Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gratitude for Our Home Church

Stephanie and Ashley Norton are missionaries with the United Methodist Church.
They are working with the Mizak community in Haiti. This Thanksgiving they are
giving thanks for their home church in Michigan, US.
(Photo courtesy of Stephanie Norton)

We are calling this the year of the endless summer. Its hard to imagine people getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, when its over 100 degrees and sunny every day in Haiti. We are especially grateful for the love and support that Westwood United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo, Michigan gives us. 

Westwood is our home church, and is in a covenant relationship with us. This means that they support us with prayers, correspondence, and monetary donations. In Haiti, there is no postal system. The cell phone towers are shut off regularly. The internet is spotty at best. 

When we do get to travel to a city and use the internet, it is such a joy to read all of the emails from our friends and family at Westwood. It doesn't alleviate homesickness, but we feel connected. 

One of the products that is made at the HAPI (Haitian Artisans for Peace International) co-op is the gratitude journal. These are made from recycled cement bags. They are sturdy, durable, and attractive. 

I've been filling out a gratitude journal that I bought from the co-op with messages to Westwood, including this message: "Thank you for raising me, teaching me, loving me, and supporting me."

Stephanie Norton writes this from the mountainside community in Haiti. She and Ashley Norton are missionaries of the United Methodist Church through the General Board of Global Ministries. Link to Stephanie's bio.

HAPI is one of a dozen Advance projects uplifting and empowering the people of Haiti. Individuals can learn more about HAPI or shop in their store at haitianartisans.com.
This card, depicting the children of the world,
is made by HAPI artists,
 and is for sale at HAPI. 

To purchase a bundle of small-sized gratitude journals, contact HAPIproducts@gmail.com for pricing, ordering, and payment information.

Find out more about HAPI and the self-empowerment programs at advancinghope.org.

When giving to HAPI, Advance project #3020490, as always, 100 percent of your gift goes to the project.

To learn how you, or someone you know, can apply to serve as a young adult missionary.

1 comment:

  1. I feel the same way when I travel and read the e-mails of my family. Last year I was in Argentina for business and I had to spend New Year´s Eve there. I thought it was going to be horrible but I was wrong. I got the rent of an apartment in buenos aires with an Argentine friend who invited me over for that night. Besides, I talked to my family via Skype so I did not feel bad at all!


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