Monday, December 06, 2010

December Gilmore Gazette: Gilmores Prepare for Haiti

Here's a copy of our new e-newsletter, which we will be sending out regularly to keep people updated on our move and mission work in Haiti. If you'd like to be on our list to get this in your email inbox, leave a comment below.

Dear Friends & Family,

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! We are starting a newsletter to help keep our closest circle of friends, family and supporters informed about our plans to serve in Haiti with Christian Friendship Ministries in 2011. We hope this will be a place where we can celebrate what God is doing in our family's life and through His ministry in Haiti. We also want to keep you informed about ways you can specifically pray for us and partner with us in connecting resources to Haiti.

We started this journey back in February when we really felt God nudging us to pursue this calling to go to Haiti for a longer period of time than just a few weeks each summer. The process has been important in preparing our hearts for mission work. We traveled to Haiti in August for two weeks with two teams to work on communications and put on a Vacation Bible School in the orphanage built by our church last fall. This trip also gave us an opportunity to meet with the Haitian leaders of Christian Friendship Ministries and talk through what we will do during our mission year in Haiti.

September was full of painful and powerful experiences as God has challenged us to downsize our possessions and live on a very tight budget. We have been reading and re-reading two important books: Francis Chan's CRAZY LOVE and Richard Stearns' THE HOLE IN OUR GOSPEL. Chan writes, "The concept of downsizing so that others might upgrade is biblical, beautiful...and nearly unheard of." We are reminded that it's easy to say we're not attached to our "stuff." It's entirely different thing to act on that conviction and truly simplify our American lives.

In October we officially put our Fresno home up on the market to sell. We were tempted to rent it out but we really feel God is asking us to take a step of faith and sell our home to be truly free of debt and attachments. Dorina's brother, Paul Lazo, is our real estate agent. We have had several agents and families come look at the house in the last month but we are still waiting on a buyer. It only takes one but we haven't had any offers yet.

On November 7, we ran the Two Cities Half Marathon in Fresno as a fundraiser. We were so blessed to be joined by 17 friends who ran/walked the 13.1 miles. Ericlee served as the coach for "Team Gilmore - Remember Haiti." We trained together for the last 12 weeks. Each week we met for workouts and a prayer time for Haiti. God really surprised us with the success of our first official fundraiser. The greatest part about it was being able to share our heart for Haiti with 127 sponsors, who pledged money toward our mission work in Haiti. We were so proud of the team members. Every last one of them crossed the finish line Sunday and many even achieved personal goals and records. The group raised more than $9,000.

Our departure date depends on the sale of our home and raising the remainder of our financial support for our year in Haiti. We estimate we will need $3,300 monthly (which includes are start-up costs) plus enough to buy a vehicle. We are very excited about many new monthly supporters as well as several one-time donations. We are about halfway to reaching our goal. Please continue to pray for God to provide the finances. We are willing to go as early as January 2011 but waiting for God's provision and direction. Our ministry partners in Haiti are eager for our arrival.

Ericlee is currently working part-time teaching as an adjunct at Fresno Pacific University in the Kinesiology department, DeVry university teaching Nutrition and coaching at Crossfit/S.P.E.E.D. gym. Dorina continues to provide childcare for two children (Nathanael Benedict & Mia Vasquez) in addition to caring for our two girls. Dorina's in the editing stage of her thesis and hopes to complete that before going to Haiti. Meilani started a home school kindergarten program this fall. She's an eager learner! Giada is 19-months-old and full of kisses and mischief. We are enjoying this new stage of her talking and playing more independently.

That's the update on our family. We would love to hear news from you. We welcome emails, snail mail and phone calls!

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