March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day! It’s a day we celebrate people with Down Syndrome and participate in activities to advocate for their rights, inclusion, and well-being. After having my brother in my life for 25 years, I sit here pondering why we even have to advocate for the “rights, inclusion, and well-being” of those with Down Syndrome in the first place. What is it that makes us believe they shouldn’t have the same rights or inclusion as others? You see, for me, growing up with a brother who has Down Syndrome was normal. After all, he was born when I was just 2 years old and he is the very first memory I ever had - Thank you for the best first memory, Jesse! Despite life being a little different when he first entered into the world, life with him wasn’t much different in the sense of what another family might have been experiencing. After all, every family has differing quirks, issues, and personalities. Jesse just brought his own to our kitchen table where we gathered together to be a family. It’s the story of our family and I wouldn’t change it for the world. ❤️Read More
Food. It has long been a source of gathering and community, a silent facilitator of relationships and celebration. In fact, we as a nation, just celebrated one of our most beautiful reflections of these very things, Thanksgiving! Aside from all that yummy Turkey, the tradition is an expression of gratitude and a time to gather in unity. It offers us a moment to prepare our hearts in “giving-thanks” for all we have, while extending our gifts to those less fortunate too. In reminiscing on the holiday, I’m reminded of an organization whose mission fits so well with the idea of Thanksgiving. Urban Recipe is a natural extension of what we’ve been learning - how to “help without hurting”.Read More
This is Joubert. (I’m calling him by his middle name, so as to be respectful to his privacy.) He’s 2 years old and I know his family wants us to share his story, because his short life has already served as a testimony within his community. His parents are willingly sharing this story, hoping that everyone who hears it can come to believe in the Lord.
Two years ago when Hurricane Matthew hit La Beyi, Haiti, their entire community was wiped away. Water flooded the plain on which their community was built and rose halfway up the mountain leaving their homes, livestock, and land completely destroyed.Read More
On October 4, 2016 Haiti was hit by Hurricane Matthew, leaving their homes, livestock, and land completely destroyed. In fact, water flooded halfway up the mountain, completely covering everything they knew. Despite the relief and recovery efforts over the past 2 years, little improvement has been made for those living on the south coast of Haiti. The locals described their community as being beautiful with coconut trees and pristine white sand, but the hurricane took that all away leaving them struggling to survive. My husband, Sam, was talking to a women who described their shelters of sticks and tarps as not being acceptable living standards. They used to have homes and now, in her words, they “live like goats”.
This breaks my heart.Read More
Poverty is an opportunity to uncover great beauty in other people.
For years it's been this beauty and opportunity that has drawn me to be an advocate for the poor! While that desire has been tugging at my heart for a long time, I wasn't always quite sure the best way to help, where to begin, or worse, aware that things I do can potentially hurt the poor in the process of trying to help. In my last story, I recounted one of my most shameful efforts that did indeed, actually hurt the poor. Today, I want to share with you one of my recent experiences that I believe lends itself more to helping!Read More
My dream is coming true! My husband, Sam, and I are traveling with 410 Bridge on a mission trip to Haiti this summer. For those who know me, you won’t be surprised to know I’ve been learning all I can about Haiti and the people we’ll be working alongside. I like to study, read-up and be prepared as a way to create the most meaningful experience possible. As I’ve started to learn about the intricate details contributing to poverty in Haiti and around the world, I’ve begun to realize just how small and interconnected our world truly is. We say it all the time, but do we mean it? This time, I mean it. From a distance, poverty looks the same in many places. That’s because it is. Many of the same factors that plague Haiti’s development, plague other areas of the world, yet each of these factors manifest in different ways, making it actually appear quite different in each country or community. My hope is to share with you what I’m learning about Haiti’s specific situation before we go, so I can bring you with me on the journey to Haiti and back. Want to join? Here we go!