Recently Meghann returned from an around-the-world journey to visit our group working in Albania, to visit freedom businesses in India and Nepal that are rescuing trafficked girls and employing them, and to find new products for The Intersection to stock in our store. The next 4 blogs will explore the parts of her journey and the things that she (and Ally- who travelled with her) were able to see and experience. It was not a light-hearted trip, or a fun one, but it was a necessary one for us as The Intersection to be able to continue to bring the stories and issues of those we support to our customers. They saw a lot of heavy things and heart-breaking things, but also amongst it all witnessed hope and people who cared.
The first stop on Meghann’s journey was Albania, where our small working cooperative House of Harmony has been hard at work in our absence. Kathi and Roza have been faithfully serving with the women there to improve their sewing skills, to narrow down our product line, and to continue to sow into the lives and hearts of these women hope and life and the love of God. One of the ladies, whose husband we have been praying for since we started, reported that he recently gave up drinking and it has transformed him. She credited the prayers of faithful women like Roza and Kathi for what has happened in his life.
We have felt strongly that business and ministry not only can go together, but should, and that it is a powerful way to see poverty reversed. It is encouraging and empowering to see stories like that of our Albanian friend, and we are hoping there can be many more in the future.
While Meghann was there, she met with Kathi and Roza to continue to develop a plan for the work in Sauk, and to dream for the future. There are many women in the village who have expressed interest in working with House of Harmony, and we simply need more space, more money, and more sales channels in the world to be able to do that. It was wonderful for Meghann to be able to see everyone, to see the community that has been built, to see lives continuing to change, and to dream about the next few years.
We have continued to have dresses made by our friend Mbaresa, and she has trained one other lady– Leta to be able to help her. The dresses they are producing are beautiful, and have been very popular in our store. We would love to get them out more into other stores because they really are very well done. Meghann was able to bring some of them home with her, so keep your eyes peeled as they will be available soon, as well as new styles in the near future!
One thing that happened recently was that a friend of ours from our YWAM days (Hannah Saddington) flew from her home in the UK to Sauk to teach the women to crochet adorable stuffed animals. For us it was an amazing coming-together of different phases of our life, and it was so encouraging to have a friend come behind what we were doing and help to push it forward. Since Hannah’s visit there have been women working on these stuffies, and we are stoked to bring them to the market. A huge thanks and shout out to Hannah @theweecrafty for her help!
As we move forward, there are some real needs to see the work at House of Harmony succeed. One need is for more places and channels to sell the goods that are being produced. We are needing to get the products out there and orders coming in to make the work there sustainable. We are currently building a website to help with this, but could also use the help of our friends and partners! We could also use some consistent supporters or one-off supporters of the project financially to see it continue to thrive as those sales are still coming. We would ask that you would think and pray if this is something you could be involved with. We have a GoFundMe campaign set up currently for that specifically.