Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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Tuesday 11th October 2016

Stand With Haiti – One Way to Make a BIG Difference TODAY

A few months ago,  I stood at the front of a Haitian church. My assignment: to bring the hope of the gospel to our sisters and brothers gathered in the pews.

The story I shared was this: When I was a girl, fishing with my dad, a storm came out of nowhere, leaving us vulnerable in the middle of a huge lake. Dad rushed us to the shore of an uninhabited island. But even on land, there was nowhere to hide from the storm. So we crouched down beside one another, while rain pelted our backs.

Throughout the entire storm, I kept my head down, and all I could see were the feet of my father. 


“Some of you are in the middle of a storm,” I said, speaking through an interpreter. “And maybe you can’t see the face of your Heavenly Father in the midst of your storm. Maybe you can’t see the hands of your Heavenly Father. But look to the feet of your Father, and know that He is right beside you. When you can’t see His face, you can still trust His heart.”

What I didn’t know then, is that a very literal storm was coming — a storm so powerful that it would flatten homes, pound villages, wash out bridges, and take lives.

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti with a great fury. The death toll has topped 1,000 and is expected to climb as relief groups reach remote areas. Cholera epidemics are feared. Right this moment, people need life-saving food, water and shelter.

Like you, I have prayed earnestly for the people of Haiti.

Like you, I have observed how the urgent needs of Haitians are quickly disappearing from the headlines, as attention is focused on this country’s upcoming election.

And like you, I want to be a part of making this world a better place. I want to live what I believe.

In my prayers for Haiti, I keep thinking about what it means for our Haitian friends to know that God is with them, even when they can’t see His face. How do they know they’re not alone?

In this storm, how can they see the feet of their Heavenly Father?

We could be the feet. Christ has a body, and it is us.

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
(1 Corinthians 12:27).

We could do something together, to make a tangible difference. We can be a part of the answer. In the midst of this storm, we can sit with our sisters and brothers. And when they see our feet in action, they will see the feet of their Father.

Stand with Haiti


Today, I am so excited to tell you about something we can do together, to make a difference. I am partnering with Vi Bella Jewelry to host a fundraiser that begins right now, and ends Saturday at noon. Every penny will support Haitian people in need of jobs, in need of food, in need of water — in need of the steady assurance that God is near.

Here’s how you can Stand with Haiti.

1 – Click here to SHOP the beautiful Vi Bella Jewelry created by Haitian artisans. (BE SURE TO USE THIS LINK, so that your purchases will apply toward our Stand With Haiti fundraiser.)

2 – 30 percent of EVERY sale will provide emergency relief — food, water, AND shelter in the areas most severely hit by the hurricane. Those proceeds will be turned over to Mission of Hope, which will use all of it for relief. They are a respected organization and are already bringing help to the hardest-hit areas.

3 – The other 70 percent of your sale will support the jobs of Vi Bella artisans. Vi Bella is committed to long-term transformation that comes through well-paying, steady employment, which empowers individuals to care for their own families.

This fundraiser is a 100 percent investment in Haiti.

Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to wear or share gorgeous pieces of jewelry. I’m all in. This is where I’ll be doing all of my Christmas shopping — and it will be done this week! — knowing that every dollar I spend will make a difference.

Check out a few of the pieces. Wouldn’t these make darling Christmas gifts?


The Judeline necklace.

the Grace necklace.

the Grace necklace.


Evandale necklace, Aniose bracelet, Rhea earrings, Aniose necklace

The Lark necklace.

The Lark necklace.

Tannenbaum Christmas ornament

Tannenbaum Christmas ornament

There are dozens of pieces to choose from! Browse, pick a few for yourself, your sisters, your teachers, your best friend, your mother-in-law. I have seen firsthand how Vi Bella Jewelry is transforming lives. I have sat side by side with the artisans. They have become dear friends, the kind of friends who — if they lived here — I’d want to go to Target with, joke with, cry with, shop with, laugh with, call at midnight because I need the prayers of a sister.

