GB 2015 Year End Letter

Greetings Global Bazaar Supporters:

I hope this note finds you coming off a time of reflection and celebration following the Christmas holiday and that you are deeply reminded of the gift of Jesus to us from our Father. What hope we have in Him!

As 2015 comes to a close, we are thankful for the Lord’s faithfulness at Global Bazaar. It’s been another good year of grassroots efforts proclaiming the redemptive and restorative work of Christ while also providing a market and mouthpiece for our Ministry Partners who work with vulnerable individuals across the globe.

We celebrate the addition of two new Ministry Partners this year: Suti Sana, based in Bolivia, and an undisclosed organization that is operating in a region hostile to Christian entities and organizations. We are grateful for the frontline work of our six ministry partners. We are also thankful that we can come alongside them by not only selling the products produced by artisans but also telling the stories of these communities so focused on Kingdom change.

This year, in addition to our gross sales of products, we also had the opportunity to donate 10% (over $1,000) of our 2014 annual sales. Typically, a different Ministry Partner is chosen each year to be the recipient of this donation. This year, we split the donation between two different ministries. Suti Sana was our Ministry Partner selected for 2015; the other portion of the donation was put towards providing some of our products to One Heart Dayton, a ministry located in the Dayton, Ohio area that seeks to reach out to women in the adult entertainment industry.

As we prepare to step into 2016, we ask that you pray for wisdom, discernment, and favor as we continue to proclaim the salvation and justice of Jesus in this generation. We plan to continue to sell products in our Home Experience venues and at special events (i.e. women’s retreats, missions conventions, and craft markets/fairs). Let us know if you’d like for us to have an event in your area!

We also want to invite you to support us financially. Our goal is to raise $1,200 as we head into the early months of 2016.   Over 90% of every dollar given, whether in sales or direct donations, goes back into ministry activity. You can make a donation online at: https://theglobalbazaar.wordpress.com/donate/. Check donations can be mailed to the address provided below. Global Bazaar is a registered 501 (c ) 3 organization, and so all donations are tax deductible.

Thank you for your continued support. We greatly appreciate your heart for the Kingdom of Jesus!

Blessings in Jesus’ Name,

 

Jessica Zerkle, Executive Director

Global Bazaar Inc.

1514 N Washington Ave.

Danville, IL 61832

https://theglobalbazaar.wordpress.com

Healed Name

I want to share with you about SutiSana and the living hope they are bringing to the most vulnerable. SutiSana is a ministry that was founded in 2010 in El Alto, Bolivia, by Word Made Flesh, a Christ-centered organization serving those most in need around the world. SutiSana seeks to provide dignified employment for women and a new life to those attempting to leave prostitution. It is their desire to offer healing and restoration through the love of Jesus. This is beautifully described through SutiSana, which means “Healed Name,” and is inspired by Isaiah 62:2.

“You will be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will bestow.”

When the women leave prostitution, they leave their old name behind and the ways of their old life. SutiSana offers these women a hope deeper than anything from this world, a new identity in Christ. One woman shared, “to me SutiSana means new life, new hope, a better tomorrow.” The people of SutiSana are not only providing sustainability for these women, but they are leading them toward new life as beloved adopted daughters of our Father.

SutiSana offers sewing and lifestyle classes to teach the women how to lead a life outside of prostitution. “When a woman joins SutiSana, she receives all benefits, including health insurance. She and her children are supported through community, and she is given opportunities to continually grow – learning to design bags, work with new materials, and even coach other women as they leave prostitution.” -SutiSana

Another woman shared her story saying, “What I like best about SutiSana is that I feel as if I am home. I feel that I can confide in everybody and I feel surrounded by a full love.”

We too experience this deep yearning to find intimacy, to be known and loved. While many of us have not faced the darkness these women have, we all need the saving grace of Christ. When we receive this grace, we are called by a new name, bestowed by our Father. Ephesians 1:5-6 says, “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

SutiSana is just one of so many vessels the Lord is using to share his gift of redemption. Learn more about SutiSana and see their beautiful bags and purses!

Hope in Christ

Hope. What a powerful word. It carries with it such weight…such strength…such power.

Hope is what he proclaims to propel his political campaign. Hope is what sustains her as she waits for her daddy to come home from his third tour of duty. Hope is what he clings to as he watches his wife endure her long battle with cancer. Hope is what wakes him up in the morning as he goes for yet another job interview. Hope is powerful.

