Heart of Iowa Long Arm Quilt Guild Speaking Engagement


Photo courtesy of accuquilt.com

A big thank you to Michele Pettorini of the Heart of Iowa Long Arm Quilt Guild for inviting me to speak at the monthly guild meeting last night. It was a fun opportunity.

I would have enjoyed sticking around to meet more of you in person, but I have a little boy who likes his mama to scratch his back before bed so I hustled to get home before he fell asleep.

For those of you from the guild who are visiting this site for the first time I am providing links to a couple of the organizations I talked about last night.

1. Heartline Ministries (maternity center), Livesay Haiti (this is the personal blog of one of the midwives).

2. Mission to Haiti

Just for fun here’s a photo of the one and only quilt I’ve ever made. It was a 4-H project in high school. It doesn’t even compare to the beautiful things that actual quilters do, but it works really well in basement fort building. With three boys, we’ve had a LOT of forts in our basement over the years 🙂


Christmas Gift Ideas That Profit the Poor


When you buy from the organizations listed below, you will not only have a great gift to give to someone, but simply by making a purchase, you are putting money in the pockets of people who are in desperate need.


I discovered Ugandan Gold Coffee after I began corresponding with Florence. I have yet to purchase some, but if you are on my Christmas giving list, it’s very possible you will get a sample this year 🙂

The following is their mission taken straight from their website.

Ugandan Gold gives you an opportunity to make a real world, mission difference.

In Uganda today, one out of every five children will die before their fifth birthday.

Clean water, our most precious global resource, is available to less than 1% of Ugandans, and remains the primary obstacle to a healthy, productive, hope-filled life.  It is also a major reason why the average life expectancy is only 46 years in Uganda.

When you purchase and drink Ugandan Gold, your money goes to improve these conditions. 100% of the profits go back to Ugandan to declare the Gospel, help improve healthcare, enhance education, create jobs, and insure that Ugandan children and their families have access to clean water.

This is your opportunity to change the world.  Please make Ugandan Gold your mission, and your coffee.

To order, head on over to Ugandan Gold.



My cousin, Annie Engelman, and her sister-in-law, Beth, started an incredible non-profit in 2008. Links of Hope is an organization that equips rural, marginalized women and Deaf artisans from developing countries such as Honduras, Kenya and Costa Rica with free jewelry making training, tools, and raw materials.

The following is taken from their website.

Links of Hope Network combines two great passions: the passion to design beautiful jewelry and the desire to help women and Deaf students and artisans in developing countries.  Setting out to join a movement of non-profit organizations shifting from traditional models of aid and charity, Links of Hope Network is a new non-tradtional “philanthrocapitalist” approach that uses business thinking and fashion trends to inspire change and positively impact the lives of those we serve.

We celebrate that every man, woman and child has infinite value and it is our desire with Links of Hope to communicate love, respect and dignity to each artisan we work with.

Rather, than give a temporary handout, it is our goal to teach the artisans we train a marketable cottage industry, in order for them to provide for their own families with sustainability.  With continual relationship and dialog, it is our commitment that artisans earn fair wages, and we are proud that no matter how remote, our artisans can work from home and care for their families first and foremost.

By purchasing some beautiful jewelry, you are helping poverty stricken artisans earn a living.

To check out what they have to offer, head over to the Links of Hope etsy store.

(If you know of other organizations that sell products to the profit of the poor and destitute, let me know. I’d be happy to share them here.)

Uganda and India: An Update

In the past couple of weeks I’ve heard back from Florence in Uganda and Madhava in India. Both received the things we sent, and both are extremely grateful. Below you will find an excerpt from each of their emails to me.


Greetings & God Bless you and your gracious generous heart for the Children. APPRECIATE YOUR LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR HELPING  THE CHILDREN….We are so grateful for your heart for the Children who are very happy to have the things and they are praying for you and your family. (Madhava – Mercy and Grace Orphanage, India)

God is so amazing!! Thank you very much for the special gifts to us once again. Thank you for my love letter and he children’s photos as well. They look so lovely and healthy.
 It was gifts were such an amazing surprise to our children and the ladies. The sowing machine is so wonderful and we expect to make a full use of it! Thank you for being a blessing to us.
Sister Ham was able to come with a friend and some two little children to visit us! It was also a divine plan and encounter. Who ever dreamt  of this/??!!  We had  a great time together, now she can tell you about us, She saw our school children , the church and the staff members. (Florence, Iganga, Uganda)
Amy,(referred to as Sister Ham in the email), the woman who delivered the sewing machine, supplies and clothes for us had the opportunity to visit Florence’s church and meet some of the children and church members. How sweet is that?!
Madhava has requested that we send supplies periodically to the orphanage. Pray with us as we consider how we can best continue to offer them support.

God is good.