“You Don’t Need To Fly Across The World To Help My People…”

Guess who’s back? Back again? ANOTHER Women of Faith interview. Guys, I want you to meet the amazing Hannah! Hannah is studying for a BA in English Language and Linguistics at university.  She has recently been on an International Citizen Service (ICS) placement in Tamil Nadu, South India where she was working on international development projects. Hannah has also recently started Guilt-Free Garms, which is a movement that encourages people to make ethical wardrobe choices!

What is a woman of faith to you?

Hannah: For me, a woman of faith is someone who will boldly approach God and say “this is what me and you are doing today” and forever, essentially. And someone who is not afraid to go after the dream God has put in their heart. Short and sweet.

Where do you think your heart for the world began from?

Hannah: Since I was a kid I knew I wanted to do something that helps people. Which is broad but, we used to sing this song in church when I was a kid called God of Justice by Tim Hughes. It talks about how God wants us to stand by the weary, the weak and the poor. The chorus goes, “we must go to live to feed the hungry, stand beside the broken, we must go” and it says “stepping forward, keep us from just singing, move us into action, we must go.” And I think God really spoke to me through that song. I was even 9 years old and it’s not just about us being in the church, like growing the church is really important and its so important to me, I still serve in church now. But I think for me, it always been a thing where I actually want to go out of the church and God’s given us this planet to steward it and steward it well. I think we need to be the kind of people that are aware of current events that is actually going on outside of the church so that we can be really in touch and bring more people to Christ essentially.

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What advice would you give to someone who really wants to go out there and change the world, but feels overwhelmed with where to start?

Hannah: So I think when I was growing up, it was always “what is my purpose?” and “how is God going to use me?” I was talking to my youth pastor from home recently and reflected on that I’ve always worked with the opportunities that were in my hand. Obviously, I’ve just been to India but that’s not where stuff started from.  It started with volunteering and opportunities that were local to me and the stuff that were already there. Rather than trying to go big too soon.

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Knowing Hannah, she has loads of pictures of different places in her room and she’s always had a heart for the world, I want know what advice would you give to a girl who is unsure of her purpose? Whether she should be a missionary, or serve in the church or serve in her world?

Hannah: Basically growing up I thought that I should go abroad to help people. Like a lot of countries in the Middle East, I felt God speak to me about that but then actually when I was in India recently, I got the verse in Acts 1:8 that says “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” And God was saying to me, ‘Hannah, do you really need to go to the ends of the earth to help other people?’ You don’t need to fly across the world to help my people essentially. If you’re a person that wants to get into charity work or mission work or international development and that kind of stuff then you do need to just start with your home community and get involved where you can there and then from that, God will show you much more.

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Talk to me more about Guilt-Free Garms, how did it begin? Did your faith influence that?

Hannah: When I was in India, I was reading this book called A Fine Balance. Its fictional but based on tailors in India and the dire working conditions that they are put under. Even if its not in a factory, it would be in someone’s back room in a house, working all the hours of the day for no money. It really got me thinking about the fast fashion industry in the West and how every week there’s a new trend and that we need to go out and get the next big thing. I am someone who is into fashion, so I can’t say I’ve never bought into the fast fashion industry because I definitely do all the time. I was doing some research into it, the social and environmental consequences are not what God actually wants. God gave us the earth to steward it and the differences in living standards between the global South and the global North.

In John 3:16, it says God so loved the WORLD, not just to save the West.

Everyone is supposed to be equal in that and we are all made in God’s image. So I think if I can personally do anything that stops inequality in that side of the world then I will try to.

Guilt- Free Garms is a movement that I came up with. It celebrates people buying second-hand clothing, upcycling their clothing, recycling their clothing or washing their clothes in a different way so it’s more environmentally friendly. Essentially reducing the social and environmental impacts that the clothes industry has on the planet.

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Finally, who is your sHero?

Hannah: My sHero would be Priscilla because in the start of the early Church, it’s recorded in (the book of) Acts, that her and her husband actually set up a church in their home and hosted people.  At that time that would have been such a dangerous thing to do as Christians. In the early church there were so many people coming against them and she was so bold as to say that she’s going to trust in God to provide in this season and I think shes one of the only women  in the Bible who is so bold to do that.

Paul actually chose to stay with them for a year and a half, so it really reflects on their character. As a couple, they must have been really hospitable and loving and I think that’s fantastic!

Follow Guilt-Free Garms here.

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