These sisters are us. May they see that we care, by the way we put our feet beside theirs. This is the way we Stand with Haiti. 


I know how tempting it can be to jump into action — to collect donations of clothing, for instance, to send to Haiti.

But like Vi Bella Jewelry founder Julie Hulstein says: “Bear in mind that there are people in Haiti who want to sell clothing or sew it for their communities. There are also many people in the country who want jobs and can do construction work and painting. Please use caution when donating your items or time. When possible, partner with trusted Haitian missions and groups and ask for their wise counsel. ASK, don’t assume what the needs are.”

That’s why I love Vi Bella Jewelry. This job-creation ministry is part of the long-term solution. But they are also making a way for us to be a part of emergency relief efforts, by donating 30 percent of every purchase to immediate needs!

Will you join us? Will you Stand with Haiti?

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news.” (Isaiah 52:7)




Please consider sharing this post with your friends on social media.

We want to spread the word and make a BIG difference with this fundraiser.

As an incentive to share, we are giving away a pair of earrings and a necklace (pictured below).

To enter:

Simply tell us what piece of jewelry you love from the Vi Bella collection.

For more entries, share this post on your social media channels. Every “share” puts your name into the giveaway drawing.

Simply let me know in the comments where you shared!

I will draw the two winners when the fundraiser closes on Saturday at noon.


UPDATE: Winners are Anita and Sue Donaldson! 

verdi earrings

Verdi earrings


Aniose necklace




Special Project to Build a House

simonetteartisans-robensonnew If you would prefer to give to a specific cause, we are partnering to help Vi Bella artisan Robenson rebuild his home. His house was destroyed in the hurricane, along with his resources for his jewelry-making business. Vi Bella Serves is collecting donations to build a new house for him, and to help him get his business going again. You can donate directly to this effort by clicking here. Robenson makes Vi Bella’s coconut jewelry, such as the Rhea earrings. His business helps employ 15 people, in an area hard hit by the hurricane.

To donate to this cause, make your donation by clicking here.
The goal is to raise $7,000 for Robenson.



Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there!

Our featured writer this week is Amber Taube. Have you read her beautiful words about giving the Creator room to make a masterpiece in our lives? “The stain of goodness left by His fingerprints hints at the masterpiece that is to come. It’s made up of brokenness and jumbled up plans, but it is good because the Artist that made it makes no mistakes.” Find Amber here.

To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. xo Jennifer

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  • Mary

    I love ViBella jewelry and the beautiful artistry as well as story that goes with every single piece. Thank you for providing us a way to make a difference.

    • It’s my pleasure, Mary. So grateful for your support. You are so dear to me. xo

  • karen

    THANKS for this! I just ordered a necklace and LOVE the Evelyn one too!

    • karen

      A thought has been bothering me since I ordered. If I am chosen, I’d rather NOT get a necklace and instead have that money given back to ViBella Serves….otherwise it feels like I have defeated the purpose! :-/

    • Karen! You are such a blessing. Thank you so much ordering. I’ll tell you what, if you win one of the items, I will make sure it’s the one that I already paid for myself, ok? Then you don’t have to worry about it. Love you. Love your heart.

  • Beautiful post, my friend! I donated to ViBella Serves.

    • Anita, You are such a blessing. Thanks for putting your faith into action in such a meaningful way. Grateful for you, dear one.

    • Anita! You are a winner! Please email me your mailing address to jdukeslee @ gmail.com! You won the earrings featured in this post! 🙂

      • Cool! Thank you so much, Jennifer :).

        My address is: 320 Willow Way, Holbrook, AZ 86025

        Have a wonderful day!


        • Last name is Strawn de Ojeda, right?

          • Yes :). But just Ojeda works, too ;).

  • I love the fact that I find out about things here that I would never know about otherwise. Thanks for making us aware of all this goodness going on — and for such a good purpose!

    • Oh Michele, I am so glad you stopped by. It’s my pleasure to share this with you this week.

