Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Grab & Run

Every Spring and Fall, our church puts on an event called the Grab & Run. I love it. It is a free garage sale type event. Local people from the area donate gently used children's and adult clothing. People from all over who find they could use some clothing for their family come over and take what they need. Some people bring a bag and leave with a new batch for their family to use. We put it out for an afternoon, fry up some hot dogs and call it a great time. The whole event is tones of fun. Everything is free.
From the unpacking to the packing up of the leftovers. We have a blast. This year I actually remembered my camera.

Starting the great unpacking

All the racks are ready to hang up the clothes. Thanks Ken and Ruth

There are a ton of bags here!

Hmmm this is a nice dress. What do you think?

Even this granny came to help.

Would these fit me??

All ready!! Let the people come....

Ready to hand out free drinks

Hanger girl

Frying hot dogs. Oh they smell so good!

Yes Donovan, you can have your frying job back.

Checking out the clothing

Would this fit me?

Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up!!

How much will fit in this bag??

All done......till Spring!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

El Salvador

Almost 4 years ago our family took a leap of faith and followed Ray Loewen to El Salvador with MCC & Build a Village. It was an amazing trip. We worked and made relationships with the people who lived in a tiny squatters village on the side of a mountain. God opened our eyes to the beautiful people of La Linea. Recently there was a hurricane that devastated El Salvador and in particular the village of La Linea. Lives were lost and homes are gone. My question as I sit here sobbing is what can I do??

I just received this e-mail from Ray...

Four people died in La Linea as a result of the storm including a two year old baby along with her mother and grandmother … the church many of you have worshipped in is seriously damaged … the “Manitoba chicken ranch” (named for a fund raising drive we helped coordinate while the El Salvador team was in Manitoba) has been totally destroyed … at least 10 of the Build a Village / MCC homes have been totally destroyed … many people have lost everything and are “temporarily” staying at the community centre … Milton says that “much of the village is in dangerous condition and it has been recommended not to rebuild houses there again” and that “given the situation, they are working together to buy a piece of land (they don’t know where yet) where they can build permanent houses” …

An MCC volunteer is in the community right now helping people assess the situation and we are hoping to make contact with them to get more information … and as expected, Carmen (who lost everything she has) is coordinating the distribution of supplies and help for others … while Bernarda says “my home is your home” … I remember again why I have always found the people of La Linea to be so amazing … a 12 year civil war, natural disasters in 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2009, abject poverty, violence and more, yet their first thoughts are about others …

The questions many of you have been asking is what is next and how can we help. … I don’t have answers yet but expect that a very small group will travel to El Salvador in the near future to stand with our brothers and sisters there and to see how we can help … we have been warned not to go because of the extreme violence El Salvador has struggled with in recent months … but after reading Bernarda’s comment – “they are our friends and if they come we will be filled with strength” – I know that God will be with us and things will be fine … I will provide additional updates as they become available …