Saturday, October 10, 2015
The Pastor was panicking.
Last November there was a small team of people who came to Swaziland from The Village Christian Church in Minooka, Illinois, including the Pastor, Nate Ferguson. Pastor Nate started the church in 2004 with only 40 people in it's first congregation.
Pastor Nate’s sister, Sarah Windham, travelled with him as well as his brother Jeremy and his wife Raelenna and a couple of their children. Nate was very interested in what we are doing at Project Canaan and asked LOTS of questions, with the hope of finding some way for their church to get involved.
They came up with the idea of getting their church involved in selling Heart for Africa Christmas Tree Ornaments. They wanted to do something BIG that would require God to be involved for them to be successful. They asked if they could order 2,000 ornaments!! WHAT?! That would be $20,000 US in sales! Of course our answer was “yes!”
I believe it was only a few minutes later that Pastor Nate started to panic. You see, they are in the middle of a Capital Campaign for a new church building, the church is in growth mode, they are adding staff, expanding mission team and now, they were selling Christmas Tree Ornaments. The family went to their knees, and prayed, and He heard their prayers.
Two Sunday’s ago they launched their Ornament Campaign to their 400 church members. Sarah made up 40 bags with 26 ornaments ($260) and 96 bags with 10 ornaments ($100). By the end of the day 1,400 ornaments had left with church members who were committed to selling them and brining the money back by November 1st.
Why did she pack them in bags of 26? Well, for every 26 ornaments that sell, we can fully cover all the costs for one child at the El Roi Baby home for a month (food, bottles, diapers, clothes, medical, Aunties, night shift etc). Not to mention that we are employing 54 full time people on Project Canaan JUST to make these ornaments!
Eight days later they only had 10 ornaments left out of the 2,000 we had shipped them.
Yesterday Sarah ordered 300 more … and it was only October 9th.
Here is a short history of this idea. In 2013 (October and November only) we handmade and sold 1,200 Angel ornaments. In 2014 we handmade and sold 8,000 Angel and Tree ornaments. This year we have handmade and sold approximately 11,000 up to today, October 10th, and we made 12,000 of them in total (!).
We only have Stars and Trees in stock in the US right now as our Angels have completely sold out, BUT we are going back in to full production at Khutsala Artisans on Monday morning and we will have more beautiful ornaments in the US office by the end of October.
I am told that Pastor Nate has calmed down, has completely seen the hand of God on this and no doubt is thankful for his sister’s tenacity, organizational skills and faith! While he is thrilled to be able to support us in a significant financial way, his heart’s desire is to tell people about what God is doing through Heart for Africa in Swaziland, and clearly that is being accomplished.
I am so very proud of Pastor Nate, Sarah and the entire church for taking this leap of faith. It is so exciting to see how excited YOU are and how blessed you are being for your commitment. Thank you for being such a great example of people who step out in faith, and then watch to see what God does.
If any of you want to play a bigger part in the 2016 Heart for Africa Christmas ornament Campaign, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But in the meantime, it’s time to order your ornaments by CLICKING HERE.
At this time we do not have an online store on our Canadian website, but you may email Stephanie for Canadian orders – Stephanie@heartforafrica.org
Thank you for shopping and for your support.
Live from Swaziland … I am taking Christmas ornament orders to Taiwan tomorrow!
PS If you live in the Minooka, Illinois area and want to buy ornaments from them please call The Village Christian Church at 815-467-2265 and ask for Super Sarah :)