“It’s impactful to actually see the needs firsthand, and then see the ways we [at Vi Bella] are filling them by providing jobs. That’s what you see a lot of in Haiti…people just really need jobs!” – Lisa
Lisa Koerselman, Vice President of Operations at Vi Bella, recently returned from a trip to Haiti with members from her church in Sioux Center, Iowa, including her husband. “It was really important to me that I could experience the beauty and pain in Haiti with my husband. It’s an experience we can share together and use to shape the way we raise our children.” Although our staff speaks to our site managers in Haiti often, a personal visit by one of our staff members brings the Vi Bella mission into clear focus. As part of that work group, Lisa and her church group painted at the orphanage and wired the outdoor church area with lights. Spending time with children in the orphanage playing and doing nightly devotions with them, Lisa found that the language and cultural barriers were stripped away in the simplest of ways.
Lisa spent time with one child in particular, Angelina. They played with rocks. As they stacked the stones and sat in the Haitian dirt, something beautiful happened. Lisa and Angelina discovered the secret of communicating despite language and cultural barriers: smiling. Sharing a smile together.
This is the work of truly “seeing” each other.
In addition to work at Tytoo Oprhanage, Lisa visited both Vi Bella Centers: the One Vision Center and the Simonette Center, where the work of crafting handmade Vi Bella jewelry is creating life-changing employment. It’s creating more beautiful lives for our artisans and our partners here. It’s a beautiful thing to see our lives connect from here at our home office all the way to Haiti. It’s a beautiful thing to know our artisans.
“The people I met were full of Christ’s love and are so rich because of the that, but jobs that Vi Bella and our partner organizations provide a step out of poverty, breaking the cycle. As a mother of three children, I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to be unable to provide for my family and to never have enough food for them. I’m grateful to have a job with Vi Bella, an organization that is taking a stand against the cycle of poverty.”
Lisa also brought supplies for work to be done on a new line of jewelry in the early stages of production for Christian author, speaker and friend of Vi Bella, Liz Curtis Higgs. Liz has a new book releasing in July and has asked to partner with Vi Bella to create an exclusive jewelry line that tells the heart of her book’s message, “to show us how to seek after truth, ask the right questions, keep an open mind, give generously, and honor God above all.”