Love and Shopping (Oct. 2011)

Love comes in many forms. This month we will love workers in developing countries who produce handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, textiles, chocolate and any number of other goods. 

These workers are often exploited – worked hard and paid little. Through Fair Trade arrangements, they are paid more equitable wages for their work and prices for their goods.

Take Global Mamas, for instance. We will be offering some of this organization’s goods at our Fair Trade Sale on Oct. 14 and 15. Global Mamas is the brand name for many products created by small women-owned businesses in Ghana. As their website states, “Sales of Global Mamas’ products provide dignity to African women who are now able to earn an honest living …. By helping women to help themselves, Global Mamas is taking small steps towards creating a sustainable society and helping to end Africa’s dependence on foreign aid.”

We follow in Jesus’ footsteps when we look out for the poor worker. Jesus taught that the rich have an obligation, to make sure the poor are able to feed themselves and put a roof over their heads. Love your neighbor as yourself, Jesus taught.

Ours is a wealthy nation compared with much of the world. When we import and buy goods made by people who are paid subsistence wages, we are exploiting our neighbor. But when we pay a few more cents or a few more dollars for products certified as “fair trade,” we help lift people out of poverty and into a sustainable and decent life. We love our neighbor.

Our annual Fair Trade Sale is an opportunity to love our neighbor. Spread the word to your family, friends and acquaintances that they can get some beautiful and/or delicious items at the sale and make the world a better place.

Come, shop and love.

— Pastor Gage

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