Bless the Needy in 14 Countries Around the World – by Shopping

This Christmas, shoppers in Richland County have the opportunity to bless two people with one gift. While offering unique artistic gifts, each purchase provides hope and honorable income for disabled orphans, refugees, impoverished villagers or victims of sex trafficking and prostitution. Thanks to Mercy Market and their local volunteers, a collection of jewelry, scarves, Christmas decorations, specialty coffees and assorted handcrafted items from 27 international partners will be on display this Saturday, Nov. 16th, at Fairview High School for the Fairview’s Christmas Bazaar (10am-3pm), as well as Saturday, Nov. 23rd at the Richland County Fair event center for Sidney’s Christmas Extravaganza (10am-5pm).

The stories of need, kindness, miracles and hope from the various artisans truly touch the heart. One organization, called Remember Nhu, was founded by an Ohio man who heard the story of a 12 year old Cambodian girl name Nhu in 2003. Nhu had become a Christian, was baptized, and began to share her faith, but a Buddhist family member then sold her virginity, partly in disapproval of her conversion. This horrified man committed his life to eliminating the exploitation of children and began this project to meet the needs of potential victims. Their first official employee was Nhu herself! She now manages Agape beauty salon in Cambodia where the staff and clients receive hope, care, and the love of Christ.

Another partner is NightLight, a jewelry business in Bangkok, Thailand, that employs up to 80 women rescued from the sex trade in the nearby red light district. Unfortunately, since their sales are limited, there is a continual waiting list of 10-15 girls waiting to leave the bars and work in the factory. Lynn Sloan, a volunteer representative in Fairview, says, “I hate to think of those girls spending one more night doing what there’re doing, so I’m striving to expand their market by introducing products here in the Bakken area.” Sloan will be setting up NightLight displays at area businesses prior to Christmas, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day. “I’m hoping to focus on the many good-hearted men who have women to buy for,” she says.

We are so blessed with economic prosperity in our area. Let’s take advantage of this chance and share that with the less fortunate in this season of giving.


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