Sunday, May 4, 2014

Surprised by Hope Sustainability

Surprised by Hope strives to reach 50% self-sustaining and 50% supported giving ministry income. We’re not all the way there yet, but part of that self-sustenance includes reselling handcraft products made by a few of our ministry partners. I want to take a minute to highlight the work Tony and Marti Mehari do to help achieve our goal. Here’s a message from Marti:

Tony and I were in Mason MI today [Saturday, May 3] for an outside craft show.  We have an EZ up tent from last year, so thought we were prepared (that's your first clue!). The day started out at 45 degrees and threatening of rain, but we got all set up with winter jackets  and gloves on, but no rain. People were coming by, but hurrying through - a few sales. Then the rain started, but only lasted about 15 minutes. Then about noon the wind picked up. 

I had a stand to hang the necklaces on and that blew over while I was holding everything else down.  So got that back up and all the necklaces untangled, put some weight on the base (we had the tent weighted down, too, and tried again, but it blew over again and broke part of it off.  Put it up again and tied it to the tent.  Everyone around us is having great trouble too.  I gave upon standing up any bags or animals, and just tried to get them to stay on the table. Then came a big gust and out tent went flying, with the weights hitting the tent across from us, as she is trying to hold hers down.  Unfortunately, I was helping a customer and couldn't grab ours fast enough. 

So everyone around is scrambling to pick up our tent (it didn't break), and pile everything back on the table.  Then someone two tents down brought over some stakes and pounded down the tent in addition to the weights.  While they were helping us, their table with glass vases blew over and broke a lot.  Then another big gust, but I caught the tent before it took off with the weights and the stakes, but all of the bags, animals, etc all blew away. 

Well, that was the end - we put everything back in the tubs while trying to hold everything together, and finally got it in the car and headed home.  Everyone else was having similar problems except the one guy next to us who was selling painted bricks!  (Got any bricks?)  All in all, it was an interesting day.  There was a lot of people traffic, but the weather did not cooperate.  Bottom line, we sold $211, but I think could have been a lot more if we didn't have to chase everything around.  I'm sure the weather kept people away, too.  Lots of NICE people.  It will be a show we remember!  Not sure I can get my hair untangled - not sure I want to try!  Considering everything, I think we did really good! 

What an amazing gift to Surprised by Hope, dedication that surpasses even the postman!

If you’d like to have a handcraft party at your home or workplace as a way of supporting Surprised by Hope and the ministries we work with – a bit like a Pampered Chef, Tupperware, or Silpada party – please send us an email at Here are just a few of the beautiful handmade items from the women in the slums of Kenya.