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  

Many of the products we use day-to-day are made from woven fabrics, and while machine-woven products are often cheaper, hand-woven products are better for job creation, better for the environment, and they tell beautiful stories.

Here are three reasons why you should consider buying hand-woven products.

1. Hand-woven products are made by real people

Machines may be quicker, but when real people use their skills to hand weave fabrics, jobs are created. Millions of people around the world live in poverty, and businesses that sell hand-woven products create hundreds of valuable jobs that make a positive impact on the global economy. Additionally, hand-woven fabrics are higher quality because mistakes can be caught and fixed easier by a person than by a machine.  

2. Hand-woven products are made with less energy

Hand-woven products don’t use heavy machinery, and because of this, these products are better for the environment. They are not made in factories that emit greenhouse gases, rather they are made carefully by people who care. Many hand-woven products are made from sustainable, renewable resources such as cotton and natural dyes, while factory-woven products are typically made from whatever is cheapest and quickest, often with no regard for the environment.

3. Hand-woven products have heart and soul

When products are handmade, they are unique and carry stories with them. When you buy hand-woven products, you get to share those stories. Many fair trade artisans around the world create their products as a source of income so they can feed and support their families, build stability, and work toward breaking the cycle of poverty. Hand-woven fair trade is vital because it strengthens families and brings hope, and when you buy the products, you become part of that story. 

Shopping responsibly means looking at the bigger picture, and the big picture reveals that buying hand-woven products instead of machine-woven products can create jobs, limit factory pollution, and share stories.

The Fair Trade Shop at Jesus’ Economy.org has several hand-woven products that are gorgeous, practical, and durable.

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.

Father’s Day is getting closer, and maybe you’ve had that perfect gift planned since January, or maybe you’re drawing a blank on what to get your dad. But don’t worry, we can help! JesusEconomy.org has many great gifts your dad will love because they are made ethically, fairly traded, and the gift will come from you—his favorite child, obviously.

Wallets from Haiti: Goat Leather

All wallets wear out eventually, and maybe your dad is in need of a new wallet with that new leather smell. This leather wallet from Haiti is standard size and has pockets for cash and credit cards, including a photo window  so he can include that photo of his favorite child. 

Leather Luggage Tags from Haiti

Everyone needs a vacation every now and then, but especially parents. Give your dad a luggage tag he can use when he takes a much-needed break. Or buy a few tags because, let’s face it, your dad will probably want to take his family along.

 Journals from Haiti: Saddleback Leather

Does your dad need a new, sturdy journal for business meetings or jotting down his classic dad jokes? This handmade journal from Haiti comes in several sizes and is perfect for anything he might want to take note of.

Aprons from Guatemala: Black and White Stripe

Picture this: it’s a typical Sunday barbecue, and your dad gets a stain on his Sunday shirt—what else is new? But if you give him an apron from Guatemala, he can avoid the stain remover and continue to barbecue in style.

 Men’s Logo T-Shirt from Uganda

Dads never run out of T-shirts, yet they always seem to need more. Add one to his collection with this T-shirt from Uganda featuring the Jesus’ Economy logo. This shirt represents the global focus of fair trade, and you can tell him about where the shirt came from and what it stands for.

Gift Card

Hopefully we gave you some ideas for what to get your dad to say "thank you" for all he’s done. But if you’re stumped, get a gift card so he can pick out exactly what he wants.

 Everything in our fair trade store is created ethically and fairly traded. Your purchases will support artisans around the world as you thank your dad for supporting you.

Every Sunday, we will be featuring products from the Fair Trade Shop selected by a member of the Jesus' Economy team. Every product selected is one they've personally bought, used, and fallen in love with. 

This week's pick was selected by Rachel Thompson, executive assistant and manager of our Instagram page. 

The JE Women's Cotton Tee From Uganda

You can now proudly wear the Jesus’ Economy logo, our pinpoint. Like how a pinpoint on a map represents a location, our pinpoint represents our destination as an organization: wrapping the entire world in Jesus Christ's economy of generosity through job and church creation, and the meeting of basic needs. This shirt reflects our desire to stimulate economic growth through partnering with entrepreneurs. 

