On March 5, 2018, a small village in Northern India celebrated the inauguration of a public water well. Jesus’ Economy church planter Veer heard of the village’s need and helped them bring clean water to their area.

Severe Problems Due to Lack of Essential Physical Needs

Of the 300 villagers, most of them are very poor and unable to drill a well on their own property. This leaves them with either using and drinking unclean water or walking miles a day just to get to clean water.

While this is a problem many villages face, for this particular village it was even more severe because most of the villagers work in agriculture; working the land for other people. Working in fields all day so they can earn a basic living doesn’t allow them the time they need to walk to get clean water. This means that children are the ones who are typically sent to retrieve the water.

The village tried to get the local government to bore a water well for them but they were unsuccessful.

Essential Physical and Spiritual Needs Met 

Veer found out about their lack of clean water and guided the villagers in an application to Transformation India Movement (TIM), Jesus’ Economy’s partner organization in Bihar, India, for a public water well. TIM saw their need and granted their water well application for a 180 foot deep water well.

Sixty people attended the inauguration of the well including a local member of government. The people of the village recognized the work of Veer and TIM and now see what the Lord can do to meet not only their essential physical needs but their essential spiritual needs. This has opened many new doors for Veer to spread the gospel to this village and explain to them how Jesus is the Living Water.

Sponsoring a church planter so this kind of work can continue is vital.

 Sponsor Veer's Efforts  

Children being forced to work in horrible conditions is a very real issue that affects much of the world. There are more than152 million children from the ages of 5 to 17 in child labour, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). This is why the ILO started World Day against Child Labour, to help bring awareness and end it all together. 

Here at Jesus' Economy, we strive to bring families hope and lift them out of poverty by offering artisans the opportunity to sell their fair trade goods on the western market. This helps bring them more income than they ever dreamed possible and in turn, helps break the cycle of poverty. It enables the parents to be able to afford education for their children. It means that children can stop working because their parents are bringing in enough money to stabilize the family. In countries all over the world, we've provided a way for families to let their kids be kids and not have to go to work to help sustain the family. 

Through our Renew Bihar program and our Fair Trade Shop, we're helping to eradicate child labour. Join us won't you? 

 

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re still wondering what to get your dad, consider finding a cause he would believe in and make a contribution in his name. Jesus’ Economy has a few different programs to eradicate poverty in Bihar, India, so take a look and think about supporting one for Father’s Day.

In Bihar, more than a million people are living in poverty because they do not have access to clean water or the ability to buy or grow food. The economy is poor, and there are simply not enough jobs. And when families have limited food and water, education gets pushed back, and the families remain stuck in a cycle of poverty.

If your dad is a hard worker who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty, donate to fund the drilling of a water well

A large contributor to the poverty in Bihar is a lack of clean water. Some women and children spend many hours each day walking miles to collect drinking water. This takes up so much time that women cannot work and children cannot go school. Our clean water program raises funds to drill wells in Bihar. Each well can provide safe water for 2,000 people, and so far we have completed seven wells.

If your dad supports gender equality, donate to empower women

When families have access to safe water, women have more time to work and provide for their families. Our empowering women program is going to train 40 women to run successful tailoring businesses and sell their products on the western market. These women already have skills in tailoring, but need an opportunity to learn business skills.

If your dad is a great teacher, donate to plant churches

We are working to bring hope through the alleviation of physical and spiritual poverty. Our church planting program funds church planters in various villages in Bihar to set up home churches, and also to go into the villages and share the gospel. At this point, we are funding four church planters, all of whom are additionally starting Bible studies and literacy training as they go. Thousands of people in Bihar are hearing the gospel for the first time, and each church planter brings the gospel to thousands more.

The dads in our lives have taught us how to make the world a better place. This Father’s Day, celebrate these dads by supporting people in Bihar the same way they have supported us.

Bore Well March 2018

In one of the Northern India villages where Santhosh, one of our four church planters, works, the need for clean water became so great that Santhosh took action to help the villagers bore a water well.

Limited Access to Drinking Water 

In this village, there are no public water wells for the 300 people living there. The only wells in the village belong to the few wealthy people who won’t let any lower caste people come and get water. The poorer members of the village were essentially living at the mercy of the privileged for clean water. Their only other option was to walk miles a day to the nearest public water well, which can take hours.

The villagers turned to the government for help, requesting a public well be dug in the village but the government denied their request. This is where Santhosh came in, he told the villagers how to apply for a well through Transformation India Movement, Jesus’ Economy’s partner organization in Bihar, India.

Full Access to the Living Water 

After applying for their well, the village’s need was met and a 110 foot deep water well was dug. They inaugurated the well in March 2018 with a presentation of the gospel, explaining how Jesus is the Living Water. Fifty villagers attended the inauguration and heard the message.

