I was sitting in the lobby of the Marriott in Guatemala City on December 9,2007. I was with my awesome husband and we were admiring our baby girl, Malaena-Sloan. There was a couple of women that came into the hotel, and we could tell they were distraught about something. I asked one of them if everything was fine, and she went onto explain that she and her friend were in Guatemala doing mission work, and her friend left her passport at the town that they just left. The girl sat down with us and we began sharing our adoption journey stories. That girl was Vanessa, and I think we have chatted nearly every week since then!
Vanessa is amazing! She is an example of a woman doing the work that God has laid on her heart!!! Vanessa is busy with her three children, husband and she's always throwing a party for some family member BUT in the midst of all of that, she is always strategically planning a fundraiser or finding a bargain on shoes/clothes/OTC medicines for the people in Gautemala! Vanessa hasn't teamed with a GROUP of people or an organization, she organizes, plans, and acts mostly on her own.
She and I have talked in detail about her finding an organization to partner with and she is always convicted about the way they are spending the money. Vanessa is amazing in how she cares for her own family, but I know instead of "treating herself," she buys for the less fortunate people in Guatemala! She and her husband, Lee, cover all the traveling expenses for their family. Vanessa isn't helping the people of Guatemala to make a dime off of it; she's simply doing what God has laid on her heart!
This is the letter I received from Vanessa yesterday:
Wow guys, I can harldy believe another year has come and gone bringing me to yet another journey to Guatemala. I'm in the process of setting up all the details for the 2009 Project Santa. I know Christmas is barely in our past, but it takes a lot of time and effort to make this project work each year!! I'm happy to say we gave out well over 1,000 toys and 700 pairs of shoes on this last trip in December!! Sadly, even more folks were wanting items, but we could not accomodate them!!
This year, I have a goal set of collecting 2,000 toys and 1,000 pairs of shoes, plus other things such as OTC meds, bandaids, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, antibiotic creams, tylenol, fever reducers for children, cold meds, etc. That's where you come in!! I need help from each of you to make this be another successful year!!
I know economic times are rough for many, but there are a ton of different ways you can help me give back to the people of Guatemala!! You can collect toys, shoes, and other donations and ship them here for me to send on to Guatemala. You can coordinate a shipment from your area. You can visit www.heart4children.blogspot.com and donate via pay pal!! The needs are endless and I can't do this alone!! PLEASE consider donating today to make a difference in the life of a child in Guatemala!!
If you're interested in coming along in December the tentative dates are December 3-13th. You can email me for more info!! If you can't donate at this time please consider adding project Santa to your prayers for another succesful year!! Also help by passing this email along to others who may want to donate!!
Oh and if you want to mail items please send them to P.O. Box 276 Des Allemands,LA 70030 if using regular postal services or to 146 Norman Ln. Des Allemands,LA 70030 if you're using Fed Ex or UPS. If you would like to make a monetary contribution to help cover the shipping expenses, purchase of food, party supplies, or for the purchase of toys/shoes please make checks payable to the Des Allemands Mennonite Church and mail them to the above P.O. Box!! Thanks for your consideration and prayers!! Vanessa
This is a picture Vanessa took in December. When I saw the little girl, she reminded me of our Malaena-Sloan! I hope you will take the time and visit Vanessa's blog and see the amazing work she is doing. Vanessa's Blog that Covered Her Trips!!