We've noticed that our wood shop artisans have been working longer and longer days lately so I asked Mandla yesterday why he was working such long hours? (these guys get paid by the day and not by the hour) His reply was..."It's hard to stop working when you love what you are doing!!" My heart was overjoyed hearing this coming from a young man who told me that until he started training in our Acacia Artisan wood shop, he had always felt like he would never find out what God created him to be and that he never felt like he had purpose. Today he is being trained to run this shop and loving what he is doing.
In the 6 short weeks since we cut our first piece of wood in the shop, we've introduced 11 products and have to schedule a weekly job list to keep up with the all the new orders. The success of the products is huge because it means that we can soon start one of the sustainability projects in a local community. An outdoor kitchen that will encourage by providing income, educate by training them in a new skill, and empower the community to feed their own vulnerable children and elderly so they do not have to rely on outside assistance.
I have to admit that God surprised me with this project. I knew the Acacia Artisan products would eventually be popular but even though our marketing ability is very limited, we have orders coming in all the time and we had to hire someone else to help us do product finishing! That is nothing short of a WOW GOD!!!
We are thrilled to welcome Elijah to the artisan team. Elijah is very skilled in wire and bead work so now he is taking his artistic capabilities to a new level as he learns to work with wood. He and Mandla are making a great team.
Our new online store is live. We are developing new products all the time which will be available through the Acacia Artisan Store as soon as we have them perfected. You can visit the store at www.mvumbi.co.za/shopping. Check out our new Acacia Artisan jewelry HERE. Mandla is very excited about the jewelry and is already looking for unique wood grain designs that will become one-of-a-kind jewelry creations.
We will be revealing our first community sustainability project that will be funded from the profits of the wood shop. Our Artisans understand the purpose of the shop and are working hard to help other African's become self sustaining and to help build stronger communities.