocking the potential of a person and a community.

Jesus' Economy's model of community development feeds itself, once it gets going. We help communities overcome major economic and spiritual hurdles, so that they may continue the effort. All of our efforts are designed by locals and implemented by them.

We believe that the world can, and will, be a better place once we implement this model. And that starts with our Renew Bihar, India project. Together, we can tackle the reason why poverty exists, both the spiritual and physical reasons.

Nearly five months after returning home from Bihar, India, I still find myself there in my dreams. But in my dreams Bihar is not what it is today.

I dream of a Bihar where all the streets are paved and commerce is everywhere. I dream of the gospel running throughout the state in the colors of grace and hope. I dream of lives transformed, people living healthy and prosperous lives, and children who have clean water. I see Jesus in their faces.

There is incredible hope in the faces of the people of Bihar. There is bravery to face poverty. There are dreams of becoming something incredible. There are children who told me of their dreams to be teachers, doctors, and even preachers. There are kids who want to transform their communities. The gospel has placed this hope in their hearts. Holistic transformation—being offered by Transformation India Movement, Jesus’ Economy’s partner in Bihar—has given them this hope.

I dream of peace and mercy being everywhere in Bihar—someday, we could renew Bihar, India.

Renew hope. Renew hearts. Renew homes. Renew Bihar, India.

 

Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for inspiring us to dream of a better world. Where you are born, the color of your skin, or who you are born to should never determine what you can do. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: We dream because you taught us to do so. We dream because Jesus first taught you to do so. We dream because we know God dreams.

Maybe your heart is two sizes too small or you’re in the habit of saying “Bah humbug!”—whatever your reasons are for fighting Christmas this year, we think we have some ideas to cheer you up. During the 12 days of Christmas, we’re writing about 12 ways to live the Christmas spirit.

Way #2 to Live the Christmas Spirit: Help Others Find Work

We all have friends who need work—and the stress of looking for a job is just heightened at this time of year. Giving gum drops to a friend in need of work isn’t enough—I’m going to ask you to do a little more.

Who Do You Know? What Can You Do?

We all know way more people than we realize. Take a minute to look through your Facebook friends, or LinkedIn connections, and that will become apparent to you. Your friend looking for work needs connections. They also likely need someone to come alongside them to proofread a resume or cover letter. You can help with both items.

How You Can Live the Christmas Spirit Today

Once your friend’s information is ready, make that call for them. If you feel that you know enough about them to actually recommend them, tell the person you’re calling. If you don’t, then just tell them you have an acquaintance that is looking to apply with them. This could be all your friend needs.

But Go Beyond Thinking Local—Think Global Too

All around the world, there are people without jobs, who often just need training and a little bit of help getting to the next level. Like your friends, they’re waiting to be empowered. We have been thinking about this here at Jesus’ Economy for a while. If you would like to see our thoughts, we created a very cool infographic for you.

Thinking Globally about Job Creation
View the full-size microloan infographic.

 

It’s biblical for us to love our neighbors—it’s the second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:36–40). So really love someone today.

Go help someone find work. Change their life this Christmas by being a true friend.

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