BY ANNA KIM
On Saturday, August 5, Open Door hosted the first Café Night for a Cause! With delicious coffee donated by Cafein and baked goods from Cakes and Compassion, we enjoyed the amazing talents of our own church body and raised $1,782 for Freeset! The Café Night for a Cause was the result of Pastor John’s vision and many Open Door volunteers’ hard work. We enjoyed the gifts of guitarists and other instrumentalists, singers, and groups, who featured gospel and original songs. Pastor John and Pastor Daniel even tried to engage in a rap duel to encourage donations. It was a beautiful evening of fellowship and supporting a cause that is close to God’s heart.
Open Door has been partnering and supporting Freeset for the past 7 years, sending short term missions teams, sponsoring sales of Freeset products, and making financial contributions. Over the years, many of our church members have become permanent volunteers and serve on staff with Freeset USA, helping with grants, administrative needs, accounting, design, and marketing. We are also so proud of one of our own Open Door members, CJ, who has moved to India to serve as Freeset’s Chief Operating Officer.
Freeset is a BAM (business as mission), dedicated to ending sex trafficking in West Bengal, India, and ultimately helping women find true freedom in Christ. Starting each day with a worship service, Freeset operates as a business to train and employ at-risk and trafficked women to create bags, t-shirts, and scarves. Freeset provides financial independence, access to healthcare, literacy education, and other social services — transforming lives, families, and communities.
Between the performances during the Café Night, Susan Kirk from Freeset USA shared some encouraging updates on Freeset’s operations. In addition to growing its main business, Freeset Bags and Apparel, in Kolkata, Freeset has expanded to rural areas in Northern India that are notorious for trafficking young girls to others parts of India. To prevent trafficking before a girl is ever forced into the sex trade, Freeset has started mentoring and leadership programs and opened the doors of new businesses — Freeset Fabrics and Freeset Dhulian — while strengthening and partnering with a local rural church.
Susan also shared some exciting news on the distribution side: Freeset USA has struggled in the fiercely competitive distribution business in the US. Well aware of the fact that sales need to grow in order for Freeset to grow and sustain jobs for its current and future employees, Freeset USA has an important responsibility. God is with Freeset and the sales staff and has opened new doors. He has brought new partners (various fair trade companies) who are choosing to support and showcase Freeset, and place large orders for Freeset bags, including sacs for high end sleeping bags and gift bags for gourmet food products. In the past year, a U.S. mega church designated Freeset as its exclusive t-shirt provider.
It was a great evening of gathering together to connect, enjoy good conversations and amazing talents, and support a cause that is close to the heart of God and the hearts of many at Open Door. We all left with full hearts.
To learn more about Freeset USA, visit their website here.