We are so excited to share another amazing organization with you this month, and this is a personal favorite of mine. I asked my friend Amy, who is the VP of Marketing with ViBella jewelry, if she would share a little bit more about the ViBella story this month for our Mission Moments in March!
There are a couple of responses that we can have when we see injustice, poverty, and despair. We can be afraid and humbled, saddened and dismayed and do nothing. Or we can get on our knees and pray that God can use us. Little, seemingly small, ill-equipped us.
I am glad that world-changers choose the latter.
Julie Hulstein is one person who chose to be used to make a dream a reality. And it was a God-sized dream. An undertaking and calling that would stretch her and eventually many others to impact poverty in tangible, life-changing ways.
After traveling from Iowa to Haiti in 2010, Julie’s heart was stirred by the extreme poverty and the destruction caused by the earthquake. The understanding that the people of Haiti had lived in poverty for generations did not escape her, and as she returned to her home in Iowa, something stirred. The unsettling she felt was not ignored. The face of one woman who hosted her in her small tent stayed with her. But more so, her words stayed with her. Her words that had spoken of so little hope. And the name that this one young woman had given her: “Mama Julie,” began to define a calling.
One thing that Julie knew for certain was that in a country where there were more aid workers on the ground than any other place in the world, handouts were not the answer. Employment was. She thought about her own daughter, who was about the same age as the young Haitian girl who was faced with such desolate circumstances, and she knew she would not leave her own daughter in such conditions, so she began to pray and to plan. There had to be a way to help.
And so the concept for Vi Bella Jewelry began in 2011. The word “Vi Bella” means “beautiful life,” and this became the goal of everything that sprung from the ministry~ to create beautiful lives for women and families. The idea was to design jewelry and hire women from Simonette, a small village outside Port Au Prince to be the artisans.
From the very beginning, Vi Bella used materials that were part of the landscape of Haiti. Plastic bottles that littered the beaches and streets were gathered, sanitized, molded and painted to make bottle beads. Strung together they told a story of making broken things beautiful. In much the same way, newspaper was recycled into making paper beads: rolled, glued, painted and finished to tell a story of redemption.
What began as a small call to respond has grown into an organization that now employs more than thirty artisans, expanding from one original center in Simonette, Haiti to four centers: two in Haiti, one in Croc, Mexico, and a home office in Sioux Center Iowa. All employ artisans who earn an above-average daily wage and are given the opportunity to attend bible studies. In addition, artisan’s children are sponsored to have the opportunity to attend school, and Vi Bella gives back to the communities where they operate.
Each day artisans, their families, and communities are made more beautiful.
All of us here at Vi Bella are so glad Julie answered a call and invited others to be world-changers.
And you can be part of the ongoing beautiful story. By becoming a Beautiful Life Ambassador, hosting a beautiful life gathering, or purchasing Vi Bella jewelry, you contribute to the God-sized dream that is still unfolding in these lives and communities.
Vice President of Marketing, Vi Bella Jewelry
As a reminder, if you are interested you can join our Pure Charity Giving Circle. Each member that wants to participate will donate a minimum of $10 to Pure Charity. Please take a moment to check out our link: God Sized Dreamers. All donations are tax deductible and would be deducted on the 15th of each new month. At the end of the month, we will request that Pure Charity donate any funds raised this month to Preemptive Love! It is a simple way to give back and make a huge impact. We hope you will join us on this adventure. If you are interested in being a part of the giving circle please email us at prayermomentsGSD@gmail.com so we can send you an invitation to join us.