When Helen Yusan Waiting fled her native Hong Kong for the United States, she didn’t expect to encounter more physical abuse. Following a lengthy period in domestic violence shelters and a chance encounter with God, Helen is now running a successful consignment store that is funding over thirty local and international ministries.
Phoenix, AZ – Walking into Scottsdale’s Fashion Xchange Consignment store is a reminder of how retail should be; a quaint boutique selling as-new fashion and accessories at rock-bottom prices. However, this little work of genius was founded by a woman with a truly extraordinary life.
Helen Yusan Waiting potters around her shop; greeting customers and fixing them up with the latest fashions. Having worked in the Hong Kong diamond industry and travelled the world as buyer for both Louis Vuitton and Hermes – Waiting possess a wealth of fashion knowledge and experience.
While her bright and welcoming face brings a smile to everyone she meets, behind Helen’s façade is a truly remarkable life with an extraordinary story.
Growing up in Hong Kong, Waiting endured an upbringing of fierce physical and emotional abuse. Aged seventeen and wanting to escape her life of pain, Waiting was delighted to have been offered a prestigious place as an exchange student of interior design at the University of Australia.
“Away from Hong Kong, I was the happiest I had ever been. However, a year later, I found myself back at home with broken pockets and broken heart,” Waiting explains.
She continues, “I felt like a complete loser. However, aged twenty four, I decided to turn to God for answers.”
After answering her calling to become a missionary for her Hong Kong-based Church, Waiting travelled to North America to assist Asian speakers who had immigrated to the continent. During her tenure, Waiting fell in love and married a fellow Hong Kong native.
“Just like my childhood, the physical abuse began again. Just a month into our relationship I was so badly beaten that I had to wear long sleeves in public, just to avoid attention from passers-by. It was as if I was destined for a life of pain, as my Mother continued to tell me that I was ‘ugly’ and ‘worthless’,” Waiting adds.
Following a plea from her church to approve a divorce, Waiting escaped life’s second episode of abuse. God spoke once again, leading Helen to commence a teaching career in both North America and Hong Kong.
It was during this time that Waiting found, what she thought, was the man of her dreams. Having been swept off her feet, Waiting re-located back to the United States, to join him in Arizona in both residence and marriage.
“You can imagine how dumbfounded I was when the physical abuse began once more, this time just three days into our honeymoon. I fled to live with friends, but when my new husband began to threaten them, I had no option but to get out,” she says.
This period began Waiting’s domestic abuse shelter ordeals. With just 120 days allowed in each shelter, she moved from location to location, until she decided to turn to the only person she could trust.
“I got down on my knees and begged God for change. I asked him why I was poor, hungry and in despair. What he sent back knocked me off my feet – he told me to watch and wait, because he would use me in a mighty way,” Waiting explains.
As she saw other women and children suffering around her – the idea sparked; a calling to create a ministry for shelters in her area.
Having founded Blessing You Ministries, Waiting’s current life is a fruition of success and change. All about giving back, Waiting is now running the powerhouse that is Fashion Xchange Consignments – a store that provides support and tangible donations to over thirty ministries both locally and nationally (full list below).
“My business and ministry is all about giving back, women helping women and our neighbors, living a meaning life. The key message is that there’s a God who can turn my mess into a message. If He can do it for me He can do it for anybody who put their trust in Him,” claims Waiting.
To the consumers, the store has become an immensely popular way to secure top fashion items and accessories at prices that can’t be beaten. With her insider knowledge of the fashion industry, Waiting and her products are in high demand by locals and shoppers from further afield.
“I don’t price according to brand. I price according to passion – as every purchase directly affects women and children who cannot escape by themselves. It’s a great deal; customers secure the latest brands at ridiculous prices, while thousands of people in need can find light at the end of their despair tunnel,” Waiting concludes.
The store is located in the Scottsdale 101 Shopping Centre, Open Monday through Saturday, 09:00 – 19:00.
For more information, please visit the store’s website: http://www.FashionXC.com
About the store:
Fashion Xchange Consignment Store is based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The store provides support and financial assistance to over thirty ministries, including:
Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, abused women and kids shelters like Sojourner Center and Chrysalis, Church on the Street, City of Grace, Church For The Nations, Family Life Radio, International Justice Mission, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Compassion, Feed The Children, Catholic Charities, Operation Smile, Crisis Pregnancy Center, Teen Challenge, homeless shelters, Expected End Prison Ministries, Phoenix Dream Center, XP Ministry, St Vincent de Paul, Feed My Starving Children, City-Link, The Healing Room Phoenix, and many more.
Helen Yusan Waiting
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