This past April, the Mount Olive Lutheran Church Vision Team visited Guatemala and one of their team members, Connie Marty, came ready to share a thoughtful jewelry project with the Antigua Youth Program.
Connie founded Strands of Hope, an organization that makes beautiful jewelry featuring a pendent with two hearts woven together. Each piece of jewelry has a specific bead patterning, and there is one unique bead in each design. This unique bead symbolizes that sometimes we have a specific life plan, but there are speed bumps along the way. If there is an obstacle in your path, each person owes it to themselves to overcome that obstacle. In contrast, there can also be wonderful experiences that happen unexpectedly. In either situation, this is what makes life unique and beautiful.
The two woven hearts pendent represents that we are all interconnected in one continuous strand, forever. Connie explained that to her personally, the pendent represents her relationship with her sponsored student. For the Mount Olive Vision Team, the pendent represents the team’s relationship with the family they built a new home for. The two groups will forever be interconnected.
Connie led an activity with 19 girls and boys making Strands of Hope necklaces. The activity was a great success! Some of the youth kept the necklaces for themselves, while others planned to give them as a gift to their mother or sister. They made necklaces of all kinds of colors and patterns; some followed the design while others were more creative and decided to make their own designs.
The final product? Beautiful necklaces and many happy smiles! Connie generously donated beads and pendants, along with the jewelry making tools, so the staff at Common Hope can replicate the activity with other students in the Youth Program.
Thank you Connie and everyone from the Mount Olive Lutheran Church Vision Team for sharing your time and your passion with us at Common Hope!