Friday, August 31, 2012
August Gilmore Gazette: Gilmores move into new season
Dear Family & Friends,
We find ourselves at a crossroads once again. We have completed a year of mission work with Christian Friendship Ministries splitting our time between Pignon, Haiti and Fresno, California where we have been sharing about the ministry, building new partnerships and raising funds for special projects. We have been very prayerful on this journey. Our hearts desire is to follow God every step of the way and not run ahead of His plans. We continue to feel confident that God has called our family to this ministry in Haiti for the long haul. However, we see that our role is going to be traveling back and forth from Pignon to Fresno (especially during the summers) rather than living in Haiti full time. One of the main reasons we do not feel we should live in Haiti full time is that we see the dependency on American missionaries and non-profits. Our long-term vision is to continue to offer a hand up rather than a handout to Haitians.
For the last two years, we have tried to raise financial support for our family's needs so that we can continue focusing on Christian Friendship Ministries and Haiti. At this point, we see a need for Ericlee to work part-time during the school year to supplement our family income. We have lost several financial supporters in recent months and we now have a family of five to support. For several years, Ericlee has worked at Crossfit Combat Fitness gym in Fresno. This has been a great opportunity to make connections with people and share about what God is doing in Haiti. Ericlee desires to continue working a few hours a week at the gym coaching classes. Ericlee is also launching his own personal training business this fall using the facility at Crossfit Combat Fitness. We pray this will enable us to continue the partnership we have with the owner, Erik Traeger, as well as generate the additional money our family needs.
We want to be clear with all of you. Ericlee's goal is to work a minimum of 20 hours a week for Christian Friendship Ministries and 20 hours a week as a coach/trainer. His focus while in the United States will be fostering more partnerships with local churches and businesses, organizing 6 fitness fundraisers to help with the needs of the Haitian schools, and leading the board for the non-profit. This year Dorina will be giving most of her energy to caring for our three girls. She will also be working on marketing and coordinating the many volunteers needed for The Haitian Bead Project. This past year the project has grown from 10 artisans to almost 60 working in the Northern mountains of Haiti.
We ask each of you to pray specifically for balance for our family as we are moving into a new season with different roles. We also would like to invite you to partner with us. We are still in need of financial support. We lack $500-$1,000 monthly to pay our bills because of inconsistency in giving. We recognize not everyone can give financially but many can offer their time. We need volunteers to help with our fundraisers. We are also looking for people to help host Haitian Bead Project jewelry events in their homes, churches or workplaces or give a helping hand in preparing supplies for the artisans.
We want to celebrate some of the things God is doing in our midst. Ericlee and our friend Tanner Munro organized the first "Rowing for Resources" Row-a-thon in August at Crossfit Combat Fitness. There was a great response for this event raising $2,500 for Haiti's schools. We also started up training for our 3rd Annual Remember Haiti Half Marathon team. We have 22 runners/walkers including us!
Our Meilani also just started first grade a few weeks ago. She is attending the Valley Arts & Sciences Academy, a charter school in Fresno. Her teacher, Mrs. White, is a Christian. We are finding a new family rhythm as we have to get Meilani off to school each morning. Dorina will also be leading the In His Steps Bible study group at our church this fall. She is looking forward to diving into the book of James through Beth Moore's study called "Mercy Triumphs."
We can't express to you enough how grateful we are for each one of you. Thank you for your continued prayers and words of encouragement on this journey!
Saying Yes to God,
Ericlee, Dorina, Meilani, Giada and Zayla