Saturday, May 1, 2010

Uganda Magazine Necklace

I'm not usually much of a necklace girl. And I'm really, really not a vibrant, multi-colored, beaded necklace girl.

I am also not one who does a lot of online shopping. I'm not an avid Etsier and even my once-steamy Ebay affair has waned over the years.

But these times, they are a'changin'.

I have told you about Katie at Amazima Ministries before. To say that she is inspirational would be an understatement. Katie lives in Uganda, Africa. She is a young, single girl with a heart for the things that Jesus cares about most. She does not post frequently - maybe because she's a little tied up raising 14 orphans. When you have time, read through her blog. But have some tissues beside you. And be prepared to be convicted.

Last week I checked in on Katie. I sat in my very comfortable and beautiful home, in my quaint and cozy little town, and popped over to the other side of humanity. In no time flat, I was swept into a story of mamas who do the unthinkable just to keep their children alive, day after day after day.

I read that with guidance from Katie, a group of these women now make necklaces from recycled magazines and the money they earn for their work allows them to sustain their children with integrity and hope.

I didn't think twice. I bought a necklace.

And I put it right on.

Then my husband took the day off from his job and we took our beautiful, perfect babies for a day of fun. We spent $30 on frivolous food. We spent close to the same amount on gas to get us to our destination.

Not once did I worry about whether my children would live for another day. Not once did I weigh the risks of doing the unthinkable.

So, it's all still more than unfair, this life I live.

But I'll be wearing this necklace as a reminder that one step leads to the next... That living as a Christ-follower commands me to care for the poor. It doesn't command me to feel sorry for them, or to wistfully think that I should pray for them. It certainly does not require me to acknowledge them in a corner of my mind and merely thank God that I am not them.

This Summer, again and again, these beads will fall over my head and I pray that each time they graze my neck, my heart turns a few more degrees toward the Truth. I hope these paper beads wear like lead across my shoulders. I hope I cannot escape their true weight. I hope the tangible reminder of those mamas and those babies and that country and the world drives me to do more and think less. I hope I grow ever more weary of this life that I live.

Also, I hope you will buy a strand. And when you do, let's talk about how a thing that arrived in a measly manilla shipping envelope gave clarity to the Truth we hold in our souls.

Let's look back on today and realize that the person we are becoming has been molded by the Holy Spirit, in part, through a single strand of love.


  1. Thank you so much for telling us about this. I just ordered my necklace.

  2. I also follow her but have not checked in for a while. Your post was straight from the heart. Love you.

  3. I immediatly ordered one. Even though I own my own jewelry business and just wear my stuff, I will wear these beads with pride, remembering to pray for those mamas and their babies each time.

  4. I just read some of Katie's blog. It is mind-blowing to think that a 21-year-old has that much responsibility and had to leave so much behind to do what she is doing. I had a magazine bead party a couple of years ago with a different organization and already own quite a few, but I am going to try and send a monthly gift. I can stop buying so freely in order to send some to Katie, which will be nothing compared to what she does on a daily basis. I am in awe and certainly convicted.

  5. Oh may that be so true..."that the person we are becoming has been molded by the Holy Spirit, in part, through a single strand of love."
    The cry of my heart for sure
    Thanks for your heartfelt post and a reminder of what is really important.

  6. That's a beautiful necklace--great post!
    Caring for the's been in my thoughts lately.

  7. That is so cool. My oldest daughter made those necklaces at one of her Girl Scout meetings and it came out really cute. I like how yours looks more professional and has beads to jazz it up.

  8. God bless you, my friend! Thank you for spreading the news...I'll head right over...

    : )

    Julie M.

    ps Your new banner is gorgeous!

  9. Shannan ~
    I also own one of these necklaces, bought through a friend that was doing a service for
    They are so beautiful. I wear mine all the time and always get a few compliments each time I wear it. And I love to tell the story behind it. It's terrific that you offered a link for your readers to purchase one.
    They are so inexpensive ~ and as an fyi for your readers they make great gifts! I work at an elementary school and it is short money(and a wonderful way to spread the word) to give a lovely gift to your child's teacher.

