Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June Gilmore Gazette

Dear Family & Friends,

We have had a busy month in Haiti! This is really our June newsletter I wrote more than a week ago but it took that long down to hunt down Internet fast enough to upload everything. Let's just say high-speed is not something we experience in rural Haiti. This past month we have been bumping down Haiti’s dirt roads visiting outstations and churches, snapping photos of kids for our new scholarship program, and making connections with other organizations in the northern mountains of Haiti. Our kids have been playing creative games with the orphans, learning to cook rice and beans, and riding donkeys for fun.

Meilani and her friends Bethia and Ronaldo fromt he orphanage

This is our new normal.

In early June, we had a team here, including Dorina’s parents, Maria and Doug, along with our friends, Forest and Stacie Benedict, their son, Nathanael, and Stacie’s mom, Stephanie High. This was a fun week as we welcomed family and very close friends into our Pignon mission house. Our kids were delighted to have Nana and Papa and Nathanael’s Meema to play games with them and hold them. They loved introducing Nathanael to their Haitian friends and favorite foods.

Giada & Nathanael experiencing a bath Haitian-style at the Mission house

That week Ericlee, Doug and Forest were guest speakers at the first Men’s Conference for the Haitian men who are part of our four main churches. Mostly leaders attended this conference. Our team shared on the topics of physical, emotional and spiritual wellness, sexual purity and godly leadership. The conference culminated with a time where the men washed each others’ feet, imitating what Jesus did for his disciples in the Bible. Ericlee was blessed by the response of the men in the closing session. Some were skeptical at the start because they had never attended a Men’s Conference before. One leader commented during evaluation time that he believed every man in the church should attend. He rallied for a longer conference and wanted to start planning for next year!

Stacie, Maria and Stephanie were instrumental in supporting Dorina in the Haitian Bead Project. They taught the Haitian artisans to make some new products using their recycled cardboard beads. These products included lanyards (perfect for ID badges) and key chain bracelets (ideal for people who carry their keys often). All three of the women shared a devotion and word of encouragement with the artisans.

Hiking with our Fresno family for Father's Day

We ended the week with a family hiking trip for Father’s Day to Haiti’s Citadel. This is the place where Ericlee proposed to Dorina 10 years ago. Everyone worked together to make it to the top for the incredible view of the island. We snapped an updated family photo from the one we took last year with Zayla in belly and Ericlee reenacted the proposal.

This past week we had more friends here from Fresno, including Dale Taunton, Mike Jones, Beverly and Kelly Damm. Our goal was to expose them to many different parts of our work here and have them lend their expertise in business and banking. They have met with our microfinance group, our pastors, our laypreachers, our teachers and Haitian Bead artisans.

They have been especially helpful with the Haitian Bead Project and putting together a new organizational structure for this growing business. Dale helped us design a contract for our artisans and set up a way to inspect the products for the highest quality. Mike also shared a workshop on Biblical stewardship, teaching the ladies about spending, saving, tithing and investing their money. Beverly and Kelly also helped teach the ladies how to make earrings, which they were all very excited about making and wearing! Kelly has also been a huge help watching our girls and orchestrating fun activities for the kids in the orphanage.

Suzeline, one of our new artisans, from Pignon showing off her new earrings

We are looking forward to the next few weeks. Our friends, Stacey and Tanner Munro and their kids, Gabe and Claire, just arrived on Wednesday. They will be here until Friday and then we will welcome a team from our church. They will help us lead a Vacation Bible School in one of the ministry’s smaller churches in the nearby town of Savanette. We are expecting 400-500 kids each day.

We also ask for prayers for health for our family and team. All four of the Gilmore girls have been down this week with cough/headache/aches/runny nose/fever. We are on the mend but now our friends Stacey and Gabe have it. Thank you all again for your encouraging notes, emails, texts and Facebook messages. You can’t understand how meaningful it is when we are on the field to hear tidbits from home. Even more we are blessed by your prayers. We couldn’t follow God’s call here if it were not for your partnership!

Hope you all have a blessed 4th of July!

Saying Yes to God,
Ericlee, Dorina, Meilani, Giada and Zayla

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