"The JE logo t-shirt is comfortable and eye catching. I love the pin graphic centered on the side, and the JE logo on the sleeve. I often get questions or compliments when wearing the shirt, and have the opportunity to share the good things JE is accomplishing around the world. It’s a stylish, comfortable way to support an org I wholeheartedly support!" - Rachel

The tee comes in several different sizes, and there's a men's tee as well. Select your comfy tee today!

Planet Earth is always changing, and that is a part of life. But some of the changes, such as climate change and diminishing resources like forests and fresh water, are hurting us and our witness to others. It’s easy to get caught up in the cycles of consumerism and forget about the ways our lifestyle impacts everything God made. But when we forget to take care of creation, we are disobeying God’s commands from Genesis.

“And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’… And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day” (Genesis 1:28, 31).

God’s first command to mankind was to be fruitful, multiply, and to take care of the Earth he made, which was very good. He made the Earth for us to live and grow in, and we have to be good stewards of it so that we can continue to do these things. The Earth is our home right now, and we should cherish it.

Creation Tells Us Who God Is

The Earth is not just good for us because it’s our current home, it’s good because it reveals God’s presence to believers and unbelievers alike. We know that “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

What we see in nature is a revelation of God’s creative power and glory, and is also a revelation of the gospel. When we enjoy the Earth we can learn about who God is and what he is like. Enjoying the Earth can help believers draw nearer in relationship with God, and it can help unbelievers find somewhere to start. Paul talks about the witness nature gives, and how God’s creation exposes his eternal power. He writes,

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20).

As Job declares to his friends,

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:7-10).

If nature is so incredible that it glorifies God and draws people nearer to him, shouldn’t we protect it?

How Christians Should Take Care of the Earth

The Earth is suffering because of our careless attitudes toward resources. We should be taking care of what we have because it was left in our care and it can help us as we bring the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Here are a few ways we can be good stewards of creation:

1. Shop Responsibly

Strive to buy products that are produced ethically, fairly traded, and have minimal environmental impact. Try looking into businesses, like Jesus’ Economy, that are honest about the materials they use and how they use them.

2. Reduce Waste

Did you know that most plastic is produced only to be thrown away, and because of this, a truckload of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute? And this doesn’t account for what is thrown into landfills or even sent elsewhere to be recycled. Regardless, we are using too much plastic. Consider cutting out single-use plastics from your life and recycle all you can. Buy a few reusable bags for groceries and pack your lunch in glassware instead of plastic wrap. Thrift shopping is also a great way to reduce waste.

3. Enjoy Creation

This one is simple. Get outside and look at what God made for us and for him. Take a break from work, technology, and those little life stresses and go rest in creation. It will be refreshing and it can be a wonderful retreat to grow closer to God.

God created the world for us to live in and care for, and sometimes we get wrapped up in the living part and forget the caring part. But I encourage you to care for creation in all the ways you can, and see how you get to know God better as you do.

 

Get more free articles like this and other updates: Subscribe now. This long-form article is part of our weekly series, “Living for Jesus.”

Next time you need a new centerpiece for your table or a gift to give at a shower, consider shopping fair trade and looking for products that are environmentally friendly. Many of the home goods sold at Jesuseconomy.org are made of natural and renewable resources that are gentler on the earth than home goods bought at chain department stores.

Green Fair Trade Home Goods

 

Bookends from Rwanda: Lions

Add a stunning piece to your library with these bookends. They are hand carved from locally sourced Jacaranda wood in Rwanda. The Jacaranda tree grows back even after it has been cut, making it a great resource with minimal environmental impact.

 

Banana Leaf Nesting Tray Sets from Rwanda

Leaves and stalks of banana trees are a renewable resource in Rwanda, and these trays are made completely from dried banana leaves. These serving trays don’t have a single bit of plastic yet they will last for many years.  

