Jeremy Vanderloop Concert

photo-92A few days ago, CGI had the honor of hosting a night of coffee and music at Foundry Provisions in downtown Indy. Jeremy Vanderloop was our special guest artist and he was fantastic!

Jeremy was a great balance of energy and “chill.” He had children dancing at his feet for some songs, and did some beautiful takes on classic hymns, too. At the end of his show, he passed out cards with photos of children being sponsored through his tour and asked us to pray for the child on the card in our hands. I had this amazing moment talking to God and realizing how much His heart must break every night when a child goes to bed hungry. I’m not sure if I’ve ever stopped to consider the depth of this, or if its my own current pregnancy that drove it home, but it was an emotional realization.

God loves us in a way that we will never understand. But he doesn’t just love middle and upper class Americans. His heart breaks as children go to bed starving and young girls are sold into trafficking, as teenage boys are turned into ruthless soldiers. Take some time to think about God’s love for ALL people. Share that with somebody today. Remind your children there are families with far less than we have. Give someone a hug and tell them you love them. You never know the impact you may be having on another.

If you want more information on how to make an impact in your community and beyond, check out www.cgidev.wpengine.com.

By Kristen Baynai

Spring Fashion Must-Haves!

Looking for new trendy clothes for the spring season?  Look no further!  The Imprint Collection can fill your closet with a fashion forward wardrobe.  Pair clothing items from The Imprint Collection with your own accessories for a chic spring look!  I put together a few complete outfits by pairing items with our Imprint Collection must-haves to help you get started on your spring look! Through Friday ONLY you can rock these Imprint fashions for 20% off! Use code styleblog20 at checkout.

1)      The Imprint Collection’s Sky Blue Hi-Lo Tank paired with a fun hot pink bubble necklace and stylish sandals is the perfect look for a warm spring day.  The Hi-Lo Tank comes in many colors and is an Imprint Collection must-have this season.

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2)     The Imprint Collection’s Tribal Flame Ruffle Tank paired with light blue skinny jeans and a fashionable brown wedge provides a great look for a casual spring get together with friends and family.  The Ruffle Tank also comes in many colors and is an Imprint Collection must-have this season.

IMG_1472 3)     The Imprint Collection’s Button Down Dress paired with trendy combat boots and an assortment of stylish bracelets gives a chic look for an enjoyable evening out.  The Button Down Dress also comes in many colors and is an Imprint Collection must-have this season.

IMG_1479 Don’t forget to check out our byTavi Spring Line!  There are many new patterns and colors in our purses that will add the perfect touch to your spring look.  Be sure to check out the many options in our new Quilted Hipsters,  Mini Duffle Bags, and Hipsters (pictured below).

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By Hali Mynatt

Debt

DSC_0238Financial debt plagues a huge percentage of the impoverished in Cambodia. This isn’t like the debt you and I know in the US. There, loan sharks prey on families facing desperate situations, imposing staggering interest that makes repayment almost impossible. In a country where many families earn less than $2 a day, any crisis–a health problem, a natural disaster, a disruption in income–can put them at risk for starvation. So they take out loans for small amounts that snowball into larger amounts over time, and often find themselves desperate once again, this time for a different reason. This is one of the biggest reasons that children are forced into the sex industry.

Not all parents in this situation sell their daughters to traffickers, but some do. This article on CNN explores the issue in depth, and sheds some light on the mentality of the mothers who make these desperate decisions.

Debt is a heavy burden, and follows many of the girls in CGI’s programs. Many of them have shared stories of accrued family debt that they want to help alleviate, even at very young ages. Fighting trafficking is certainly a priority of CGI, but fighting poverty is our main focus. It is the underlying factor–the common thread–in so many trafficking narratives. Our programs in Cambodia emphasize vocational training in the hopes of freeing these girls from poverty, giving them the ability to make decisions apart from the influence of desperation.

Will you link arms with us in this fight? Sponsor a Program Participant

A Better Ending

betterEndingSometimes, people are exposed to the truth about trafficking and they are overwhelmed. They want to run in the opposite direction, because learning how dark and present the problem is, can make us feel powerless. Those feelings are natural, and we’ve all felt them.

But sometimes, people are exposed to the truth about trafficking and they choose to move toward the issue, fighting back against it. They know that change won’t come unless we act, whether we act as one person or one million on behalf of a righteous cause. Those feelings are supernatural. They are God calling us to lay down our fears and skepticism and fight for Kingdom justice, one step at a time.

Nadine Hill is a person who came face-to-face with the realities of human trafficking and chose not to run away. Today, she runs the Ecumenical Women’s Coalition Against Human Trafficking in Indianapolis, and works each day to combat sexual slavery and provide hope and relief for its victims. She’s teamed up with CGI to empower the women of byTavi, sharing their stories and using her networks to sell their products and pave the way for a stable future.

Read Nadine’s story below and be inspired to act! You may be only one person, but you have the power to bring healing, hope and a better ending.

