Special Guest! Hannah Lenore: I Left My Heart in Africa

Hi, my name is Hannah Lenore and Molly has asked me to share a little from my heart about what I am doing with the women in Africa through Amani Ya Juu (amaniafrica.org). First of all let me tell you a little about myself, I am a 24 year old fashion designer that had every intention to further my career in New York City.  I am also a 24 year old in pursue of God’s heart. For some, these two aspirations may line up perfectly. For me, on the other hand, that just wasn’t the case, and God has taken me by my hand and led me to the women of Amani Ya Juu instead. Amani Ya Juu is a sewing and marking training for marginalized women in Africa. Amani Ya Juu means “peace from above” in Swahili. The women are learning to work together through faith in God who provides a higher peace that transcends ethnic differences.

When you read this I will be stepping off a plane to Liberia where I will be helping with the opening of the new Amani Liberia. (She wrote this awhile back, she's now been there for months! Be sure to check out her blog to read her amazing experiences!)

I am so blessed to be able to work with the women of Amani Ya Juu. While I was in Kenya working on their latest collection I got to really experience the Peace of God, and work with the most amazing women! These women have been through so much. They are from war torn countries where everything they know has been stripped away from them. From the slums where their homes are something we couldn’t imagine living in. From different tribes that under normal circumstances would have nothing to do with one another, but Amani Ya Juu teaches them to work together and treat others as they are, sisters in Christ. They have found Peace and Joy in Christ and are by far the most joyous and loving people I have met, even with all things considered and it’s beyond amazing.

I love that I am able to connect the two things that I love, fashion and God. I have always been interested in missionary work but never thought I fit in, I know nothing about medical work, I can’t build a house, and I am so fearful of speaking in front of people. So I didn’t see where I fit in, until I found Amani Ya Juu. I praise God everyday for giving me the talents I have and the reason behind Him giving that talent.

Since this is an art blog I want to share a little about how God uses us all for his Glory, and how he wants us to use our Art, whatever it may be for His good.

“He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts…He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers-all of them master craftsmen and designers.” Exodus 35: 31-35
I love how they describe Benzalel and Oholiab in the book of Exodus, It shows how God has given this group of people extraordinary skills in crafts and is using that to glorify Him. We, as artists, are called to use our skills for the greater good.

If you want to learn more about Amani Ya Juu check out their web site at  (amaniafrica.org) and to learn more about what the plans are with Amani Ya Juu Liberia read more here (http://amaniyajuunews.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/amani-comes-full-circle-announcing-amani-liberia/)
If you would like to support my missionary work you can shop on my online store or donate on my blog! (hannahlenore.goodsie.com) (hannahlenore.com)
God Bless,
Hannah Lenore

Thank you so much Hannah! I feel so inspired and encouraged by your words and I'm so excited about what God is doing in Amani Ya Juu! Your creations and your heart are truly beautiful. :)

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