 

Baskets from Haiti: Market Basket

The market basket is wonderful because it is naturally water resistant and durable, but it’s even more amazing because it’s made from 100% sweetgrass, which is a local resource in Haiti. Use this basket to carry a few groceries and skip out on the plastic bag.

 

Belts from Guatemala: 47” with Wooden Buckle

This belt is hand-woven and embroidered with 100% cotton thread, and the buckle is made of wood. Every material used on this belt is renewable and easy on the environment.

 

Greeting Cards from Haiti: Thinking of You with Flower

Greeting cards are a staple, and these ones are great for many reasons. They are handmade with fabric scraps and cardstock, and the inside is blank for whatever you have to say.

 

Decorate responsibly and buy fair trade home goods that are environmentally friendly.

Taking care of the earth is so important, but it can be difficult to do while shopping. Figuring out where to find environmentally responsible products can take a lot of time and research. Many large department stores sell products made with chemicals and synthetic fabrics that won’t decompose, and the factories emit harmful greenhouse gases. If you want to change the way you shop, take a look at the Fair Trade Store at JesusEconomy.org. We have many beautiful and long-lasting products that are gentle on the earth both in how they are made and in how they will eventually decompose—but don’t worry, that will be long after you are done using them.

Environmentally Friendly Fair Trade Jewelry

Here are some beautiful fair trade jewelry items that are kind to the environment.

 

Earrings from Brazil: Golden Grass Ropa

These earrings are made from golden grass, a renewable resource in Brazil. Golden grass is known for its strength and durability, yet it is also great for the environment because it is completely natural and renewable.

 

Bracelets from Brazil: Blue Rocha Golden Grass

This bracelet looks as dainty as real gold, but is actually made from Brazilian golden grass. The grass is naturally flexible, lightweight, and sturdy, making this bracelet practical for you and for the earth. It also features a polished river stone from Brazil.

 

Seed Wrap Bracelet from Haiti

The seeds on this bracelet are similar to coffee beans and are locally sourced, environmentally clean, and a fashionable alternative bead.

 

Necklaces from Haiti: Glass Daisy

A great way to minimize your environmental impact is by recycling, and this necklace recycles in style. The pendant is made from locally sourced recycled glass and is wrapped with recycled aluminum.

 

Necklaces from Haiti: Aluminum Loop, Clay Bead

The pendant on this necklace from Haiti is made with locally sourced clay and recycled aluminum. The materials are safe for the earth and make you stand out.

Add some dazzling fair trade jewelry to your wardrobe and honor the earth while you wear it.

Every Sunday, we will be featuring products from the Fair Trade Shop selected by a member of the Jesus' Economy team. Every product selected is one they've personally bought, used, and fallen in love with. 

This week's pick was selected by Charlotte Van Werven, intern in content production, producing one fabulous blog post after another. 

Kitchen Gift Set from Guatemala: "Stormy Blues" Pot Holder and Towel

 

Mayamam weavers are bringing intricate, handwoven pieces of Mayan culture to your home. This pot holder and towel set from Guatemala is made of sturdy, handwoven 100% cotton while incorporating traditional Mayan design. The pot holder features grippers and an insulbrite lining and the towel has a hanging loop. Plus, they're both machine washable and dryable. 

Charlotte is a a recent college graduate who is getting ready to go to grad school. She doesn't have time for hand wash items or products that won't hold up in her kitchen. Plus, since she's on a tight college budget, she can't afford to keep buying new ones after cheap quality ones fall apart. 

"The pot holder and towel set from Guatemala are some of my favorite things in my kitchen. They hold up in the wash, and they look really nice. To me, fair trade kitchen items are a no-brainer because I need and use them daily. I try to be responsible with my shopping, and that includes shopping fair trade and eliminating waste. These items let me do both!" - Charlotte 

Check out all the colors we offer in the pot holder and towel sets, plus all the kitchen towels and cloth napkins we have!