Spring time in New Zealand
It's spring in New Zealand - where I live, the cherries are in blossom and the kowhai trees are covered in glorious golden flowers. There are lambs in the paddocks, and the tuis (a bird indigenous to NZ) are squabbling over the nectar in the blossom - on my walk to work today, I noticed eight tuis fighting in one tree! It is a relief, after this hard year of COVID, to wake up to sunnier days, to feel the warmth in the air, and know that summer days are ahead.
Our grace scarf - a tui sipping nectar from cherry blossom
Here in Aotearoa New Zealand we have not been hit so hard by the virus, due in large part to our wonderful government working hand-in-hand with scientists to find solutions. But our "team of five million" has also played its part, with all of us making sacrifices, following instructions, and working together. So, life feels pretty normal right now, and hopeful - except, of course, that no-one is allowed into the country and we can't head overseas without being prepared to quarantine on the way home.
I think about our safety here in Aotearoa, and then my heart turns to people living in less safe situations. I read on the Hagar website recently that 40.3 million people are estimated to be living in slavery right now, more than at any other time in world history. This is a terrifying statistic. What of these people, I wonder - who is working to ensure their safety from the virus, and how is COVID compounding their existing suffering? What can we do to help them?
When I think of this, I feel renewed passion for our work - to wrap women in prayer, and to make a difference to the lives of people enslaved. We are making a difference to the world one scarf at a time, by sending all our profits to agencies such as Tear Fund and Hagar who are working to free and restore those trafficked into slavery. And just as New Zealanders worked together as a team to eliminate the virus, so we need to work together to solve the evils of modern slavery. We hope you will join us. Please think about buying a scarf for a friend or family member for Christmas, knowing that you will be joining with a team of people working together to make a difference to women in captivity. And that this scarf is no ordinary gift - you will be wrapping the person you buy for in aroha - in love.
Lisa - October 9, 2020.