Yet, hope is something we also fear losing.   “Don’t lose hope.” It’s a phrase we often utter to one another as a way of encouraging them, or at least we hope. This implies, of course, that while hope is powerful and can carry us through some of life’s most difficult trials, it is something that can be lost. Something we can have at one point yet lose in the next. Standing powerfully in one moment only crouched down in defeat moments later.

We’ve seen it. We’ve experienced it, haven’t we? When our daddy doesn’t come home. When our wife loses the battle. When we receive yet another rejection.

Have you ever allowed yourself to imagine, though, how those suffering some of evil’s most unthinkable injustice understand hope? Cling to hope. Are sustained by hope. Try not to lose hope. The young girl trafficked to a brothel in the red light district of India who is raped by thirty Johns a night. The refugee mother who fled her home in Uganda with her four children after the rebel force raided her town and killed her husband. The young boy orphaned and forced to fight as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. The father picking rice sixteen hours a day alongside his family as a slave laborer in Haiti.

Is hope so powerful that it can carry even these men, women and children? Is hope so strong that it can sustain even their experience of unimaginable injustice and pain? In the face of such circumstances, it’s almost impossible not to think that hope will be lost…right?

It all depends upon where our hope is placed. Upon whom our hope rests. Hope, when not placed in things earthly, but in things eternal, is not only powerful but can never be lost. It can sustain us through life’s most difficult trials. We can cling to it when all seems lost. We can stand upon it when all things around us look hopeless. How? When our hope is placed in Jesus. Jesus, the heir of heaven, the Son of God, who endured pain, rejection, persecution, injustice, and even death. Yet, on the third day, rose alive. Rose victories. Defeated life’s most ominous foe—death itself.

Is hope powerful? Can hope sustain? Could I live life without fear of losing it? Yes. When, my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, my righteousness. When, on Christ, the solid Rock, I stand.

Creating Sustainable Positive Change

The movement of Fair Trade in an injustice world

Does fair trade really matter? Yes…maybe…maybe not…yes? I mean, when I go shopping, do I really care about who grew my bananas or who grew the coffee beans for my hubby’s morning ritual beverage (although after recently having my second child, I have s…l…o….w…l…y become somewhat of a coffee drinker – love the smell but the taste…sugar and cream please!). Does it matter who grew or picked the cotton that was used to make my shirt? Does it matter who made the necklace that matches my super fun new blouse I got for my birthday?

The Fair Trade FAQs section of our website highlights some of the general history and rationale behind Fair Trade as an economic movement to empower impoverished individuals in a variety of contexts. We love that fair trade helps to create opportunities for sustainability and provision for folks who are considered the “have nots” of this world. The convicting aspect of fair trade is that it encourages us to stop and recognize the process by which the products we consume came into our homes/lives. It calls us to live a life aware of the injustices around the globe and in our own homes. Fair trade not only has economic and social ramifications, but we believe it has deep spiritual aspects as well.

As followers of Jesus at GB, we love how the systemic framework of fair trade beautifully mirrors the Gospel. The restorative work, the reconciling of our Savior is powerfully and practically materialized in the form of a sari blanket made by an Indian woman freed from the bondage of sex trafficking. It is apparent in a paper bead necklace created by a woman living with HIV/AIDS. I love how Romans 5 speaks to this truth that through Christ’s work on our behalf, we can be a justified and reconciled people if we believe and follow Him. Our hope and prayer is that each of the artisans, suppliers, Home Experience participants, craft fair attendees, etc. will come to that knowledge and understand that Christ deeply loves them and deeply desires to restore and reconcile the broken things of our lives. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live lives as a redeemed people….we can live aware.

We encourage you to grow in your knowledge of fair trade. We are still growing in our understanding. Is fair trade scandal free? No, but we really respect and admire the overall change and approach it offers in coming alongside some of the most vulnerable people in this world, specifically in the southern hemisphere. And by the grace of God, may we live our lives aware and awake to come alongside these individuals and communities in Jesus’ name.

-Jessica Zerkle – Director Global Bazaar

Stories of Redemption

Each handmade item sold through Global Bazaar is a story, a story of hope, promise, new life, healing, and freedom. These are the stories of people from around the world who have been forced in to all types of slavery: slavery to poverty, slavery to sex trafficking, slavery to factories, slavery to an injustice society and broken world. But that’s not where these stories ended because a beautiful thing happened, a light shone into the lives of these people. They were told, “you are seen,” “you are not alone.”

