When I'm meeting with new artists - there's always that bit of doubt in my mind. What if it's not a connection? What if their work isn't something we'd want to carry? What if I just flew from Kenya to Uganda, then drove for 8 hours and it's a disappointment?
Well, any doubt I had was soon gone the second I met these women briefly last night and then through our time together today. I had met Ketty online through some random connections - she is a fashion designer with some amazing purses we will be carrying! She mentioned she had just met some vulnerable women from the LRA who were looking for someone to help them sell their designs. I told her for herself and these women... no promises, but let's chat. Well - I promise you - you'll love their craftwork, and if you could meet them you'd adore the women too!
Ketty and her tailors, Veronica and Nytie are so talented! While they were whipping up a few purses for us to take home for our first small run - they also made Marcie a custom dress and me a custom skirt!! Wow!
We also met with this incredible group of women - 22 women came today (there are 35 in total) who came, sat on the floor with us, shared a drink and chatted. We each introduced ourselves. We shared words of encouragement and affirmation (thanks to Ketty for translating!). They prayed for us and held our hands. They shared that even though our skin may be a different colour, we are sisters. Couldn't agree more. And they each brought designs they had made for us to see, we worked together to narrow it down (SO hard to do!!) and now we eagerly await their first order. This group of women have seen some of the worst of humanity, but they are offering the best of humanity - love, forgiveness, grace - in return. So powerful. I shared with them my heart - that it is not us and them - but we are partners working together. I let them know that they are my sisters, and friends as well as partners. I let them know their handiwork is beautiful - but more than that, they are beautiful.