Right now, there are 21 million people enslaved around the globe.
My friend Tabitha (of Violet & Burke) came to me a few weeks ago to drop off some more inventory at my store, and started to tell me that her inventory may slow down a bit this fall. I immediately said "you're pregnant!!!" Nope. She was moving to Ethiopia. I'm sorry, what was that?? Not expecting to hear that, and standing there crying (who wants their friend to tell them they are moving to another country?) she explained to me the what's, the why's and the how's, and I felt a little better...
Here is a bit of her story:
"Over the course of four years, God continued to speak to Tabitha and her husband Ben about His destiny for them, eventually making it clear that His people were hurting around the globe and it was time to do something about it.
In June of 2014, they finally sold their house and waited for God to show them the next step. In the beginning of July 2014, Tabitha discovered an organization that was working to free women and girls from the sex trade in Ethiopia. When Tabitha read their vision for a farm on which women would be able to work with their hands, heal their hearts and grow food for their community, she knew this was the open door to their calling. As she sat at the computer praising God in her heart, she casually asked Ben what he thought about going to Ethiopia for a few months. At first, he said no way, but by the end of the day his spirit was in agreement and they knew then that the only thing more terrifying than stepping into the unknown was staying comfortable and doing nothing. And it was in that moment that Freedom Gate was born." (you can read her blog post here)
Pretty amazing, right? Through their non profit organization Freedom Gate (and their partner Fields of Hope), Tabitha, Ben and their two children will be heading to Ethiopia this fall to do mission work and help free women and girls from the sex trade. They will help Fields of Hope build a whole farm by building a housing structure for the women, preparing the land for farming, and teaching women how to raise animals and produce in order to support themselves and their community. They plan on staying for six months or so- long enough to establish the farm and teach the women the different trades. (Tabitha is also taking her sewing machine in the hopes of teaching the women how to sew, so fingers crossed Violet & Burke will still be up and running)
How can you help?
The talented Ken Bruggeman designed these amazing shirts exclusively for Freedom Gate that are available for pre order. They were also printed locally here in York, PA by ArtC Creative. 100% of the profit will go directly to the Freedom Gate movement and help to bring freedom to those in oppression around the world.
Photo credit: Ken Bruggeman Photography
Graphic tee's are so popular right now, so why not be in style and contribute to an awesome organization and cause? Just think- if you purchase a shirt, you are helping put a stop to the sex trade in Ethiopia, you are helping women and girls be free, support their family, learn a trade, better their lives. Sounds pretty amazing, right?
You can pre order these unisex, American Apparel tee shirts online in either adult sizes or children's sizes. There are also super cute totes as well. Those of you in the York area can order them in my store (Elizabeth & WestL 15 N Beaver St) as well!
Consider ordering a shirt, or at least donating. Every little bit helps stop the cycle of poverty and prostitution these poor women in Ethiopia are in. I can't even begin to imagine moving to another country, nor do I feel as though I am called to do so (which is why Tabitha and her family are so awesome) but I do feel compelled to do all I can here to contribute-spreading the word and donating as much as possible!
Read their story, spread it, wear it, donate if you can! You can't help but admire someone who puts others before themselves.