The stories we want to hear the least are the ones we need to hear the most.
A customer came into the store last week. She drove 2 1/2 hours to shop The Marketplace. She had been following us on social media and knew she had to come so she brought 2 of her friends and made the trek. "Where are the necklaces made by the young mom from Ecuador?" You mean Estrella? "Yes, that story touched my heart and I need to help." She bought 2 necklaces from the new Geometrix Collection by Dunamis Foundation. The stories we want to hear the least are the ones we need to hear the most.
Another customer came in and said, "Please tell me more about the young girl in Ecuador, the one with the son. I need to buy a gift and I want to buy a necklace from the new collection." Before she left she said, "Please continue giving us updates, I need to know more about this." The stories we want to hear the least are the ones we need to hear the most.
While at times it is hard to hear that a father would violate his daughter then sell her to his friends, it happens. It happens in Ecuador, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Nepal, ...I could go on. It's stories we don't want to hear, but we really NEED to hear. Why? Because things will never change until we take action and say, "Enough!" I will continue telling Estrella's story and the stories of our other artisans. No, it's not a pretty story but it's a story that needs to be told. Perhaps together through purchases and prayers, we can re-write her story and the many others who have no voice. Thank you for taking the time to read these hard stories. Know that when I am writing them, I am usually crying. But I know this, we can change the world...one story at a time.
Pictured is a young girl from Dunamis rescued from trafficking in Ecuador. They are hard at work finalizing our huge order! It will be stateside soon.
At 1st this was a personal request but when I saw a pic of the finished product, I knew many of you would want in!! I get some many questions about what the decor in my house looks like. Does it look crazy like The Marketplace? What kind of treasures do I have? I will admit, I have a lot of cool pieces. Having lived abroad as a kid, I have large ceramic elephants from Vietnam and Hong Kong. Yes folks, the white elephant that is not for sale in the store is one from Vietnam! I have wooden carvings from Thailand, the Philippines, South Africa, and Kenya. I have art from Senegal, Haiti, and Kenya. I have a funky cow hide rug from Bolivia! Of course I do. I am always looking at ways to incorporate unique pieces that tell a story in my home. So when I saw the new fabric we designed in Bolivia, I knew I had to have this in my house. I asked SutiSana as a personal favor to make me a table runner. They shot me a pic of it and I knew there would be many of you that would want one too!! The name of our Fall Collection is called Modern Retro so I wanted it to have clean lines to match the modern pattern design. The runner is 6 ft long and about 17 inches wide. It is made out of aguayo which is 100% sheep's wool. It will retail for $45. We will have limited numbers, so if you want to make sure you get one, you gotta pre-order it! It will be here around August 20th. It would make a great gift. Who are you kidding- when you see it in person you are going to keep it for yourself!! We will also be making pillows out of this fabric!
SKYPE from last week. Is Estrella and her son still with you? "She is, but this week will be her last week."
There have been times in the last few weeks that I wake up in the middle of the night asking God, "What can I do to help her and her son?" You see the Zoey House , the protection house in Ecuador that Dunamis Foundation is building to help young girls rescued from trafficking, won't be done in time to help her. Tell her story. "I have." Continue to tell her story. I am working in this.
One morning I woke of at 3 am thinking of her. She's 14 with a one year old son. She doesn't have a family support system to help her. Her father is also her son's father and he's making money off of her by selling her to his friends. It's absolutely horrifying. She is a child taking care of a child being used by her father. Dear Lord. "Tell her story." I grabbed my sketch pad and started drawing. I told 2 versions of her story. One where she is in an ugly cycle that is on a continuous loop and the other where she and her son break free from this ugly cycle. In order to break free, she needs outside help. She needs people who care. She needs us.
Back to the SKYPE. Is Estrella and her son still with you? "She is, but this week will be her last week. Something crazy happened though. She will not be going home. I can't explain it but she will be going to a Catholic Relief Center for another 90 days." What?!?! "I don't understand it myself, but she is safe for another 90 days." I can't begin to tell you the overwhelming relief I felt. I thought God is working behind the scenes. Many of you have heard Estrella's story and have donated. Many have been praying for her and her son. For that, I am eternally grateful. We continue to march towards the balance to finish the Zoey House. Last I heard it was $30,000. I believe together we can get this knocked out.
The Marketplace is a nonprofit organization, so if you would like to make a donation to Dunamis for the Zoey House and receive a tax deductible contribution, we can make it happen. As a reminder, The Marketplace is donating all after sale round ups to the Zoey House for the rest of the year. Hear me, no contribution is too little.
Today we celebrate that Estella and her son will not be going home and are safe. I could write for another 90 days...but I am believing God that it will be longer than that.