An excerpt from Paper Beads for MissionsBy Kayla Spencer, Volunteers In Action Participant
I had the opportunity to visit Kenya as a Volunteers In Action participant in the summer of 2009. During my six weeks there, I worked with World Gospel Mission missionary Robyn Moore and the ministry the Least of These, as we cared for vulnerable children in Nairobi.
On one visit with Robyn to a children’s home, I met a tiny little boy named Samuel. He looked to be about 1 year old. As Robyn administered health checkups for the children, I had the opportunity to hold Samuel. He was wearing a thick sweater that covered his frail body. When I held him under his arms, I thought they might break off. He had looked decently healthy in appearance until that moment, but I realized then that this precious little boy was malnourished. That was my first experience with this kind of suffering.
As I held that precious child, God broke my heart. It was not one of those experiences like at a conference or camp where you have a “Jesus high” that lasts a couple weeks and then fades away. This is one of those experiences that completely changed my life.
After arriving home, God gave me an incredible idea as I looked down at the paper bead necklace I was wearing. It was a beautiful necklace with beads made of recycled magazine paper. I had purchased it from a street vendor in Kenya. I could use my money to buy paper bead necklaces that I could give as gifts for donations. I’ve now been selling necklaces for a few years. With each necklace, I ask for a $10 donation. The necklaces cost me $3, which leaves $7 per necklace to give to the ministry.
It has been incredible to see how God used my time in Kenya to have even greater impact on the ministry after I returned home. I love knowing that the money I am raising is helping such a good cause—helping little children like Samuel.
ACT: Partnering with a ministry is as easy as selling paper beads like Kayla has discovered. If God is calling you to raise funds for a missions need bigger than your “$100,” then The Great Co-Mission Catalog may be a good resource for you. Find your project at www.wgm.org/catalog.