God Provides. Always. Period.

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I can’t even blame this mess on my boys. 🙂

This is what my spare room looks like with 100 sundresses, 68 pairs of shorts, 21 formal gowns, 6 sewing machines, 5 flower girl dresses 4 mother of the bride dresses and 3 bridal gowns in the midst of being packed.

Sometime next week this chaos will turn into four filled cardboard boxes. 🙂

We usually ship these boxes via UPS down to Miami where they hop on a ship to Haiti. To get one 40(ish) pound box from Huxley, Iowa to Port au Prince, Haiti costs approximately $160. To get four there? $640.

We have been blessed by people who send money for shipping. And we always have enough. Always.

Well, this time around, something very cool is happening. We are going to take these boxes to Sheldon, Iowa, where they will join a truckload of building supplies en route to Miami. Free of charge. Did you hear that? FREE OF CHARGE. And what is even cooler is that we have had 3 people offer to take these boxes to Sheldon for us. Wowzers.

That there is saving us at least $320 my friends. (We will still make a donation to Mission to Haiti to cover the cost of getting the boxes from Miami to Haiti.)

If I ever need reminded of God’s provision, all I have to do is read through the stories of what he has done with 500 Dresses.

Seriously. God provides. Always. Period.

(Thanks to all of you for providing too. It’s awesome. Really it is.)

Haiti Shipment Update

Here’s a sampling of the formal dresses that will be headed to Haiti in October.

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And an update on where we stand.

Mother-of-the-Bride dresses – 4

Wedding gowns – 3

Formal Gowns – 18

Flowergirl – 4

Sundresses – 63

Shorts – 9

Sewing Machines – 6 (We actually have a few more, but will be sending 6 this time around.)

DEADLINE For this shipment – October 1.

 

 Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right,‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

 

 

Weddings In Haiti

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Almost 20 mother-of-the-bride dresses, a handful of flower-girl dresses and a bunch of sewing supplies are heading to the Dorcas Ministry Shop. (If you are interested in the background of the bridal shop, you can read about it in Haute Couture in Haiti, an article I had the privilege to write for Today’s Christian Woman last summer.)

Many people have asked me questions about weddings in Haiti. With the extreme poverty, how can people even afford to get married? Is a bridal shop a lucrative business? Are Haitian weddings like American weddings?

Honestly, I don’t know a lot, but I’ll share what I do know.

I think the answer to the question, How can people in Haiti afford to get married?, is: It’s hard.

There are a lot of costs involved including some kind of marriage fee to the Haitian government, the actual wedding ceremony and meal and all the various costs that go along with that, and housing. From what I understand, a groom is expected to acquire a respectable furnished place in which to live with his new bride.

Three Possible Scenarios.

Some couples can afford to get married. Haiti is the poorest country in the world, but some people do have money.

Some couples scrimp and save and work very hard for a long time to have the finances to get married.

Some couples want to get married, but because they cannot afford it, they choose to live together without getting married.

I also know that weddings are a big deal in the Haitian culture, so a bridal shop makes sense. There will always be weddings, so there will always be a demand for wedding gowns and other bridal attire. Since Dorcas Ministry Shop rents and sells inventory at a reasonable price, they are helping the bride and groom as well as providing much needed income for their employees.

I’ve tried to do some research ino Haitian weddings online, but I haven’t found a ton out there. I did find this post, A Haiti Wedding, with some info and a number of photos from a Haitian wedding to give you a taste of what a typical Haitian wedding might look like.

I don’t fully understand that ins and outs of planning and paying for a wedding in Haiti.

What I do know is that God has opened up this opportunity for us to serve, and we will continue to do so as long as we can be beneficial to the ministry. I do not think it is a coincidence that my mom, who has been sewing for weddings since before I was born, was connected to this little bridal shop in Port-au-Prince. And when God takes your passion and says – “Here, I’ve got this sweet way for you to serve me”- serving him in that way is exactly what you should do.

500 Dresses Update and Deadline Reminder

 

 

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“No one has ever become poor by giving.”

– Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

With the help of a wonderful high school girls Bible Study group (photos to come at a later date), I was able to get all the stuff for our next shipment ready to go. They tagged dresses, pulled some elastic through shorts and sewed some buttons.  🙂

Now, I’ve got two big cardboard boxes waiting to head to FedEx. We planned to ship just one box this time around, but you guys really came through with the mother-of-the-bride dresses, and they take up quite a bit of space. So two boxes it is.

We are taking donations until March 22, but any new sundress donations will be held for the Uganda shipment or the next Haiti shipment.

Our first priority is to pack the mother-of-the-bride dresses, flower girl dresses and sewing supplies so if I receive any of those, I’ll squeeze them in.

Here’s the current tally:

Mother of the Bride/Formal Dresses – 17

Flowergirl Dresses – 7

Sundresses – 61 (A few of these will probably be held back for Uganda due to space constraints)

Shorts – 11

(And a bunch of sewing supplies and fabric)

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A Christmas Gift for Dorcas Ministry Shop

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Would you consider adding a thing or two to your Christmas shopping list this year? Maybe you could squeeze one of the following  items somewhere between the xbox, the Under Armour hoodie and the astronaut ice-cream. . . Oh, wait. That’s my list.

1. Soft Velcro (for cloth diapers) – The women have begun making cloth diapers to sell,and they need soft velcro to go against that little Haitian baby skin.

2. Mother-of-the-Bride type of dresses (all sizes) – Though most of the formal gowns at Dorcas Ministry Shop are rentals, the mother of the bride always purchases her dress, so they need extra stock.

3. Flower Girl Dresses – Do you have one of these hanging in your closet somewhere? We’d be happy to take it off your hands.

4.Fabric for making flower girl dresses and fabric bouquets. – The women have the talent to sew these items, but they need supplies. Maybe you have some fancy fabric in your stash that you’d like to give to a good cause.

5. Needles and Thread

6. Zippers

(We will also continue taking your formal gowns, and sundresses and shorts.)

Thanks for thinking of Haiti this Christmastime.