November is a wonderful month, I think. Although we should take time to be thankful everyday of our lives, November is a month where it is hard to forget to take the time to do just that.
Right now I am working on a cultural impact paper for my Master's program...which basically involves my interviewing an entire Azizi Life artisan group, their neighbors and local leaders. I'm almost done with the first phase with the help of Jeannine, Sheila and Venantie (my Rwandan co-workers). It's been a joy to work with them so closely on this project and for us all to find out new, exciting information together.
When I think about the work I am doing with Azizi Life, sometimes it can be easy to feel useless and ineffective...I mean...is selling handicrafts really going to change the world? But after interviewing the women of Abarikumwe Cyeza, I am inclined to think that selling handicrafts is just what the world may need...
"My relationships with my family, friends and neighbors were good there was no problem, but after having this craft as my main income source my relationship with them has grown or improved more, I can resolve some problems for them, I can contribute in their growth and development."
You see, when someone buys a product from Azizi Life, they are providing opportunity for an entire Rwandan community...who knew that job creation, personal growth and development, financial stability and money lending could all be woven together in a pair of earrings?
It absolutely amazes me.
So while we are thinking about all the things to be thankful for this month...might you consider giving someone a reason to be thankful for you?
Christmas shopping is in full swing (and I must admit that I am sad that I am missing the hustle and bustle of it all)...why not purchase some of your gifts from Azizi Life and share the story of hope and opportunity for the women of Rwanda with your loved ones?
And better still, why not host a bazaar or a catalog show with your friends or church family to give others the opportunity to participate in the good work Azizi Life is doing?
And even better still, why not add the Azizi Life artisans and artisan groups to your prayers. Just as we all have experienced, conflicts can arise at any moment when we are working with others...if you can pray that God would protect the hearts of our artisans from the Evil One that is sure to attack such obviously blessed work...that would be amazing.
Be assured that I am thankful for you, as a lovely friend. Your reading and staying caught up with my blog(s) means more than you will ever know!
P.S. Again, you don't want to miss our Nile Rafting Adventure...check it out here!