In April we sent out an Emergency Appeal and had an amazing and rapid response. Just two of you came up with all the money we needed within hours of posting and further amounts continued to come in over the following days. We give a huge "Thank You" to Peggy, Mike, Lisa, Rhonda, Judy, Wendy H., Trudy, Glenda D, Linda B, Melissa, Anne C. and our faithful monthly sponsors.
So, from their generosity we already had something in reserve for the next food run. How did we manage to make that enough to take us up to the end of July? Well, first the bad news and then the good news.
As many of you will remember, two and a half years ago we set up the “Bakery Project” for Messef. At the time, we raised a considerable amount of money but not enough to move forward to completion with the project. Subsequently, we hoped we could go ahead with the promise of a competition win in Brazil, where we had been nominated and chosen to receive a prize - which was miraculously a full set of bakery equipment. The cash donated would then have been sufficient to construct an area to house the bakery etc. We have tried to keep you up to date with this situation through newsletters.
After a very long period of silence, indecision, government changes in Brazil and changed plans, where we were not able to be directly involved in negotiations, we have finally learned that Messef is not to benefit from this. There were still three sets of equipment donated: one remained for use at an orphanage in Brazil and two were sent to Port au Prince in Haiti. Apparently, the only way the authorities would release one was by retaining the second – typical of the corruption that is rife there. One set was always allocated for the Living Christ Orphanage in Haiti, supported by our friends at A Serving Heart Ministry, who had tried to include us in this blessing. Although they requested that this go to Messef instead, as our boys were in training etc., the organizers would not agree.
On receiving news of this finally closed door, we contacted all those who had donated to the Bakery Project, asking them to decide how they would like their money reallocated or if they would like a refund. The outcome of this is that we are able to use the donations remaining from that project to go towards the food runs. (During that long period, some had already asked us to use their donation for food when times were tough.) Hence our ability to feed the children up until the end of July....and the strange email subject line. We are disappointed that the Bakery cannot go ahead as our desire has always been to help Messef become more self supporting, but at this point in time it looks like it's not meant to be....at least not yet.
We also considered using the funds to complete the boys' dormitory but the majority view was that the need for food is more imperative. God will make a way if Friends of Messef are to complete the dormitory, or someone else will come alongside to see finished what has been started. If any of you feel that you have a source of contacts for this and would like to help in any way, please get in touch.
We can breathe easy for a little while and I can go to England for a month with a peaceful heart knowing the children will eat while I'm away. However, please bear in mind that at the end of July the cupboards will be bare again. So, if you can help with a monthly or one off donation or would like to do some fundraising for the food run, to take us forward during the year, that would be wonderful. To those of you who are already with us, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts - God bless you. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
Linda Stapleton de Martinez, Coordinator