A junior in college, and scared out of my mind. I was fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends who loved me and my now husband who wanted to start a family with me. It wasn’t how I had always planned it would be, and while I was terrified of what the future would hold…I was not alone.
I didn’t have a full understanding of grace those first few years, in reality it is something that alludes me at times, even today. But I have seen God’s grace in my life over and over. I see it in the eyes of my children. I know that life isn’t always “fair” and doesn’t always turn out the way we had hoped or imagined…but there is mercy in these moments and I am so very grateful.
I can be a pretty selfish person, my woes and troubles keep me spinning and I start to believe that I can’t handle it all. And then I hear stories of women, girls even, that are faced with the same fear and uncertainty that I was…except their situation is far more bleak…
Mercy Found Pauline
God’s hand has been in the life of Pauline and women just like her. In what might be a hopeless situation, a way has been provided. A way for hope, a reason to celebrate, a light in the darkness.
A Crazy Kind of Yes
A few years ago I heard of a group called Mercy House Kenya. Kristen Welch stepped out with a crazy Yes and answered God’s call on her life. A call that would eventually impact women in 18 countries.
As with any calling from God…the details seemed impossible. How could a woman from Texas make a difference in the lives of young, pregnant teenagers in Africa? How could any of us really? We don’t have the resources, the knowledge, to make a difference do we?
But through Kristen’s faith she has shown us that our yes matters.
Initially the Mercy Shop was opened with a few handmade, fair-trade items. The profits would be used to help fund a God-sized dream idea. To provide a safe place for unwed, pregnant teens in Kenya Africa to go during their pregnancy. They are given proper education and medical care, and taught a trade so that they can provide for the life growing inside of them.
They are given hope in a place where often hope seems lost.
One Yes Can Open Many Doors
But it didn’t end there. And soon the Fair Trade Friday Club was born.
In Kristen’s words “I heard it clear, these words in the middle of the night, “Provide jobs for women.” It was years ago and I didn’t know what it meant. We were a couple of years into our hard work in Kenya, rescuing pregnant teens and I didn’t think I could do much more. But I also couldn’t shake those whispered words. Fair Trade Friday is the response to providing jobs for women. Sometimes God asks us to do something we don’t know how to do. But He does and He leads.”
What Then Is My Response?
It would have been easy for Kristen to ignore these tugs on her heart. But she forged ahead and because of her example first I now ask myself when then can I do?
One of the easiest and most fun in my opinion is becoming a member of the “club.” They have a couple of options available for any budget. It is a win win really, it is our chance to support the artisans and the reward is a fun box of cute items delivered right to our doors!
If you just want to try it out and see what the Fair Trade Club is all about you can order a One Time Box. For $35 + $10 shipping you will get 3-4 fair trade items. Everything from jewelry to fashion accessories.
For those that want a little mail surprise each month you can sign up for the Recurring Box. You save a little (Only $31.99 with free shipping!) and these are the perfect items to save and share with friends and family! Right now these boxes have been SO popular, they have a wait list. So if you are interested sign up now so you don’t miss out when the next group opens up!
If earrings are your thing, try the Earring of the Month club! This is $11.99 a month and they have discounts when you sign up for multiple months! Again join the wait list if you want in on these amazing items!
I love stories of redemption and there is a book being written, one full of hope and promise, in the stories of the women whose lives are being changed through the Fair Trade Friday Club. Mercy has found women like Pauline, women in 18 countries who now have sustainable employment. Lives are being changed and we all have an opportunity to be a part of it.
Join the Club and make a difference.
**Images and stories shared courtesy of Fair Trade Friday.