A beads business designed to employ “at risk” women is certainly not a new concept, yet it continues to be an important cause. Beads of Java, run by OC worker KF, offers employment for women who may be enticed to leave their families to work far from home as nannies, maids or other types of domestic workers. “We want to prevent the exploitation of women and the emotional pain caused by moms having to leave for two years or five years. The consequence to their children is devastating,” says KF.
Women who have left this area of Southeast Asia to seek other means of employment are often mistreated and deceived. Rarely is the job they were contracted for the one they end up with. Two women, who currently work for Beads of Java, worked overseas and shared their horror stories. One worked 21-hour days with no days off and no vacation. She became jaundiced from lack of concern for her health. Another was beaten when she expressed a desire to return home, so she had to pretend to faint in order to save herself and be sent home. These are just a few stories of many.
Beads Business for Women: the History
Former OC worker, MC, began Beads of Java after a volcano erupted and devastated a nearby village. The beads business provided a financial safety net for families who could not immediately return to their farming. After MC left the country, KF took on the business plan and opened Beads of Java in her village. The business is run from the porch of KF’s home; it’s 100 percent a home industry.
KF says: “They arrive at 9 o’clock in the morning and work until 1 o’clock, three days a week. We provide them paper, which they take home, and then they can work at their own pace at home so that they can work around the needs of their families. Then they bring the completed beads, and we buy the beads back. The beads are then dipped in varnish, and once dry, the women are paid again to assemble the finished jewelry.”
The ministry is funded by sales of the finished product and donations to KF’s ministry fund. 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the jewelry goes to paying the women for their work. The beads business sales are not sufficient, however, to pay the salaries for the two Southeast Asian believers that work alongside KF.
The beads business not only creates job opportunities for village women, but also provides KF and the two Southeast Asian women opportunities to share their faith with their Cousin neighbors. Seeds are constantly being planted, and the women do feel a difference in their work environment at Beads of Java. KF is still looking for these women to step into the Kingdom.
“It’s a safe place, a place where they feel loved. If some of the women need to do something else, we can cancel work that day and work another day. The work is very flexible and adaptable to the needs of the women. So I feel the God moments are that they can see that this is truly different. They feel loved and daily feel the grace of God,” says KF.
KF has also seen a huge transformation in her Southeast Asian coworkers, both who come from a Cousin background. After coming to Christ, one of them began to hate her former religion, and the people that adhered to it. “For her, a God moment has been the transformation in her heart from hatred to a desire to see these women come to Jesus,” KF says. The other believer KF works with grew up in a big city, so it’s been a blessing to see her transform and have a love for these village women.
How to Pray
Beads of Java is run on prayer. KF admits she is not the best person to run the business side of things, and she prays for a person with business and marketing acumen to feel a passion for this ministry and take it on. Also, there is a huge need and prayer for consistent orders. Selling the product is how Beads of Java stays open. About one year ago, KF was ready to close the business doors, because no orders were coming in. The Lord provided miraculously with a $5,000 order! To KF, this was a word from the Lord that Beads of Java was meant to continue. She asks for continued prayer in this respect.
Finally, pray for the Cousin women that work at Beads of Java and the women of the village. “We’d love to see these women come to faith out of lives of superstition, darkness, legalism and demonic strongholds,” KF says.
For more information regarding Beads of Java or to browse products or order merchandise, go to: http://www.beadsofjava.org/.