The Nudge That Left Me Awestruck

My love for Carry 117 all started when Melody Workman, from Sandals Church, reached out to me and asked if I would be willing to head-up a Carry 117 merchandise table at a church gathering. Without hesitation, I jumped at the opportunity—mainly because I didn’t want to disappoint her. I had no real knowledge about the organization, but the name rang a bell from a prior gathering that was hosted to raise money for the Carry 117 compound in Ethiopia.

When I went home after talking with Melody, I surfed the Carry 117 website and read all that I could to educate myself about this organization. I wanted to do this task justice and make Melody proud.

The night of the event, my world was rocked.

My role in selling these products quickly became more than just the table decorations and simply making Melody proud of me.


The focus became about the women I was helping and the ministry I was serving. Although I hadn’t been to Carry 117 to meet these women in person, I had seen pictures. I saw the smiles they wore on their beautiful faces that shouted the joy and love of Christ and the pride of their work. I wanted to be a part of that, and I started with taking what initially seemed like a pretty simple step.

I reached out and asked if there was any way to buy a shirt so that I could rep Carry 117 on my college campus. No big deal, right?! I’d wear my shirt and use my Tesfa purse every day, spreading the name of Carry 117 by word of mouth and wearing the merch. That was it. Never could I have dreamed that something so simple would have led to what it did…


Within a few weeks, I had the chance to meet the Carry 117 CEO and founder, Henok Berhanu, while he was on his #117Tour. We eventually FaceTimed with some of the USA Carry 117 staff and talked about how I could get more involved.


I heard Henok tell stories about how God continued to strengthen his faith by providing in times of need. For example, at a time when Henok felt he had nothing left to give, Sandals Church told him they raised enough money to help him hire another staff member and purchase a sewing machine and larger generator. That same day, he got a text that one of the monthly supporters of Carry 117 gifted the ministry a van. He couldn’t believe it.

He also shared about the day he hired one of the ladies, Shitoe. He shared how he had driven into the village of Korah where two completely different people, at two different points in his drive, stopped him and told him about this woman who really needed a job. They were both referring to Shitoe. So, he stopped what he was doing and went to meet her. She’s been working at Carry 117 for four months now.

What Henok didn’t realize as he was sharing his stories of faith was that my faith was being strengthened, too.

Here’s the truth:

There is nothing different between myself and the women in Korah—except for the fact that I was born here, and they were born there.

I want the women to know that we stand with them, and that we are here to pray for them. I want them to know that they are loved, and that they have a bright future for themselves and their children.

Through these series of events, I am proud to share that I am now a representative for Carry 117 at California Baptist University.


Here is what I hope to do as a Carry 117 Rep on my campus:

  1. Develop a partnership between the organization and the School of Behavioral Sciences.

  2. Build a team of people who have the same passion as I do for the mission of Carry 117.

  3. Raise awareness.

It is an honor to be a small part of the work that Carry 117 is doing for the Kingdom and for Korah. I am so glad I responded to the nudge that Christ gave me to reach out and be more involved. I had no idea it would lead to this, but I am overjoyed that it did.

If you are feeling that same nudge, follow it…don’t hesitate. You will be awestruck at how God works to connect the dots. Reach out to Carry 117. Visit their website. Dive deeper. Ask questions. Be vulnerable and be bold! The Lord will take you on an incredible journey.

~Love~ Janelle