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.”
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.
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:
If you would like to be on our volunteer list, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org