Friday, November 26, 2010

Ushanga Kwa Ngaamba

When my friend Stephanie taught me some of the basics of beading and jewelry making, I quickly fell in love!  I piddled around with the beads I had collected over the years and made several pieces of jewelry … and then I was hooked!  I wanted more beads, and I wanted to make more jewelry! 

About the same time as my ‘creative awakening’, our church hosted the Daraja Children's Choir from Africa.  Several years ago our middle and high school youth partnered with 410 Bridge and ‘adopted’ the Kenya town of Ngaamba where many of the children in Daraja live.  In an effort to help raise money, my husband and I wondered if, rather than donating directly with cash, we would take that money and purchase enough supplies to make necklaces to sell.  I talked with our youth pastors’ assistant, and several of the youth responsible for fund-raising and 'Ushanga Kwa Ngaamba' was born.  'Ushanga Kwa Ngaamba' is Swahili for 'Beads for Ngaamba' and it is a partnership fund-raising project designed to support the town of Ngaamba in Kenya.  The young women in our youth group and I met and in one evening designed four distinct necklaces, each with an impassioned meaning. 

These necklaces are still for sale!  Because the initial supplies were donated, 100% of the money from their sales will go to support the community of Ngaamba.  Each of these necklaces is strung by the hand of a Crossings Ministry student.  Since the money from their sales goes to this cause, I do not list this on Etsy.  Rather you will need to go to my Facebook site, decide what necklace you’d like to purchase and arrange Paypal or check for purchase.  Shipping will be an additional $5.

If you would like to support their efforts in other ways, please visit any one of the links within this post and donate directly. Or, better yet …. Visit BrightPoint for Children or Compassion International and sponsor a child!

Here are the four designs and descriptions that were decided upon:

Quench – Thirst no more
Isaiah 44:3 (NLT)

For I will pour out water to quench your thirst
and to irrigate your parched fields.
And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants,
and my blessing on your children.

The design for "Quench" was born from the Crossings students' experience in Kenya as they watched women struggle to carry up to 60 liters of water daily for drinking and preparing meals! Money is needed for drilling 'bore holes' so that fresh, CLEAN drinking water is available.

Materials used: Turquoise Magnesite (not true turquoise - dyed stone), Crystal, Fresh Water Pearls, and Copper Bali beads.

Each necklace measures approximately 19" and sells for $15. A chain extender can be added for $1.

Daraja – The Joy of seeing Jesus
Luke 10:21 (NIV)

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”

The 'Daraja' necklace was named for the Daraja Children's Choir that has performed at our church for the past three years. The absolute JOY on the children's faces is what the Crossings students hope to convey with the bright color and simple design.

Materials used: 'Mange Yellow' Magnesite barrels (dyed), Red Agate, Mustard Jade and finished with a copper clasp.

Each necklace measures approximately 21" and sells for $15. A chain extender can be added for $1.

Christmas in Kenya
John 3:16-17 (NLT)

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

The REAL Christmas in Kenya is a 410 Bridge program that Crossings students have participated in for several years and is the inspiration for the name of this necklace. However the flag of Kenya is the inspiration for the colors chosen; green, red, black and white. There are 12 green stones (Aventurine or Jade), one representing each month of the year. While this necklace is festive enough for Christmas, it is simple enough to be enjoyed throughout the year!

Materials used: Green Aventurine (or Jade depending on supply), Red Coral, Copper Daisy spacers, Black Stone, and Glass nuggets.

Each necklace measures approximately 21" and sells for $10. A chain extender can be added for $1.

Hakuna Matata – There are no worries

1 John 4:18a (CEV)
A real love for others will chase those worries away.

"Hakuna Matata" in Swahili means 'there are no worries' which is a literal juxtaposition to the issues that surround the people of Ngaamba! Yet they embrace love in a way that shows in the expression on their faces! Love is the inspiration for this necklace ... the love shared between the people of Ngaamba and the missionaries that come to serve, the students love for Ngaamba, God's love for each of us. His love is so real and powerful that it overcomes our circumstances! The verse paired with this necklace fits in a way only God can create - that 'a REAL love for others will chase those worries away'!!!! THAT is Hakuna Matata GOD style!

Materials used: Brecciated Jasper, Red Aventurine, Ruby Jade (dyed), and finished with a copper clasp.

Each necklace measures approximately 16" and sells for $10. A chain extender can be added for $1.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely jewelries with beautiful beaded work and wonderful story behind each.Really an amazing blog with more information regarding each beads.I just love those jewelries.Thanks for sharing it.Provide jewelry box protection to such fabulous jewelries.