July 2023 – Making Connections through Global Partnerships 

July 2023 – Making Connections through Global Partnerships 

Scripture: Proverbs 16:3 


Can you imagine that your only option to provide for your family meant working in the local brothel or sweatshop with long, hard hours in terrible working conditions? In return for hard work, you might get paid pennies a day. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many women around the world. They work daily in conditions where they are exploited. It’s their only option to keep a small amount of food on the table for their family. We can make a difference for these women by supporting Fair Trade.  

Fair Trade  

Fair Trade ensures growers and producers receive fair wages for their products instead of proceeds going to distributors. It also provides a safer working environment. Fair Trade provides a sense of worth and enables workers to become independent of those who take advantage of them. It enables them to live with dignity, independence, and hope for a better future. 

Salvation Army Programs  

“Others” is The Salvation Army’s Global Social Enterprise, using Fair Trade as a tool for job creation, empowerment, and poverty alleviation. Through this program, women in Bangladesh, Kenya, and other countries learn to make items that they can sell for a fair price to provide for their families. These women meet the Army through local programs and are taught a skill that helps them to become independent. Through the “Others” program they find dignity, and hope.  By purchasing “Others” products, we are helping them become independent.  

The following website is an educational tool for Fair Trade. (Www.tradeforhope.com 

Globally Minded Shopping: 

While Fair Trade items are more expensive, the impact on the lives of women globally is a good investment. Fair Trade items such as clothing, coffee, chocolate, spices and tea can be purchased locally at the following stores: 

  • Aldi 
  • Amazon 
  • Costco 
  • HEB 
  • Kroger 
  • Publix 
  • Sam’s Wholesale Club 
  • Target 
  • Trader Joes 
  • Whole Foods 

Below are some companies that use Fair Trade products: 

  • Starbucks sells some Fair Trade coffee. 
  • Dunkin’ Donuts uses Fair Trade expresso in all its expresso drinks. 
  • Green Mountain Coffee uses Fair Trade beans. 
  • Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream uses fair trade ingredients in all of its ice cream flavors. 
  • Bark Thins Snacking Chocolate uses Fair Trade ingredients.  
  • Kashi uses Fair Trade ingredients in their products. 

God Will Establish Your Plans 

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans,” (Proverbs 16:3). As we spent time today considering the topic of Fair Trade programs that impact women globally, we have learned about woman who have been given hope. Women who will be given a chance to provide for the basic needs for their family without being taken advantage of. The Holy Spirt may have even stirred your heart and motivated you to want to stand up and fight for them. Some of us will want to go home and start clearing out everything in our houses that belongs to a company that does not treat others fairly. With everything within us we want to fight and make change. 

Then reality sets in … we start to become overwhelmed by the cost we will have to sacrifice to fight. The regularity of our own life gets in the way. We begin to become so focused on what we lack that we begin to ignore the Holy Spirit’s promptings. We become blinded by the impacts we could make if we were not so focused on our own needs. We think only about our own security and our vision narrows. We forget that as a follower of Christ, we live life dependent upon Him. 

Proverbs 16: 1-3 (ESV) provides us with wisdom for living dependent upon God. “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. 

The Holy Spirit has begun a stirring within you for a reason. He is leading you to sacrifice something to make an impact on the life of another; and through this scripture in Proverbs, He gives us a principle for living out this sacrifice. 

Verse 3 states: “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” The translation for the word “commit” in Hebrew literally means “to roll.” Think about it … we are “to roll” our work over to the Lord. We are to completely give something over to God in dependence upon Him. We are to commit these stirrings to the Lord and be dependent upon Him to create a plan that will allow you to make an impact on someone else’s life through Fair Trade. That plan will only work or be “established” when it is “committed” to the Lord.   

When our vision turns from our own inability to make change and focuses upon how God can use what you sacrifice as you depend upon Him, He will bring fruit in His way and His timing! Part of committing our work to God is seeking Him and His will. When our sacrifice aligns with God’s will, change will follow.  


Lord, as we learn more about how we can make an impact on others, may we be open to Your leading. Help us to think outside ourselves and allow the resources You give us to be used for Your glory. Bless and protect those who are fighting hard to provide for their families as we work to provide for ours.