Rosliana Halim is a research scientist by trade, but the last few years have been marked by an adventure in faith, business and creativity – the fruit of which you might recognise in Tearfund’s own Useful Gifts Catalogue. Originally from Indonesia, Rosliana and her husband have lived in Melbourne for over 14 years.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt that we are blessed when we have food on the table, a roof above our head and work for our hands. I think living in such a rich country like Australia is a privilege and I feel we all can do something and give more generously. Perhaps growing up in Indonesia, where there is a huge gap between the rich and the poor, gave me an insight to what poverty is and has influenced my thinking.
In 2016, I wanted to do something more with what God had blessed me with. At that time, I already had a packaging business up and running but I wanted to set up a second business with the intention to raise funds to be passed on to an organisation. As I was praying and searching for an organisation, I came across Tearfund’s website. Everything that I read on the website fit what I was searching for: in line with the faith I profess and focused on fighting poverty. I felt especially connected to and inspired by Tearfund’s vision to partner with local organisations to empower underprivileged communities.
When I contacted Tearfund to express my intention to partner with them, I was connected with Ben Allsop [Tearfund’s Transformational Giving Manager] who at that time was looking to expand Tearfund’s Useful Gifts Catalogue. Ben was definitely inspirational and a gift! With my background knowledge of paper and packaging, we came up with the idea of Build a Village [a range of miniature pop-up buildings representing aspects of Tearfund’s work]. I was commissioned by TEAR to design these buildings, which was totally unexpected but definitely an amazing experience for me. My favourite from the Build a Village range, I must say, is the vegetable garden – perhaps because it took me a while to come up with a design concept that I was happy about.
My second business, Little Paper Light [paper goods and gifts], was set up with very specific purposes: to share God’s hope and encourage others through powerful words, and to give back whatever we’ve been given. Every Little Paper Light product was created very intentionally: there is a different story for every card set I created, most are actually a reflection of my own journey and what God was teaching me at the time. The “giving back” part, first and foremost is done through supporting Tearfund’s work but also by being mindful about how we create our products. As best as we can, we are environmentally-conscious (eg. 100% post-consumer recycled papers; biodegradable bamboo stands), and the bulk of our products are made in Australia.
I always say that Little Paper Light is run on God’s grace and provision, and that’s not just a saying. Every cent we receive is used to support Tearfund Australia and also to expand the collection in order to continue our fundraising endeavour. Little Paper Light is not a big business though so I was very thankful and excited when Tearfund invited us to be part of The Justice Conference in 2017 and 2019 as one of the ethical market vendors. This was an invaluable opportunity to meet like-minded people and learn more about pursuing justice from the amazing and inspirational speakers. While I never feel my contribution is big, God uses this to teach me too, to just be faithful and generous with the little (or big) that I have been given.
I don’t think there is any particular “who”. Cliche as this may sound, but learning more and more that our God is indeed a generous God, and His deep desire is for all of us to pursue justice, love our neighbours and care for the poor – maybe that’s more than enough motivation. Recently, going to The Justice Conference was a significant influence in my journey. So I would highly recommend anyone to be part of it, at least once – it opens up your mind and changes the way you see the world.
By doing the little things that I can, right where I am placed now, be it through my work or maybe as simple as being mindful of what we buy or the waste that we produce. I think we all can fall into the trap of thinking that “one day” we will be able to go somewhere to pursue justice or help others (I know I do!), but I personally believe that God wants us to pursue justice right where we are, with what we have and at this very moment.
I personally believe that God wants us to pursue justice right where we are, with what we have and at this very moment.