Not many people see beauty in a well-packed U-haul trailer. Working in Karama, I’ve learned to appreciate the gifts and talents of others and how they contribute to our mission everyday. On our recent trip to #SheSpeaks17, I met amazing women, each serving in unique ways but united in a greater mission. We're so grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside Proverbs 31 Ministries, including Lisa Allen and Abby Harmon, and the entire She Speaks Team.

One of our fearless leaders, Jill Morley, engineering our packing with team member Raychel. 

One of our fearless leaders, Jill Morley, engineering our packing with team member Raychel. 

 

The first of these 7 women were packed into our caravan. It’s true that I knew them prior to piling ALL of Karama into cars and the U-haul, but there’s something to be said for spending 11 hours on the road.  After snacks, laughs, and plenty of caffeine, we rolled into the conference center in Concord, North Carolina, ready for the work ahead.

In the first morning of the She Speaks Conference sponsored by Proverbs 31 Ministries, I awaited our customers in the hotel lobby, delighted when it flooded with many precious women, each one molded for such a time as this. As our strikingly beautiful leather and delicate beadwork drew their attention, I was able to interact and even observe their connections.  These women, prepared by the Holy Spirit, dropped all pretense and eagerly shared their stories with me. The Lord continually spoke to me of how He values each woman and is writing separate stories, all worthy of sharing and all leading to his glory, no matter the circumstances.

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And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

As the days progressed, the attendees came alive after receiving encouragement and affirmation from spiritual leaders of the Proverbs 31 Ministries team, bringing their dreams and passions to life. Women who are world changers were right before my eyes and I was able to hear their stories first hand, as they shopped along the crowded “Karama corner” in between sessions. Two beautiful young women connected in our booth and realized they lived in the same region.  They began a conversation that resulted in the birth of a new blog focusing on influencing young women for Christ, pairing beauty tips with high impact social enterprises like Karama.  I watched these new friends, knowing that the Holy Spirit is the connector, stretching resources and building intertwining stories.

My team of Karama Mamas & I were so encouraged to be together and to meet all these women great in faith. Throughout the weekend, the Lord kept humbling me and encouraging me in my own work, as I praised Him for putting me on this team with such incredible Jesus - loving ladies. Multiple generations came together to worship and work unto the Lord.  We met women from a multitude of impactful ministries. The words "Together, we can do more" paint a beautiful picture of the relationships forged this week. My heart beats for the unity felt at She Speaks to infiltrate our communities. Together, we can do so much more for His Kingdom than we can ever do alone! 

I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot, together we can do great things.

I love this quote by Mother Theresa because it speaks volumes for the Church. And this past weekend, together, we did more for the Kingdom of God. Not only were women attending the conference impacted, but also women and families across the globe. 236 kids are now able to attend a Young Life Camp in Africa and Haiti due to our partnerships with She Speaks and Proverbs 31 Ministries. This is our heartbeat at Karama to encourage and empower women as we sell them beautiful handmade products, provide purposeful work artisans starting in Africa, and allow teens in Africa & Haiti to encounter Jesus at Young Life camp.

Karama Executive Directors Kristine Cordts and Jill Morley pose with Chrystal Evans Hurst, best selling author of 'Kingdom Woman', during a session break with the beloved large Addis Tote in Camel. 

Karama Executive Directors Kristine Cordts and Jill Morley pose with Chrystal Evans Hurst, best selling author of 'Kingdom Woman', during a session break with the beloved large Addis Tote in Camel. 

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