In just three days, I’ll be boarding an airplane bound for Africa.
Well, I guess technically, it will be bound for New Jersey. But then on to Brussels, and then Africa. It’s a long trip, y’all.
It’s not a missions trip. It feels really important to me to make that clear up front. Or at least it isn’t one in a traditional sense. We won’t be building churches or laboring in orphanages or handing out Bibles. It’s a different kind of a trip—an important kind. It’s a storytelling trip!
Our Story Team will spend a good part of one day at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. It’s been twenty years since nearly a million men, women and children were brutally massacred over the course of just 100 days, and this will be a day worth seeing and feeling and learning. Twenty years of healing like most of us will never know. Twenty years of reconciliation that many of us could only wish to know.
We’ll spend another day hearing from 2 former International Justice Mission clients—one who was a victim of land theft, and a mother of a girl who was sexually abused. Both are women who IJM has helped and both are now part of the Noonday collective in Rwanda. Sharing their stories with us takes a lot of brave. I’m already praying for the women we will meet.
There are going to be some remarkable days in Rwanda next week.
I believe The Lord has given me a mouthpiece in She Reads Truth. You guys, most days, I don’t even know why. But next week, I won’t wonder. I’ll have the opportunity to step up to the mic, tap it a few times, shake off my nerves and speak into each of your living rooms/coffee shops/bedrooms/offices. I’ll tell you stories that I really believe God wants you to hear.
I know for sure he wants me to hear them.
Next week will have some heaviness to it. And I’ll share that with you all faithfully and in the name of God and justice.
Next week will also have a real beauty and excitement to it! I’m thrilled to share this with you as well!
There’s a lot of hurt in the world. A lot of heartache. But there is also a lot of amazing reconciliation. There is triumph to be told!
Noonday Collection has a number of artisans in Rwanda who have story after story to tell about how their families became land owners— how they overcame more than many of us will ever know, and became productive and creative and proud!
One of the really fun things I get to do while I’m sitting with these women is not only exchange stories, but actually exchange ideas! Noonday Collection will be partnering each of the women on the trip with a local artisan—we get to go to market, pick out fabrics, design jewelry and bags and collaborate on really beautiful pieces that they will be able to potentially produce and sell through Noonday.
(The second half of this trip is taking a very “Project Runway” turn and I think it’s sort of awesome and redemptive and exciting!)
In the end, each of the women on the story team (Emily, Wynne, Jen, Jennie, Paige, Meredith, Jessica, Kelle and myself) will have designed a piece in partnership with her Rwandan artisan (and friend!), and on August 7th Noonday will have its first Nationwide Trunk Show, revealing the #StyleForJustice collection (including the piece I get to design next week!!!). Trunk show attendees will vote to decide which pieces make it to production.
A few things you can do to participate:
- Follow all the details of our trip by signing up for the email list or by following the #StyleForJustice hashtag on Insta and Twitter. (There’s also a pretty killer giveaway going on over there right now, INCLUDING a She Reads Truth Justice Study Pack!)
- Host a trunk show on August 7! (Seriously, do this! I’ve done it twice and it’s been super fun and worth it!) Trunk show attendees will be able to vote on what pieces will go into production for the #StyleForJustice Collection ONLY at the trunkshow.
- Keep reading here! I’ll be posting my personal trip updates here and on the She Reads Truth site.
- And finally, join me here on July 22nd as we begin a study of Biblical Justice, with guest writers from IJM, Noonday, and other girls on the trip!
Next stop – New Jersey! Er… Rwanda!!!