Friday, April 5, 2013


We make bracelets now. Well, we don't. They do.

They look like this:

And you can get them here (feel free to ask if you have more questions about Blessed Hope):

Sometimes the tiny beads make my head hurt. And sometimes trying to bridge the gap between two opposite cultures, neither of which I fully understand, makes my head hurt a little more.

But it's beautiful. For a thousand reasons, it's beautiful. Many of the reasons are shown only by a squeeze on the knee or trading smiles over a cup of milk tea. And I often find myself anxious for heaven where there won't be any language barriers, where I will easily be able to sit and talk to my friends. And I already plan on blocking out a chunk of eternity for some of them.

The distributers of our bracelets want our women's stories. So we've been tasked with the assignment to write their bios. I promise you, I've never been more thankful for an assignment in all my life. Each story grabs a piece of my heart, and I wish I could tell every one because I'm convinced that knowing these women can only make a person better.

They have stories like this:

My sweet friend, Sijok, was raised in the village and moved to Kathmandu when she was around 20. When she got here, her older brother was already living in the city and had started going to a Christian church. She decided to go with him, and shortly after became a believer. They began praying for the rest of their family, and over the last seven years, all four of her siblings and her mom, who had been an alcoholic, have come to have a relationship wiht Christ! I love seeing the way our Father is faithful in families.

Sijok passionately feels that she is called to move back to the village and share the Gospel with her people, but right now she knows that God has her in the city for a reason. She says that she is just waiting for God to tell her when to go and she'll be there.

It's amazing really, how alike stories are no matter where you go, isn't it?

Her older brother, the one who first took her to church, has been in jail for almost a year now for killing a cow. Since cows are sacred in the Hindu faith, it's illegal to kill one. He could face up to 11 more years. One reason that Sijok believes she's supposed to be in the city is to help take care of her sister-in-law and their children. So she works for our cookie business and is a manager of Bless Hopeed and helps provide for them.

My favorite story of Blessed Hope thus far is the one of these bracelets.

Sijok decided to take some beads and string and a crochet hook to the jail last time she visited her brother. And she taught him how to crochet the bracelets. When she brought them in and told us who made them, I almost lost it. My heart was so full. We knew the story of her brother, and we had been praying for him, so to learn that by making bracelets, he had found a way to support his family while he's in jail was incredible.

Each week she goes back and delivers more beads and teaches him a new pattern, and each week, his bracelets are some of the best ones we get. I love it.

His hearing to determine whether he will be released or sentenced longer is in one week. It is impossible to predict what will happen because the cows don't really belong to anyone and just kind of wander the city, so the decision will be strictly political. The family and church know that God is in control of the situation, but I wanted to ask you to join us in prayer over our brother. It is a hard burden for their family, as you can imagine, but I promised Sijok that I would ask people in America to be praying with us this next week, so thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your prayers.

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