Dear Family & Friends,
On this New Year's Eve we celebrate with each one of you the year of 2011. This year has included many challenges and struggles but we have also been blessed in so many surprising ways. We have much to thank God for and remember.
This past month has been brimming with activities. After our baby Zayla Arshaloos was born Thanksgiving week, we have been busy with fundraisers and family time. Ericlee hosted the 2nd Annual Haiti Decathlon at the SPEED/Crossfit gym where he works. This year there were 45 competitors who gathered to compete in 10 exercises or challenges. Through entry fees, pledges and donations, more than $3,000 was raised on December 3 for the schools that are part of our ministry in Haiti. These funds helped us keep the doors open of the schools and continue to provide education in the rural areas of Haiti. This was also a great opportunity to share our heart for Haiti with a new audience of people. Ericlee is gearing up for another fitness fundraiser in February.
December was also a big month for Dorina selling jewelry from the Haitian Bead Project. She was thankful for a small army of volunteers who were willing to sit at holiday boutiques and share the story of the jewelry. The artisans were able to receive pay just before Christmas - an awesome gift! What a blessing for them when there are so few jobs available in Haiti! We look forward to seeing where God takes this small business venture in the New Year. If you are interested in selling jewelry in your area or would like to volunteer to help, please send us a message. Many hands make the work light.
We also took some much-needed time for rest and family time in the last few weeks. Dorina's sister, Caron, spent Christmas with us and her children, Sophie and Giovanni, are joining us from Seattle to ring in the New Year. We have also had some important time of reflection on God's provision and providence on our year. Our plans are to continue to work on fundraising in early 2012 and then to return to Haiti in early May for another three-month stint of working on the front lines and living in Haiti. We would appreciate your prayers for discernment about how God will use us this spring and summer.
We know only a few hours remain for those tax-deductible gifts. We are already thankful for all of your financial and prayer support this year. How fun to see so many of your smiling face on Christmas cards and letters! We encourage you to check out our blog feature: "12 Days of Giving" for some creative projects we will be working on in Haiti in 2012. If you are considering a tax-deductible, year-end gift please donate at www.ChristianFriendshipMinistries.org
Ericlee, Dorina, Meilani, Giada & Zayla
"You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb..." Psalm 139:13