First off, my name is Mike. I own the Aurora clothing line and this is how it happend.
The idea to start the clothing line began around 2010 while I was at Elim Bible Institute in Lima, NY. I never pursued it, because I didn't know how to do it. I got discouraged and every time I would think about it, I would tell myself why I couldn't do it.
In 2013, I moved to Lancaster, PA with my wife, to serve as the youth pastor at Living Hope Community Church. I am currently serving at LHCC. I have laughed and cried, gotten upset and excited, and went on many adventures with the youth through the years. The youth at LHCC and around the world are able to make an impact in the world right now. Youth, are you listening? Your time to make a difference is right now! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
After I graduated from Lancaster Bible college in 2016, I was really challenged with the fact that God did not call me to mediocrity. That if I have dreams and aspirations, I should go after them. My wife really encouraged me to go after what God was calling me to do. I realized that if God can use me to help people around the world, I need to do my part.
I became stuck again, because every name I came up with I didn't like. I kept reading the Bible and praying and nothing stuck out, until I read Isaiah 58:3-8. This is what it says,
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn
As soon as I read this, I said to myself, "This is what I want the clothing company to represent." I want to make a difference, I want the light that I carry to break forth! I wasn't sure how to capture this in the name of the company, so I did some research and I came across the word Aurora, as soon as I saw it, I liked it, but what did it mean? I scrolled down a bit further and right there was the definition... The Dawn. I was sold! I felt such excitement and peace. Finally, I had a name!
When I started the business, I wanted it to be as legitimate as possible. This isn't about making money, it is about building a quality brand, with ethical standards, to help people that are hungry, homeless, and hurting. I didn't see the point of buying cheap shirts that were made through child labor, slave labor or other unethical practices, just to turn around and help other people. Wouldn't that be self defeating? So, I found a quality shirt company that has higher ethical standards. Aurora Clothing gets printed at a local printer in the USA that I am growing a great business relationship with. You can see more information about all this on the Social Responsibility page.
There was only one more piece missing, who was I going to start helping when I sell the apparel? I was praying that God would help me meet someone that I could connect with and know who they were and what they were about. I wanted God to direct me. I was starting to get concerned, because I was 2 weeks away from my launch date and I had not found anyone. That week I went to Nashua, NH for an international leaders conference that I go to every year. While I was at the conference I was able to meet a woman from North Thailand that helps rescue at-risk children and youth who are targets of the sex trade industry, by supporting, educating, and providing them with a safe place to live, grow, and learn about Christ. I was so intrigued, I wanted to help these kids! No child deserves to be a target of sex trade, not one.
G.R.O.W. (Grace Refuge Outreach Worldwide) Thailand was started by Faa (pictured above) and her sister. She has such an amazing story. She began to help kids, but couldn't help more then a few. Well God is opening doors for her, and now Faa and G.R.O.W. Thailand are helping 23 kids (October 2016). She wants to help more children, but needs more resources and that is where Aurora will step in to help. I am extremely excited to partner with Faa in changing the future of these children's lives in Thailand. I repeat, no child deserves to be a target of sex trade.
You see, Aurora is more than just a shirt on your back. It is an opportunity to team up with us to change the future of people dealing with life's injustices.
Thank you for taking the time to hear some of my story,