What if you were born somewhere else?

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Bangladesh Bowl handmade by weavers like L.G.

It’s a question I’ve thought about over the years, since I’m a first generation American. My mother’s family immigrated to the United States from Germany when she was 17. My father’s family (also German heritage) came here from Brazil and my parents met in a little German church in Queens, New York, over 50 years ago.

As a writer, this is also the kind of “what if” question I roll around in my head when I start thinking about a new novel. But lately, this “what if” has gone from a theoretical word game to a heart question that plagues me while I’m awake, and haunts my dreams at night.

What if I were born somewhere else? How would that change my life, my opportunities, my priorities?

What if I were born in Ukraine and now there were tanks in the streets?

What if I were born in North Korea or Afghanistan?

What if I had to flee my home in South Sudan?

I can try to imagine these scenarios, but until I see them through someone’s eyes, until I hear individual stories, my heart can’t see it. The reality of this story knocked me flat.

“L.G. and her children live in a rented 10×10 room in Bangladesh. Her husband is a laborer and L.G. spent her days weaving baskets for a middleman. The 75 cents a day they earned together was not enough to raise their children. Desperate, and with no other choice, the grip of poverty forced L.G. to the sex trade.

Today she smiles because those days are behind her. Seeds of Blessing is now buying her baskets. Just one payment from us replaced 3 years of middleman wages. She is now on the road to financial independence ensuring she will never again be forced to make such a desperate choice.”

Bangladesh Bowl handmade by weavers like L.G.

Bangladesh Bowl handmade by weavers like L.G.

This story breaks my heart and makes me furious at the same time. No woman should ever face such a choice. I have teetered on the brink financially, but I have never had to consider entering the sex trade to feed my children.

But L.G’s story has a happy ending and I’m delighted to be a small part of it as an independent consultant.

Because Seeds of Blessing is asking another kind of “what if” question: What if we can make a difference in these women’s lives?

In Bangladesh and in Uganda, Ghana, Madagascar, and Indonesia, Seeds of Blessing is paying talented weavers like L.G. far above Fair Trade wages and lifting whole villages out of poverty. You can read L.G.’s story and others here.

Would you take a minute and stop by Not only do these beautiful handmade baskets make great Easter baskets, birthday, bridal shower or Mother’s Day gifts, every basket purchase makes a tangible difference in the lives of women like L. G.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” ― Mother Teresa

What if we all made a small difference in other people’s lives, every single day?

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    The Conversation

  1. Beautiful basket! I’m happy to read this story of success. Thanks for the work you do.

  2. Jan Jackson says:

    We all need to count our blessings. I believe God guides us where we need to be. I’ve had that experience more than once. The baskets are beautiful and I hope you sell a ton of them.

    • Connie Mann says:

      I totally agree, Jan. I think He puts us in certain places, at certain times, to make a difference.

      Appreciate you recommending Seeds of Blessing to anyone needing a gift…it’s an awesome organization!