I will never forget the first time I stepped foot into the byTavi workshop. I followed Chris (CGI’s President) and Nathan (CGI’s Chief Operating Officer) up the narrow stairs to the second floor where the women work. When I rounded the corner and stepped through the threshold, I was immediately speechless and choked up.
For the first time I understood – and it clicked for me. I had been working with CGI for eight months, telling the story of these precious women and marketing their high-quality items, but I didn’t quite get it until I saw them with, what looked like to me, scraps of fabric, being created into works of art. That was in January 2012.
I just returned from my third visit to Cambodia, and this visit to the workshop was no less impactful. The program continues to grow, and the women’s lives are continuing to change. I met our three newest members of the byTavi family during their first day of work. It was a pleasure to see the “veteran” seamstresses training the new ones.
I talked with Tavi and was pleased to hear that her prayer request was for her teenage son, who had an exam later that week. The mere fact that he is in school is a testament to her and her family’s growth over the years. Another woman, who had just joined the team a month ago, asked for prayer about a breathing condition, so we laid hands on her and prayed for her healing. One of the management staff shared that her parents have recently come to know Christ.
byTavi is so much more than a great product. byTavi means lives changed – not only the lives of the women making purses, but their family members. It’s amazing the impact God can make with a simple sewing machine.
by Whitney Vance (CGI’s Marketing & Relationship Coordinator)