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  • Lynn D. Morrissey

    Oh Jennifer, I will show this to Mother. She wanted a way to help, and I told her I new a wonderful lady who could tell us. Bless you for your heart of compassion.

    • That’s terrific, Lynn! Your Mother can buy the jewelry, and know that a portion (30%) will go to relief efforts. Or, if she prefers, she can donate directly to the relief efforts at rebuilding Robenson’s home and livelihood — an investment that affects many Haitians in his family and in his neighborhood.

  • Oh Jennifer, isn’t God’s timing and the way He had you speak instead of Liz, andwhat He had you share in your message… isn’t it just breathtaking? I love this more than words can say. And I love that you’re doing this. I don’t want to win anything, but did want to let you know I posted this on FB and I just ordered the Evandale necklace!! It’s so beautiful and I”ve been wanting one like it for a little while so I”m excited to get it!!

    • So grateful for you, Renee. You’ve been so generous with your platform, sharing about this fundraiser. And then when I saw your order pop in, I just praised God for how you put your faith into action here. Beyond grateful for you. Love you.

  • Michele

    Thank you for loving the people of Haiti! I’m leaving next week for what was planned to be a (faith based) medical mission, but now is way more of a relief effort. This will be my second time there…I know it will be even harder than before. But, I also know that our God can bring good put of bad!

    • Oh Michele. My prayers go with you, dear one.

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Will have to do some Christmas shopping… what a compassionate way to support God’s children who have been devastated by the storm. My daughter has been to Haiti twice and their lives are difficult enough let alone the devastation caused by the hurricane. Blessings to you in this venture…
    ps. would love the grace or the lark necklaces…any of the art – it’s beautiful.

    • Oh Bev… Thank you for doing some shopping with Vi Bella. They are such a solid organization, and I’ve seen firsthand what a difference this job-creation ministry has made in REAL LIVES and communities. As a reminder, the fundraiser ends Saturday at noon CT.

  • Linda

    Love that you are highlighting this organisation :))
    I love the Emmie necklace, and will be getting some of my gift buying done here

    • That is so terrific, Linda! Thank you for your support of Vi Bella. It has been thrilling to see the orders come in. I praise God for every one of you who are entrusting your money to such a worthy cause. xo

  • Susan

    I like the Christmas ornament and I love Amber Taube – so happy to see her featured here. I will be making a purchase for sure. My daughter loves jewelry!! Thanks Jennifer for caring and loving Haiti as much as you do. I love the way God calls individuals to certain places and peoples!

    • Amber is great. So thankful for all of the terrific writers in #TellHisStory.

      I do love Haiti, and feel privileged to do some small thing to help. Together, all our “small things” add up. And as we’ve watched the jewelry orders come in — as well as donations to Robenson’s house — we are saying that truth live out!

  • I appreciate the caution about using or giving to trusted missions and asking before donating.

    • You are so welcome. Thanks for being here.

  • Julie Loos

    Thank you for sharing this! I like that you highlighted a safe organization to give to.
    I like the Julie set:)


    • I’m so glad you stopped by! And yes, it’s a safe organization, and a very PRAYERFUL organization.

  • Debra Winterrowd

    What beautiful, meaningful items! I chose to purchase the handcrafted ornaments for my tree as well as Christmas gifts and the “Let your light shine” sign to wake up to each morning as a reminder. I also shared on Facebook and Twitter knowing others just may want to join in to help out in a truly tangible way! I’m so glad I stumbled across this fundraiser!

    • Oh Debra, Thank you, thank you for your generous heart. I have seen how the sales of these items make a tremendous difference in the lives of dear, dear people. What a blessing you are. I am so glad you stumbled across this fundraiser, too.

