i'm really excited to be part of Lil Light o Mine's
several of us have come together to encourage you
& we have some treats for you too.
i encourage you to start here .
you'll be blessed to read some
beautiful posts & have a shot at some great giveaways.
for several days i've prayed about what to share.
& then this morning i was praying for some of the women i've learned about since joining noonday
while i've never met jalia
i want to introduce her to you
& celebrate her mother's heart.
i think you're going to love her too!
jalia and daniel are the lead artisans for our group in uganda
that makes jewelry exclusively for Noonday.
i don't want to mess up any of the story so i'm going to share with you
& i promise,
you'll be touched by the story of this mama.
"We arrived Kampala around 10:00 at night and within the first 10 minutes of being in the car with Jalia and Daniel, the head artisans who create our goods in Uganda say, “We were living hand to mouth for so long. Being poor in our country is as bad as being diagnosed with HIV. Because of Noonday, we have enough for our family and we now get to employ others so they can provide for theirs."
Because of poverty, Jalia and Daniel have moved 11 times in the past year along with their two children. They are now house sitting for a professor while he is on leave at a local seminary.
It is at this seminary where the other artisans gather daily to create the pieces that you wear so stylishly. The group eats together, laughs together, and cries together. They are a family. “These people are just glad to tell their neighbors in the morning that they are going to work. For some of them, it is the first time for them to say this.”
Jalia is number 29 of 40 siblings. Her father was a zealous Muslim of four wives who died only a couple of years ago. Jalia heard about Jesus when she was 19 and the new found truth of God’s unconditional love gave her the courage to go against her father and become a Christian. Violence often ensued in her home because of this decision so she soon fled and found refuge in a pastor’s home. She met her husband, Daniel, while they both studied art at the local university.
Her and Daniel dreamed in University about being able to use their art to provide jobs for others and create a bridge for sharing the gospel. “We have dreamed about an opportunity like this for so long, but to run a true business in Uganda is expensive. You must have the proper government papers and lawyers. Because we get paid so well by you, we have been able to save up so that we are now a registered business here.” Their next savings goal? They want to buy land and build a house large enough to have an art studio, sewing, and jewelry workshop. “In this way, we can provide well paying jobs for so many people. You know, for the first time we are not being exploited. We are finally getting paid a decent wage.”
Tonight we sit spread across the dining table with pantone colors and magazine tear sheets from Vogue and Elle. We are collaborating on spring designs. Designs that will change even more lives through your purchasing power. I am humbled when she tells me how I can pray for her. “When you pray for us, pray that we live. The life expectancy in Uganda is so young and we want to see our children grow and teach them about Jesus. You don’t see old people in Uganda much. So please pray that we will live to see our children into adulthood.”
i think about this mother who prays that her family stays alive.
caroline had to have her immunzations updated earlier this week.
she had four shots. i tried to explain that we're so fortunate to live in a country that
has the means of protecting us from many illnesses.
we came home to an air conditioned home and beds with clean sheets.
while i was a single mom for a few years
i never went without.
i think about this mother & i want to meet her.
i want to hug her & tell her how i think she's amazing.
i see jesus in her smile.
i hear hope in her voice ( she's on our noonday video)
i think about her and what her life must be like. i'll be honest. i can't really imagine.
i've seen so little of the world.
"Many women who work with me are really struggling. Most of these women are widows with children; they struggle to look for rent, school fees and food. But the interesting thing is that they are very hard working and some of them have come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are in lot of poverty. They cry to us, yet we too can not do much for them, since we are still struggling with food and rent," Jalia wrote to me in an email. "I have a dream of becoming a famous Fashion/jewelry Designer. In this way I can attract a higher market, and be able to support my people, as they work to get out of poverty, which has crippled many; brought a lot of suffering and death in my family and my country at large and I have come to hate it. My dad died 2 months ago, he was much stressed, and because when ever it rained his house would flood. The day he died, it flooded so much that it covered the house up above the windows. He left 8 young children in that house, we are doing what ever we can to help,
but the situation is big. We are Trusting God in this and working harder." jalia.
when jalia speaks about the women she works with
many of whom are widows
she talks about how hard they work.
"trusting God and working harder".
beautiful. simple. raw. truth.
her nurturing spirit to those with whom she works
her heart for her children
& desire to see a better life
the joy in her voice
her dreams for her own life
& her spirit of entrepreneurship,
i love these things about this woman
this mama across the world from me
all the others she represents.
i pray for them daily
i champion them on
& i will cheer, even if only from afar,
as they accomplish much in their lives
& the lives of those they love
happy mother's day jalia
you inspire me!!!
in honor of jalia
( & for those of you who hung in there for this epic post)
i'd love to giveaway one of the minted necklaces
made in uganda by jalia and her crew, African Style.
excuse the shameless plug
but i'd like to ask you first to "like" my new Noonday page on facebook.
(i'm sorry. i usually don't ask ya'll to do things like this but i'd love to get a little plug for my page)
& then just leave me a comment.
the drawing will close friday night at midnight along with all the other drawings.
both courtney & i will post the winner.
( the images i'm sharing show the minted doubled and then worn long
on savannah. madison loves to wrap it as a bracelet)