Monday, December 4, 2017

Happy Ending

I don't believe in happy endings. 

But we are a culture in love with happy endings.  And this story begs for one. 

This is the story of Argentine and Mapendo, two young women from rural villages in Eastern Congo.  They started with nothing.  Survived war and poverty.  Worked hard. And now they are about to board an airplane and arrive in Canada.

You see how it is a Cinderella story, right?

So let me say up front...I never wanted Argentine and Mapendo to leave Congo and move to Canada.  And I don't believe it is a happy ending.

I believe it is a tragedy, that these young women couldn't build safe lives in the country they are from. What does it feel like to have to travel halfway across the world, and leave everything you know, just to find a safe place to call home?

 May we never stop asking that question, and fighting for a world where 50 million people don't have to live in that reality. 

This last week, Argentine and Mapendo's family's scrounged any money they could find to buy bus tickets and visit Argentine and Mapendo one last time.  They gave Argentine and Mapendo their blessings, on this next step in their journey. 

And that it is what it is.  A next step, not an ending.  With more joys and more sorrows to come.

In 2 days I will board a plane and go to Canada.  I will meet Argentine and Mapendo in the airport and I will celebrate with them. This is a moment worth celebrating.

But I will also remember that just a few days ago Argentine's mother hugged her goodbye.


Then we will stand there in the airport in Canada and look at each other, imagining what is to come.  We will bundle up 9 refugees in more clothing than they could ever imagine.  And we will open the door and walk out into the frigid Canadian air, and see how their crutches work on ice.

Join the Journey.

Countdown: Arriving in 4 Days. Here is Jonathan, and his younger brother, Joachim after they fled Congo for the second time. They were in a refugee camp. No matter where you go, children will play. What's next for these little guys? Join The Journey.

20% off all SHONA bags for the next 48 hours. Give the gift of SHONA this holiday season and tell someone about the beautiful, handcrafted work of Jonathan and Joachim's mama. Your support has carried us so far. discount code: siku4 at the end of checkout.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Countdown: Arriving in 5 days! This photo is of Mapendo, Joseph, their baby and their niece, just before Christmas 5 years ago when they first became refugees. They were at a transit camp in Burundi, having fled Congo with nothing and they had no idea what lay ahead. Jonathan was a baby in Mapendo's arms in this photo and now he will be entering Kindergarten when he arrives in Canada! Mapendo's niece will be entering high school. Imagine where the next 5 years will take this family! Join the Journey. 

Argentine, Mapendo and their families will be resettled as refugees in Canada on December 7th, 2017.  Riziki and Solange remain in Congo.  We are incredibly grateful to all of you for supporting each step of this journey.  Your purchases continue to matter infinitely to these beautiful families.

Give the gift of SHONA Bags this holiday season and invite your friends to join this journey with us!