Backstage Pass

Encouragement at JFK Airport

by Katie Martinez |

I'll admit I've been sleeping in late these days, which is funny because I was born and raised on a farm. During this season, I'm a stay at home mom to the cutest and most curious 9 month old girl, so I tend to do the most work when my husband is home in the evenings. Sometimes I'll stay up [really] late. Our daughter still wakes at night up to nurse, but since I don't have to get up early, I don't mind. Thankfully, I can be flexible and sleep in until 10am. 

Well this morning, I got up [really] early. And not that early compared to everyone with a 9-5 schedule, but the struggle was real! I went to a terminal at JFK airport because our Nepali friends were passing through and had an hour to visit with me. I couldn't pass up on that. I felt out of it, but the moment I strolled into the arrivals, a joyful spirit took over me. I then saw my beautiful friend (pictured above) who runs the sewing center. Along with her was Ramesh, a man I respect very much. He wears a lot of hats, all with excellence, and his presence inspires me when I see him. He is a pastor who teaches Bible to many people and nations. Ramesh is also the man who started rescuing girls from sex trafficking in Nepal over 20 years ago, and now today rescuing over 20,000 per year. He loves seeing the rescued girls become restored and independent, so they are no longer vulnerable to poverty and traffickers again. His dream is the reason why the factory in Nepal is a reality.  

It was one of the most encouraging conversations I've had in months. You see, behind the scenes, along with designing new elegantees, some of our team has been developing a new brand with a plan to present it to a large company for distribution. It would mean consistent work for the Nepali sewers, as well as the opportunity to employ so many more. I know with my production and business background in fashion, one of the biggest obstacles to being successful at mass retailing would be price. Ramesh and I were just chatting about the possibilities should the order arrive, and if so, how the increase in quantity will help significantly with pricing and logistics. Just so encouraging we're on the right track! 

Aside from the seeds of hope for current business goals, I left that airport thanking God for placing into my life and Elegantees my husband, family, Wildy (our designer), our other volunteer staff, and also our friends in Nepal. They have also taken risks to make this opportunity possible. Being entrepreneurial minded with a mission that has money toward the bottom of the priority list has made these past 4 years of this journey a step of faith indeed. Many times we made decisions with a bottom line that didn't make sense, but did them anyway because of our mission. But we are still going, and hope is our anchor.

"Sometimes business goes up, sometimes down, but God is always making a way. No need to give up hope ever." - Ramesh (paraphrased)