2019 Year End Update on Haitian Vocational Sewing School

Progress is being made on Pastor and Madame Cadet’s vocational sewing school in Beudet, Haiti.  This is the school where mom and I taught on our trips to Haiti. On our first trip the students came to us, and we had classes on the Mission to Haiti property. On our last trip, we taught in the open air on the school property. At that time, the only completed part of the building was the concrete floor. It’s come a long way, but there’s still quite a bit to do. As we receive donations, we send them through Mission to Haiti to be designated for the construction of the building.

 

You’ve Donated Enough to Build a School and to Help Hurricane Victims

screenshot_2016-10-14-12-38-58

Hurricane Damage at the Sewing School

You guys are pretty amazing. 🙂

The response to our request for funds to help Pastor Cadet build a stable structure with real walls and a roof is a little overwhelming.

We now not only have enough funds to cover the construction needs, but we will also be able to send extra money to cover the cost of supplies that were ruined and lost to the Hurricane.

Here is part of an email I received from Pastor Cadet after the Hurricane.

One day after Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, there is a lot of material damages because it came with a lot of rain and wind. It causes more damages in the south of the country.

Thanks to God, the church ladies are doing well after the hurricane and all of the students of the sewing course are doing ok. The only thing is the wind has torn and threw away the tent of the sewing class.

In addition to the donations we will be sending to Pastor Cadet, days after the Hurricane we sent $700 to Mission to Haiti for beans and rice for Hurricane victims. Two of Mission to Haiti’s sponsor schools were in the path of the storm.

beans-and-rice

Hurricane Matthew victims receiving food.

The Hurricane was awful and caused much damage and loss of life (especially on the southern side of Haiti), but below is an encouragement from Mission to Haiti’s facebook page that Jesus doesn’t stop working in the storms. And often it is when the storms hit that people are drawn to the Savior.

Pastor Brucely told us that the church was filled yesterday for service! People who are being helped through the relief effort came to the Ti Goave church, a number of them for the first time. The Lord is using this circumstance as an opportunity to draw people to church and to the message of the Gospel!

Anyone interested in donating specifically to a Hurricane help fund can go to missiontohaiti.org.

Thoughts On Child Sponsorship


IMG_5450

“Hello, how are you?”

When I had the opportunity to spend a little time with Lucson while in Haiti last month, he greeted me in English.

Pleasantly surprised, I asked him why he decided to learn English.

“So I can speak to you,” he said.

That was about the extent of his English (the rest of our conversation was held through a translator) but wow.

Just wow.

There I stood with my arms full of gifts I brought to give to this boy we sponsor through Mission to Haiti, and he, with nothing in his arms, gave me something much bigger than the soccer ball, the book, the clothes and the food I had for him.

He’s learning a new language so he can communicate with the American woman who has shown up on his island only twice in his 14 years.

That, my friends, is just a little bit humbling.

My hope for Lucson is that he will continue to improve his English, not simply so he can speak to me when I show up down there again in a few years, but so a world of opportunities will open up to him.

But infinitely more important than learning English, he is also learning about Jesus.

And I know that one day in Heaven, our native languages won’t matter. We’ll be able to hang out and speak whatever language it is that citizens of heaven speak, and the gifts we give to each other here on earth will pale in comparison to the gift of eternal life that we will enjoy together.

If you don’t already, I urge you to consider sponsoring a Haitian child. You can learn more about it at Mission to Haiti.

A Meaningful Life

IMG_5354

The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either.” – Donald Miller – A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

I had the opportunity to read two fantastic books over the course of my week in Haiti (mostly in airport terminals, airplanes and the wee hours of the morning after the rooster gave me my 4 a.m. wake-up call.)

The above quote is from one of those books. I will have more to say about our trip once the words dancing around in my head settle into cohesive thoughts, but while I wait for that to happen, I wanted to share this.

I (and I’m sure mom agrees) want what I choose to do with my years on this earth to make a meaningful story; a meaningful life.  A life in which my words and actions point people to Jesus.

And I want to thank all of you who prayed for us and supported us in other ways while we prepared for this trip and during our week in Haiti. You play a role in making 500 Dresses meaningful.

(Now go enjoy some turkey and some Black Friday shopping 🙂 I’ll be back with some Haiti stories after the holiday. )

 

240 Pounds of Sewing Supplies

IMG_20151113_094545556_HDR

We’ve got 240 pounds of supplies ready to head to Haiti! Thank goodness for a burly husband to carry these into the airport for us. 🙂

A glimpse of what we’re taking:

  • 2 beginner sewing machines
  • 1 serger sewing machine
  • 8 formal dresses
  • 40ish sundresses and shorts
  • lots of fabric
  • bags of scissors, zippers, needles, thread, snaps, buttons, seam rippers, pin cushions….
  • Soccer balls
  • Chocolate (I hear our students love chocolate. We should get along just fine.)
  • Wedding gift (Can’t wait to go to Brunel’s wedding!)

