Plane Tickets Are Expensive But God is Good

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In less than a month, 4/5th of my family will be in Haiti. Yowzers. I’m excited, and I know this is what God has for us this summer, but I’ve also been  a bit stressed out and nervous.

One of the biggest stressors was plane tickets. Seriously, the prices constantly change! In fact at one point, I found some within the price range we were hoping for, but I stupidly decided to check another search engine just to be sure this was the best price. When I went back 3 minutes later to put the original tickets in my cart, the price had increased by $400 PER TICKET! What the What??

Needless to say, this piece of the mission trip puzzle was a weight I carried for quite a while.

When we were about 60 days out from our trip and all the plane tickets were a good $200 more a piece than I wanted to spend, I sent a text to 2 of my close friends and asked if they would pray that God would provide tickets within the range I was hoping for or that He would just allow me to be okay with spending more money than we’d planned.

In my head, I know that everything I have is God’s anyway, so if He wants me to take a bunch of moola out of savings and push back the next home improvement project for a couple years, I should be okay with that.

(But my house needs lots of improvements. And selfishly, I don’t want to put off fixing my bathroom for another year or two. It’s very possible that Corey is going to fall through the floor by the shower one of these days, and I have run into walls and stubbed my toes on many middle-of -the-night occasions on my way to the toilet in my twilight zone bathroom. . . you can read a bit about our housing adventures here.)

The day after I texted my friends, I woke up in the wee hours of the morning. 4:00 a.m. to be exact. I could not fall back to sleep so what did I do? I searched for plane tickets. At 4:30 a.m. I found tickets at the price point I wanted for same day travel (lots of tickets to Haiti require long overnight layovers in airports).

And I bought them.

And you know what? Since that time I’ve checked on prices just for fun, and they are never that low.

And that, my friends, is God taking care of His girl.

It’s still not cheap to take 4 Harms people to Haiti, but I know God’s got us. I know this is what we are supposed to do. And I am so excited to serve him and see Him work in our lives.

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Preparing for Sewing Classes in Haiti

 

Today my mom taught me how to make the projects that we will be working on with 30 Haitian students next month. Together we carefully worded step-by-step instructions and took photos of the steps. Now we’ll use an online translator to translate the English to Creole and then print copies so the students can follow along as we show them how to make a simple backpack and fabric storage container that hangs on a clothes hanger.

Mom is an ace at this. I am just hoping I don’t mess anything up.

At this point we don’t know the skill level of the students or how many sewing machines we’ll have available to use.

We do know that we will be dripping with sweat. After a never-ending Iowa winter, I will try very hard not to complain about the heat as I wring my skirt out. 🙂

Prayer requests:

  • That we will be flexible and go with the flow.
  • That the projects we have planned are appropriate for the students’ skill levels.
  • That the devotions I write to share at the beginning of each class will draw the students’ hearts to Christ.
  • That we can overcome the challenges of the language barrier.
  • That they will have bottled Coca-Cola available for my enjoyment (Okay that’s a totally selfish one, but seriously, one of the things I love about Haiti is drinking Coke out of a glass bottle.)

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And the Winners Are…

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…Sharon Sweers (ISU quilt) and Shelly Olsan (Ballard quilt)

Thank you to all who donated toward our trip and to all of you who are praying for us.

We will head to Haiti on July 21 and return on July 28.

Mom has started planning sewing classes. We’ll be making backpacks. But before we go she’s going to have to teach me how to make them (because I’m not fantastic at sewing 🙂 )

Corey and the boys will be fixing and remodeling a building on the Mission to Haiti campus that was damaged during the earthquake several years ago.

I’m excited that my boys have the opportunity to experience a world very different from their own and to serve Jesus in a tangible way working alongside their dad. #blessedmama

We’re Going to Haiti (and Giving Away a Couple Quilts)

 

The last time I went to Haiti was November 2015.  It was a trip I took with my mom to teach sewing classes. Corey and I went together to Haiti two years prior.

During each of those trips I thought, “Someday, when they’re old enough, we need to IMG_1885IMG_5359bring our boys here.”

Then I got cancer and life as we knew it drastically changed. Everything was readjusted on the scale of importance. We focused on me, which was a necessary thing to do, but thoughts of a return trip to Haiti fell to the recesses of my mind.

Then last fall, I had the opportunity to ship some dresses to Haiti with a friend. After handing off a suitcase filled with dresses to Jessica, I didn’t give it much thought. Not until she texted me one day in December and said, “Kim, can I come over to your house and talk to you about my trip?”

So Jessica came and sat with Corey and me and showed us photos and cried as she told us stories and talked about how her teenage daughter’s eyes were opened in a new way to Jesus’ love for the world.

