First Love Market

Our Story

Turning global goods into global love for the most vulnerable and marginalized people around the world.

Opperman Family Photo

In 2015, Jamie and Adeline felt the Lord working in their hearts to care for widows, orphans and the oppressed both locally and globally. While they didn’t know what that would practically look like, they began to pray, read books written by experts in the field and attend conferences to learn more about wholistically loving vulnerable people around the world. Through this process, they began to learn that millions of children are placed in orphanages not as the result of no longer having a living family member(s), but due to economic poverty. 

While they were aware that women and children in impoverished communities are more susceptible to human trafficking, they learned that the lack of educational opportunities and job skills training makes this reality more difficult to escape. In the midst of learning these hard truths, God began to reveal how He was calling them to respond. God led them to help provide economic empowerment to the most vulnerable through creating a marketplace of global goods with a focus on supporting partners engaged in Kingdom work.

In November of 2016, Adeline and Jamie partnered with 6 organizations and started the first Christmas Market in the gym of their home church (Redeemer Church in Loves Park, IL). Over the years, the annual event has grown beyond their greatest expectations! In 2022, they partnered with 16 organizations and had the support of over 200 church volunteers.

But this was not the end of their story. God again began to stir in their hearts and prompted them to explore expanding the market beyond a one-day event.  They took a step of faith, not quite sure exactly where God was leading them, and reached out to ministry leaders in their community to learn from them and take in all the advice they could.

Outdoor First Love Market

During one of those meetings, Jamie was connected with Phil Smith, President of First Love International (FLI). Phil listened to their story of where they had been and where they felt God was leading them. The Lord used Phil to answer their prayers to grow the market and further support their partner organizations. In July of 2023, Adeline was offered a position as Director of First Love Market, a new initiative within FLI, though very much in line with FLI’s mission to tangibly surround the most vulnerable with wholistic, Jesus-saturated love.

With Adeline’s new position, their prayers to expand the market and spread the powerful message that we can purposefully purchase goods that make a difference, had been answered.

If you would like to have First Love Market come to your church, please fill out our “Host An Event” form. We look forward to hearing from you!

First Love Market