Frankincense and myrrh were made well-known Christmas anchors through the story of Three Wise Men who gifted them to baby Jesus, along with gold, in Bethlehem centuries ago. Now, an international business in Northwest Indiana ensures these essential oils and resins are still available for modern-day sacred church prayers.
Ryan Bambrick operates Northwest Indiana Trading Co. and offers frankincense, myrrh, resins, essential oils, herbs, ginseng and aromatic wood. His imports are used by churches, as an anti-inflammatory palliative, and in cologne, according to the South Bend Tribune.
In 2012, Bambrick started the retail, bulk and wholesale sales online company by importing all-natural frankincense from the Al Hajar Mountains in Oman, and myrrh from Somaliland in Somali. The product is often shipped directly from the source to the customer. All of the frankincense and myrrh products are wild harvested.
Orthodox and Catholic churches across the world use frankincense in religious ceremonies. Orthodox churches burn it during prayer, while Catholics mix it with olive oil to make anointing oil, Bambrick told the South Bend Tribune.
Bambrick said he does business with countries all over the world, including Australia, Spain, France, Ireland and Norway. Business increases at Christmastime, and some parishioners use their tithes to buy resins for their churches, he explains. But the biggest boost happens during the Holy Week after Easter when Orthodox churches want to stock up on the best-quality frankincense, he told the South Bend Tribune.
He said it's stated in the Bible that incenses are burning when prayers are going before the Lord. "It's nice to know how it adds symbolism, and adds to the intimacy of prayer and worship."
Bambrick mostly fills small retail orders to churches and monasteries, but also brokers sales of several tons, reports the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal.
"It is a Christian product, and I am a believer. It's exciting to be part of something, of people's intimate relationship with God," he said.