Thanks to all who donated supplies and money to help us make this happen.

 

Sewing In Haiti

Boy sewing

This boy was one of our students on the last mission trip to Haiti. This time around mom and I will teach a small group of more advanced students. Mom is working on lesson plans for a halter-type bridesmaid dress and a bag that will incorporate practice with zippers and binding. (Then she’s gonna have to teach me, so I can help her teach the students 🙂 )

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh. Rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13.

How You Can Support Us In Our Haiti Trip

IMG_1870

Mom and I are heading to Haiti on November 14. We will be staying on the campus of Mission to Haiti in Port-au Prince, and will spend our week teaching sewing to a small group of vocational students in Beudet.

I am excited that mom is coming along for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that we will likely be working only on treadle machines. (If you want to know how well I get along with treadle sewing machines you can check out this old post from my last trip to Haiti – The Treadle Battle.)

People have asked how they can help us, pray for us, support us… Below I am listing a variety of ways you can join us in our adventure.

Provide Supplies – We will each take 2 checked bags which we will stuff with as many sewing supplies as possible; both for use in our classes and to leave for the women to use after we have gone. Here’s what we are looking for:

  • Fancy Fabric – satins, taffeta (anything you might make a bridesmaid or flowergirl dress out of.) We can take smaller pieces, but would prefer to have lengths of at least 4 yards.
  • hook and eyes and/or snaps
  • zippers
  • good quality thread
  • needles, both for machines and hand-sewing
  • sewing scissors
  • seam rippers
  • binding material and/or prepackaged seam binding
  • tape measures
  • rotary cutting board and rotary cutters
  • straight pins
  • misc. sewing supplies

Prayers

  • travels – that we make our connecting flights and our luggage arrives with us (When Corey and I went in 2012, our luggage decided to come a day late, and we absolutely should have missed a connecting flight, but God chose to show us how big he is by getting us on the plane.)
  • health
  • the ability to teach in a way the students can understand
  • to be able to successfully use treadles – Mom is practicing on her old machine 🙂
  • that the devotions I will be writing to present at the beginning of each class will be understandable and reach the students for Christ.
  • that my hubby and three boys will survive a week without me 😉

Financial – If you are interested in providing support financially either to defray the costs of our trip, or to cover the expense of supplies we will need to purchase, you can send a check made out to 500 Dresses, to Kim Harms, 314 Centennial Dr. Huxley, IA, 50124 (These donations are not tax-deductible, as 500 Dresses is not an official NPO.) Make note in the memo line what you would like the donation to be used for.)

Thanks so much in advance for your prayers and support. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more info about the trip.

 

4 Big Boxes Enroute to Haiti

IMG_20150612_105926003_HDR

159 Sundresses

86 pairs of shorts

13 formal dresses

22 new tuxedo shirts

a whole bunch of sandals donated from a store at the end of the season last year

Once again, we are thankful to everyone who donated dresses, shorts, formal wear and money for shipping to make sending these boxes possible.

I don’t yet know when or where we will ship next, but we accept donations all year long.

IMG_20150612_101900679

IMG_20150612_101940211_HDR

IMG_20150611_115810770

IMG_20150612_103438948_HDR

Handmade American Girl Doll Dresses Available @ Local Blend

IMG_4923

Handmade American Girl Doll Dresses are now available at Local Blend Coffee Shop in Huxley, IA (just off of Highway 69 in the Ballard Plaza.)

The dresses are available for a FREE WILL donation. Some of them are made out of small leftover pieces of fabric from dresses sewn for girls in Haiti and Africa.

ALL of the proceeds from these dresses will go to Mission to Haiti for the purpose of purchasing beans and rice for Haitian families.

$25 feeds one Haitian family of 5 for a week.

Stop in at Local Blend this month, drink a yummy coffee and pick out a  cute little dress 🙂

Thanks for taking part in this ministry!

Handmade American Girl Doll Dresses and Food for Haiti

IMG_20150501_123318IMG_20150501_123134IMG_20150501_122941

Did you eat breakfast today? Have a lunch date planned? Dinner in the crockpot?

Millions of Haitians have empty tummies and are wondering where their next meal will come from.

 At 500 Dresses, we’ve decided to try something new and different this summer.

Sticking with our dresses theme, we will be giving you the opportunity to own a cute new doll dress while helping to feed a Haitian family.

Pictured above are several American Girl Doll dresses mom has made. We plan to have these and others available for a freewill donation (suggested donation $10+) at Local Blend coffee shop in Huxley, Iowa starting in June.

At the end of the summer, we will send 100% of the proceeds to Mission to Haiti for the purchase of beans and rice.

$25 feeds a family of five in Haiti for one week. We’d love for you to help us feed as many families as we can.

More details to come….

 

That's a weeks worth of Beans and Rice on her head!

That’s a weeks worth of Beans and Rice on her head!