Thriving Villages is a Christian organization called to demonstrate God's goodness and compassion. We work collaboratively and holistically with individuals and organizations, utilizing our gifts and skills to address issues of health, poverty, and development in rural Pestel, Haiti and beyond.
Second, this is a very nice email from Sister Carol Ann (in Sylvania, Ohio) that I would like to share with you:
Happy Thanksgiving to you! Thanking God for you and the partners who have joined to support the Haiti ministry. Thank you for partnering with us, supporting Sisters Fidelis and Josephine, and being so very resourceful. You are truly a missionary filled will zest for the love of God which carries to each of the people in need in Haiti.
You are especially in my prayers and know that on behalf of the Congregation that we are grateful to you and the members of the churches who are so supportive.
This is truly a time to be grateful for the many caring people we know. Let us continue to minister in God's name and for His greater honor and glory.
Sister Carol Ann Grace
Please continue to pray for strength, perseverance, faithfulness, and compassion.
This will be brief because my keyboard is really finicky, but wanted to say that i have a ton of really great news related to the health project for Pestel!
The week went superbly (I'm writing this from Jeremie, Haiti). My time with Steve was a God-send, and I cannot wait to see (And show) his photos. I know he got tons of moving, beautiful shots. More on this later!
Anderson and Nelson were with me almost the whole time, and I stayed at Nakesha's house on the way down (and will be going there tonight).
My presentation of the project went very well--and there is a lot of enthusiasm. We have a superb project manager!!! I cannot wait to tell you about her! Her name is Madame Jacques and she is an amazing gift from God. Not kidding.
We went to several places I'd never been too, including the island which is very poor indeed. We did a spot check of nutrition in one village and found about 25% malnutrition. Horrible. On top of that, about 20% HIV rate. An awful combination. More on this later.
Thanks for your prayers--for safety, for a week full of blessings upon blessings. I was quite aware during the week that God was answering prayers in Pestel, which I think is a really encouraging thought. Steve mentioned at one point that I have been given favor in Pestel which provides me with opportunity to talk to key leaders. The favor is not of my own doing. It is God's doing. It is Him working out His will.
And holy moly! What a good good Will!!! What a most magnificent plan!
I am really encouraged and excited. I thought (Quite seriously) that the tidal wave of God's Goodness for Pestel was overwhelming, but now I recognize that it is only but building up.
Just wanted to let you know that we've had a tremendous response to the request for test strips. Individuals have donated money, we're getting free supplies both through contacts at Dartmouth College of Medicine and Penn State College of Medicine, and still looking into possible donations from the manufacturer itself!! Simply awesome!
We're packing--which is a lot of fun. I know I know. That doesn't seem to make much sense, but when you have so many school donations to select from, and you can imagine the kids' faces when they get them...it's just pure joy!
I'm attaching a couple of photos of the boxes of school supplies that came in from a bunch of different places. This was taken last night...so it doesn't include the 50 pounds of supplies that we already packed up for Steve Miller (who is going down tomorrow with me).
Moment of confession (i.e. lessons learned): back in mid-to-late August, after sending out a couple of request for school supplies, and having received none at that point...I asked Jen to go out and buy some. I didn't want to miss the 'great opportunity' of the school sales, you see. It was not an act of faith.
Within a week we started receiving donations, including about 150 pounds of supplies from a VBS in Montana! We've gotten lots of crayons, pencils, rulers, eraser, chalk, board eraser, solar calculators, glue, scissors, pens, paper, zippered pouches to hold the supplies...
Really fun! And we received financial donations--so we're going to go out and purchase some bigger pencil sharpeners (for each school--so 6 total), levels and measuring tapes for the Trade School (masonry).
We received so many wonderful things that the supplies we purchased for Pestel will not make it down this trip.
Does anyone have any test strips for diabetes that they'd like to donate? These would be "Accucheck compatible"?
I'll plan to bring them down to Haiti this Friday. Apparently there is a young girl who has diabetes (insulin-requiring, I would guess, but I'll know more) and they need the test strips to check her sugar levels.
They ain't cheap (about $.50 per strip, I think).
If anyone is interested in donating money to purchase them, we can pick them up at a nearby store.
Given the amount of work that will need to be done in 2010 in order to accomplish the many tasks before me, and at the insistence of my one of my medical student advisees, I posted a list of smaller tasks for interested medical students to sign up for. Some of these tasks are bite-sized tasks, some are bigger time commitments.
A single email went out to the first and second year students.
Overnight, 36 medical students signed up!
There were only 22 tasks. So I'll need to come up with some more tasks.....not a problem.