    ~Andrea in NH

  10. I'll have to check it out.

    By the way, love your sweater!

    Do you have RiteAid stores up where you are? There is a deal on the Nivea body wash this week. They are $3.99 and there is a -$4 off Nivea Body Wash in the Red Plum circulars in our papers here today in the south. Just thought I'd mention it.

  11. This reaches close to home. (Litterally, these people live up the street and used to attend my church) Katie, Gwen, and Suzanne are doing amazing things for orphans all over the world, and now you are too by spreading the word! Look at how many necklaces were just purchased!! :D

  12. Bought one! Thank you for sharing! And, I'm not convinced your not a funky necklace wearing gal. you do it well!

  13. This reaches close to home. (Litterally, these people live up the street and used to attend my church) Katie, Gwen, and Suzanne are doing amazing things for orphans all over the world, and now you are too by spreading the word! Look at how many necklaces were just purchased!! :D

  14. Thank you for the inspiration! Like you, I'm not a necklace-wearing girl, but using it as a reminder is good enough reason for me! I just bought one (with out thinking twice) and can't wait to get it. I love Katie's story... what a woman!

  15. Love this. Thank you for writing about it...and for stopping by my blog today. I so get you about the 'being done with words' thing. I think that sometimes too, and then a few days later, out they spill again.

  16. WOW.

    I just purchased a necklace. I also read Katie's November 20 (2009) post and the story of Angelina, and trying to imagine her being my child moved me. Deeply.

    I have some questions about adoption, if you have the time between juggling your babies and your blog, please email me at

    And thanks for sharing this.

  17. My nechlace means so much, I plan to send them as birthday presents this year to my girlfriends/mom/s relatives. Katie's story is beautiful, a glory to God.
    I don't know her, but lived in her stateside community and know she's the real deal.
    So glad you up and posted this! this cause is worth the flashy colors.

  18. this here? is why i love you. and i do, so very much.

    also, it makes me think that God has got his work cut out with me. holy smoleys i have miles to go, but i want desperately to look like Christ.

  19. WOW. Wow, wow, wow. THANK YOU so much for posting this. I had never heard of her or her story, but I am definitely changed from having read this. What a testimony. I'm ordering my necklace tonight, and I am posting on my blog all about this.

  20. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today and for making me smile about when I used to find crackers from my kids in my pockets!

    Thank you for sharing this story and your heart about our response, as Christians, to those in need.

    I'll be back to visit again!

    --Godspeed, Elizabeth

  21. I'm on my way over to meet Katie through her blog and buy a necklace. Thank you so much for sharing.

  22. Thank you for sharing this story! What fabulous birthday and Chritmas gifts!!! I am ordering some tomorrow! Thank you.

  23. I just wanted to say thanks for your comment on my blog and I'm looking forward to checking your lovely spot here on the web more!

  24. You are too a necklace girl! Thanks for bringing attention and for the picture you painted with your words. I am bookmarking the link and will be using this for girlfriend & sister gifts in the near future.

  25. I will have to check this out...amazing...and you are completely right about it all...

  26. what a great idea! i love this necklace... thank you, flower patch farmgirl, for visiting my blog this morning... i too, want to know how you are stealing back your evenings... you have a beautiful family; your children's faces speak of love. utter love. bless you. e.

  27. my necklace is on it's way! thank you SO much for sharing the link! i will pass it on :)

  28. I've made it about half way through her archives. Truly amazing.
    Truly. Amazing. I can't even wrap my brain around it. Thanks for sharing her....I will definitely be keeping up with her blog.

  29. Was kg rocking this necklace the other night? I like it! But, I'm like you, I can barely wear any jewelry that is not just plain and non-discreet.