The In’s & Out’s of J&J

International business… let me tell you, it’s a tricky thing. This mission experience has been unlike anything else. Normally when I do missions abroad, we build a house, love on kids or possibly help paint a school. But this trip – Wow I am learning so much! It really is a mission on how to love people behind the scenes. Working from sun-up to sun-down to help establish a future for these women here.

Since the news crew has been gone, our days and hours have been spent working on Judith & James future, along with James 127 Foundation. If you didn’t know, production is about to launch for Judith & James! This is SO exciting for us because it means constant work and money pouring into the women here. I am truly so honored to be apart of Judith & James. Everything Anna thinks of or does is for these women.

Judith & James – Consciously Cosmopolitan. For the shopper who loves iconic style, but wants to make a difference in this world. That is what the brand is about. The clothes embody clean lines and amazing fabric, with each unique African fabric telling it’s own story. The clothing immediately draws us in, but the underlying factor is what truly makes it special. We are helping widows give a future to their family in the slums.

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I have had the pleasure of meeting many of these women, but mostly have spent time with Judith. She is truly so special. I am blown away by the strength and joy in her spirit. She is a widow who provides for 8 of her children, 5 truly being her nieces & nephews. She taught herself how to sew by daily going into a tailer shop to watch them work. When Anna met her, she had no work, but great skill. Now 2 years later, Judith is our main girl. With production beginning, she has a stable income and can provide always for her family. Though I have only known Judith for a week, this makes every bit of the long, tedious work worth it. Knowing her kids won’t have to live in the deep of the slums and they will have a future is priceless to me. This is Judith & James. Empowering widows to give them a great future.

So now I sit at a coffee shop and contemplate how will I leave this place in 4 days! There is still SO much to be done and I am hooked! I constantly have to think that the Lord tells us to trust in his plans & how He is sovereign in each day. Holding on to that truth as I walk daily with Him.

Now back to J&J — we are so excited to announce that we are launching our first Promo Shop Launch THIS Thursday at noon!! We will have a few products that will sell until we launch the full shop page in mid-November! There will be a limited supply so be sure to head to the site quickly! We are anxious to see how people respond and hopeful they will love the work! To view  & shop the site, go to http://www.judithandjames.com. 

THANK YOU for supporting us in this adventure! This has been a dream to me being here and I am so so thankful for all the time people have invested in prayers & thoughts. Back to dreaming big!

xx

Hannah (happy in Africa!)

The Lord teaches through Friendships

My first post was on about each day because I wanted everyone to know what I have exactly been doing with my time here. I have absolutely loved everything that I have gotten to experience and see, but the greatest blessing has been the people I came to Kenya with. The day I bought my plane ticket and found out I was going to Kenya, I asked the Lord to prepare my heart in big ways. I wanted him to teach me humility, but I mostly wanted him to increase my prayer life — to see Him in bigger ways & to pray greater prayers. The Lord has been showing me this in so many ways, but he is definitely using Anna, Kristina & I to encourage each other.

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Kristina – this girl is a prayer warrior. She was made for missions abroad. In every task, great or small, Kristina instantly turns to prayer. If any trouble or emotion comes our way, she quickly surrenders it to God and trusts in Him. Not only does she have powerful prayers for our team, she showers prayer over the people she meets. From an upset baby on the airplane to a troubled girl at the orphanage, Kristina’s initial response is always prayer. And why wouldn’t it be, our Father can show more love than we can every try to express. She has been completely encouraging this entire trip, truly making herself the least of these and serving in every way possible. I asked the Lord for him to give me new eyes to prayer and he has through Kristina. I think she said it best when she was speaking about girls from the ABC center, “They [the girls] brought me up to the top of the roof and wanted to pray for their building. At once they all started praying aloud and then they sang worship songs. After they were done they asked me [Kristina] to pray… and I did. But literally the whole time I was thinking, you need to be praying for me! Your faith is way bigger than mine.” Having faith like a child is what Jesus says will inherit the kingdom… and we couldn’t agree more!

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Anna – Wow! I am blown away by what this girl is doing here in Kenya. She truly LOVES these people. If you think a designer is all rainbows & butterflies, one thing I have learned is that she is doing the most difficult things to provide for these women — and she does it without thinking of herself at all! Anna has taught me the other thing I asked God to show me, humility. Anna always puts herself last. She is quick to thank Kristina and I for the smallest actions we may do and is encouraging us daily. She listens with great intention – asking us what we read in our Bible that morning and wanting to know exactly how our day went. Though she is constantly busy and new challenges are thrown at her daily, she never shows discouragement and displays her trust in the Lord. When a problem arises, she asks for wisdom and always takes the Lord’s word for her answer. Anna serves humbly – though the work is hard, she does it for these women she loves. She has a great vision and dream for widows in Nairobi and beyond, and I am humbled that she has allowed me to even be apart of this with her.