These people who may have felt all hope was lost were given a light, an opportunity for living and spiritual freedom through Jesus Christ. Sharing the stories of our partners is truly sharing God’s life giving love and promise for reconciliation. One story of redemption is that of Alice, shared by our friends at Rahab’s Rope.

“Like many before her, and many more after, Alice was born into a brothel. She grew up on one of many doorsteps lining an alleyway. She learned to walk on the rough stones, struggling to dodge the constant flow of men, rats, and dogs. Her first words were spoken while her mother’s friends sat watching Hindi films in wait of a good offer. She took naps on the floor while her mother served men behind a curtain. Her father began to consistently work himself into drunkenness each day and her mother stayed busy ignoring her pint-sized mistake. Alice knew nothing different with this. Two years later, her baby brother was born.  He grew in the same environment and with the same parents, but he got to bounce on his mother’s lap and eat sweets; he got to have his own kitten. Meanwhile, Alice struggled to get by without a beating. No matter what she did, there was always something wrong and always a price to pay for it.  Her days became filled with shouting and fits of rage from her mother.  She was often lifted by her hair and beaten until someone was brave enough to step in. We were on our way out of the red light district one day when we found this particular alley to be silent, except for shouts accompanied by a screaming Alice. The little girl was being thrown down by her hair, and her mother showed no signs of stopping. Our translator walked boldly up to her mother as Alice took the opportunity to run to the nearest bystander for cover. The next moment, I found myself at her side, her body still hot from anger but her face in pure concentration, expressing to us that her deepest desire was to have Alice in a safe place, away from her. I found that the one thing I could do in that moment was simply witness a miracle I had only read about. In December 2012, our team was able to place Alice in a new home. She now spends her days in the safety of her new home. She eats healthy food, wears clean clothes, and gets to sleep in a bed. She will start school in June and we’ve seen her smile for the first time. She is often being passed between members of her family, as they all love to hold their new little sister. Alice will not want for anything now and does not have to fear the many dangers of life in a brothel.”

To learn about more people whose lives have been transformed, you can visit our Ministry Partners page and click on each partner to view their website and stories.

-Amanda Long

Through a New Lens

To catch a glimpse into the life of another is heart driving; to share in life beside another is life changing.

At Global Bazaar we are in a season of change, in our own hearts and as an organization. Since 2011 we have had the opportunity to work with five different ministry partners based in India, Africa and North America. It is through our passion to manifest the cross-cultural, Kingdom-minded principles of justice and reconciliation that our partnerships have developed. Through these partnerships we have had the opportunity to not only share countless personal stories of transformation, but these stories have deeply touched our own hearts and changed our perspective of the world.

Our eyes are opened more and more as we catch glimpses into the lives of people all over the world. Teenagers living in poverty with little choice for their own future, young girls at risk for being victims of the sex trade, women living bound in red light districts, and men unable to provide for their families are just a few examples. These are stories of what so many people in our world face daily. This world may seem far away, but it is real. Little by little our hearts have been broken. Our hearts ache to reach out hands of hope to these people, to pour out healing and restoration, to share with them a light of freedom.

As human beings, we see through our own lens, which truly impacts how we react to other cultures and issues of social justice. And as Christians, God grows us to begin seeing through His lens; to see the world as a whole and to love people as He loves them. God clearly calls us to immerse ourselves in the lives of others; to understand their culture and come alongside them in life-situations. At Global Bazaar it is our desire to see through the lens of our Lord; to truly understand His heart for people, justice, and reconciling the world to Himself. We have a strong passion to bring awareness to others, what God has revealed to us; we see a beautiful harmony between fair trade and Jesus.

While we are incredibly thankful for the opportunities we’ve had to share the stories of our partners through home experiences, conferences, and so on, we feel God leading us to more. We have a deep yearning to share life with our partners, and for the first time ever, we will! In January 2016, by the grace of God we will have the opportunity to spend time with our dear friends from Amani ya Juu in Nairobi, Kenya. We are unbelievably excited to connect with the women of Amani ya Juu and see them face-to-face. Amani ya Juu (meaning “higher peace” in Swahili) is a sewing-marketing-training project for marginalized women in Africa. Not only does Amani teach African women how to improve their sewing and marketing skills, but it also points these women to a higher peace as they grow in community and faith. We are so excited to visit these women, get to know them, and learn from their lives of transformation.

