Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cereal Boxes = Hope (from SIT A SPELL Blog)

It's an amazing thing to watch a cereal box...

become a beautiful piece of art.

What was meant for the trash pile and deemed worthless...

repurposed and given new life.

The first time I made the short drive down the road to visit The Apparent Project, I was not expecting to see my own story, your story, creation's story, and the gospel come to life through the process of making jewelry.  I wasn't expecting to be reminded of how God redeems worthless people and with loving, skillful hands, fashions us into a masterpiece, useful and beautiful. And yet, walking through the artisan center, I was overwhelmed by God's grace, His goodness, and mercy.

At The Apparent Project cereal boxes are transformed into treasure, and the lives of Haitian families are restored and redeemed.

"The Apparent Project was birthed out of a desire to see impoverished Haitian men and women be able to raise their children with dignity and not have to consider giving their children to orphanages because of poverty.  It can cost as little as $50 a month to keep a family intact.

The Apparent Project exists to provide creative means for families to earn a living.  Our jewelry program started as a small operation of four women making simple earrings from native seeds in Haiti.  Today it is a full scale operation employing approximately 50 men and women." (from the Apparent Project)

The number of orphans in Haiti has been labeled an "Orphan Crisis."  Oftentimes, mothers do not want to give their babies away to orphanages.  What they need are jobs, education, and skills so that they can provide for their children's basic needs.  Places like The Apparent Project and Haitian Creations are giving families the skills they need to be able to keep their children.  Organizations like these are fighting the orphan crisis at its most foundational level.  They are preventing children from becoming orphans.

The Apparent Project considers itself an "Un-Orphanage."  Isn't that beautiful?

Each woman and each man employed by The Apparent Project are working to learn a trade and produce a quality product in order to help their families escape the brutal poverty that sits on this country like a thick, heavy blanket.

Each artist has a story.

Over the next few days I'll be talking about The Apparent Project.  I'll let you know how you can buy jewelry, have a jewelry party (much like Heartline's Purse Parties), and how you can turn your empty cereal boxes into a way to help Haitian families.

Will you start saving cereal boxes?  This is one of the easiest ways you can help keep kids in Haiti where they belong...with their parents.  Will you dream big dreams with me for these families?  Will you ask God to give you vision, passion, and show you places where you can use your voice and your contacts to redeem cereal boxes from the trash and get as many as possible to this program?

Will you spread the word for this ministry, and ask your friends, your schools, college campuses, churches, soccer teams, and neighbors to start saving their cereal boxes?

I won't lie.  I get a little excited when I think of all the cereal boxes that will be recycled and repurposed.  Isn't it always a joy to be a part of something redemptive?  As image bearers of a God who longs to redeem this broken world, I think it's natural to rejoice when we get to imitate Him in this way.  Suddenly, recycling is more than recycling, for God's children it's a montessori lesson for our soul, a visual of what God has done in each of our lives.

Beauty from ashes.  I've had the sweet pleasure of getting a glimpse of God do His age-old work through ministries like The Apparent Project and Heartline.

Will you save your cereal boxes?  Will you spread the word?  Will you ask God how you can take this simple need, this simple request, use your voice, your connections, advocate for this ministry, and bring hope to families in Haiti?

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