Dear friends and family,
Little did I know when I picked up my grandmother's 1970's sewing machine manual for something to read while I waited for my son's football game to start, that I would not only learn to sew, but 2 years later be designing a brand of clothing.
I believe God when he says that "his ways are not our ways" and that he "will do more than I can ask or imagine." If I didn't, then I wouldn't believe the crazy stories that have made the livEden label a reality. There are so many moving parts of this story that I know could never "just happen." I will share those in time, but for now, the WHY I learned to sew in the first place...
I now KNOW why I picked up that sewing manual. I know why a complete stranger, and now dear friend, Jennifer, told me to keep sewing dresses for her daughter Olive. I know why she showed others and soon there were people on waiting lists for a "conversion dress." I know why I sew.
In the summer of 2018 I met with a beautiful soul who had been rescued from a life of prostitution and now lives to help rescue others from human trafficking. Instantly we connected and realized that our life's missions lined up perfectly. I knew God had called me at a young age to work with women who had been sexually exploited. So I began to work with a local organization whose mission was to walk with those leaving the life of human trafficking. I had the opportunity to work with survivor women teaching them to sew, talking about life and inspiring them toward entrepreneurship. When there wasn't a woman enrolled in the Sewing Academy, I continued to sew, sell, and work countless hours for the non-profit organization fighting human trafficking.
Beginning in the fall of 2020 I will begin working with different local agencies. I hope to continue to teach women to sew and gain meaningful employment. I will also use livEden to continue funding organizations who are fighting for the oppressed and marginalized. As specific organizational partnerships arise, I will share the story with you all.
I don't know what God will have for livEden next week, next year, or sometimes even tomorrow, but I know that livEden is a place where old things are made new; and we know that God is making people NEW everyday. So I will continue to dream and ask this question, "What if women being made new, work with livEden to MAKE old things new?" This match is more than an analogy...it's destiny.
livEden gives purpose. Purpose that is more than just providing for my family. Purpose that is more than just "creating" because it's part of me and brings me JOY. Purpose that is more than just making little girls feel like the unique beauties they are. And the thing is, I wouldn't argue that these purposes could be ENOUGH. But, I know they aren't. I am called to more. These oppressed women are called to more. God is making "all things new" and I am elated to tell you that I get to be used and blessed with His process in THIS purpose to live Eden.
With love, commitment and utter gratitude,
Kristi Vander Woude