Tuesday, March 04, 2014

January-February Gilmore Gazette: Seeking justice in our hearts & ministry

Ericlee hangs out with some of the kids in the Kay Cadence orphanage in St. Raphael. These boys captured his heart!
Dear Friends & Family,

We are excited to share with you some of what God has been doing and teaching us over the last few months. In January, Ericlee accompanied a team of friends to Haiti to install a water system at the Cadence House orphanage in St. Raphael using money raised last summer by the kids at Trinity Community Church in Fresno. Richard and Gina Wathen, their daughter Chessa, Tom and Debbi Owen and Scott Drake were a part of that team. While the men were working alongside our Haitian partners to put in the water system, the ladies put on a Music Camp for the children in the orphanage. The children were thrilled to begin lessons in keyboard, ukulele and recorder. Ericlee also spent time showing Pastor Gordon Hall from River Valley Church in Fresno different parts of Christian Friendship Ministries. They checked in on the construction of the fitness gym in Pignon and connected with the men who will be the coaches/trainers. Ericlee is so thrilled to see how God is unfolding one of his personal dreams to bring a love for fitness to friends in Haiti and use this as a platform for sharing Christ with the younger generation.

The men help complete the water project in St. Raphael, bringing running water to the orphanage.

This semester Dorina is teaching a Children’s Literature class on Monday afternoons at California State University, Fresno. This opportunity has rekindled her love for teaching and proved a “life giving” job (that doesn’t require a lot of time) to help pay off some of our debt. In February, Dorina had the chance to attend the “IF: Gathering” in Fresno. This was an important time of worship, rest and rejuvenation for her as she continues to seek God’s discernment for her work leading The Haitian Bead Project. Perhaps one of the most encouraging messages was from speaker Ann Voskamp: “Redefine comfort zone because wherever you are is with the Comforter.” As Dorina is daily called out of her comfort zone to lead this business venture and work with women in Haiti who are broken and struggling to survive it is encouraging to know God is our Comforter in all circumstances at all times!

As a couple, we were invited to attend the Justice Conference last weekend in Los Angeles. This amazing conference brought together Christian speakers, students, artists and activists from around the globe who have a shared concern for the vulnerable and oppressed. We were blessed to attend the workshops and also dialogue about the justice work God has called us to in Haiti. One of the most impactful speakers was author and founder of the conference Ken Wytsma. He challenged us to think about justice not just as a fad for our generation but as imperative to knowing the God of the Bible. We ask ourselves: why do we do what we do in Haiti? Through this conference, we learned that our work is to defend the “poor and needy” and know God more in that restorative work so we can identify our own poverty and set it right.

Ericlee and Dorina pose at the Valentine Couples Challenge on February 15 sporting the "Is Your Fitness Making a Difference?" fundraiser T-shirts. The Gilmores took first place in the scaled division of the couples' competition.

On February 15, Ericlee hosted our 4th annual Valentine Couples Challenge at the CrossFit Combat Fitness gym. Eighteen couples competed to see who was the fittest and raise funds for Haiti. In March, Ericlee will be begin training for the 3rd Annual Remember Haiti Cycling Team to ride the California Classic. If you or someone you know might want to join him to “pedal with a purpose,” we would love to add more members to this team. It’s a great way to get in shape, build community and raise awareness and funds for Haiti. Details on Facebook at “3rd Annual Remember Haiti Cycling Team Ride.” Please continue to join us in prayer for God’s direction as we lead Christian Friendship Ministries and The Haitian Bead Project. We could use specific prayers over our finances as our support was low in January and February. We also just received 30-day notice from our renters at the house we own on Alamos Street, and we are putting that house back up on the market to sell. Praying for just the right buyer in God’s timing!

Wrapped in His Grace, Ericlee, Dorina, Meilani, Giada & Zayla

Would you consider a one-time donation as we pay our bills and save money for our next travels to Haiti?