If you think you're not a "home party" person, ask yourself if you're a "help-a-little-girl-out-of-a- brothel-person."
I need to do a whole post one day on why we struggled with God over starting a "home" party, direct sales business. I really thought all of those were pyramid schemes, so surely God would not ask us to use this model. Boy, have I been humbled! God knew this was the best business model to create an "army of marketers" to make the biggest impact in helping women out of slums, sweatshops, the sex industry, and extreme poverty.
But people ask, "Why not make it a ministry that people just volunteer their time and not get paid or just give money to?"
Volunteers are great, but they need to put food on their table and make a living too. And their time is so limited.
So we decided to combine the two to make a win-win situation. Women helping women! A woman in the USA makes a living while helping a woman around the world make a living too. You should see these women we empower light up with pride when I thank them on behalf of a woman in the America for helping them put food on their table too!
It truly is a dignified partnership, which is all these women dream of. They don't want charity, they want an opportunity. They don't want to stand in line and beg for help from the next church or charity so their child can go to school or to the doctor, or even eat!
They want a job so they can be the hero to their child and have pride and dignity in meeting their families needs. Job creation, not charity, is the best way to end poverty.
So Trades of Hope is creating sustainable jobs for both women in the USA and around the world through a business model that took me a while to believe in. :) But now I see God is always right! It's the perfect business model for Trades of Hope to help change the world! (And I support other direct sales companies now that I see how they have paved the way for women everywhere. Direct sales is the new corner store of years past. We can directly help those we love by shopping local. )
While in Asia, I went to the brothels. The women I met were not women in a movie or a story, they were my sisters, they were my mother, they were my daughters.
I laughed with them about our children and we shared experiences. We had many. But then a "client" showed up and one of the young women went out back with him. I wanted to yell at him, at her, "NO, STOP! YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS!" But I was there to build relationships and offer LOVE and HOPE, not to judge.
It took everything in my being not to rip her out of his grip. But she had babies at home that were hungry and needed their bellies to be filled. I could help for a time but what about the other 100 women? What about their babies? Unlike me, these women had no education, unlike me, they had no choices. Unlike me, they had hungry babies.
But Trades of Hope is changing that! We are giving them a choice. The women in this picture have been empowered out of the brothels and they are making jewelry and learning new skills to give them a future and a hope and a way to fill their babies bellies.
The experience changed me and there is nothing more rewarding than knowing my work makes a difference. Join Trades of Hope as a Compassionate Entrepreneur or pass this on and tell a friend and bring HOPE and LOVE and fill some bellies!
These hands are what HOPE looks like today. I worked today with an artisan group who is restoring hope to exploited women in Asia. I was honored to have them make a special piece of jewelry just for me. I will treasure it, and I treasure them! They are beautiful and they too are learning to believe they are beautiful here in this warm, loving, caring and safe environment. The jewelry they make symbolizes the creation of a whole new life for them. Their lives were stolen from them by an industry that uses and abuses and then discards.
The journeys they have been on will make the strongest person cry. But there is such good in the world too! (And that makes me cry harder!) They have been rescued by a group that will not just look away! So now these precious girls are being empowered to change the trajectory of their lives forever.
They are learning skills that will open up doors they never thought possible. They all come in at different levels. Some are learning to read for the first time. Often only boys are educated here. This group that brings hope shared with me, "They don't dare to dream. Their dream was just survival. We want to get them to a place where they dare to dream." And Praise God, that is exactly what they are are accomplishing!
One girl who has been rescued shared with me, "I feel my value and worth started the day I came here. I have confidence now that I can do something else and make beautiful jewelry. I have a home." Please be praying that our customer base will grow and they will understand the journey and stories behind each product and that Trades of Hope can grow in Compassionate Entrepreneurs so we can partner with this group and make an impact so they can bring on more girls who need love, a home and to learn to dream!
I am here in the brothels of Asia and my heart is both broken and filled with hope! Trades of Hope has begun working with a group here that rescues girls out of these brothels. Sadly, girls as young as 9 years old. The group has safe houses that the girls can go to find love and hope! The working age girls are given the opportunity to make jewelry and in the process, they learn how to read and write and they can get certified in things like Photoshop and MOS (Microsoft).
This opens doors for the girls that they never dreamed possible. Most of them have only gone to school up to 2nd or 3rd grade because of poverty. Many times families don't see the need to educate girls, as it is the boy child that takes care of the parents as they get old. They actually have a saying in this area that translates to say something like, ”to educate a girl child is to educate someone else’s child.”
These girls have suffered so much abuse and rejection from a very young age. They say that they only dream of survival and the brothels allow them to eat and have a roof over their head. “Now they dare to dream for more.”
We fell in love with this group’s mission and heart to change lives and show God's love. I got to spend time with these beautiful girls and hear their stories of pain and triumph. It is an honor that they would entrust their stories to Trades of Hope.
The artisan group has a vision to help so many more girls out of the brothels so they reached out to Trades of Hope, knowing our home party model will get their story and jewelry into the hands of so many more people. So we are humbled to share their stories and their jewelry with you soon through Trades of Hope!
We brought presents of mascara, earrings, and candy for the girls from our Compassionate Entrepreneurs. We also had a nail painting pizza party with them. It was amazing to spend time with them and know that we can make a HUGE difference in the lives of so many more girls like them!
Thank you for supporting women in poverty and around the world through your purchases, hosting home parties and being a Compassionate Entrepreneur! It truly is life changing! Who knew that jewelry, scarves, handbags and home décor could do so much good!
We are looking for women in the USA to become Compassionate Entrepreneurs and help us rescue and empower more girls out of the brothels in Asia and around the world. You can make an income while helping a woman make an income at the same time. It is a beautiful dignified partnership! (We do not share the girl's pictures, names or location to protect them from the pimps, government, and shaming.)
Lots of tears today from both pain and joy as we listened to the heart wrenching stories of women being rescued out of the brothels in Asia. They are finding healing and true love through this amazing artisan group. They offer them counseling, a shelter, a job, and schooling so they can have a future. I'm so blown away by the special people I got to meet today. I'm so excited that we will be carrying some of their jewelry at Trades of Hope. To protect the women I cannot share pictures or names but know that your purchases are saving lives!
We had our Inspire, which is Trades of Hope's annual retreat. It was amazing to have that many passion filled, not willing to settle for mediocre, bold, courageous women in one room. I am so proud to have every one of them as part of Trades of Hope. We are starting schools, rescuing women from bond slavery and brothels. We are changing the face of poverty because through our Compassionate Entrepreneurs.
We can make a diffence right from where we are by shopping, hosting or joining!