One of this years acts is called Boost… It is all about being generous with your words and with encouragement. So we took the time to ask Jessie, the found of Belle, all about her story and why it is so important to be generous with our words…
Jessie! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Tell us a bit about yourself!
Don’t you just love that question?! Our default position is to say what we do, and I will do that. But who we are is who we are; it’s not what we do! So, first, I’ll tell you about my character and my passion.
I’m a daughter, sister, friend, fiancé, mentor and role model. I am a bubbly, approachable, laid back, smiley, blonde (because it’s the best thing ever), bold, passionate young woman striving to live adventurously with God. I’m passionate about inspiring girls to discover their value, beauty and purpose in a society preoccupied with self-image and social media. I am passionate about journeying with girls where they are in their story, being real and authentic with my own story and embracing all that Belle can be in God’s master-story. I’m all about Ephesians 2:10: you are a masterpiece.
Now what do I do?! I’m currently in the final months of my degree in Theology and Youth Ministry at St Mellitus College. I run Belle and am the Youth Work Coordinator at St Michael’s Church in Southfields.
THAT’S ME in a pretty little nut shell.
Wow- sounds like you are a very busy lady. Tell us what Belle is?
Belle uses workshops, mentoring and social media to inspire girls to discover their value, beauty and purpose in Primary and Secondary Schools. It’s a ministry with Christian values which explores the pressures of perfection, social media, friendship and image for girls in the 21st Century. It’s VITAL stuff and it’s needed more than ever, believe me.
What’s the heart and personal experience behind Belle?
Well, I’m currently 21 years old, so school wasn’t that long ago for me, and I struggled with self-esteem. It was the kind of struggling that went under the radar because it wasn’t a visible outer act, it was an inner reality: I didn’t feel good enough and I felt so imperfect and useless. It wasn’t until I properly found Jesus and started a journey of reflecting on my story (my gifts, talents, character and my worth), that I realised that so much of the world is drawing us into lies about ourselves. I chatted with other girls who’d experienced similar things and I decided SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE.
A strong value of Belle is authenticity. I aim to be real with my story to allow girls to be real with their own precious story.
Belle is small but it is mighty. We aim to make each girl we come in contact with feel valued and loved. We aim to affirm, empower and liberate. Every act, no matter how small, is powerful and life changing.
Jessie, this is amazing. Clearly encouraging people and telling people there worth is important. Who have been the people in your life that have been generous with their words to you?
My mentors have been instrumental in my on-going journey of life and my ever-evolving story. They are wise, loving and authentic. They have challenged me where I need to be challenged and loved me where I need to be affirmed and encouraged.
For me, my mum has always been a solid rock of encouragement. She’s a prayer warrior and a truth-speaker who prompts me to take a step back and return to what my heavenly Father says about who I am. (FYI: he says you’re a masterpiece).
The people who support Belle and offer kind words also have no idea of the power of their feedback. Words give us strength and set our hearts alight with passion.
For people who are unsure on the ‘how to do this’ front… any advice?
God spoke and the world came into being – the words in the Bible are formational in the way we see him, ourselves and others around us. We have to give thoughtful attention to the words we use in conversation with people, on social media and in life generally. Our words can destruct or encourage.
Let’s create a culture of encouragement, where each word we speak is full of truth and life. Imagine a world where we consistently built one another up…Imagine the light we could carry into dark places….Image the passion we could ignite….Imagine the lives we could change…
One letter, one note, one text can make all the difference.
Jessie, it has been a pleasure. Thank you! If people want to get involved with Belle or support you, how can that be done?
Well, it’s exciting times for Belle as I am currently working on a BOOK (with SPCK publishers) for teenage girls. It’s a book written for every girl, by a very normal girl, because every girl’s story matters. The book is for the girl who is trying to figure out who she is, the girl who looks in the mirror and hates what she sees, the girl of faith or of no faith. It’s for the girl who doesn’t know her true value, beauty or purpose. It’s for the crazy girl, quiet girl, confused girl, worried girl, happy girl. You name it!
What I’m trying to say is to join the army of girls and women on Belle’s social media pages to keep in the loop about the book, hear the feedback from the schools we’re working with, and to be inspired on a regular basis by reflections!
Or, head to our website: www.belleministry.com. We’d love to hear from you!!
Remember, every act and every word, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, is powerful and life changing. Let’s do this together.
If you want to hear more from Jessie, then you can follow her Twitter (@JessieFaerber) or his Instagram (@jessiefaerber). You can also find out more about Belle by heading to their website http://www.belleministry.com or email them on [email protected].