Mar 24, 2010

For Joy's Sake

So we have this fun little contest going on at Scarlet Threads right now... a Name-an-Apron contest. We're slowly debuting our new Spring Line, and we want you guys to get in on the fun. Winner gets a 50 percent off coupon, so hop on over (like a spring bunny) and give us your entry!

I love Scarlet Threads and what it's about... it's so much fun to merge creativity with dreams of making a difference for China's women; a creative and compassionate cause!  It's perfect, and I'm thrilled to see it taking off.  But not really because of the aprons... it's much deeper than that...

Stories are so important... they shape our lives.  And for the last few years, I've been surrounded by women like Joy, each with unique and beautiful stories.  (That's her up down below, pumping water in her family's home this last year.)  They are stories of hope, of perseverance, and of provision... but all too often, they are also stories of poverty, of brokenness, and of struggle. These stories have worked in my heart and birthed a new vision for this season of my life.  Scarlet Threads is part of that vision coming to fruition, and though it can't help every woman I know and love, it can help some...


Joy's story is beautiful and uniquely hers, but in some ways, it is the story of a thousand other young women like her.  Here it is, in her own words...
To understand my situation today, I think it is important to understand where I’ve come from. I have a younger brother and a younger sister.  Because of the One Child Policy, my parents were fined for both my brother and my sister.  Because we couldn’t pay the fine, the government took almost all of the furniture from our home and some food when we were young.  Even before they did this, our family already had very little… we were often short of food and lived in a house that leaked when I was young.  My mom has a very bad temper.  Due to the difficulties our family faced and the loss of our possessions, she lost hope and got angry frequently, sometimes even passing out. 
Despite our family’s situation, I did very well in school.  I was one of the top students in my class, always in first or second place.  But after middle school, the pressure of having all three of us attending school was more than my family could bear, and I wasn’t able to continue my education. Instead of going to high school, I went to a Secondary Vocational Health School after middle school, hoping to be able to support my family earlier.  I dreamed of being a doctor, and didn’t understand until later that I wouldn’t be able to achieve this dream with just a 3-year basic educational program completed.  But, I wasn’t able to continue pursuing an education after the Health School, so I started to work to support my family.  While working, I tried so hard to further my education and learned English during these years.  Since finishing the health education program, I have been supporting my family with my meager income, and I’ve been under a lot of stress and pressure for most of the time.

I have always wanted to do something to impact people’s lives in a meaningful way.  I have been praying for God’s leading for a couple of years, and He revealed his answer to me last year.  I went to a women’s retreat (Beauty for Ashes) in the fall of 2008. I had always felt like I have so many problems that need God’s help, but at the retreat I discovered I am really the lucky one.  There are women who have been hurt so much, either from their marriages or their parents, and they have been carrying the bitterness all their lives.  Seeing so many broken hearts and emotions, I was shocked.  Is.61:1 says – He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives.  God is the one they really need and so many of these women were healed at that retreat.
This is only part of Joy's story, but it is what brought her to the place she is today... seeking to go to the USA to get her undergraduate degree in counseling/psychology so that she can come back and help "people with Biblical principles; to restore emotions and help heal broken hearts, families and relationships."  Due to the fact that she doesn't have a high school diploma and because of her age, she's no longer eligible to attend university in China.  But, she's been accepted to a university in America and is in the final stages of being considered for a full-tuition scholarship.  If she's awarded the scholarship, she'll still need to pay for her living and travel expenses.  As you can see from reading her story, she cannot afford this on her own. 

I'm sharing this story because I know there may be some of you who God will ask to stand alongside Joy during this season of her life.  If that might be you, drop us an e-mail and we'll put you in touch with Joy.  I can attest to her character, commitment, and trustworthiness... she has a heart to not only further herself, but to use her skills to bless the people around her. 

I think it's beautiful, and it's my honor to share this with you... for Joy's sake!

4 comments:

Mandi said...

What a beautiful story. I an in awe of women like Joy. Her determination, and love for the Lord will make her a very successful woman.

I'm sending you an e-mail.

Mandi

Sharie said...

I was just going to say...she can live with us. Her story breaks my heart - and lifts it at the same time. I don't have anything to give, but I can offer friendship. If she will be in the mid-west let me know. If Joy is close, we would love to help anyway we can.

TanyaLea said...

What a neat story. I pray that God provides everything she needs and that her life will be a living testimony to His goodness. I know she will 'give back' when she returns one day to her homeland. Such determination. I respect that so much. We have so many opportunities here in America, yet so many still complain and widdle their lives away. Joy is a 'fighter' and a great example of what it means to keep pressing towards the mark!

Where will she be attending college? (even just the state?)

God bless you, Carrie!

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the post "Crazy Love" at A Place Called Simplicity? Joy's story deserves to be told in as many places as possible. Plus she may find much needed support there.

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