17 Pounds of Supplies Headed to Orphans in India

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Thanks to the packing brilliance of Chris Bass, we fit more in this box than I thought possible. With every square centimeter of air space filled, the box came in three pounds under the international flat-rate limit.

The goodies in the Indian-orphanage-bound package include: toothpaste, toothbrushes, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, antibiotic ointment, hard candy, pencils, pens, crayons and soap.

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Cutting, Sewing, Pinning, Ironing

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Last night a group of lovely people joined me at Grace Evangelical Free Church in Huxley to work on dresses, label some shorts and work on getting a box Ā of school supplies and toiletries ready to send to India. In 2 1/2 hours we completed 7 dresses and have a several more cut and ready to be sewn.

It was so nice to have people change some of my piles of fabric into dresses.

Now if you all could come to my house and change some of the food in my freezer and pantry into meals, life would be perfect šŸ™‚

 

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Choosing What Matters

Choosing What Matters

I am a Ā freelance writer and an avid reader.

Those of you who aren’t in love with words like me may find what I am about to say very weird. When I read a book, I highlight all the phrases, sentences and paragraphs that give me pause or that say something I’ve heard a million times, but say it in such a way that I am struck by how a very old thought feels new. (Okay, so that’s not really out of the ordinary, but you might find me weird are after reading the next sentence.)

When I’m done with the book, I type up all those things and save them in my writing resources folder. Then I go back and readĀ themĀ over and over and over, trying to learn from them how to write phrases, sentences and paragraphs that will make an old idea feel new to someone else.

What does this have to do with 500 Dresses? Nothing really. Except that the above quote from The Secret Life of Bees got me thinking about how I make choices and how often I don’t choose what matters.

Giving to others matters. Doing what is best for someone else instead of myself matters. I know that through this whole crazy dress thing, God has given mom and me many opportunities to choose what matters, and I hope it is providing others opportunities Ā to choose what matters as well.

Mercy and Grace Orphanage – India

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Do you remember the parable of the persistent widow from the book of Luke? This lady repeatedly came before the judge with the same plea, and eventually she annoyed him enough that he gave in and gave her the justice she was longing for.

Though I definitely wouldn’t call Madhava from Mercy and Grace Orphanage annoying, he does remind me a little bit of that widow. When he first contacted me last summer requesting dresses and shorts for his orphanage, I looked into the cost of shipping, found that it was crazy expensive and decided to let him down gently.

But he was persistent.Ā And I knew he struggled to provide for the needs of the 107 orphans in his care.Ā So mom and I decided to break from our norm of sending clothing, and we shipped a small box of supplies to the orphanage. Dresses and shorts take up a lot of space, but things like school supplies and toiletries are small and relatively easy to ship.

To tell you the truth, when I sent the package I wasn’t 100% confident it would even reach the orphanage. I know very little about India and the postal service in that country. But it did make it, and it took less than three weeks for arrive.

I assured Madhava that if we could come up with an economical way to send clothes, we would do it. So far that hasn’t happened. Mom and I have decided however, that we would like to send another care package their way.

Our plan is to send a large flat-rate box via the USPS for approximately $80 (we’ll do more boxes if we can fill them.)

The following is a list of their needs –

Pencils, pens, crayons, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Children’s Ibuprofen, Children’s Tylenol (chewable NOT liquid please), hard candies.

If you are interested in donating any of these items, pleaseĀ send them or drop them off at my home by February 23.

We have some money set aside for shipping, but we welcome any cash donations as well; especially if we end up sending multiple boxes.

Thanks in advance for any way you choose to take part in this endeavor.

Sunday School Children’s Party in Uganda

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Because of your generosity, we had the opportunity to send 2 suitcases filled with clothing and sewing supplies, a sewing machine, money for the purchase of another sewing machine and a monetary Christmas gift to Faith Power Assembly in Iganga, Uganda.

Florence is so fantastic about sending photos when she can. The ones I’m posting here today are from their Sunday School Christmas party. Enjoy!

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Keep on praying with us about what 500 Dresses will look like in 2015.

Uncertainty

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Sometimes I just want a blueprint from Heaven.

I want to ask God a question and I want his answer to be –

Well, my dear sweet Kimberly, what I have in store for you is to do this specific thing, on this specific date at this specific time. It is going to cost this specific amount of money which I will be providing by way of such and such, and it will be a blessing to these specific people.

Tell me you know what I’m talking about. I’m kind of going crazy with uncertainty here.

We have gotten requests for help from various people in various countries. Some with a sense of urgency, some just letting me know they could use our support.

There’s a lot of need out there. But mom and I went into this with a heart for the people of Haiti and that is still where we have our deepest conviction and connection.

I want to do with this ministry what God wants me to do, but right now I don’t know exactly what that’s supposed to look like.

Would you pray with with me (and mom) as we start this new year that God would clearly direct us in the way he wants us to serve him?

I don’t doubt God or his provision, but sometimes I do doubt my ability to discern the best yes among all of the possibilities.

Isaiah 40:10 (You are) my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.Ā 

Photos From Iganga, Uganda

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Florence recently sent me a few photos from a nursery school graduation ceremony. Some of these cute kids likely received either a dress or shorts from us earlier this year.

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You may remember that the Faith Power Assembly Church building was destroyed in a storm early in the year. In this photo you can see they once again have a roof over their heads. Thanks to donations from people like you, we were able to send a cash donation toward construction costs. We also recently wired a small cash donation to the church for Christmas.

Thank you so much for your support of 500 Dresses. I am always happy to show you pictures from the places we have been able to support.

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Baby Clothes Heading to Heartline Ministries in Port au Prince, Haiti

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Thanks to all of your generous donations we have 76 little baby outfits boxed up and ready to head to Heartline Ministries Maternity Center in Port au Prince, Haiti.

In Haiti, a woman’s lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 83. In developed countries the rate is 1 in 3,800.

Heartline Ministries is slowly and diligently working to change this.

Heartline has been working along side the courageous Haitian people in Port au Prince for more than twenty years. Heartline approaches Maternal Health care with a model based in quality care, love, respect, and relationship building. The women that enter the prenatal program are known by name, their stories are known by the midwives that help to see them through a safe pregnancy and delivery. – (heartlineministries.org)

Our donation of baby clothes will be added to gift bags given to the women who complete a child development class after the birth of their babies.

After the ladies in our prenatal program have their babies, they begin attending our Tuesday child development classes. Every week Haitian mothers show up faithfully for class. When they arrive their babies are weighed to check for proper weight gain. If a mother is having breastfeeding issues we work with her, encourage her, and give her the information she needs to continue to successfully nurse her baby. Then the women eat a high protein meal together.

After lunch the ladies attend the child development class. We teach about topics relating to parenting, motherhood, womanhood, nutrition, and breastfeeding. We see these classes as very important in empowering women with truth and life-saving information for themselves and their children. In addition to teaching, we also learn a lot from the women about Haitian culture. We teach, but we also listen. When class is over medical care is offered for the women and children who are sick. – (heartlineministries.org)

Please visit Heartline Ministries online and/or LivesayHaitiWeblogĀ to learn more about the super awesome things that God is using them to do in Haiti’s capital city.