"Today we are privileged to share a wonderful organization, Trades of Hope, and one of their consultants with you.
Jocelyn, welcome! Please introduce yourself to our readers."
Hi everyone! My name is Jocelyn and I am a Jesus lover that grew up in St Paul. My single mom raised me and God saved her(us) from a life of addiction and hopelessness. I saw and felt the difference that He made in her life and knew I wanted what she had!
We took several mission trips and that is when God started to align my heart with His as in James 1:27 and I ended up spending two summers at orphanage in Latin America. A few years later I ended up meeting my husband, Tim and we served for several years on staff at an inner.city, billingual church as the worship pastors. Two years ago we started helping out the ministry team of a new church plant in White Bear Lake. We made the decision that I would stay at home with our 3 beautiful children ages 5, 3 and 14 mos.
I live a creative, hope.filled, often.crazy, being.love life and am so grateful!"
Here is the TOH story...
So many women live in poverty, not because they lack abilities, but because they lack opportunity. We started Trades of Hope to give women that opportunity for a better life. Each woman has a story, and with Trades of Hope's help, their story has changed from pain and struggle to a story of HOPE!
We work with the artisans themselves and organizations that are helping women in difficult circumstances. Some women have been rescued from sex slavery. Others are raising handicapped children alone. Some are in war torn countries and others have AIDS. These women have never had the chances we've had, yet they are just like us in so many ways. They love their families and hope and dream of a better life for them.
We are helping by marketing their products through the home party model, so they can put food on their table, a roof over their head, get medical care and an education for their children. We want to tell their stories to the world! We have a heart for ministry and business, and through this we have started separate successful non-profit organizations and businesses. Together, we have a combined 30 years of experience. This has given us the tools and drive we need to help women and make an impact on the world!
This week I will be gifting one Shades of the World scarf below to one of you! This beautiful scarf was made by a young women who is being empowered to be self-reliant. In India, so many girls get trapped into the sex trade because they are taught they have no value. Fair Trade is helping to change that conservative mindset. A purchase of these scarves brings hope to their villages. The scarves are handmade in India and sell for $ 32.00. Enter to win one below!
"Where can you provide hosting for a Trades of Hope party?"
I am located in the Twin Cities of Minnesota but would be up for traveling. My husband is from Wisconsin and we go there often so I could try to work some parties there. I can also have people host online parties.
"How did you get involved with Trades of Hope?"
To tell you the truth I hated the concept of at home parties. I dreaded the invites. I hated the feeling that the only reason this person is talking to me is to convince me that their product is so much better than its cheaper Target counterpart and then guilt me into buying it. I was invited to attend a Trades of Hope at home party from my dear friend Jess and I was not quick enough coming up with reasons why I would "unfortunately not be able to make it". The night came and as my husband kissed me he lovingly said "Don't spend any money, ok?" Being a single income family of five those words were not a big shock to hear and I was completely following his vibe.I went and then watched a simple video and heard stories of the estimated 29 million slaves in the world. When the statistics of human trafficking in the US and abroad, the stories of the Cambodian acid attacks, or the Haitian families struggling to survive giving their kids to orphanages in hopes of survival, tears started flowing. How could I as a lover of Jesus hear and not respond to these stories? The women found by Trades of Hope weren't looking for charity, they were looking for an opportunity to provide for their families. They had found a sense of worth and value making these beautiful handmade items out of what resources they could find. I texted my husband and ended up buying one thing, even though at that moment I could have made quite a dent in our credit cards!
I came home from the party and just started bawling telling my husband about my very educational and yet very emotional night. Every time I wore those earrings God opened conversations (with complete strangers mostly) who in two minutes knew more about human trafficking than they bargained for. I ended up hosting a party and that was it for me. I found a way to make a difference in the lives of women around the world. I, as a lover of Jesus, am now helping women out of prostitution, feeding the hungry, bringing health to people in leper colonies, reuniting families with their children, bringing hope to the hopeless. In the midst of this I was reading a book by Linda Dillow and one chapter challenged me to ask God for a passage of scripture that describes God's calling on my life. I prayed and felt God leading me to look up Psalm 72:12-14,
"For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight."
"Thank you Jocelyn for sharing your story and the mission of Trades of Hope. It is an inspiration and I hope that we have more parties just as you described. Dear Lord, give us your compassion!"