And then we gathered………

Mar
13
2014

There is something special about a gathering of women specifically to just…..be.SONY DSC

To be intentional with each other about community.
taking time out of our busy schedules to remember our identity and encourage another woman who walks a similar road.

A little movement is happening across America called the IF:Gathering.  Perhaps you have heard of it.  They exists to gather, equip and unleash the next generation of women to LIVE.OUT.THEIR.PURPOSE.

You’ve got a purpose, baby.

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Recently I was invited to participate a gathering and it was awesome.  Just gathering with a bunch of women I didn’t know {well} and we gathered around the table and then asked each other four intentional questions.SONY DSC

 

It’s all based on the book Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist.

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Where women are encouraged to gather together around a table to just….. get to know each other deeper.

Once a month.

Women empower each other, girls compete with each other.

Do you participate in an If:Gathering?

 

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A year ago.

Jun
21
2013

A year has almost gone now that our family transitioned to live in the USA….for this season…

A year since writing made my tongue go numb and fingers paralyzed – because how to you explain all that we have experienced?  The past year publicly writing has not been an area of comfort for me, because our family’s world the past year has been about healing and pursing God’s will for us in the next chapter.

It’s been hard.  Raw. Growth for what is next.  Amazing things are on the horizon for us.  Because we rely on God’s promise to us to give us a HOPE and a FUTURE.  Amazing things are not defined by the furnishings in our home or lack there of.  A future does not mean we know what will happen to us next year, next week or even tomorrow, but we know Who holds the future. ….. and contentment is something that I’ve learned to joyfully respect and understand that He is always faithful.

Always.

I stumbled upon this beautiful post just this week, that says everything that my heart has been yearning to say but my fingers have frozen in every attempt.

Oh church it IS time for us to know what sacrificial giving looks like- our beans on the offering table.

More to come……..

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Lanterns needed

Feb
20
2013

She walks in carrying her little bundle, her 2 yr old daughter with big, brown almond eyes.  It’s so cold out today, similar to her home country but it never got quite this cold.

I introduce myself and share my name and my daughter’s age and we begin a conversation about our lives.  I learn that she taught at a University in Pakistan, however, in America her schooling and degrees aren’t recognized.  Over the course of several weeks, we learn about the many similarities we have – we laugh, talk about food, daily life and what it is like to live in America after spending time in another country.  I listen and weep with her as she shares about the time a suicide bomber entered the university she was teaching at to kill as many people possible. . . I’m humbled at all I have taken for granted.  I begin to realize that there are several women here in our community with stories similar

Our friendship blooms and we continue to laugh together and discuss topics such as social justice, ecofeminism, language, and translations of cultures.  I am richer knowing this woman.  I learn of her loneliness here, of the limitations she has felt not having a car, learning how to cook to feed her family, to continue to be a provider for her daughter’s needs and for her family.

A God-breathed idea entered my mind the more I spent time with her.  So again, I find myself in a very uncomfortable area, almost blind, but trusting God to provide this to be a new avenue to reach out to families who have moved to America for a variety of reasons.

Through the use of a variety of mediums, we are launching groups in the Fargo-Moorhead area to provide an outlet for new American women to come and gather, share stories and build community with those who want to be a part of it.  Many countries are represented in our area and almost all of them will share how lonely they are.  These groups are going to meet out of intentional joy and love.

Want to be involved?  We need you.  We need many materials to get this launched.  Yarn, gift cards to craft stores, crochet hooks, a loom, knitting needles and 1-2 sewing machines.
We also would love your time.  Your time to volunteer to share in the lives of women who come from places that you and I cannot imagine.  These groups will be filled with intentional love and joy.  A safe place to come and just be.

Other ongoing needs:

Money towards a booth at the Fargo Street Fair (goal is $700)
Volunteer Coordinator
Jewelry and craft tagging
Sewing teachers
Prayer warriors

You can donate to any of these things by clicking the Jua Project ‘donate’ link on the right side of this blog or by going to Jua’s site and donating there by using the paypal button, labeling it “Jua-USA”.

Matthew 5:13-16 talks about being salt and light to those around us.  C’mon little lanterns!

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It’s more than jewelry.

Feb
10
2013

A journey that has only been God – breathed continues to make steps towards change that only He could bring up.  I have found it to be so humbling to find myself in a place of being only the hands and feet that He created almost 32 years ago, working with a small group of women that live 8, 216.1 miles away from my home in Minnesota.

It is more than just beads.  It’s so much more than making jewelry to be sold in America.  Oh, the irony.  Paging through fashion websites and magazines to find  new styles and colors.  I skype with the amazing staff that oversees the care of our ladies, trying to communicate things that are so irrelevant in the current day to day life in Kitale.  It proves to be challenging as we press ahead.

But God says “I am more than enough.”  Jewelry is just the beginning. Tears fill my eyes as I look at the faces of our ladies’ precious children who are stronger, healthier and know who Jesus is, because this is daily chatter in our bead group.

“How great is our God, Lindsay.”

Amen.

