I can do.
I need to ask God what HIS purposes are for this place. I need to ask God how I might connect servant hearts countries away with the very tangible needs I see every day.
So, here are some ways, folks!
Many of you have seen the pictures of the feeding centers or read the stories. This past Saturday, little 7-year-old Kenya would not let me go. She pressed her nose firmly up under my chin, pleading my affection. Kenya always wears a hat. Sometimes its a matted periwinkle and other times she wears a beat up striped number, but hot or cold Kenya wears a hat to cover her chopped, lice-infested hair. Though she is very defensive and ashamed of her hair, she would not stop touching mine. She even offered to look through my hair for lice!
Kenya and the other children in the areas near the feeding centers live in extreme poverty. The feeding center provides very basic education and 2 meals to children sponsored through a special program. In addition, every Saturday the centers invite all the kids in the neighborhood to have a free meal (usually of warm milk and formula mixture), hear a Bible story, sing songs, and play a few games.
How can you support this ministry? Buy coffee! That's right, click HERE to go to the Manos website where you can buy whole bean or ground coffee that directly supports the ministry!
Stewardship of Christian Ministries (Ministerios Cristianos de Mayordomia)
I am working very closely with this organization in the next few months (and hopefully next year). Last November, I attended a conference on social justice and this was one of the sponsoring organizations who work tirelessly to bring the message of the Gospel to the lost and broken while answering Jesus' call to care for orphans, widows, and the distressed. I am going to be working with my friend Sarah (former Pinares teacher and now works for this organization) to coordinate service for my students at this site.
You can support them on their website in many ways, so check it out!
Hogar de Madres Solteras (Refuge for Single Mothers)
This ministry is very dear to my heart. Every Monday, I travel down the road with a group of 11th grade girls to this refuge for single mothers. This past Monday, we were sharing highlights from our Christmas break and one of the mothers (who stands about 6 inches shorter than my 5'1 frame) shared that her daughter Kensi learned how to use the potty! Everything at once seems beautiful and tragic around these young ladies, who need SO much love and guidance as they sort out their lives and care for young ones.
Although I'm not sure if they have a website, these women make jewelry to help support the cost of school, the refuge, and basic supplies. In a recent fundraiser, our school raised money to buy jewelry supplies. If you are interested in buying jewelry, please leave a comment and I will somehow find a way to get their jewelry back to you (it may be as late as July when I go back to the States). They have also made calendars with pictures of the girls and their children. They are around 7 or 8 dollars and the proceeds go to support the refuge.
Okay, so there you have it. There are three ways that you can support some of the things that are pulling on my heart down here.
I know there are more ways, don't worry - this isn't an exhaustive list. I'm still brainstorming about how people can support people directly and how I can make that happen.
Keep on keeping on!