In June, I was able to take my 3rd trip to Haiti to visit Gertrude & the kids she is currently caring for in her orphanage. Our team trip in April was cancelled due to riots over the food shortage in Port au Prince that brought the issues of starvation & the struggle with widespread poverty to the world stage. After the hurricanes, Haiti was again watched by the world & there have been some amazing outpourings of support from foreign aid & ministries, hoping to free these people from this cycle of poverty & starvation. I am on the board for a non profit called the Haiti Mission Project & this year people donated over $10,000 to provide food, housing, encouragement, & other need assistance for children & families in Haiti. God is good. Just last month we received word that the Kids Against Hunger food program was going to ensure that Gertrude (our dear Haitian friend who runs an orphanage & trade school for women) would have enough of their nutrient rich food for the children at the orphanage & the women at the trade school to eat a good meal each day. This is HUGE. Gertrude now can use the money that people donate to the HMP to buy meat, milk, & vegetables to supplement this meal or provide a second meal each day instead of only feeding these women & children rice & beans once a day. (for more info)
Did I tell you…my dad is coming with us to Haiti in January!!! I am so excited to share Haiti with him & to see all the things God has done & is doing in this country of amazing people since I was there in June.
On other fronts…Woodbury Lutheran is a great place to work. I am blessed to rub shoulders with incredible people who inspire me to be who I am as a child of God & who teach me often what it looks like to humbly serve the Lord. I am still working with the Junior High & this past summer I was part of a team of Jr highers who traveled to Rapid City, SD to share the love of Jesus along with some sweat as we served those in need around Rapid. Our jr high students also shared their muscles & energy all over the twin cities this summer in a ministry called Summer Stretch where we serve every Thursday at different organizations that walk alongside those in need around our community. I love that this is my job.
Mom & Maggie came up in May & we went to Door County, WI. A handful of lighthouse adventures, lovely cherry baked goods, & some dirt roads later, we are still hoping to keep the tradition alive to spend a weekend each year together, just us girls.
Mom & dad came up in August to enjoy the Minnesota State Fair & a little Minnesota summertime which is definitely worth a trip north.
I was able to travel to Michigan with my friend Danielle & her two boys (one of which is my handsome Godson, Caleb) & enjoy a few days on the lake with the Wallers. It was a nice break from the busy ness of summer & be with people who don’t mind if you sleep until noon or if you drive an hour to have a drink in Canada cause you’ve never been.
I’ve been to Chicago a few times, squeezed in a short camping experience, enjoyed a few concerts (Amos Lee, Jack Johnson, Ben Folds), shows (Wicked, Mamma Mia, Yankee Doodle Dandy, & others), I’ve dated a little (no Mr. Right yet) , enjoyed my book club, continued to scrapbook & make cards, enjoy a few hours a week at the gym, & am genuinely loving my life.
Grad school is still going well. Last week I wrapped up my 2nd fall & now I am at the halfway point on this journey towards my M. Ed from the U of M. I am definitely enjoying the challenge & the opportunity to learn more about Youth Development & Leadership.
I have been overwhelmed lately by the number of amazing people in my life…friends who are genuine & inspire me to be the best me I can be, family members that blow me away with their generosity & willingness to love (even when I’m crabby), a great housemate who lets me live in her basement & enjoy the day to day chaos (even when I don’t do the dishes in a timely manner).
I forget it often…but I am rich in so many ways. I pray that your Christmas is a blessed one. That you find opportunities to list your favorite things from the past year, that you take time to tell people you love why you love them, & that you continue to seek ways to bring healing & restoration to the world around you in this season of Hope & Anticipation.