Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Friendships August 05 2009

Sometimes friendship happens when you least expect it. 

The story of two women, as shared with Girlfriendology.com.

This is the story of Jennifer Davis, founder of the Beaded Hope non-profit, and Cathy Liggett, author of the Beaded Hope novel released on March 1st. In September of 2005 these two future friends happened to cross paths – Jennifer, with a broken foot, and Cathy, a part-time hospital registrar and spare-time romance author. They quickly and easily struck up a conversation when Cathy complimented Jennifer on the beautiful red beaded pin adorning the lapel of her jacket. It was no ordinary pin, Cathy found out as Jennifer went on to explain its origin, for their families by selling their beaded jewelry in the United States. The sparkling pin had been handcrafted by one of the artistic bead workers there.

Cathy bought a piece of jewelry that day from Jennifer, never expecting to see her again. But, as fate would have it, when Jennifer arrived at the clinic for future checkups, she was greeted by Cathy each time. Recognizing that this was more than mere coincidence, the two women decided to meet for tea.

The tea grew cold in their cups as Jennifer shared her photos and journal stories from her earlier trips to South Africa. Though the faces in the photo album were completely foreign to Cathy, she was notably touched. She instinctively wanted to write about the strangers in the photos, initially envisioning an international romance.Beaded Hope Beaders

As she began to write, however, Cathy quickly discovered that the story needed to be more than romance, it had to be about women like those in Jennifer’s photos. Even more, it needed to be about women bonding with one another through their struggles, dreams, hopes and faith.

Cathy began writing again, confident her idea was a winner. But sometimes you have to wait for the world to catch up with you. After Cathy received a number of rejections, Jennifer called her, quite out-of-the-blue, inviting her to go on the next trip to Mamelodi, South Africa. While the idea seemed far-fetched to Cathy, Jennifer encouraged her to take the idea seriously, knowing that once Cathy experienced the women of Beaded Hope she’d be able to write with even more passion and depth.

Knees shaking, Cathy joined Jennifer on the 20 hour flight to South Africa. While her fears and discomfort threatened to engulf her, Cathy was warmly welcomed by the women of South Africa. Amid the unimaginable tragedies they face each day – the poverty, the disease, the horrific living conditions, the grief of losing loved ones – the women have a pervasive joy and graciousness about them that’s irresistible. The women hug hugely, smile widely, and pray boldly for you.

Cathy was hooked by the joy of the women Jennifer introduced her to. By the time she returned home, she discovered that she had developed a completely new set of friends who just happened to live half-way around the world. Despite their different surroundings, Cathy, Jennifer and the ladies of Beaded Hope are united by the common struggles, desires, and hopes of all women. Out of this love and bonding came Beaded Hope, a novel that shows how extraordinary things can happen when ordinary women reach out in faith and friendship."

To read more of Girfriendology's interview with Cathy Liggett and Jennifer Davis visit Girlfriendology.com.