Kingdom Kids Create "Jewelry With A Purpose Project"
Isn’t it fun when God shows us His creative solutions to situations in our lives? That is exactly what happened with the ‘Jewelry With A Purpose’ project. While on a mission trip in 2016 to Nyahururu, Kenya, we listened to Bishop Simon Mwaura and his lovely wife, Lucy, pour out their hearts for the children at their orphanage, Home of the Good Shepherd. They so want their children to receive an excellent education and to also learn economics. While Simon and Lucy are beyond grateful for the generous donations that the orphanage receives, they also want the children to learn to earn money to fund their own education. In Kenya, the education costs for public schools are high and one of the greatest expenses that the orphanage incurs, which creates a direct impact in deciding whether to take more children into the orphanage.
Kristi prayed to God one night while we were in Kenya and asked the Lord to show us a way that we could help them. The Lord revealed that He wanted us to do something with children’s jewelry. We already knew of a lot of other mission oriented jewelry projects so we pressed in for the Lord to show us more of His plan and He was faithful! The Lord revealed that we were going to create children’s ‘jewelry with a purpose’.
We began meeting with Simon and his team to put together this project that consists of nine fruit of the Spirit devotions – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – with corresponding videos and nine beautifully colored bracelets. When a child completes the written devotion, they can access the corresponding video that features the children from Home of the Good Shepherd. On the back of each written devotion, we have a link to these videos and a QR Scan Code. To access the code, you simply hold your phone (with a free QR reader app previously installed) over the scan code and the Home of the Good Shepherd videos will pop up on your phone. When you press play, a specially-prepared video about that particular fruit of the Spirit begins---ALL THE WAY FROM KENYA!
After watching the video, the child is encouraged to wear the bracelet that corresponds with the devotion to help them remember to show that particular fruit of the Spirit throughout the day. Once they have completed all nine devotions, the reward is that they are then able to wear all nine bracelets. Optionally, they may choose to wear the color bracelet that coincides with a fruit of the Spirit they are struggling with the most or need on a particular day.
This project gives the children at Home of the Good Shepherd a beautiful way to learn economics because they took lessons on bracelet-making from one of their teachers and they now make all of the children’s bracelets that we sell. The children also learned how to recite the devotions and poems so they could be filmed for the videos. When we received the first finished bracelets and watched the videos for the first time, we were in awe of what these sweet children had done. We know you will be too! When our Fruit That Lasts children’s book publisher heard of this project, they offered to create a devotion book pro bono so the devotions could be in a published book. Imagine the smiles on the faces of the children at Home of the Good Shepherd when we took published devotion books to them in 2017 and shared the good news that they had become published authors! We also surprised them with their own copy of the devotion book and a bracelet set which our friends and families graciously sponsored. The sponsored funds actually created a miracle because it turned out to be the exact amount that Bishop Simon and Lucy owed for past-due school fees!
We are so proud of the children at the Home of the Good Shepherd for all the hard work they have put into the bracelets and videos. They memorized each devotion, prayer, memory verse and poem for each fruit of the Spirit!
The children’s devotion book, video links and bracelet set is $20 and ALL profits will go to help with the education expenses for the Home of the Good Shepherd children. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly mail you a set. Praise the Lord for this opportunity to help these precious children!
*The Fruit That Lasts Ministry will be part of the teaching team for the children’s programming of the New Wineskins Global Mission Conference! Register today and bring the whole family!
Kristi Smith & Nena Jackson
Best friends since the first grade, Nena Jackson (left) and Kristi Smith Varner (right). Now grown, they remain best friends and continue to expand the world of Franny and Pom Pom with the Fruit That Lasts book series and teaching a Vacation Bible School starring Franny and Pom Pom in Kenya, Africa. Nena is married to Scott and has four grown children. She lives in the beautiful and historical city of Charleston, South Carolina. Kristi is married to Darryl and has two grown children. She continues to live in the revitalized and charming city of Birmingham, Alabama, where both authors grew up together. You can visit their website here.