The very first day that I thought about Stop Slavery (my original name for the project was Dream27 thankfully my student leaders came up with Stop Slavery) I thought about funding it with a business. I even registered a domain for the business that I still own. Shortly after that as the idea began to grow and more people got involved I thought we should just go with the traditional non profit route of praying, telling others about our needs and fundraising.
Since we have been back in the states a number of influential people in my life have asked about using a business to fund Stop Slavery. As I began to think and pray about it I was convinced that I would like to go down that route but also just as strongly convinced that there was no way I had the time to start a business in addition to running Stop Slavery and the Discipleship Training School we are starting in July 2011.
One of my former students, who had done an internship for me in the past, called up and said that he was interested in starting a company with the profits going to Stop Slavery. It was neat how God had moved my heart back in that direction at the same time that he was preparing someone else to take that over.
At this point I am not sure where it will go or what it will look like. Another neat aspect of the project is that when we were talking about opening an orphanage in Siem Reap many single mothers wanted us to take their children since they couldn’t properly provide for them. We were not willing to take the children but I told them that we would try within the next year to figure out a way to help them provide for their families.
The business idea is to create hemp products in Cambodia, hence the name Hope Hemp, (though that is just an idea at this point as well) made by single mothers who have already demonstrated a willingness to part with their kids and whose kids are at risk to be sold into slavery, and sell those products here in U.S. on different college campuses, youth ministries, botique shops etc.
If you have any thoughts on the matter please feel free to pass them on. We’ll have more information in February.