Did you know that WMU is a supporter of fair trade? Through the ministry of WorldCrafts, WMU develops sustainable, fair-trade businesses among impoverished people around the world. As impoverished and exploited people earn a living wage, they come to understand their own value and worth.
Scripture tells us, “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday” (Isaiah 58:10, ESV).
WorldCrafts exists to pour itself out for the hungry and to satisfy the desires of the afflicted throughout the world. Its goal is to push back the darkness throughout the world.
What kinds of darkness? Exploitation of workers and human trafficking. Both are both rooted in poverty and disbelief. Both lead to malnutrition, homelessness, broken families, child abandonment and inadequate access to education and medical care.
Ultimately, both result in hopelessness, fear, despair and desperation.
God’s Word is clear that His people have a responsibility to intervene in order to prevent this hopelessness, fear, despair and desperation. Fair trade is one avenue Christ followers can use to alleviate the pain of exploited people. Fair trade is an avenue from which people can experience new life through hope in Christ.
Promptly-paid and fair wages are critical to restoring the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health of those who are marginalized. Fair trade restores dignity to the impoverished.
Through fair trade, WorldCrafts is in the business of providing hope. Through the offer of both physical and eternal hope:
• Women and children are freed from sex trafficking.
• Families remain together because giving up or selling a child is no longer necessary, and fathers no longer have to leave to seek out work.
• Teenagers receive an education and can choose a different path for their lives.
• Widows and those with disabilities purchase homes and live with security.
• Entire communities are transformed.
Kentucky WMU has partnered with the Send Relief ministry Graffiti 2 (G2) in the South Bronx. Through the many ways that G2 serves its community, it also provides an income opportunity for women through Graffiti 2 Works. This fair trade ministry coaches adults to develop the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual skills necessary to achieve their best. Learning to sew and sell products gives these artisans jobs and builds their self-esteem. As the artisans of Graffiti 2 Works sew together, they develop relationships with each other and with our Father.
Are you interested in learning more about fair trade? Do you have a women’s event coming up in your church that could benefit from learning about pushing back the darkness of hopelessness? Consider bringing WorldCrafts to your event as a shopping experience or learn how you can come alongside artisans and offer true hope to families locally and globally.
In the coming years, we hope to be a committed supporter of Graffiti 2 Works and WorldCrafts. Contact Kentucky WMU at 502-489-3534, to schedule your WorldCrafts experience today!
Liz Encinia is executive director-treasurer of Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union.