Sugarcreek, OH Nov. 5-6, 2010 November 11 2010

Last weekend Cathy Liggett and I had the amazing opportunity to visit the First UCC Mission Committee and the Women of F.A.I.T.H. in Sugarcreek, OH. We had a wonderful trip that began with a book signing for Cathy at The Gospel Shop in downtown Sugarcreek. We then went to First UCC where we were invited to speak about our work and our journey with Beaded Hope (both the novel and the organization). We concluded the evening with a jam-packed sale of Beaded Hope items. The next day we joined Sugarcreek's annual "For Your Pleasure" a holiday shopping event that draws people from all over the area. Cathy and I are so thankful for the opportunity to speak with First UCC about Beaded Hope. Even more, we thank them for opening their hearts to the women of South Africa. As you know, at Beaded Hope we measure success in day’s worth of food. This means for every $15 purchase you are providing an artist with 2 days’ worth of food. Through their love and generosity the First UCC and the community of Sugarcreek provided the ladies in South Africa with the equivalent of nearly a year’s worth of food (360 days!). We are incredibly grateful for this remarkable accomplishment and for the blessings that have been showered upon the ladies in South Africa. As the ladies in South Africa would say, you are blessed. Be sure to check out our pictures from the weekend on Facebook. strand_Beads_FINAL_630X43Pat Edgar of First UCC provided this beautiful introduction prior to our presentations. We thought you might enjoy reading a little bit about how we landed in Sugarcreek. It is my pleasure tonight to introduce our speakers, Jennifer Davis and Cathy Liggett.  I have put a brief biography of each of them in your program and encourage you to look at those.  What I’d like to share with you now is how they came to be here with us tonight. For us here at First UCC, the journey to Africa and the Beaded Hope Organization began when one of our Women’s Book Club Members, Susie Immel, was ordering a book on Amazon.com.  For those of you who are familiar with that Web site, you’ll know that they track your purchases and web searches and very helpfully recommend other books that they think you’ll enjoy.  It was in this way that Susie found the book, Beaded Hope. When she read it, she knew it would be right for our book study and passed it on to me.  I agreed wholeheartedly and was so inspired by what I had read that I checked out the Beaded Hope Web site.  Some of you have more experience with computers than others.  But one feature of any computer Web site is the little button that you can press that says “Contact Us.”  When I pressed that button to tell mission founder, Jennifer Davis, what her work and the book had meant to Susie and me, I got an almost immediate response. Through a series of e-mails back and forth, Jennifer Davis and author, Cathy Liggett, agreed to bring their story to Sugarcreek on this weekend full of mission activities here at the church.  And we are very excited that they are here. What makes this even more special for me is that our speakers tonight are women who didn’t set out to change the world.  As you can read in your programs, both Jennifer and Cathy had a series of jobs and careers before Beaded Hope came into their lives.  One thing they had in common, though, was that they both had a heart for Africa and the willingness to go where God lead them.  Through Jennifer’s corporate experience and jewelry making abilities and Cathy’s writing ability and publishing experience, Beaded Hope was able to come alive for both the women of Africa and the many thousands of readers and jewelry buyers they have encountered during the past several years. Tonight you’ll hear something of their stories and the stories of the people they serve.  One important point that I’d like you to take from the presentation tonight is that they made themselves available and willing to take direction when God called them.  They took that step that some of you here tonight have taken in participating in a hands-on mission, but they also followed that experience through in a way that has touched many, many lives.  I pray that we can learn from them.  When God showed Susie the book Beaded Hope at Amazon.com and when He encouraged me to press the “Contact Us” button at BeadedHope.org, He was setting in motion this encounter tonight.  Listen carefully, He may be showing you something you never dreamed of before. Let’s welcome Jennifer Davis and Cathy Liggett.