Family

 
 

It’s hard to believe that I first came to the James Place over two years ago. I love HEAL Ministries and all that we do. I love that we help mamas young and old keep their families together by providing a safe place for their children to come and learn while they go and work. I love that we empower women by teaching them a trade so they can become sustainable. I love that we have hired from within the women in our program and now 15 of them on our staff. I love that we have allowed God to shape the ministry and that even in the two years that I have been a part of it, we have grown and changed so much. I love seeing our artisan program expanding and all of the beautiful products that our women are creating. I love seeing the joyous faces of the children in our program, and I love getting to watch them grow up. I love that despite facing hard, sometimes almost impossible, situations, that God is always good and He is always faithful.

The other day, I was sitting with some of the women on our artisan staff. They were asking to see pictures of my family. The next day, I brought pictures with me to show them. First my brother and sister, then my Mom and Dad. When one of the women, Doreen Irachan, saw the picture of my father, she exclaimed, "Woah. Big… like me." I literally burst out laughing. Irachan is a bit of a bigger woman and my father is a bit of a bigger man. Both are beautiful and I love them so much just the way they are. When she saw my sister, she claimed that the two of them were sisters. This was such a beautiful moment for me, where family became connected beyond borders. The family who shares the same DNA and blood as me, to our family in Christ. I explained in this moment to them that my Mom was coming to visit in December. They all got so excited and then one of the women, Zauja, exclaimed, "I love you so much!" Many days are hard but there are beautiful moments like this that make it all worthwhile.

 
 

A day at the James Place for me is always filled with many things. I typically start my mornings by sorting through the many emails that I receive from Tina while she is stateside. I prioritize these and work on accomplishing whatever needs to get done throughout the day. I go around and make sure that things are going smoothly in the artisan program. I tell them which product is priority to be created and ask about any needs that they have from me. I help oversee the staff and make sure things are getting done on schedule. I assist with bath time for all of the kids and help put them down for nap. You will probably find me working on expenses in some way, whether it be categorizing and converting receipts in order to give the expense report for this side or doing staff and artisan payroll. Towards the end of the day, I collect all of the product that was made and check the quality of it. I also collect the receipts at the end of the day and make sure that everything adds up correctly. If we have guests on the property, you’ll find me giving them a tour and showing them our store that has all of the product that our women make. You might also find me running to town to deliver product to a store in town that carries our product wholesale. I also help create a lot of the marketing tools we use on this side as well as stateside and do the majority of upkeep of our website. No matter what it is that I’m doing, I’m doing it to the best of my God given ability. I thank the Lord that He has placed me here, for such a time as this, to do this work that He has called me to do. One heart at a time, we are bringing people closer to Jesus and showing them examples of His love.

God bless!

-Betty Ross, Manager of Administration and Marketing