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Friday, May 22, 2015

Gray Matters: A Story and an Opportunity

Monday, August 11, 2008

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In the midst of our egocentric world, I've found a great story about some folks who are willing to reverse the trend and give freely of their time and resources to others They're not just going next door to help out a friend. Instead, this group is heading for Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, to help conduct a 10-day medical clinic in Mizak, a city of about 35,000 which is a 3-hour drive from the capitol city of Port-au-Prince. 70% of those residents are peasants, living under the poverty level of less than one US dollar per day. They have no hospital or doctor, only one nurse and many mid-wives.

The connection came about this way. Many of you know Lee Rainboth, the young Marcus artist, who was so deeply touched by the needs of the African poor during a mission trip while he was still in high school. Since receiving his BFA at Iowa State, he has volunteered with Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI, for short.) Lee has spent time in Mizak helping to design artifacts, and setting up their production to be sold in shops in the US. The ability to earn an income, combined with the Bible-based culture introduced to replace their voodoo worship, has provided some remarkable results.

HAPI is the organizational power behind the medical clinic. Eleven volunteers with Marcus connections, accompanied by volunteers from some other areas, will be leaving on October 20, at an approximate cost of $1300 per person. This is where we, too, can become involved.

Have you ever stopped to think how fortunate we are to have been born in the United States? Actually, dwellings in our worst city slums are palatial compared to the shacks thrown together from cardboard, or scraps of metal and lumber in much of Haiti. Sanitation and fresh water are non-existent. Contrary to the popular belief with which so many of us tend to shrug off these things, it is through no fault of their own that these people are so impoverished.

Thinking about it, you have to be pretty hard-hearted not to wish you could do something to help. Well now you can, as the mission group is planning to do some serious fund-raising at the Marcus Fair. There will be a container for monetary contributions at the Methodist Food Stand. There, too, you can see a lovely quilt given by Terry Groen for which raffle tickets, at 3 for $5 may be purchased. Tickets are also available from any of the trip participants. Several money-making games will be offered, too. Well's Blue Bunny has made a substantial donation of ice cream which will be distributed during the parade, at which time you may also toss in your gifts..

Here are the names of the local people who are going on this Medical Mission. Vickie Rainboth, Kay Ogren, Nancy Hier, Mary Hobach, Terry Groen, Barb Martin, Melissa Tabke, John Schneider, Tonia Schmillen, and Pastor Gary McDonough. Paul Hissem, Nancy Hier's grandson from Colorado, is also joining them.

It is my understanding that all contributions may not necessarily go toward these individuals' expenses, but will be used to provide medicines and supplies for use on site.

As you join in the fun at the Fair, don't forget to look deep into your heart and your wallet and do what you can for this cause. You will feel better for it, I guarantee!