November 10, 2016

Jewels in the Heart of Shelby

Our church neighborhood is blessed by Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Missionary Cecelia Beck and her work among families all around us.  One of her ministry goals has been an entrepreneurial ministry to teach young artists in business principles, creativity, and stewardship.   Straight Out of Shelby is the name of this jewelry-making business and these artists just completed their first sale.

“The success of the first sale has enabled the young artists to imagine new dreams and possibilities,” Cecelia reports.  “They are quite motivated to continue and work hard to achieve those dreams. Their success has also attracted other youth who want to work.”   Straight Out of Shelby creations brought in over $1300 in sales with 60% going to the artists, 30% returning to the business, and 10% tithed into ministry.  This first sale’s tithe was designated by the participants to go to the First Baptist Church youth ministry in thanksgiving for encouragement to them!

It’s a blessing for our church to partner with Cecelia’s work as we pray for her and the families she touches. She has been thankful for the partnership as well.  “It has been most encouraging to have tremendous support from the staff of FBC from the beginning,” Cecelia notes.  “Business Manager Jan Swartzbaugh and the Maintenance staff have been particularly kind and generous with their time as they helped us find space to work, installed a lock, and made sure we have access to our ‘jewelry room’ when we need it, even when it is not particularly convenient for them.”

FBC member, Pat Whatley, has been volunteering alongside Cecelia and the youth Straight Out of Shelby!  Pat offered us this good word:  “Working with these young people has been a joy.  They are hard-working and fun to be around.  We have devotionals. . . work hard at organizing and learning…bicker and tease and laugh like all good friends do. . . spend time quietly creating. . . get frustrated when nothing seems to come together and the “goof-ups” seem to gang up on us (LOL) . . . then straighten up our messes and get right back to creating beautiful jewelry!”    So many of our FBC members were glad to shop the recent sale and were thrilled by the creative eye of these young people.  “They are learning that God is good!  He has gifted them with wonderful talent and they are learning to channel that talent through dedication and perseverance,” Pat remarked.

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