Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tiny Planet Sourcing

When I was growing up, my grandparents lived next door to a really neat family.  They had two sons. My brother and I spent a lot of time in the summer and at holidays at our grandparents and we would play a lot with the youngest son Mark.   Mark went on to play football at OBU and then became a coach.  But he felt God calling him to do mission work and he moved his family to India. God brought them back to Arkansas a couple of years ago but they weren't really sure why.  

And then Mark began to come up with an idea.  These are his words. I love his mission:

"From day one our passion had been for the business class, or better yet the influencers of India.  Normally (and very much historically) everyone has gone immediately to the poor.  This is of course a good thing, but it never fixes the problem.  We became convinced that for a culture to be redeemed we needed to go after the leaders, believing that Kingdom life and values will trickle down from that group if they were won.  While living in India, we found it very difficult to reach this group.  It was hard to even get a hearing from them, time with them.  They were busy doing life and business and we were these weird foreigners who didn't really have a job that made sense to them.  I alway wondered what it would be like to work in the office with those guys.  So one day, now back in the states, it hit me.  The majority of the guys I was building relationships with in India owned (or were involved in) factories that were exporting some product for sell in Europe and the US.  What if I had sourcing company that was buying the product?  So, in March 2011 I took vacation time from the church and bought a ticket to go to India as a buyer of products for export.  I chose to start in this unique reclaimed wood furniture that Terri and I (and all the missionaries) loved while we were there.  Well, it happened!!! The owners of these factories rolled out the red carpet and I got to share Christ more (with business class Hindus) in 2 weeks than in 2 years.  But, if the vision was going to continue, I was going to have to eventually buy something.  So, I chose one factory I felt really good about and that was receptive and I made an order.  We gathered up our savings and bought a container.  Almost a year (and 3 containers later) the relationship with this manufacturer has grown and deepened.  On my recent trip, I attended the wedding of his son and stayed with the family for a week.  During that time I was able to discuss the gospel with several of the family members individually, in front of the whole family during the wedding ceremony, and to all the factory workers as I gave them a Christmas bonus (there are a lot of details to these stories).  For me the coolest part was when the brother of the groom (whom I hadn't met yet) said, "I have heard all about you!  You are the one who can speak to God and who knows the way to salvation."  It was incredible and I see this vision working to redeem this whole community (there were 2000 people at the wedding and that doesn't include all the workers at the factory)."

So I wanted to just share what they are doing with you because I think it's very cool.  First of all - the furniture is amazing.  I thought you might be interested in it. 
 And the whole purpose behind all of this is the Gospel itself. 

Our world is so much better with people like Mark and his wife in it. 

You can see the furniture here:
or see more info here:

There is also a great article on them in a NWA magazine:

Maybe you even have a company that might like to sell some of this furniture?  You can contact them on facebook if you have any interest in any way! 

I just wanted to share about something that is making a difference. 

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