Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Behind the Bag- Amelia

Hey there! Sorry, we missed last week. I'm going to go ahead and assume that no one lost any sleep over it, but we are happy to be back! :) This week you get to meet Amelia. Amelia is self-described as 'sometimes stubborn, but mostly silly'. We can appreciate that. We had the pleasure of meeting Amelia when she visited No.41 last summer and now we have the honor of partnering with her as one of our Campus Reps. We are so thankful for Amelia and her precious heart. We can't wait for you to read her story....

On August 22, 2012 I sat in a World Literature class at the University of Southern Mississippi and thought to myself, “Why am I here?” I had been home from Africa for nearly a month and still suffered from a severe case of “reverse culture shock.” I did not want to be back in a silly college classroom listening to the “insignificant” problems of my peers. I missed Rwanda. I missed a place that I thought I was called to be. I was ready to drop out of school, sell all of my belongings, and move for good.

But He always has a different plan...

God quietly whispered that I was not meant to physically be in Rwanda, but rather to bring Rwanda to Mississippi. To my family, my friends, and even my peers in that World Literature class, and oh what joy it has brought me!

When I first met Tara and the girls at No.41 it felt like a family. They were a family that I knew I wanted to be a part of. So since I can’t be there, I make sure they are with me everywhere I go- and they can most certainly be with you too.

It’s simple. Almost too simple. By simply carrying my No.41 bag everyday, it opens the door to so many conversations. “Oh my goodness, how cute! Where did you get that?” leads into “Wow. I had no idea. Can I buy one?”

On Sundays I lead a bible study for my sorority and this semester we have added the No.41 girls to our family. We pray over the girls by name, thanking the Lord for them, Tara, and the lives that are being changed by No.41- the lives in Rwanda and the lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. You see, through learning the stories of our friends in Rwanda, hearts are being softened. Eyes are being opened. Hearts are becoming on fire for the Lord and missions. Can I get an amen?! In fact, on 4-1 feed day, I had girls who were so eager to give. They were literally dumping their purses out on the floor trying to find more quarters. The sight made me cry tears of joy. The heart of Tara is changing lives of girls in Rwanda and the girls in Rwanda are changing the lives of girls here in small town Mississippi.

If you are like me, you want to be in Rwanda. At the same time, if you are like me, you are in a season where God has called you to stay. He has a reason for that! Talk the heads off people about No.41. You will be surprised by the conversations that will result. Whether we are at the grocery store, sitting in a classroom, or living in Rwanda- we are all called to go be love. So go out with your No.41 bag and change the life for one.

If you would like to purchase your very own No.41 bag, click here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And the Winner Is....

Congratulations, Megan from Jeans & Bare Feet!! We know you're going to love it!! Shoot us your address to and your prize pack will be headed back to the States at the end of this month.

Thanks to all who entered. Your support means more than you'll ever know.

Updates on 4-1 Day coming very soon. Let's just say, y'all rocked it!! Thank you!

Behind the Bag- Amy

We are so excited to introduce y'all to today's Behind the Bag poster, Amy Willis. Amy is the newest team member at No.41! The whole story is a big mess of prayers wrapped up in God goodness.  The short version is, we had been praying hard for God's direction for No.41 in the coming year, when we got an email from Amy, out of the blue, asking to come and visit. Not really us, but the orphanage. We loved her immediately and did our best to reel her in. It worked. Amy visited us over Christmas day and she will be moving back here for a year, starting at the end of June. You will be hearing so much more from/about Amy in the coming months, but for now, her Behind the Bag:


That’s how I feel when I see God moving and working.

Overwhelmed. When you know you are seeing something bigger and better than you had imagined in your head.

That’s how I felt when I came to visit Rwanda and No.41 this past December.

Yes, I had asked to come and check out No. 41 and see if God any plans for me here. Yes, I had read every blog post Tara had ever written so I thought I knew what was going on. I knew the purpose and mission of No.41 and I could even give a couple of facts about it but I didn’t truly know what it would be like to know faces of the girls behind the bags. To see the dedication to skill and joy found in knowing you are doing something well. To know that you are part of a family and you are needed. To giggle about goose bumps and share sweet smiles because that’s how you share who you are. To see pride in knowing you are doing something important. To know that you have value and are loved and that you can pass that love and value on to others. This is the part of No.41 I saw this past December. Seeing God put all this together and put every part right where it needed to be is when I’m reminded of my smallness and His infinite size, power, and love.

God is doing BIG things through Tara, Alison, and these beautiful women at No.41 and I’m excited to be one small person in this wonderful family!

To check out the bags, click here.
If you have a story that you would like to tell, please email