This will be our first Global Bazaar Immersion Trip and we want others to join us! During this immersion we will serve in, learn about, and engage with Amani ya Juu and the communities in Nairobi. Our hope is that through these experiences, our team will experience the vision of our ministry to, “come to a greater understanding of God’s love, salvation, and desire for reconciling the world to Himself. Our goal is to inspire a Holy Revolution – within individuals, among societies, and across the globe – that results in the embodiment of God’s life-giving love and healing in a hurting world.” Through this Immersion Trip we hope to carry out Jesus’s Command, “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

To learn more about our Immersion Trip to Kenya, visit http://www.andrewwlyon.com/gbkenya2016 or email us at askglobalbazaar@gmail.com.

-Amanda Long

An opportunity for you to support the future of Global Bazaar

Global Bazaar is looking to expand our ministry through the recruitment of volunteer Area Representatives and increasing the number of our ministry partners. We are raising funds to support current operation as well as launch a new phase of our ministry in 2015, which is Area Representatives.  Our idea is to recruit and equip 4-5 volunteers to become volunteer Area Representatives for Global Bazaar. These Area Reps would be spokespersons for the ministry in their specific home areas, whether that is in Central Illinois, Southern Illinois, Central Indiana, Southern Indiana, Central Kentucky, or the Oklahoma City area. These recruited persons would go through a collective training in early 2015 to encourage consistency of our mission and message. Following the training, the Area Reps would initially be provided $2,000 worth of goods from our ministry partners to sell at Home Experiences, church events, or craft fairs.

Our goal is to raise $5,000 to support existing and new initiatives starting in 2015. Any gift amount is GREATLY appreciated. We’d love for you to partner with us!  Interested in supporting this initiative visit, http://www.gofundme.com/bycy04

The smallest gift can make a huge impact. Join us in sharing the story of the Kingdom work that is happening around the globe.

Living A Life Aware Part 2

This is the second part of a series on what it looks like to live a life aware. As persons who are passionate about faith and justice we choose to live our lives in a particular way. Sometimes the practical can inspire others to think about how they live their lives. We invite you to share as a part of this what ways you are choosing to use your life, your story, in a way that might impact the life of others by what you choose to buy or not buy, use or not use, be or not be. Make this an interactive blog, share with us via FacebookTwitter or e-mail how you choose to live a life aware, your story might inspire others.

From the pen of Gina Farcas;

Living a life aware…

I became aware of the reality of human trafficking and its dark impact on our world when I was living in the Ural mountain region of Russia a few years ago. One day while driving home I observed two young women standing on the street corner, offering their bodies to any drive by buyers. They weren’t there by choice, they had a man in a dark car watching the young women like a hawk a few feet away. This began a regular conversation with the missionary I was working along side about the prevalence of women answering the call to escape poverty and instead losing everything they know by being sold into the pandemic of slavery in our world.  In my time I had the privilege to meet many young inspiring university age girls who were ambition but were the ones that because of ambition the ones who were preyed upon by those anxious to use them in their brothels, and sex shops throughout the rest of the world.

I returned to the United States burdened by the vulnerability and darkness I saw. The images and friendships I made with many of these girls live with me everyday.  I began to read news articles and have conversations with persons who knew and had seen way more than me and see how desperately something or someone needed to take action.  I’m grateful that in that same season of life I was introduced to a community of people who were also seeking out the how, where, and what questions to ‘fight’ this injustice of our day.  As a community we found it to be essential that we spend specific, intentional time in prayer, for guidance and for those who were in bondage. In this community I was inspired to figure out what it meant for me to live a life in a world where everything is touched by slavery, not only with-in vulnerable human beings, but also with the purchases that I make.

During this season I read news articles, and reports online of companies who use less than ethical standards in their employment, making points of how the coffee I was drinking and the chocolate I was savoring was fueling the slavery economy in much of the world. I read how the new dress that I just purchased from a popular clothing store in the mall was sewn and created by one who will never see her self or her child live in freedom from the bondage of a vicious slave owner. I made a decision to choose what I purchased with awareness and grace. Granted, I did and still do live on a limited salary that doesn’t afford the ability to shop organic and fair trade always. But what I could/can do is make adjustments in where I shop and what companies I choose to buy from.

