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In September, we started #LazarusStories and began introducing you to the people behind our product names. Our focus for the past month has been on the Don Javier briefcase, and now we want to introduce you to the man behind the name.
The first thing Don Javier does every morning when he wakes up at 2:00 am is thank God. Then he sharpens his machete, eats tortillas, and sets to work. For years he has walked his granddaughter Mariela to the Mission Lazarus Sewing School every day, so that she could continue her studies after graduating and find a job that might improve their economic situation. This is no small feat, considering it is a 5,000 foot ascent. That is how he learned about Mission Lazarus when Mariela joined the Sewing School. Soon our founder, Jarrod Brown, found out that Don Javier and his neighbors were about to be evicted from Las Minas, a small village where he and his family lived. He and the other fifty or so villagers had already been evicted once before when their landowner sold the property out from under them. At that time, Don Javier had just minutes to gather a bag of belongings before soldiers razed his home, cut down his fruit trees, and burned the rest of his possessions in front of him. Now that he was again faced with eviction, with the help of Mission Lazarus and contributions from volunteers and donors, Jarrod and Don Javier organized the construction of new houses on land nearby. His new home has room for lots of grandkids and fields of corn, and best of all, he and his neighbors finally own it themselves. “If you trust in God, you will always find a solution to your problems,” Don Javier told us.
At Lazarus Artisan Goods, we believe that above all, all people are made in the image of God and that every single one of these people matter to Him. Because of this, people should matter to us too. The people that we get to come alongside in developing countries inspire us, bring us joy, challenge us, encourage us, and teach us more about God as we seek to advance His kingdom together. Each of them have beautiful stories and we want to share them with all of you, our customers and supporters, to better connect us to each other. Because we belong to each other, and the more we understand this, the more beautiful our world will be.
We are truly inspired by this man and his love for God and his family; so inspired that we named one of our best selling bags after him. Trustworthy, rugged and resilient- things that the man and the bag have in common. Shop this product here.