What's in Your Hand?

What's in Your Hand?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

How can I help?

Often when we see photos of a place like Haiti it is overwhelming. There is so much that needs to be done it almost seems impossible to do anything! The truth is that if everyone gave that which he is able to give all the physical needs on earth would be met. But ...we can not worry about the other person doing his part to make it all work  out. The question is "What can I do?"
I really believe that people like to give. I also believe that it often helps to give them direction. If I say
"Can you give me a little money to help out in Haiti?" You will  be embarrassed to give me a dollar. But if I say "will you give me a dollar to help in Haiti?" most likely you will be happy to give a dollar.
So let me give you some suggestions how you might be able to help.
  • Give us a dollar. Or five or ten. If that is what you can give we would love to have it for our trip in October.
  • Give us $5,000. That would go a long way in building the driveway to the homes that will be build for the Joy in Hope Children's Home.
  • Buy a set of good quality white towels. We need ten more sets. One set cost about $40.00. Ten people donating one set each will have it covered.
  • Donate your time and sewing talent to embroider 10 sets of towels. Or volunteer to embroider one set.
  • Donate good quality white queen or twin size sheets. We need a lot. Donate one set..two sets or ten.
  • Donate beads or jewelry making items that can be donated to the deaf community in Jacmel.
  • Donate used t-shirts. 100% cotton. We will make diapers out of them to bring to Haiti.
  • Donate your time to help sew these t-shirt diaper's..
  • Donate powdered formula for the babies in the tent camps in Haiti.
  • Donate powdered SOY formula for baby Schneider in Haiti.
  • Donate disposable diapers for babies in tent communities in Haiti.
  • Sponsor a bag. For $100 we can carry an additional bag to Haiti.
  • When missionaries are on furlough lend them a car, a car seat, a house. Give them a gas card a gift card  a prepaid visa card. (any missionary not just mine  :)
  • Sponsor a job for an unemployed Haitian.(monthly)
  • Sponsor a child.
  • Sponsor a house. You don't have to go to Haiti to build a house. If you have the means pay for the materials for others to build a house. (roughly $6,000.)
I could go on all night. What I really want to say is "What's in your hand?" It's not about the gift. It is more about the giver. I used to not like to ask. Then I discovered people like to give. They just sometimes need a little direction. So give with an open hand and  a cheerful heart. It will make your heart happy.


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Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Story of my Haitian Family

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Every story has a back story.

Today my son in law Nick and I talked about Jacmel Bay and sea glass necklaces. Each necklace has a life of it's own. At some point it could have been ballast from a long ago and far away time when Haiti was known as "The pearl of the Antilles". Cargo ships sailed into harbors and off loaded glass bottles and dishes and pottery into the sea to make room for the riches of Haiti to be stored in their bellies. Or perhaps it was not such a glamorous story and simply was a discarded item that was tossed over the river bank that make it's way to the sea and churned for a hundred years and then on the day of the sea glass hunt it was tossed onto the rocks on the shore of Jacmel Bay to be rescued and redeemed.
Then there is the back story of the person who found the glass and the person who fashioned it into a necklace. That is the story that Jacmel Bay tries to tell. When a necklace is worn it gets noticed. I am delighted that people like the necklaces because of their beauty. But that is not it's story. Simply being pretty is not a story. What happens every time someone comments on  necklace the story gets told..The wearer does not simply say "thank you". The wearer tells the admirer the story of Jacmel Bay artists and Joy in Hope. The story is compelling and worth repeating. It helps us to remember the pains of yesterday but offers hope for tomorrow. Jacmel Bay is not a business. It is a story.
I have shared how it all started. The scripture in Exodus chapter four when God asks Moses " What's in your hand?" The power Moses possessed was not it the staff. It was in his obedience when he threw it to the ground at God's command. That phrase "What's in your hand? has been the foundation Jacmel Bay has been founded on. Being willing to offer what ever pitiful thing that I might possess in obedience to God is very humbling. How could God use what I have in my hand? Like Moses I do not possess the confidence to speak or to lead and like Moses I question God wondering if I am really the one to walk this path.
Today while looking a facebook a sidebar on my page revealed photos from my daughter Gwenn's page. Knowing that these were photos of a sea glass hunt I clicked on it.  I saw the photo Gwenn send me last year of a young boy's hand outstretched with his sea glass offering. Just a small child of the streets with a dirty hand outstretched to give his gift to my daughter. The picture spoke volumes to me "What's in your hand??" In fact that photo has become my logo. And this is a back story. But not far enough back. Tonight as I looked at Gwenn's photos I saw HIM! Not a body less hand with white and green sea glass. Yes that but so much more! This picture was the boy himself. And I could see his eyes and face and smile. This was the back back story. A child. A boy. A dirty little boy, unsupervised, unschooled and very possibly on his own. A child offering what was in his hand. Delighting in his ability to give I want to be able to give like him. And now seeing his face I want to know his story.His back story may never be known by me.But his story is now part of the Jacmel Bay story. A story that must be told.