I love jewelry. I love clothes. I love accessories.
I also love my budget.
Ok, so maybe I don’t LOVE LOVE my budget. After all, it keeps me from making spontaneous Target runs to just “look around.” (aka spend $200). But I do love the fact that our budget has been the backbone of our family getting out of debt and being very intentional about our spending. We work hard to be good stewards of what we’ve been given.
Another love of mine is ministry. I love working with the various ministries at church and serving others. Recently, through a women’s study of the book “Undaunted” by Christine Caine, God opened my eyes an heart to a lot of the suffering that is going on in the world. Poverty. Violence. Abuse. Slavery. The kind of stuff that makes this suburban momma’s heart shatter and eyes close because you want to pretend that those types of things couldn’t possibly be happening in 2014. Truth that makes me want to hug my little ones close. It’s the type of thing where you want so badly to just shut it out and pretend it isn’t real, but God takes you by the hand and says, ” Look. I know it hurts, but these are my children who are suffering. Who will be my hands and feet in this broken world?”
So I accepted the overwhelming fact that while I cannot do everything, I can do SOMETHING. I began to pray about ways that I could be involved and make a difference in the world.
If you ask, God will answer.
Within a few days I was looking through my Facebook feed, which I hardly do since my Unplugged Experiment. I just happened to come across my friend Cassie’s status about her becoming an ambassador for Noonday. I began to check out this company and IMMEDIATELY was hooked. After talking with Carter, I decided to sign on as an Ambassador.
Noonday Collection is a company that has built relationships with different artisans around the world where poverty is high and opportunity is low. They work with them on design, and provide a marketplace for their product here in the United States through ambassadors. Think beautiful, unique jewelry, scarves, bags, home accessories. As this has begun to take off, the opportunity to help more people rise out of poverty has increased exponentially.
As I read through the stories of mothers and fathers who couldn’t feed their kids, of women with HIV who were outcasts, of people who were stuck in poverty with no way out, tears were running down my face. Even though they were so far away, the truth is they are just like me. A mere human, but born into unfortunate circumstances. Seeing these precious children of God being given the chance to rewrite their fate…to have HOPE…I just wanted to have a part in what God was doing with this ministry.
So there you have it: my love of fashion can now team up with my love of ministering to the oppressed. My purchases of pretty things can give people access to jobs (ones with excellent, regular pay), healthcare, no interest loans, the chance to feed their family and keep them together, and so much more. I also have the chance to share the artisan’s stories and the stories of their products by having trunk shows. Through other ambassadors in Noonday I have also learned about different ministry opportunities in my future city of Denver, such as a group that works with the surprisingly large homeless teen population. I’m so thrilled to be able to find ways that I can be an advocate for people in need. I’m also excited about using Noonday to build relationships with other women as I move to a new state/city.
If you want to partner with Noonday (and me!) and use your purchasing power to make a difference, just let me know! Check out more of the amazing jewelry here at ErinStark.NoondayCollection.com.
Also, check out Noonday Collection on the TOMS Marketplace. Great video and info!
Whatever you do, be proactive in your community and in the world. Ask God to open your eyes to ways you can minister to those who are in need.
PS- exciting Colorado news coming VERY SOON!!!!