Saturday, November 5, 2016

Buwundo Beads and Crafts

Back in June, I wrote about the jewelry business that I began in order to help provide income for the women in our village. For a long time it wasn't really a business, since I hadn't actually sold anything. I knew that I wouldn't be able to continue buying these items if I couldn't recoup at least some of the expense. In order to be able to sell the items, we came up with a name, "Buwundo Beads and Crafts" and a friend developed a label for us.

During my brief week and a half in Florida, I was very encouraged about how many people were interested in the necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and purses that we brought with us. I displayed the items at a church and a school that I attended over 25 years ago. (Wow, I'm getting old!) In both of these places I listed a suggested donation, and I was so encouraged by how many people wanted to support this ministry and also get some of the beautiful handmade items created by my friends and neighbors in Buwundo village. 

Here is a photo of some of our amazing artisans who work to create beautiful handmade crafts. I am thankful for the blessing of being able to continue our Bible studies together and to work together in this business venture. Several weeks ago I heard the women all celebrating and I found out that one of the women had saved enough to buy a mattress for her family in addition to sending her children to school. Another woman bought me into her hut to show me a blanket that she was able to buy with some of her savings. Another woman was able to buy a goat for her family to raise. I mention these things to let you know how much your support matters in the lives of theses women. When you choose to purchase an item from Buwundo Beads and Crafts, your support helps send children to school and provide for the basic needs of the families in our village. I pray that our Bible studies together are also caring for their spiritual needs.
As I returned from the US, I wanted to encourage the women with what God was doing and how people really loved their work. I wanted them to experience a little taste of the encouragement I received while selling these items on their behalf. David and I decided that we would have a small celebration for our Buwundo Beads team and give some small gifts to each member. The students received notebooks and pens, pencils, soap and sweeties. The women received a basin (which is used for washing everything) with some basic supplies and sweeties. The women were so excited!

After receiving these gifts, we were able to walk together to visit an elderly woman in our village who has been very ill recently. We all prayed together for her and sang songs of praise and worship together with her. It was a beautiful time of worship so I didn't take out my camera. Instead I just took mental pictures of all these women surrounding our sister in Christ, encouraging her by worshiping together. A friend took this one photo and I ask you to pray with us for this amazing woman who loves Jesus, but is physically struggling right now. Also pray with us that our Bible study group and our church would be the hands and feet of Jesus to this woman in her time of need.
Thank you for your prayers and the ways you support our ministry here! If you are looking for Christmas gifts that are inexpensive, but have a big impact around the world, let me know. I have family and friends in Florida and Georgia who have many necklaces and bracelets available. I have not yet set up a way to purchase items online. Please let me know if you are interested in being a stateside distributor for this ministry. These women are extremely grateful for the opportunity to work in order to provide for the educational and physical needs of their families through this business venture. Please pray with me for God to continue to provide a market for their faithful work. And in this season leading up to Thanksgiving, I want to remember to thank God for all that He has provided! He is continuously doing abundantly more than we could ask or imagine! To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus! (Ephesians 3:20-21)

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