This post has been a long time coming, but here's what I've been up to for the past six-ish months!
About eight years ago, two American girls living in Nepal were broken over the lack of opportunity and rights for women here. They saw how many ended up trafficked or in prostitution and felt the burden to do something about it. God led them to the verses in Isaiah 61 that promise His beauty for our ashes. They knew what they were to do to help.
They started a business called Beauty for Ashes to employ women who have come out of the sex industry or are at risk and in vulnerable situations. It started out very small, but it made a difference and is continuing to grow today.
Shortly before the earthquake, Benj and I helped them build a wall in their new building. In the process, we discovered that they had a visa slot opening up and that my background in the apparel industry made me a pretty good fit. At first, it was a struggle for me to commit. God had called me to be a missionary and I intended to do the hardest things possible, especially the things I didn't want to do (funny how different our plans are from His sometimes). Here was this opportunity to do the things that I love - be creative, help design some jewelry and accessories, help with admin and organizing, and work with incredible women that are being empowered to live independently and discover who they really are and how much they are worth. It sounded amazing, and a little too good to be true. Yes, it would be a huge time commitment, but it would be doing something I was already passionate about. And that's what I almost missed out on. But God wrecked me with His love for them, and His love for me. I'm realizing more and more that passion is a key element of enjoying life, and that's the kind of life He has for us:
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10
Right now, I'm there eight hours a day four days a week and I'm loving it. One of the most common questions I get is,
"What does your day usually look like?"
I'm still trying to figure out the answer to that ;) It really depends on what's needed at the moment. Regardless of what I'm doing most of the day, it usually starts with leading a short devotion with the ladies. It's been a privilege to study with them and see things from a new perspective! Some of the general things I get to do are: keep track of our raw materials and buy more when we run low, create new designs, work a bit with our customers overseas, and lately help work on our upcoming website.
As soon as the website is finished, I'll send out a link and update you a bit more on what's going on with us. Its been a beautiful journey so far and I'm really looking forward to what's ahead!