Because of the well and Santhosh, this village has access to clean water and is praising God for it. Many villagers are eager to know more about Jesus after receiving the tangible gifts from his followers. This is a great new opportunity for our sponsored church planter, Santhosh, to share the gospel with everyone there.

In follow up, Santosh will visit this village regularly, as part of his village church ministry. He will hold church services, distribute Bibles, and help to meet some of the needs of the villagers while he is there.

Jesus’ Economy’s church planters visit dozens of villages every year on a salary of only $7,500 USD per year. They travel by bicycle and public transportation, often relying on the kindness of strangers to have their needs met. If you are passionate about supporting the work of church planting, you can donate to our church planters.

 Support Santhosh's Ministry  

Mother’s Day is coming up in a couple weeks, and while you can buy her something special from our Fair Trade Shop, consider making a donation in her name to one of our programs to end poverty in Bihar, India.

In Bihar, more than a million people are living in poverty because they do not have access to clean water or the ability to buy or grow food. The economy is poor, and there are simply not enough jobs. And when families have limited food and water, education gets pushed back, and the families remain stuck in a cycle of poverty.

But Jesus’ Economy is doing something to stop that, and this Mother’s Day, you can donate to eradicate poverty.

Provide Clean Water in Bihar, India: Meet Basic Needs

A large contributor to the poverty in Bihar is a lack of clean water. Some women and children spend many hours each day walking miles to collect drinking water. This takes up so much time that women cannot work and children cannot go school. Our clean water program raises funds to drill wells in Bihar. Each well can provide safe water for 2,000 people, and so far we have completed four wells.

Create Jobs in Bihar, India: Empower Women

When families have access to safe water, women have more time to work and provide for their families. Our empowering women program is going to train 40 women to run successful tailoring businesses and sell their products on the western market. These women already have skills in tailoring, but need an opportunity to learn business skills.

Plant Churches in Bihar, India: Spread the Gospel

We are working to bring hope through the alleviation of physical and spiritual poverty. Our church planting program funds church planters in various villages in Bihar to set up home churches, and also to go into the villages and share the gospel. At this point, we are funding four church planters, all of whom are additionally starting Bible studies and literacy training as they go. Thousands of people in Bihar are hearing the gospel for the first time, and each church planter brings the gospel to thousands more.

The moms in our lives have shaped us and taught us how to take care of the world. On Mother’s Day, celebrate these moms by giving back and fighting to end poverty.

When we fill our glasses with clear, cold water from our kitchen sinks, or even twist open a water bottle, we often don’t think about how privileged we are.

2.1 billion people live without clean water in their homes, and 1 in 9 people don’t have access to clean water at all.

You can take the opportunity this World Water Day to change that.

More than 10 percent of the world’s population can’t drink water from their pipes, and this issue affects more than just health and sanitation. When clean water is unavailable, family dynamics are impacted. Since women are usually the ones in charge of collecting water, they have to spend extra time each day walking to a drinkable water source, which can sometimes be miles away. This means the women can’t work for pay, families can’t afford to send their children to school, and a cycle of poverty continues for generations.

This is a problem in many countries, states, and villages around the world. One of these states is Bihar, India.

Bringing Clean Water to Bihar, India

In Bihar, India, where there is a women empowerment measure of .379, ranking among the top ten worst in the world, women and children spend hours daily walking miles to gather just enough water to live off of.

But Jesus’ Economy is working to change that. Jesus’ Economy has funded the drilling of four water wells in Bihar, providing 7,100 people with access to clean, safe water. Every dollar donated to this program funds the building, upkeep, and safety of the wells.

However, it doesn’t end with clean water. Following the funding of the wells, Jesus’ Economy is also working to empower women through literacy programs, business training, offering microloans, and planting churches.

Today consider becoming part of the movement to provide the basic necessity of clean water to people all over the world, which will also help families lift themselves out of poverty. Clean water can change the world.

Today is International Women’s Day, a day set aside to celebrate the achievements of women all over the world. Historically, women have not been given the same economic opportunities, especially in developing countries, as men, and while this has been changing, there is still work to be done. When women are empowered and supported so that they can provide stability for themselves and their families, poverty shrinks, hope is created, and God is glorified.

There are many ways to empower women around the world. Jesus’ Economy is working with an existing program in Bihar, India to do just this.

In Bihar, a state in extreme poverty, families are forced into a repeated cycle of poverty in which their basic needs are not met. In Bihar, a program exists to teach women tailoring and seamstress skills. Jesus’ Economy is partnering with this program to add a new, innovative business-training program. With this program, we will create sustainable jobs for the impoverished.

