Monday, April 30, 2012
Dear Friends & Family,
We are preparing to say "Bon Voyage" again as we pack up and depart from Fresno on May 16 and return to Pignon, Haiti for the summer! It's hard to believe how quickly the time in Fresno has flown by. Our baby, Zayla, is now 5 months old and our oldest, Meilani, turns 6 later this month! We are excited about taking all three of our girls back to Haiti with us. They have been eagerly anticipating seeing their friends again - especially the kids in the orphanage.
The summer promises to hold some new adventures in ministry. We are excited about reconnecting with the Haitian leaders, checking up on the progress of the St. Raphael orphanage construction and spending time with the ladies in The Haitian Bead Project. In June and July we will be hosting four groups of friends from California to come work at our ministry base in the mountains of Haiti. We have Dorina's parents, Doug & Maria, along with Stacie & Forest Benedict, their son Nathanael and Stacie's mom, Stephanie High, joining us to help with our men's conference and Haitian Bead Project trainings. Following their group, Dale Taunton, Mike Jones, Bev & Kelly Damm will be arriving to help begin to build connections and scope out ideas for a new microloan program to create more jobs for Haitians. The last week of June we have Tanner & Stacey Munro and their two kids visiting our orphanage and encouraging some of our Haitian laypreachers and leaders. The first week of July we have a group from our sending church, The Bridge, coming to do a Vacation Bible School in one of our sister churches in Savanette.
On May 19, our Remember Haiti Cycling Team will be riding in the 2nd Annual Eye-Q California Classic Bike Ride. We have 17 riders who have been working hard for 12 weeks to prepare their bodies for the 35, 60, or 100-mile ride and spreading the news about Christian Friendship Minisitries. David Scalzo, has been the point man on this to direct, organize, and encourage the group of riders to do their very best. Their goal is to raise the final $5,000 for CFM to enable us to install solar panels at our mission compound in Haiti. This solar power will benefit the school, church, orphanage and health clinic as well as open doors for new jobs for Haitians. If you are in Fresno, we would love to have you cheer them on as they race through town!
In the Perspectives World Missions course we are taking, we were recently challenged by one of the speakers who shared about the power of prayer. He recounted story after story of the way God moved on the mission field when people were praying back home. We know better than to venture out into ministry without the backing of powerful prayers. We are asking you to commit to praying for us in the months to come. You might pick one day a week or a certain time of day that you or your family can pray for us. Consider setting your phone or writing it on your calendar. Our most immediate prayer need is for God's provision for our family's summer travel costs and ministry. We are still lacking $2,100 for our plane tickets and an additional $4,000 for our summer expenses. We know God has the resources and we are excited to see how He will be glorified through this process.
Ericlee & Dorina
Meilani, Giada & Zayla
Friday, April 13, 2012
Nine years ago today Ericlee and I stood before our closest friends and family and spoke our wedding vows. Snow fluttered to the ground outside the picture window behind our ceremony.
I remember the multicultural ceremony with special music, scripture read in different languages and Ericlee washing my feet. I remember looking out to rows upon rows of friends and family who came to support and celebrate with us. Peers and mentors were there that day.
I remember popping appetizers with our wedding party and swing dancing the night away.
But an anniversary is much more than celebrating that single event. Today we celebrate nine years of wild adventures as we have followed God as a couple.
Marriage isn't always this blissful ride but I can honestly say I am grateful for each day with Ericlee Gilmore. We refine each other as we learn to love more completely. It's not about happiness as much as it's about dig-your-heels-in commitment and choosing mercy and grace to uncover joy on the other side.
I never imagined myself in this place at this time. Sure, I dreamed about having kids, desired to travel the world. But today I see the colors and nuances of how God brought all that, brought us together.
Ericlee, you are a joy-gift to me!