Artisans from Thailand
In many large cities around the globe a high cost of living coupled with the low wages of some professions can present harsh challenges for many urban dwellers. Napapawn and Panadda, two Thai women living in Bangkok, Thailand, saw first-hand the economic strain that many in their immediate community faced on a daily basis. Their local church was already reaching out to one particular community and Kieow and Pawn began meeting with some of the women there. They would spend time together in conversation and study and even began to crochet as a group. One day they tried their hand at sewing a simple handbag and Napada was born!
Napada now employs a group of women from this low-income community enabling them to better the lives of their families while forming community. Some of the women had very low paying jobs or tough schedules and others had no work opportunities whatsoever prior to becoming a part of Napada. Napada provides a creative outlet for these women while seeing them come to know eternal hope.
Pen, a 23-year-old estranged from her parents, started working full-time as dishwasher in the red-light districts of Bangkok, Thailand, at the age of 9. She continued to work in various jobs in go-go and show bars throughout Bangkok. The jobs varied, but the hypersexualized atmosphere stayed the same.
Pen’s life changed when Thom, herself a former go-go bar worker, met Pen one night. Thom informed Pen about the hope and love of God, which was shown to her through Samaritan Creations. Pen was interested, as no one has ever really shown her love, much less hope. Pen quit bar work, joining Samaritan Creations.
At Samaritan Creations, Pen, surrounded by patient and loving people, encountered a loving family unlike anything she had ever experienced before. To put it another way, Pen encountered the love of God. God’s love so overwhelmed her that she reached out to her fellow bar worker, Da, telling Da, “They really help and care for you.” Da soon quit bar work too.
WorldCrafts provides an outlet for the women of Samaritan Creations to not only sell products they produce but also to change their lives.
Samaritan Creations exists to rescue, restore, and empower women by the grace and love of God. By offering women an alternative income to prostitution, we both rescue them from the trap of selling their bodies and empower them to alter the course of their lives. Through the telling and living out of God’s love, the rescued women are restored to a right relationship with God and others. Via entrepreneurial training and funding, Samaritan Creations empowers women to return to their hometowns to plant churches, alter the local economy, and forewarn people of the trap of prostitution.
Thai Country Trim
Thai Country Trim serves as a safe haven for battered women to receive emotional and financial support. One example of this abuse: a woman was constantly abused by her family until she sought help at Thai Country Trim. Her family gave her the most chores around the house and consistently told her she was worthless. Now, this woman, along with about 300 other women, is employed by Thai Country Trim, Thailand, handcrafting items to earn a living and learning to heal from her past.
The talent and tranquility of The Well artisans belies their astoundingly difficult backgrounds: one was sold into prostitution by her family as a small child; several were teenage bar workers; and another was a single mom with no resources. They have discovered their own innate talent through careful training in Thai arts, and The Well has given them a sense of hope and a positive vision for their futures. Today, these women have dreams of opening their own businesses; becoming doctors, nurses, lawyers, and teachers; and sending their children to school.