This is Jesus’ Economy’s Empowering Women Program.

A Program to Create Opportunity

The day Jesus’ Economy decided to launch the program is a day CEO John D. Barry will never forget. A woman placed her hands in his and wept. She said, “I can now afford to keep my kids in school, but keeping food on their plates often feels impossible. I am constantly facing the decision of whether to eat or pay for school supplies or clothing for my children. Will you pray for me and my children?” She could pay for her kids to go to school through her sewing work, which she learned via a non-profit sewing school, but her business needed a boost.

Women like this are ready to work hard to offer their children a better life; they just need the opportunity. Together, we can give them this chance for a hopeful future. Jesus’ Economy is offering graduates of the sewing program the chance to learn how to make products for a western market—as well as learn business basics and ethical business practices.

Our partner in Bihar has already taught women how to sew, but they need the additional business skills to become successful and sustainable.

Business Training Will Change the Cycle of Poverty

Our business-training program will teach 40 women how to expand their businesses. The training has two phases. First, a trainer will come in and offer a one-week training session on product development, employee management, handling accounts, and running an ethical, fair trade business.

The second phase involves hands-on product development training. This will be a two-week session that guides the women through their own product development cycle and further business ethics training. This trainer will be available for an additional 10 weeks for free consulting to the women. By the end of the training, the women will be equipped to sell high-quality products locally and on the western market. They will have moved from tailors to successful international businesswomen.

After the training, the women will be eligible for a microloan from Jesus’ Economy to purchase supplies for their expanding business. Jesus' Economy also changes the economic paradigm by becoming the guaranteed buyer of the products the women are creating. Jesus' Economy will sell these products in our fair trade shop.

Business-training ultimately fights against the cycle of poverty, and gives women hope of changing the future for generations to come.

International Women’s Day isn’t just about celebrating what women have accomplished. It is also about recognizing what we can still do to empower women and work to put an end to global poverty.

On this International Women’s Day, you can empower a woman in Bihar, India to lift her family out of poverty, and bring positive change to the world.

This article was adapted from, “Empowering Women in One of the Poorest States in the World."

For her birthday in 2017, Jesus' Economy volunteer, Rachel Thompson, took on an ambitious task: to raise $500, half the value of a water well in Bihar, India.


When the donations came pouring in and Rachel's campaign surpassed its goal, she went one step further. During the Christmas season of the same year, she asked friends and family to donate in order to raise the full $1,000 value of a water well, providing thousands of people with clean water. We interviewed Rachel about her campaign journey and the stories of God's faithfulness she saw along the way.

Q: Rachel, tell us a bit about yourself, your family, and your involvement with Jesus' Economy.

My husband and I both work in church ministry in Ithaca, New York. We have two beautiful young children. I've volunteered with Jesus' Economy for several years. I started out throwing house parties for products and more recently have served as the executive assistant. I enjoy being part of a driven and talented team.

Q: Why did the idea of a birthday campaign appeal to you?

There is such a disparity of wealth and resources in our world. When I think about accumulating more stuff, it just strikes me as ridiculous. Especially after moving all of that stuff recently! Fundraising through Jesus' Economy is really attractive and easy. I think people are looking for meaningful gifts to give their loved ones. I thought I could leverage that to shine some light in the world. Many of us want to help people in need, and are looking for the way to do so. While I was thrilled about the generosity of my friends and family during this campaign, I wasn't surprised. Good people are looking for ways to help others, and organizations like Jesus' Economy are offering streamlined ways to do so.

Q: Why did you choose to raise money for clean water in Bihar?

Especially since becoming a parent, I have refocused my priorities. The most important thing to me is that my family's needs are met. When my husband comes home to a peaceful sanctuary, my kids know love, they have food to eat, and a warm bed to sleep in, I can also thrive. My heart aches for parents who do not have access to basic needs like clean water for their children. I don't understand how people can be dying from water-borne illnesses in 2017. We live in such an interconnected world, and organizations like Jesus' Economy are connecting Western prosperity with third world needs. Jesus' Economy's Renew Bihar project is promoting a holistic approach to empowering the impoverished. I love that the church planters we partner with in the area will have the opportunity to share the love of Christ, the Living Water, through this well.

Q: Please share with us some stories from your campaign. How did you see God working through your efforts?

It was really beautiful to witness God inspiring the people who donated to this campaign. Donors included people from all walks of life—farmers, missionaries, teachers, nurses, stay-at-home moms, ivy league grads and PhDs, teenagers, and children. A student from our youth group made a large donation. There was one story in particular that was really special. My sweet friend and fellow pastor's wife shared the well project with her children [and invited them to participate]. She recounted the story below.