First, I have to give thanks for the sewing machines that were donated to us by a stranger whom I spent 15 minutes with, waiting in line to catch the next flight to Kenya last December.  It has allowed Jua to stretch out it’s arms and branch out into our next project: sewing. And not a moment too soon.  His timing is perfect. Always.

Handbags. School uniforms.                                   Sustainability.

I am happy to announce that MONDAY we will be starting our mentorship program.  We have a wonderful woman named Elizabeth who will be overseeing the emotional needs of our ladies who have gone through things that you and I cannot imagine.  She will pray over and speak truth in to the lives of each mama that comes to work each day and encourage them.  She will be overseeing each lady’s individual needs along with starting a plan with goals so each lady can save for what her dream is to do one day.

We are also adding an education program that will focus on literacy.  English, reading and writing are all things that will also encompass their day as they strive to become independent of Jua Project.

I do not know how to do many things.  But one thing that I have learned this past year is to not be afraid of failing.  To know God and to be buried in His truth of how he says to care for those who the rest of the world says is garbage has been the most life-giving journey of our lives.

Since moving back to the USA, God laid it deep in our hearts that the boundaries of living and loving those we were surrounded by in Kenya did not stop in Kenya.  No, God very much intended for us to continue what we were doing in Kenya in some way here in the United States.  We had to wait.                       Okay.  I can wait a while.               But the wait became a long time.  I can be impatient :) but the more I immersed myself in the Word the more it became clear as to what needs to be done.

I started to call strangers, leaders in the community that I had never spoken to before.  I called and asked them more about what the lives of people who come to our country as refugees, as international students at our Universities looks like in our community.  I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. Where were the gaps? What needs were not being met?

The common denominator that I heard over and over again was that the families who live here in America are lonely.

I know what lonely feels like.  I know what it is like to be in another country and not feel like I have community and have to re-learn how to live and function to get our basic needs met.  I understand what it is like to come back to America and try to process the differences in cultures and figure out a new normal.

I know that being lonely also forced me to be still and listen a lot when I was in Kenya.  I also found my creative side when I didn’t have the day to day business urging me to go faster.  I wanted to bring that to the table in America.

Jua Project is now launching a pilot project in Minnesota and North Dakota that works with families from around that world that have come to the USA for various reasons.  My goal is to do what we were doing in Kenya.  Look at these families in love and offer friendship and a partnership to help them overcome barriers in their lives and be a relief of loneliness.  Teaching English, reading and writing and bringing mentorship into their lives to speak Truth over.

Be involved!

Products that these families are making will be offered for sale on Jua’s website so please keep up to date on that.

If you haven’t ‘liked’ our page yet, please go to Facebook and “like” us to stay current with photos and the growth that is happening in Kenya.

We are looking for help consistently in the following areas:

Tagging jewelry
Graphic design
Marketing

If you would like to be on our volunteer list, please email us at lindsay@juaproject.org

 

 

 

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Where we are

Oct
15
2012

It has been a long time since I have posted!!

It has taken a long time for our family to start feeling normal again after being in Kenya for a long time.  What used to be normal is not anymore.  Some activities that used to be fun and enjoyable are very overwhelming for us right now.  Family, relationships with friends and neighbors have been a sweet homecoming for us but processing……debriefing from a life so very different than Minnesota has taken a lot of time.  Every day is becoming easier!!

We have so much to be grateful for.  We are healthy, we have employment, our home was well cared for in the year that we were gone.  Plans to go back to Kenya are uncertain at this time for long term plans, however, we know that our family will continue to travel and be involved globally to support Jua Project in many other countries.  More details about that will be coming in the future.

Jua Project is still happening in Kitale and the program has been able to grow.  In January we will be launching a sewing branch, with the goal of having our mamas expand their skills to help keep their families supported.  Jua’s employees have done a resounding job at managing the day to day operations.  This is a blessing from the Lord, specifically, because without them, Jua would not be able to exist.

Jua Project now has a Board of Directors that is fully functioning and questions about any dynamic of our program can be emailed to board@juaproject.org

The eternal investment in the lives of the 7 families Jua serves has been huge.  Our moms strive to be ‘light’ in the lives of their neighbors and in their community.  Every Friday they independently hold a Bible study around their homes for their neighbors and we are seeing neighbors come to a relationship with Jesus for the first time.  Jua Project is so much more than jewelry and a paycheck to our moms.  Amongst the abuse they have endured and perhaps the ongoing issues that happen in their lives outside of Jua, they strive for being examples of Light, to be a City on a Hill that cannot be hidden.

Please remember Jua in prayer.  Our moms do live in an environment of ongoing vulnerability outside of Jua’s gates and we need warriors praying for their safety and health.

Financial gifts to help support the ongoing work in the lives of our moms can be made to:

Jua Project
1021 Stagecoach Trail
San Marcos, TX 78666

Every dollar that is given goes right back to our moms to help pay their salaries and ongoing needs of Jua’s program including serving lunch, tea and helping moms start their new business.

From our family in Minnesota, we say thank you for the investment you have made in our lives in the support in all areas.
From our family in Kenya, they are so grateful for your support in purchasing jewelry and donations to allow Jua to continue to be a light in the community of Kitale.

 

 

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