  • Karen Van Riessen Long

    Thank you for doing this! I’m so proud to share this on my facebook page. I love the Ardelle necklace and Nazareth bracelet, but all pieces are awesome and best part is the phrase “Handmade by artisans in Haiti”

    • I love what you said, Karen, about the best part being the phrase, “Handmade by artisans in Haiti.” I’ve seen with my own eyes how this job-creation ministry has thoroughly transformed the lives of some really wonderful people.

  • Karrilee Aggett

    I love this so much! I love the Laurel Necklace –but you know how I am… it’s so hard to pick a favorite! I love them all, if we’re being honest! I’m off to do a little Christmas shopping!

    I shared on this post on facebook and twitter. I shared about the sale on instagram –although on Insta, I just sent them to ViBella directly.

    Praying for Haiti, and the staff and artisans… thanks for making a way for us to make a difference, through prayers and purchases!

    Love you!

    • You are such a blessing, Karrilee, a tireless cheerleader of others. I hope you know how MUCH God delights in you!

  • Thanks for doing this and helping us help them! It wasn’t lost on me on how many were lost there in the recent storm and yet didn’t hear enough – so thanks and will shop now!

    • oh Sue … Thank you so much for being a part of this. It’s been such a blessing watching those orders roll in, and knowing that 100 percent of the dollars being spent will be used for good work in Haiti! xo

  • Thank you so much, Jennifer, for providing a personal recommendation about how we can best help the folks in Haiti. We all want to help, but we need to be wise to help in ways that will truly be beneficial to the folks who need it. Bless you for providing such insight. I don’t have a particular use for jewelry, but I can donate to help re-build Robenson’s home, and it’s an honor to be able to see his face and to know that this will make a real difference.

    And thanks in the midst of this for hosting the #TellHisStory link-up. My own story this past week involved Hurricane Matthew in a very different way, and I am grateful to have a place to share it. Thank you!

    • I thoroughly and heartily recommend Vi Bella, and was excited to partner with them as a way to help bring relief to people in need. Thank you for donating to re-build Robenson’s home. He is in such a desperate situation right now! Please pray for him today!

  • KristinHillTaylor

    I love this so much. I was happy to share on Facebook … https://www.facebook.com/kristinhilltaylor/posts/10154342008186321

    And I’m browsing now … I really love the Saphira Bracelet and Aria Bracelets. Plus so many of the ornaments.

    • You are such a blessing, Kristin. We’ve been tracking orders, and just praising God every time one comes in. I saw yours in there, and it made me smile. You are such a Giver.

  • What amaxing company!! Love the Nazareth bracelet

    • Such great quality items, and I have seen first-hand how this job-creation ministry has transformed lives.

      • I already have a wish list, definitely going to have to get my daughter the Anna Marie necklace! Might have to think about becoming an ambassador, we have friends serving in Haiti.

    • AMAZING 😉 not amaxing, oh my little finger

  • I ordered three Christmas ornaments and shared this post on Facebook.
    Love what you are doing here, Jennifer! May God bless the Haitian people!

    • Oh, Martha…. Bless your heart. I saw your order in there. I just love your heart, and wasn’t surprised at all to see that you had ordered. Thank you, you dear soul.

  • Connie McCord Bjorklund

    I ordered the india scarf. So excited to get it. Loved all the jewelry!!! The Lark necklace was also a favorite. I also shared on Facebook. Thank you Jennifer for helping us all have a chance to help out our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

    • Oh Connie! That is so terrific. I love the scarves. Really glad you’re here!

  • Okay just tweeted, FB, pinned and google+ – now to buy that tote bag.

    • Bless your heart. Thank you so much for sharing. And that tote bag?? Totes Adorbs!!!

    • Sue! You are a winner! Please email me your mailing address to jdukeslee @ gmail.com! You won the Aniose necklace!

      • wow! I love prizes! and presents and have a host of daughters! (that’s why it was easy to shop…) thanks so much!

  • Linda

    Just shared on FB,
    Love what you are doing, and the jewellery is fab…….especially the Grace necklace ! Need it in my life :))

    • Hey there, Linda! So glad you shared so generously. We are very grateful!

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