March 8, 2014

Amazima giveaway & a story behind the necklaces

Good Morning! Just popping in to share a beautiful story from the Amazima blog, and to announce the necklace and bracelet winner! Meet Lillian - one of the women in Amazima's beading circle... (article borrowed from the Amazima Ministries blog)

Lillian is one of the original members of the Amazima beading circle in Masese. She is married and is the mother of four children. Her smile lights up a room. She has a tender heart and loves those around her. We are so thankful that she shared her story with us! 

How did you become a part of the beading circle?
In the beginning of the beading circle, we did not know Auntie Katie. She came into our community and called everyone together. The community decided who was to be in the group. Some got together and would say, "this woman is in a very bad place...they don't even have food for their family" this is how the group began. The community decided who was in the group.I was so happy that I was chosen to be a part of it because I was in so many problems then. We were picking through the rubbish (garbage) in the trash bins, trying to pick anything. We would pick the charcoal and try to find some irish potatoes from the rubbish, just to be able to provide something for our children. 

What do you do when you meet in the beading circle?
In the group we share about the Bible, then we share prayer requests and praises. We have a mixed group of women. There are those who are not believing but they are changing and God is working. Some used to struggle with addictions. There are others who fell into unhealthy ways of supporting their families. But now, even those people have changed. This work is providing for their needs. 

Is the jewelry difficult to make?
The most difficult thing about the group was the first time we made the beads. It was difficult to learn how to roll those papers! But now we have learned how to roll them and we know it well.

What is your favorite part of being in the beading circle?
My favorite thing about the group is that we are able to provide for our families. I have even built a house from the income I received and I really praise God for that. 

What is God teaching you through the beading circle?
Now, for me, in this work I have learned so much. When we get together and share our problems and we get strength from one another. Our work is not heavy because we have strength together. I love God so much because He is my creator and knows all my ways. I think it is in John that is says "in the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This gives me strength. I trust God, I pray to Him, and I think about Him in those hard times. The One who helped me last time in my problems will help me this time. 

Is there anything else you'd like to share? 
To those of you struggling to provide for your families, if any work happens for you, don't despise that work. Even if it is just sweeping. God's ways are not ours and you don't know what He is doing through that work. Just thank Him and praise him saying, "thank you for the money for water."'

Lillian's prayer requests: "That I would be able to buy land in the area where I am from, but mostly, pray that my family and that my children receive from God strength in His word."Join Amazima as we live out the love of Jesus by educating and empowering women like Lillian. Lillian provides for her family by participating in our beading group, and our jewelry sales also help feed 1200 children in her community. Visit the Amazima store today >>

I hope your heart was encouraged! There are many wonderful people to meet, just pop on over to the Amazima blog to read interviews with mentors and articles on the many awesome programs that Amazima offers.

Thank you to all who participated in the necklace & bracelet giveaway through Instagram, this blog or by e-mail. I really would like to send a necklace to each of you dear people! (You can be rest assured this will not be the last Amazima giveaway around here...) ;) 

Drum Roll...... ...... ......  I am happy to announce that the winner of the beautiful red bead necklace and a multi-coloured bracelet is... Laura! Congratulations and enjoy sharing the heart of Amazima Ministries!

March 7, 2014


1. following a winding course

I should be packing, yet I need to stop and jot words to this day. We are on the verge of a move again, apartment-bound so we have some space for what needs to be replaced before our insurance claim runs out in May. 

What a winding course we have chosen. I have to chuckle at the absurdity of moving four times since the fire, of waiting to build a house instead of buying something already done. (It's chuckle or cry at this point). Of budgets and apartment hunting, of insurance covered and insurance not covered, of family with grace and patience as we have again lived under their roof.

Neal and I were painting our bedroom a month before the fire. I remember sun streaming onto our bare mattress, covered in plastic, paint trays, scrapers and rollers. I remember flopping down and Cadi curling up by my head, always watching out, wanting to share a sunbeam. Neal and I were writing verses on the wall. Scribbles of silver pen on top of the dark brown paint we would cover with something lighter. I remember these words above our window, "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Sometimes I think of those words going up in smoke. A good work, can He really? I make mistakes, I fall and fail and do not always feel so good. I get worked up over choosing a shade of carpet. Yet today I am reminded it is not my work in me, it is His. I remember that God does not give you what you can handle, He helps you handle what you are given.

In all the twists and turns before that smoky day, and in all the twists and turns since, He Is. Strength, hope, rest. He is all of those things, and I can take this meandering course to his feet and just rest. I can rest in him, which is so much better that resting in myself. Twists and turns do not surprise him, they surprise me, and I realize just how much I need him.

Lord, may we rest in You today, whatever the course. Be free to carry on that good work you have begun in us all. Thank you for your faithfulness.