I am so very thankful that the Lord is showing His work through these great friends! I am excited to see it displayed as each day progresses. Thank you God for friendships!

xx

Hannah

Kenya Update — 3 Day’s Full!

Ahhhhhh so sorry i have not been able to update! Wifi has been crazy finicky and honestly we have been super busy, but so happy I am finally getting a chance now! So this has been a crazy whirl-wind and I have seen so much already. I have to say this is different from any mission experience I have gone on, but it has been such an incredible eye opening one! To give a quick synopsis of what I have done:

Day 1:

We woke up around 11am due to our long long flights! (Btw, the flights went awesome! Each went by so quickly and we were thankful for the peace God gave us for each leg of the journey. Especially for my normally cranky back!) Anyways, Anna had to go run errands so Kristina and I met kids that had graduated from the ABC Program ( a schooling/housing that pulls street kids out of having nothing). It was so fun and these kids are INCREDIBLY smart! They are now out of ABC so they are painting ornaments to help give them work for their idle time. Any ornaments they sell, they give straight back to the kids to help them gain an education in a further degree and also helps other children like them. I grew particularly found of one guy, Wycliff! He is seriously AWESOME — so so creative, smart & fun! I got to bring along a nice, large camera and he is actually the one who was showing me how to use it. He has a dream of being a videographer and I have NO DOUBT that he will achieve these goals! The rest of the day was spent taking photos of the ornaments, christmas cards &  kids making these items. I am hoping to help sell these items back in America for them — so holla holla if you want any! They are awesome. Not perfect, but made with a lot of love :) Look to my Facebook for details soon! The end of the night was spent with a wonderful dinner & helping Anna with patterns for her line! FULL LONG DAY, but WONDERFUL!

Day 2:

We woke up early to a wonderful breakfast and got ready to go to the ABC center to help kids make their sponsor’s Christmas cards. The kids were so so cute! We helped the youngest ones make the cards (ages 3-12) and they are the smartest little boogs. First off, they LOVE the camera! Literally they light up. Its amazing — some of these kids may have never seen their faces before. I seriously love how much joy a camera could bring to them. I spent a good amount of my time taking millions of pictures and just showing them how they looked on the screen. They could not get enough! Towards the end, I chatted with a few guys that were so inquisitive about all of the culture of America. And let me tell you, there were asking some good tough questions! The day ended with the guys touring me around their new building that has been in halt of continuing the building process. They know exactly where the bathrooms will sit & where they will sing in the great hall. Currently the building has been stopped being built because funds have run out. The Christmas Cards I captured pictures of are being sold to help complete this building (More of this info will be on my Facebook too!). I am dying to get them this building! A few girls took Kristina up to the roof to sing and pray about the building — how cool is that? So humbling. Their faith is so great! The kids dream of being engineers & doctors — they will do it!

Day 3 (Today!):

Today I finally got to see what Judith & James and James 127 Foundation is all about. Ahhh it was wonderful! We were able to go to 3 women’s home that have graduated from Anna’s sewing training and seen how it has affected their lives. These women are incredible — their smiles, joy and strength are so encouraging. I really got to know Judith (the widow that gave inspiration to Judith & James.) She is strong and beautiful and her heart is for the Lord. All day was spent with them and seeing their life. I literally can’t wait to see them again Monday! Tonight was spent at a great meal with all the Arkansas people here — we have quite a bit! (A camera crew from Arkansas is here filming Anna’s story!) I got to hear incredible testimonies of why each person was currently in Nairobi. I love how God works such wonderful, unique stories into each of our lives. He is truly a creative God.

So Nairobi is amazing — I had no expectations coming, so I don’t know whether I am surprised or not by what I see here. All I know, the Lord is moving here and it’s incredible to play a small part in what is unfolding. Thank you, thank you for the constant prayers and support! They are being so felt here!

I posted some of my favorite pictures below — ENJOY!

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Wycliff teaching me how to use the camera & capturing the ornaments he paints.

IMG_6773Four of the ABC graduates who paint the ornaments. Hellen, Yuneko, Wycliff & Kennedy.

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IMG_7020Can these 2 get any cuter?

IMG_7074This boy caught my attention. He kept waiting to color & the other women kept saying he didn’t have a number for a sponsor. I brought him over and asked him to color me a picture. It says, “Hi From Kenya! Love Filex”

IMG_7077The bathroom they use everyday and that I used. Cement & a hole.

IMG_7103These guy LOVEEEDDD the camera.

Well my 3 other pictures won’t load. They will come in the next post!

xx

Hannah