Handmade with love…
While in high school, Alissa took several jewelry classes which she quickly fell in love with. The process of creating, cutting, soldering, and polishing sterling silver, gold and precious stones became a passion and creative outlet and continued after graduation– until eventually, it went on the shelf for some time. Later, in the years of having babies and working as a nurse practitioner while still in Santa Barbara, jewelry making was a welcome creative escape while babies took naps during her days off. When we moved to Madagascar nearly 11 years ago, Alissa anticipated and grieved the loss of this hobby.
Reflecting back, I love how the Lord, in His mercy, knows the desires of our hearts and weaves together details— in 2013, just two years after moving to Madagascar, Alissa began Sarobidy Creations— designing and creating jewelry with local supplies. A year later, Alissa trained Seraphine, a young Malagasy mom of three, to make the jewelry as well.
Through building relationships with women while providing maternity care, we identified six women who were some of the earliest graduates of the Sarobidy Maternity Center and who were the most in need. We invited them into the artisan training program to learn new skills and to earn an income– many, for the first time in their lives.
Through the last 8+ years, Sarobidy Creations has evolved both in our designs but more importantly in our friendships with one another. Alissa and the seven artisans have formed sweet bonds over countless hours of working together, with welcoming 13 of their babies born through the Sarobidy Maternity Center, in grieving together when husbands and mothers and sisters have died, in praying together countless times for the Lord’s provision and likewise, in praising Him together for His goodness!
The Lord, in His mercy, has transformed these women’s hearts and lives and homes. Each of them have honed their talents as artisans, each of them have received an income both with Sarobidy Creations and now also with Eden Projects, and in doing so, have been able to stand tall as they provide for their families– to send their children to school, to purchase beds and televisions, to purchase land and one of them, to begin to build her family a home! In His mercy and through community with one another, they have grown together as friends and have grown in their faith in Christ as they spur one another on. And finally, in His mercy and through the work of their hands, they have given back to other women in our community through Sarobidy Creations, which in turn, helps to sponsor the Sarobidy Maternity Center. Women in relationship with one another, women growing together, women moving forward together and women giving back to other women. It is a beautiful sight of the Lord’s mercy indeed!
We have so many new and lovely designs crafted together by the artisans of Sarobidy Creations in partnership with other artisans in Madagascar. Check out the Sarobidy Creations website here! ALL proceeds benefit the artisans and the Sarobidy Maternity Center!
Healing Prayers Requested…
You may remember that our whole family contracted Dengue Fever in April 2020– an ultra nasty mosquito-borne viral infection in which there is no treatment. You may also remember that less than three months later, our whole family contracted Covid. These two diseases marked just a few of the long list of medical problems and complications that we encountered this last time in Madagascar. In the months following these infections, our general health began to deteriorate for unknown reasons. The quality of medical care in Madagascar is gravely low, compounded with a global pandemic and closed borders, we were forced to wait nearly a year for our return to begin to seek answers.
In the last few weeks and months, we’ve discovered the culprits to our declining health– chronic and serious infections that were held at bay by our immune systems until Dengue and Covid wreaked havoc within our bodies. We’re thankful for answers. We’re thankful for a trusted doctor and access to laboratory services, necessary medications, supplements and resources. Treatment is long and extensive for us and we feel weary with the journey thus far and what remains ahead. We ask that you would pray fervently with us– that in His great mercy, treatment would be effective, infections would be destroyed, inflammation would be relieved and the damage would be reversed.
We are so thankful for the Lord’s mercy in our lives, the lives of the artisans and in yours! How are you seeing His mercy weaved in your days?
Alissa, Jamie, Isabella, Eliana and Gavin
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