So many of our customers know that when they buy something from Eternal Threads they are directly helping a woman and her family who live in poverty. I’m not sure we can even imagine, however, that the purchases we make may be a lifeline that wouldn’t exist without it. I wrote last week about our partner in Nepal who rescues girls from the grasp of traffickers at the Nepal/India border. It is such a profound blessing that we can all be part of their amazing work. What I have learned, however, is that income to the desperately poor all over the world protects their children from being trafficked.
Two years ago I answered an email from a missionary in Albania who asked for our help to design some marketable products for a group of women that she wanted to help. We’ve never met, but we’ve developed a blessed partnership with these women. They have excellent crochet and knitting skills to make the products we designed. I don’t have many photos, but I want you to hear their stories and you will understand the lifelines your purchases provide!!
Last New Year’s day our partner fulfilled the tradition to visit many people’s homes and bless their year. When she visited the homes of the women making our products, this was what she observed about how life had changed since we started buying their products.
They all have washing machines for the first time in their lives, all of the children are in school, they each have more things like a small oven or a wood stove. These things were not so the previous year and I wanted you to know that you are making a difference in these women’s lives, but even more so in their children’s lives. These things bring them hope for a future for their children, and insures that they will not sell their children into the trafficking trade by thinking, “well, surely my children will have a better life outside of this country, no matter what they do.” Thank you doesn’t seem enough!
Check out all of their beautiful products and remember…your purchase means more than you can imagine! I’ll be sharing more of their stories later.
I traveled to Nepal for the first time in early 2008, a few months after surgery for breast cancer. It was time to re-engage. Since my work began with Eternal Threads in South India, I had become increasingly aware of the trafficking of girls and I wanted to expose myself to learn more. In a “non” coincidence I had met my guide for this journey through what can only be described as a divine appointment. He had founded an anti-trafficking project in Nepal a few years earlier and is one of the most knowledgable people in Nepal on the issue of trafficking. I was the guest of he and his wife for several days while we traveled to western Nepal to see the work they were doing, not only in rescuing girls but restoring their lives. He is a man of vision and passion to rescue as many girls as possible and restore them physically and spiritually to a new life. He has become a valuable partner, brother and friend to me and a father figure to hundreds of girls.
Over 12,000 girls a year are trafficked across the Nepalese border into brothels in India. Our partner’s organization has established anti-trafficking stations to prevent girls from being taken across the border into a life of slavery. The organization was operating three border stations when I visited in 2008. They now have 13 stations which cover all of the border crossings into India. Over 2000 girls a year are rescued at these stations. It’s wonderful to know that so many young women are saved, but I think we can sometimes get lost in the numbers and even feel let down that it’s not more. It’s difficult work fighting this kind of evil and sometimes all you can do is concentrate on the one precious girl that has been saved from a life that none of us can even imagine. A chance to be reunited with her family and a life that she thought was lost. They are transformed by the love and care they receive in the safe house.
Eternal Threads supports two of these border stations and one of the safe houses. My mission was to give the girls a skill while living in the safe house to be able to have an income when they leave and return home. They receive tailoring training which enable them to have a small business in their village. On my second visit to Nepal we designed some of the products that have been popular for years and we are still selling…sling bags and headbands made from “lungi” fabric which is the cloth from Indonesia that the village women wear.
Eternal Threads has been providing sewing machines for these young women to start their businesses ($8000 last summer). When you donate to Eternal Threads, you are providing a rescued girl with the means to support herself and even help her family. When she returns to her village, she is seen as a professional and contributing member of the village because of the skill she has learned and the business she provides for the community. Many of the girls start training courses for others preventing them from being coerced by traffickers for “jobs” that don’t exist.
I am grateful for your partnership and love for these girls. I believe the victims of trafficking are “the least of these.” We can make a difference and I will be writing more about their stories in the future.