{rice, beans & love}

"The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet" – Frederick Buechner

Category: ViBella

Vi Bella: a beautiful life

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Today was spent celebrating two years of ViBella. Two years of living out beautiful lives. Two years of making beautiful things and taking pride in them. And, two years of becoming one big family.

It really did seem like we were family today. We cooked together, sang together and laughed together, which are things that usually take place everyday at work but, today we got to just hang out as family. We got to goof off a little more than usual, too!!

We borrowed a small fishing boat with a motor and adventured out to a nearby island. One lady clenched my hand because she was scared of the waves and had never been on a boat before and another jumped off the boat while it was still going!

Some learned how to play UNO while others cooked their specialty salads and fried chicken. Some took naps on the front porch, while others swam. I loved on our 8-months-old ViBella baby (who is also my god daughter!) while others tried to conquer the game Jenga.

It felt like we were family.

Before the meal, each lady was gifted a piece of ViBella jewelry and they all modeled off their pieces. We chatted about how excited we are because next month one of our sisters, Viola, will be getting married. We are going to call it a Vi Bella wedding.

Before the meal we also took a moment to worship and pray. The song we sang translated to Our God is Faithful, with those lyrics repeated over and over. And I couldn’t think if a better way to describe Vi Bella.

It all started with a brave woman who was faithful to God’s calling in her life to start the ministry. But, it has been God’s faithfulness that has created such a firm foundation and kept Vi Bella going. I see His faithfulness in the way He provided jobs to each specific woman, how He was faithful and provided a job for my personal journey, how He continues to be faithful in the provision and growth for the company of Vi Bella and how He stays faithful to us each and every day. Not just the days we celebrate anniversaries, but the days that we struggle and barely get by…He is there on those days, too.

Today was a good day, a beautiful day in fact. And life here is a lot more beautiful because of Vi Bella.

Visit Vi Bella to purchase our art and learn more about the ministry.

Pictures from the festivities:

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Love from Haiti.

ViBella Celebration

Yesterday, the ViBella ladies and I had a great party!

 

I didn’t know what to expect going into the day, but I knew I was going to have fun.

 

favorite red sauce

We spent 4 hours preparing and cooking the food. Everything Haitian was made and it was quite the feast. I learned how to make my favorite “red sauce”, which is served over rice, plantains and chicken.

 

I learned that Haitians fry practically all of their food. They fried the chicken, the plantains, and some type of breading (I forgot what it is called in Creole).

 

 

 

They filled the two tables in my house and decorated the food like we were going to be presenting it to the president.

 

Pastor Patrice came and prayed for the work and for all of us.

 

I told them how proud I was of them, how I had often had days at school when I would think of them and wish I could have been here. I told them I was excited for the future of ViBella and I encouraged them to keep working hard.

 

Vivian said she was thankful to God for the job because she can share with her family and friends more.

 

Yolande said she was thankful to God for the job because she was able to put her child in school and not have to worry about how she was going to pay for it.

 

Leszneska and Joanna both said they were thankful to God for the job because they could provide better for their young girls.

 

Judeline said she was thankful to God for the job because she could help her family and she knows she will be able to provide for her baby. She is expecting and is due in October.

 

It was a day full of thanksgiving, laughter and lots of food!

 

Cheers to 1 year of making life more beautiful for Haitians.

Busy Hands

I finally feel like I’m falling into a routine here in Haiti. I’m awaken by Loveson every morning. It usually consists of him yelling out “Kayla peepee kenbe” (Kayla, I have to pee!) or him just hitting my feet dangling off the bed. After we use the restroom, the boys are yelling out they’re hungry and we eat “pen avek manba” (bread with peanut butter) every morning. After I bathe them, we are running out the door trying to make it to work on time. I drop the two boys off at Tytoo and Jeffte goes to school with papa.

I finally take my first deep breath as I open the doors to the ViBella center. I’m always welcomed with big smiles and “bon jour’s” (good mornings) from all the ladies. Vivian, Yolande, Leszneska, Judeline, Joanne and I spend our days making beautiful things. They are all beautiful women, with unique personalities all of their own.

I’m starting to see their strengths, their weaknesses. Who is loud and who is quiet. Most of the time I zone out because I can’t understand what they are saying. If I want to understand, I have to focus a lot and they know to speak slowly to me. I’ve asked them to be gracious to me in my Creole and to also become my teachers, but I know they get frustrated at times.

We start our mornings with a song of praise and a prayer. We form a circle, pray hand-in-hand, and I know they are truly sisters of mine. In the moments of silence, I watch their hands busy at work. They are focused and are working very hard. They are getting paid $6.50 a day and are very proud of their work. They want to be the best they can be. They want to provide for their children. I want them to know I’m proud of them.

I watch their hands busy at work. Stringing beads, coloring plastic, clamping chains. They are artists. Our workplace is filled in the background with the sounds of the village. Children playing, women singing while doing laundry, motorcycles cruising by. I feel Haitian, I feel a part of their lives and of the village, and I love working side-by-side with them.

I watch their hands busy at work and I pray for them. I pray they will have enough food to feed their children. I pray they stay safe at night. I pray they stay healthy. I pray that they are blessed by their job. I pray they know Jesus and are obedient to Him.

I watch their hands busy at work and I’m interrupted by Vivan telling she is finished and holds up a necklace that is just as beautiful as she is. She smiles behind the necklace she is holding.

We end our day in prayer. Holding hands once again and forming a circle. I say “pase bon nwt” (have a good night) and I lock up the doors after another day. I’m greeted by my village kids at the bottom of the stairs, who are fast to hug and jump all over me. I’m home by 5:00 or so. Feed, bathe and put my babies to sleep and thank God for another day serving Him.

I thank Him for keeping my hands busy, for blessing me every day and for allowing me to be His hands and feet in a place that needs to know His grace and love.

 

 

ViBella is transforming lives and I’m so proud to be a part it. To buy jewelry made the ladies I work with and other ladies in haiti, go to www.vibellajewelry.com