Click Here to Read Nadine’s Story

Want to find out ways you can be involved? Contact us at bytavi@gmail.com.

Day of Prayer Reflections

Wow. 24 hours of prayer for Cambodia and with Cambodia is such a rare and special thing. When I sat down to pray this morning, it started pouring rain and it made me think of the floods and devastation in Cambodia right now. It was a sweet time to pray for the country as a whole, and those affected by God’s mighty Creation, and the women that we have grown to love. {by Kristen Baynai}

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When I sat down to pray this morning I wasn’t sure what to pray about… being part of CGI for the past couple years, so many things came to mind that it was almost paralyzing. Then, I realized that over 100 people would be praying for Cambodia, CGI, and all the women at-risk in our programs, both in the US and in Cambodia for 24 hours straight and I was encouraged. Once again I was reminded how widespread the family of God is and if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). {by Whitney Vance}

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I heard a sermon recently about prayer. Specifically, it was about people recorded in the Bible that conversed with God in such a way that He altered the course of events to meet their requests. Sometimes I forget that prayer holds so much power, and today was a great reminder. I often feel small and powerless when I hear the stories of desperation surrounding many of the women and families in Cambodia. But through prayer, I can access the One who has the power to change the game for these women. {by Caroline Mosey}

We Love Our byTavi Advocates!

Jack Meyer modeling for the camera!

Jack Meyer modeling for the camera!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Are you ready for the holidays? We at byTavi are gearing up for a fun fall season where our events and sales go through the roof. What a blessing it is to be a part of a cause that allows us to empower women through the gifts that we buy. In contemplating this blog post, I just keep thinking of all the people who have blessed us through this year. I’d like to highlight some of those people for their commitment and creativity and do hope that it may spur you to bring byTavi into your life as well.

This summer, we had a volunteer host a garage sale with all proceeds being donated to CGI. She raised over $1,000! Not only that, she also sold the byTavi products for over $500.

Over the past year, two women have committed a full day a week to the byTavi office & store. They have packed, tagged, and inventoried thousands of items and have been such a great support to our staff. Our events are completely volunteer run and we could not even get to those events without women like them.

My own family hosted an auction at our family reunion this fall. Everybody brought in their own item donations and auctioned them off to benefit CGI. With a matching grant from my cousin’s company, we raised over $10,000! My favorite part was when my grandpa modeled one of the new Imprint Dresses for $100. (You can see that photo above!)

Because the majority of byTavi is volunteer run, all of our men and women are essential to our growth. This year, January – August, we are 22% ahead of where we were at this point in 2012. This would not be possible without our advocates all over the nation. Thank you for making byTavi a part of your story. You are truly making a difference in many lives.

By Kristen Baynai

Welcome, Caroline!

linkedinWhen CGI President Chris Alexander handed me a note with Caroline Mosey’s name and phone number, I could hardly wait to contact her. That was two years ago. Caroline had volunteered her writing skills and publishing connections to further CGI’s mission. Since then, Caroline and I have not only become friends, but partners in communicating CGI’s innovative ministry that enables Cambodian families to rise above poverty level through seamstress and culinary training programs.

When my husband Al and I decided to retire this year, Caroline became my logical replacement. While looking forward to my new role of volunteer advocate, I have loved working as CGI’s first Communications Coordinator. One of my many CGI blessings has been working with people who fervently desire to serve Jesus through helping the poor. Those, both here and in Cambodia, have made me a better person. For that, I’m grateful. I’m also thankful for Caroline.

“I first became passionate about the issue of trafficking when I heard Jessica Thorne from Purchased speak at Common Ground Christian Church. I’d just had my first daughter and something clicked when I thought of that issue in terms of her, and the world she would be a part of, and the innocence of young girls.” Caroline realizes God’s desire for her is to help CGI prevent human trafficking.

A busy mother of three (Jude 5; Ada 3; Gwyn 3 months), Caroline works for CGI writing, editing, gathering information/prayer requests, and overseeing publicity. Married eight years this October, Ted and Caroline both vocationally help the impoverished, Ted as Development Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Indianapolis and Caroline as CGI’s Communications Coordinator.

Welcome, Caroline!

By Joyce Long

Time Travel

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For those who may read this blog who are planning to travel to Cambodia I will start out with some basic details. First it is always a good to prepare mentally. No matter what route you travel it just takes a long time to get to the other side of the world! Today the route goes to first to Dallas then to Seoul, South Korea and finally, on to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. If everything goes as planned the total trip time should be 26 hours and 10 minutes. Things often don’t go as planned so it is good to flexible but as this trip begins I am both hopeful and optimistic!

One fact that you might find interesting. On the trip to Cambodia you actually need to account for some “time travel” because you move forward in time by 11 hours! I know that can mess with your mind. Actually this means that while I am leaving in the morning on Sunday and the trip is just a bit over one full day I will actually arrive at 10:05 PM on Monday night. The good news is that you should gain that time back on three return trip.

An interesting shot of our arrival into Dallas/Fort Worth.

 

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