Su Su’s smile lights up the room as she celebrates the latest milestone in her baby’s life. She feels at home in this bright, sunny room that her family and the Eden staff have nearly completely filled. She is often amazed at the journey of faith that brought her to this new life after so many long years of suffering and uncertainty.
When Su Su was 11 years old, her family was thrown into a crisis by the death of her father. As the oldest child, she left school for a factory job. But Su Su didn't earn enough at her new job to support her family. So when her boss told her about a better job in China, she leapt at the opportunity. The young girl trusted her boss' promises of being well taken care of and earning a higher salary.
But upon crossing the border, everything changed. Su Su was locked in a house, dressed in a wedding gown, and made to take photos with a strange man who then locked her in his hotel room for several days.
Su Su was living inside the nightmare of being sold to a stranger as a bride.
Days later, she was driven away by the man's family. Slumped in the car and surrounded by people she couldn’t communicate with, Su Su thought about her situation. She realized that if she didn’t act now, she would never see her family again. If she didn’t try to run, there was no hope for her future.
At the first possible moment, she tricked the family into letting her stay in the car to rest while they got food. As soon as she gained some physical distance from them, Su Su bolted into the night. Shivering under a tree's protective branches, she listened to the family searching for hours. When it finally got quiet, she flagged down a car and was taken to the police, who arranged her return to Myanmar.
Upon returning to her home country, social services referred her to Eden. At Eden, Su Su learned she was pregnant. This was yet another moment in her life when she had to act immediately. “I have to change this story now and make a new life for me and my baby,” Su Su realized. She had faith that this possible, and began to walk down a new path at Eden.
Su Su had faith that a new life was possible, and began to walk down a new path at Eden.
Like so many times in the past, Su Su bravely stepped out in faith and fully embraced the Eden program. As she began her new life, Su Su’s family recognised the difficulty she would have as a single mother. However, with the support of Eden's program, they were confident in committing to love and support this brave young woman and her unborn child. Su Su began counseling, started a job making jewelry, and learned how to care for a baby. Before her son was born, Eden supporters donated to shower Su Su with much needed baby supplies.
One hundred days after his birth, Su Su, her family, and Eden staff celebrated the day her baby received his name. In Myanmar culture, he went by a nickname until this milestone, and we were overjoyed to all celebrate together over the traditional bowls of noodles. Su Su’s baby was one of the first at Eden, inspiring us to establish a mother and child shelter to support Su Su and other young mothers like her.
Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, and only 1-2% of exploited women are ever rescued.* The Walk in Faith Collection was inspired by stories like Su Su's. Each day we are amazed by the faith and courage the rescued women at Eden have shown in the face of such overwhelming odds. We hope that this collection inspires you to step out in faith and take action now. At every turn in her life, Su Su refused to be overwhelmed. She focused on hope and took the step that moved her further down the path she wanted to walk down. Our hope is that you will also take small, hopeful actions to fight for justice in this world.
The five beads running along each chain in this collection show how courage and faith can overcome great odds. They are reminiscent of David, a lowly shepherd boy, who overcame a giant with only a sling, five stones, courage, and faith. Instead of being overwhelmed by his task, David believed in the power of hope. He bravely took out the first stone and took action. It only took one stone to fell the giant that threatened his people.
The engraved mountains and mustard seed leaves remind us to continue our walk in faith and courage. In that way, we too can overcome the giants of injustice we see in our world. Our hope is that you will have the courage to see a path of advocacy ahead of you and take one small step down that path each time you wear these pieces.
“I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
- Matthew 17:20
*United Nations Office for Drugs & Crime, 2016
*United Nations Office for Drugs & Crime, 2016