"'So you know Mrs Thompson? For her birthday sometime in the summer, she was asking people to donate money to build a well in India instead of giving her presents. She was hoping to raise money for half the well which costs $500, but she ended up raising more than that. So for Christmas, she decided to ask more people to donate money instead of giving her Christmas gifts to see if she could get enough to build a whole well. She has raised [at the time], $911. She only has $89 left to getting a full well built. You don’t have to, but would you like to give some money to help her get her well built?' James had a lot of questions about the well. We talked about how not every child has access to running water like we do. I did emphasize that giving was optional and the amount was optional. No sibling had to know what the other gave. Adam and Sophia gave generously but what touched me most was James (who is 7). He jumped up and ran upstairs for his piggy bank. He had $2 in it and he took out a dollar and gave it to me for 'Mrs Thompson’s well.'"

 

If you would like to start a campaign for clean water, empowering women, church planting or another aspect of the vision of Jesus' Economy to create jobs and churches in the developing world, start here.

Dedicate Your Birthday 

John Barry here, CEO of Jesus' Economy. Thank you to everyone who supported Jesus' Economy on #GivingTuesday. And thank you to all of you who shopped fair trade during Black Friday through Cyber Monday (and even into Giving Tuesday). We're creating a new global, spiritual and physical economy for those that need it most. Here's what we're accomplishing together.

1. Together, We're Creating Jobs for Artisans Overcoming Poverty via Fair Trade

For all of you who shop fair trade on JesusEconomy.org, your shopping counts for transforming lives. You're looking consumerism in the face and saying, "We can do better than this. I can bless people with great and thoughtful gifts, while blessing those from extreme poverty situations."

Thanks to you, we're creating or sustaining hundreds of jobs this year. Without you shopping fair trade at JesusEconomy.org, this wouldn't be possible. We're helping artisans lift themselves out of poverty, simply by how we shop. So thank you!

2. Together, We're Renewing Impoverished Communities

In one of the most impoverished places in the world, Jesus' Economy is planting churches and meeting basic needs. And later, once enough funds are raised, we will launch an economic development initiative in the same region.

And right now, we're giving clean water to the thirsty. And we're bringing the living water of Jesus to those who have never heard his name. All in the same communities! We're combining meeting basics needs with church planting. (This work is so impactful that Red Letter Christians recently featured it as a case study.)

What does this look like? Jesus' economy in action. Together, we're doing this. So thank you!

3. Together, We're Part of a Movement: Living Jesus' Economy

Every time you give and shop with Jesus' Economy, you're being part of the solution to the problems our world is facing. You're making our world a better place. And that inspires me. Together, we're showing the world what it means to live Jesus' economySo thank you!

Simply, thanks for living Jesus' economy with us. We're grateful to be part of this movement with you.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is November 25, two days after Americans give thanks for a multitude of blessings. Many women in both developed and developing countries will just be giving thanks that they live to see another day. 

The Frequency of Violence Against Women 

Violence against women persists throughout the world and takes on many forms. While many people tend to see it as an issue that only exists in oppressed countries where women aren't viewed as equals, it's a problem that runs rampant even in developed countries like the United States. Oftentimes, it takes the form of domestic violence and sexual assault but it can also be genital mutilation and random attacks in the street. 

The UN reports that in 87 countries from 2005 to 2016, 19 percent of women ages 15 to 49 said they had experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in the previous 12 months.

This typically translates into 1 in 3 women experiencing violence against them at some point in their lifetime, according to the World Health Organization. That means that if you are a woman and have two female friends, one of you has experienced assault in some form because of your gender. If you're a man and you have three female friends, one of them has experienced someone being physically violent toward them. 

Taking Action 

This is why the UN established days like the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Awareness is key and it can lead to action. That's where we've stepped in to help women in poverty. 

Many of our artisan co-operatives are comprised of women who are sewing and creating products by hand to support themselves and their children. This means they can afford to send their kids to school, buy food for their table, and shoes for their feet. When children are educated, human rights issues such as gender inequality aren't as prominent. The children learn right from wrong, fair from unfair, and how to treat others no matter their gender or skin color. 

In addition to our female artisans, as part of our Renew Bihar program we have created an empowering women program. When the program is fully launched, we will be able to train women on how to develop and create quality products. We'll also show them how to run a business, hire employees, and practice ethical business standards. We will walk alongside them as they slowly build a small business and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. 

Empowering Women 

Here at Jesus' Economy, we are in the business of empowering women. When women are empowered, the cycle of poverty breaks which helps the community in which they live. As a result, more people in the community are able to have access to education. When communities see this increase in education, the violence against women decreases. 

When International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women arrives this Saturday the 25, talk about it with your friends and family, spread awareness, pray about how you can help end violence against women across the globe, and then take action. 

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