Finding Faith: God's call is by design
Five years ago, Inka Mathew felt a tug on her heart from God after she learned from a friend that Houston is a big hub for human trafficking. A freelance graphic designer, Mathew said God pulled on her heart to use her talents to help fight the slave trade, and the small business 139Made was born.
“Call” is the word that many faithful use to describe a particular vocational tug on their heart. … A tug from God that is.
For instance, six years ago, I felt God’s “call” to become an ordained pastor. However, not every “call” ends in a path to professional ministry.
Take for instance Inka Mathew, a wife and mother of two, who lives in Sugar Land, Texas, a suburb of Houston.
Five years ago, she felt a tug on her heart from God after she learned from a friend that Houston is a big hub for human trafficking. Mathew said she was shocked by the revelation, and aghast when she learned that there is more slavery today than any time in history, with an estimated 30 million people currently enslaved worldwide.
A freelance graphic designer, Mathew said God pulled on her heart to use her talents to help fight the slave trade, and the small business 139Made was born. Mathew and her husband operate the business out of an inconspicuous, glass-encased kiosk in the Sugar Land city town square. A building with a global mission housed in a space about the size of most people’s master bathroom.
Through the sale of customized Christian T-shirts, hats and other apparel, Inka and her husband raise money that is donated to partner organizations that are in the fight against global trafficking. Ten percent of their sales are being given to GenerateHope , which provides long-term support to women who have been rescued from trafficking. But there are a host of other organizations that have received financial support from 139Made too.
I had the good fortune of “stumbling” upon 139Made’s little shop on a recent trip, and I was heartened by the couple’s passion for their mission. But I also was reminded that God tugs and pulls each of us in the direction of vocations that serve our wider humanity. … If only we listen to that “call.”
Martin Luther, who was influential in the Protestant Reformation some 500 years ago, liked to write about people’s vocations. He believed that faithful people live out their vocations by serving God through their occupations, be that clergy, teachers … or graphic designers.
Thankfully, creation doesn’t need all of us to be pastors who bloviate from the pulpit on Sunday. But our neighbors, globally and next door, do need a whole network of people following their spiritual vocations to ensure we cast a wide net to serve everyone who is in danger, especially those who are enslaved even today.
You can support Inka and 139Made’s mission to end trafficking by shopping on their site at 139made.com . Proceeds from now until July 25 will go toward GenerateHope. Other organizations fighting trafficking are periodically featured as well.
Devlyn Brooks, who works for Modulist, a Forum Communications Co.-owned company, is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. He serves as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Wolverton, Minnesota. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for comments and story ideas.