And that was it.

It was like God was nudging me, “Kim, it’s time.”

But that’s a big deal. Taking 4/5ths of our family to a foreign country for 8 days is not an inexpensive venture.

But Corey and I both know that we want our boys to see Jesus clearly. And we desire for them to serve Him. Of course they don’t have to leave American soil to do that, but I can’t think of a better opportunity to expand their worldview and their Godview than the place where my worldview and Godview were rocked.

So here we go…

We, along with my mom, plan to travel to Haiti this July. Though details aren’t set, Corey and the boys will likely do construction work while mom and I teach sewing classes at the vocational school we taught at in 2015.

The cost of this trip will be approximately $6500.

That looks like such a big number to me. But I was recently reminded that my God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and when He leads us to something, He provides. Whether that’s from our bank account (everything we have is His anyway, right) or through the blessings of gifts from others.

My fantastic mother made the two quilts pictured and gave them to me to help defray the cost of our trip. If you feel led to donate any amount, your name will be put in a drawing for one of these quilts. Simply send a note with your donation letting me know which quilt you’d like a chance at receiving.

God is good. And I’m so thankful that He lovingly urges me on to do the things He wants me to do. And I’m beyond excited for the possibility of this experience with my mom and three of my four favorite men in the world.

Kim (and family)

Please don’t feel pressured to give, but if you do you, can write a check out to me and send it to 804 Timberlane, Huxley, IA 50124. Or you can donate through PayPal (make sure you specify friends and family, not goods and services) to ckharmsfamily@hotmail.com. (Don’t forget to mention which quilt you’d like your name in the drawing for.)

Last Chance to Donate Dresses for Haiti Shipment

 

Mom and I plan to send a shipment of dresses to Haiti in 2 weeks. We are still taking donations. If you have any formal dresses, sundresses or wedding gowns you’d like to add to our box, let me know.

Donations can be shipped to Jan Nelson, 680 1st St. NE, Britt, IA 50124.

If you are local to Huxley, you can drop them off at my house – 804 Timberlane.

 

Donate Your Wedding Gowns and Formal Dresses to Haiti

Renting wedding gowns to brides for their big day provides income for Mdm. Bennison in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In addition to renting out wedding dresses, she also sells formal dresses.

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Mdm. Bennison

We’ve given dresses to her a number of times, but it’s been a while so we decided it’s time for another shipment to expand her inventory.

Here’s what we’re looking for.

Formal Gowns

  • They must be current. No 1980s stuff that you find in the back of your closet. Life in Haiti might be a lot different that life in the US, but Haitian women have access to TV and Internet and they know what’s in and what isn’t. If you think it’s too out of style to wear, they probably will too.
  • We’d love a set of bridesmaid dresses if anyone has multiples of the same dress.

Wedding Gowns

  • Specifically larger sized wedding gowns (size 14+). Though we’ll take smaller ones if they are current.

We’ll be accepting donations throughout the month of February. Thanks for considering helping us out in this way.

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Photo from the wedding of a wonderful guy (my interpreter for the week) that mom and I attended while in Haiti in 2015.

Contact us at 500dresses@gmail.com with any questions.

Haitian Girls with New Dresses

My friend Jessica and her daughter Anna went to Haiti this fall and took a suitcase filled with our dresses.

This was her first trip to Haiti, and as she spoke to Corey and me about her experiences on the trip, we had to keep the Kleenex handy. God is so good, and he just does such amazing things when we say “Okay, I’ll go where you are asking me to go and do what you are asking me to do.”

Jessica took a bunch of photos and I’m sharing some of them with you here today.  They laid out the dresses in a classroom and let girls take turns coming in to try them on and choose one. It was the first time these girls have “shopped” for clothes.

Mom and I are thankful to be a part of the things God is doing with these dresses. And we are thankful to those who have supported this ministry.

 

A Quick Update

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Most of these dresses were donated by Pamela DeCuir from Florida. Thanks Pamela!

It’s been a while so I thought I should send a quick update to let you know what’s going on at 500 Dresses.

  • This past summer we sent 2 boxes of dresses and shorts and 2 sewing machines to Togo, West Africa
  • This fall we had the opportunity to send a suitcase filled with dresses to Haiti with a friend who went there on a mission trip.
  • This fall we also sent 60 dresses and some Fabric with a missionary headed to Zambia.
  • We are waiting on an update on the construction of the sewing school in Beudet, Haiti. Construction in Haiti doesn’t move quite as quickly as construction in the US. 🙂 When we have info on that I’ll pass it along.

As always, thank you for supporting this ministry.