The ways that I choose to live aware are primarily in my purchasing power.

I primarily purchase clothing from consignment and thrift stores. This not only removes me from the equation of contributing to the clothing companies that are embedded in un-ethical standards and slavery but also makes finding clothing a creative and fun experience. There are a few things like undergarments and essential clothing that its important to buy new.  I do buy from a retail store, but I am conscious and avoid the stores that I know are regular supporters of unjust practices to people, I research these using the resources Jessica previously shared.

When I grocery shop, I try to not only make ethical purchases by purchasing from companies that are making strides toward being ethical, but I also choose which grocery to shop in.  I purchase from company who have a better reputation globally than just here within the US.  When available I choose to make a regular habit of visiting farmer’s market’s to support my neighbors and those who are working hard to produce fresh foods.

When shopping I look at tags and ‘produced in’ labels, as these are good indicators of the conditions in which these products were made.  Nations in which I know most products are made by slaves or child labor, depends on the products, I chose to avoid check out this article from Huffington post on research done a few years ago.  Products Most Likely to be made by Child or Forced Labor

In everyday living, I also choose to live in such a way that keeps my eyes open to the people around me. Even in the United States there are persons in our backyards that are trafficked and controlled, it may be the person you walk pass at the park or the girl who just cleaned your table at a local restaurant. Who knows but that simply living with our eyes open we may be used to lead someone to freedom.  A helpful resource on this is, The Slave Next Door by Kevin Bales

Living aware for me, means being educated as to what it is in my world, in my story that can be done to make a difference someone else’s. In what I buy, or who I encounter.

Living A Life Aware Part 1

Global Bazaar is about sharing the story. Our story and the stories of those we partner with. As persons who are passionate about faith and justice we choose to live our lives in a particular way. But the truth is that in all practicality human trafficking and forced labor impacts our world in many small things, from what we consume to what we wear to what technology devices we use. In all reality we do have a choice in how we support or don’t support the pandemic of injustice in our world.

As a step toward thinking creatively about how we choose to be stewards of life, the ladies at Global Bazaar have drafted a two part series on how we choose to live a life aware. We invite you to share what ways you are choosing to use your life, your story, in a way that might impact the life of others by what you choose to buy or not buy, use or not use. Make this an interactive blog, share with us via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail how you choose to live a life aware, your story might inspire others.

From the pen of Jessica Zerkle:

How to live a life more aware? What does it mean to live my life more aware as I, make purchases for all sorts of products?  When I first was introduced to fair trade at a neat, quaint shop in Indianapolis, I loved seeing all the beautiful home décor, jewelry, musical instruments, etc..  Being consciously aware of the macro ripple effects of my purchases at that fair trade store was somewhat easy to comprehend.  But I have wrestled with what it looks like to be a more ethical, conscious shopper as I buy groceries or look for a shower curtain that goes with my new bathroom wall color.  When you step back to think about ALL the products you/I consume in one day, I probably couldn’t tell you the production process from start to finish on the majority of things I consume.

However, with a mindset of grace led by the Holy Spirit, I am seeking to become more aware and “tweak” the purchasing process of my life.  I believe the steps towards behavior change or a more intentional life begins with awareness.  And the Lord has also shown me to show grace towards myself in the process.  And from that awareness, I believe we can take some very practical steps to utilize our purchasing power for more redemptive business practices.  Some practical things that are helping me work towards this living a life more aware are:

  • Utilize resources like Better World Shopper (www.betterworldshopper.org) and Free to Work (www.free2work.org) to gain more insight into which producers and stores are exhibiting the most ethical business practices.
  • Politely asking personnel at stores how certain products came to be on the shelves.  For instance, if you really like that rug at Target, don’t be afraid to ask store employees or contact company representatives about the production process of that item.
  • Read as much as possible about specific industry trends.  A great book to create general awareness is Everday Justice by Julie Clawson.

We can live a life more aware, especially when we seek the Holy Spirit’s direction.  And my prayer for us is that we don’t pursue this as a “to do” on our lists and place undue pressure on ourselves. But I pray we would embrace the grace of our Father and it extend it to others as we pursue social holiness.