Saturday, April 9, 2011

Great Report from Japan

From missionaries in Japan, who were there before the earthquake...

So happy to see that Samaritan's Purse is helping with relief and helping the local economy!

MONDAY, APRIL 04, 2011

In praise of relief agencies...

I spent some time talking with an Asian Access missionary who has been in Sendai for the past two weeks. In his role he interfaced withSamaritan's Purse and Food for the Hungry staff and assisted in distribution of their supplies. Their experience with disaster relief has been invaluable, and their goods have been wisely chosen.

In the past two weeks since the first load from Samaritan's Purse arrived in Sendai, they have gone out of their way to obtain other things that become apparent as needs. They purchased large amounts of some goods from Costco here in Japan--is that why I can't find what I'm looking for? ;-) I'll gladly give those things up if they are being used for the relief effort in Tohoku!

Currently they recognize that people need transportation. So rather than bringing in bicycles from outside the country, they are going to the local bike shops to purchase the bikes. In doing this, they encourage the local economy and provide a basic need for people.

As my friend, Peter said:
Learned so much over the past two weeks. I love what is starting to happen. Samaritan's Purse is contracting with local businesses to supply goods that SP will give away. Instead of bringing in everything from far away, they will support local business in a time of great need. The businesses sell to SP and SP gives it to people who lost everything. Double win. Beautiful. So amazing. Needs change daily, one day they are ordering tens of thousands of pairs of underwear, the next they are buying bikes. All going free to people in great need. But the combo of buying local when possible and giving local is great to see, especially in expensive Japan.

I know that many times people want to do something tangible to help, and I am guilty of thinking that giving to a major relief agency is not that helpful. But I want to say that these agencies are doing a great job, and the financial donations people give are making a strategic difference in the lives of people.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

On My Way to 1000!

  • Such a busy and full life, kind-of a little crazy sometimes, but thankful for quiet times in the morning that make all the difference in my day, and for One Thousand Gifts for helping slow down, be thankful, and appreciate each moment
  • Red patchwork quilts
  • Fresh, warm, floral smell of the greenhouse
  • Hot bath, book and bed
  • Laughing with my ladies at Bible study
  • Finding the right motivation for my kids
  • Seeing their “aha” moments
  • A perfectly caught pop-fly
  • The privilege of taking care of my sweet kiddos when they are sick.  Having medicine, tea, and all I need to care for them.  It makes my heart break for mommas with sick babies who have no resources to care for them.  Such a good reminder to live simply, to give more to those in need.
  • Grant’s Ant Traps (Does anyone else get inundated with ants every spring?)
  • Money to buy groceries. I never want to take this for granted.  I am so thankful to be able to buy good food for our family.
  • Knowing that my favorite pajamas will be clean for bed tonight
  • Tyler Candles, “French Market” scent
  • Dinner in the crockpot
  • Kat texting me about prom plans and bringing friends over after the big event
  • Still feeling a little needed and wanted for advice and ideas in her life
  • Courtney’s delight in her new phone, and in her friend "finally" getting a phone
  • Giggles 
  • Dan’s team winning their first game of the season
  • Courtney’s music compositions.  She mailed a copy to my grandpa, a musician and former music teacher.  He played it on the piano in his retirement home and wrote her a letter, commenting on it.   “Not only do you have some very interesting melodies, but your chord progressions are excellent.  The modulations to different keys were well done.  And I was thrilled to hear some diminished chords throughout the composition.  Keep up the good work!”
  • The bright mind and good health of my 95-year-old grandfather!
  • The sheer delight of my littlest boys when I tell them we are going to drive-through at McDonalds to get ice cream cones and super-hero toys. (I think this was the first time I had ever taken them to McDonalds.)
  • Tuck-in cuddles, back scratches and head-rubs with Abby.  It’s not a real tuck-in for her unless I get under the covers, and preferably fall asleep with her as well.
  • Bode's giggles (I wish I could count how many times a day he giggles or laughs hysterically)