Sunday, October 31, 2010

Peace Colloquy presentation

HealthEd Connect had a high profile weekend!  In addition to Greg Mortenson's introduction on Friday evening, we presented two workshops on Saturday afternoon.  We survived a major crisis five minutes before our first workshop was to begin.  When we tried to load the Powerpoint I'd spent hours developing, the pictures looked fine but the text was totally scrambled!  I had unknowingly used a font that was available on the computer used to develop the PP but not on the laptop used to run it.  Fortunately, Charles, a long-time friend from Wichita came to our rescue and patiently went through each slide and reset the font while we made the introductions.  We also had a booth with flyers and handouts.  Many thanks to Michelle and Marti (who came from Wisconsin for the Peace Colloquy) for helping distribute flyers and spread our story.  We proudly displayed our new HealthEd Connect shirts but had been requested by the conference organizers not to sell items during the weekend.  When we began dismantling the booth today, a gentleman came by and thrust $20 in our hand.  He said an enterprising Graceland student wanted one of our shirts so bad that he climbed up and took the one from the top of our display and asked him to give us the money.  We felt honored!  They really are cool shirts!  We'll have to post a picture of one.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Peace Colloquy

Tonight's the BIG night!  Greg Mortenson of Three Cups of Tea  fame will be honored at the Peace Colloquy at The Temple in Independence.  I feel so privileged to be given the opportunity to introduce him -- I just wish there would be more time to chat instead of the brief moments he will be limited to.  There would be so much to talk about!  He grew up in Tanzania and would certainly relate to our African adventures even though his current focus is Pakistan.  Then, of course, there is our adventurous board member, Polly, who actually trekked in Bhutan with Greg's wife and mother-in-law.  Wouldn't that be fun to talk about!  I'll just have to talk fast -- something I've had lots of practice doing!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

People First Network

In spite of the pre-dawn darkness, the I-29 freeway entrance closed for construction, not knowing exactly where I was going, making a wrong turn on the freeway, worrying about connecting 95 wires and cables between my computer and the projector -- I successfully made it to a People First Network early-morning presentation in Parkville.  They invited me to be their guest speaker to share the good news about HealthEd Connect.  What a great group of people making a difference in the part of the world they touch.  It ended up being a very successful and enjoyable morning -- and they made a nice honorarium to Boss Mirriam to boot!

All we want for Christmas...

Our graphic designer is putting the final touches on a one-page flyer inviting people to join HealthEd Connect in making Christmas super special for the orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia.  Even though the childrens' needs are numerous (64% of the people in Zambia live on less than $1.25 a day - Unicef) the thing they most want is education.  The two schools are currently meeting in make-shift church buildings but desperately need classrooms and a real school.  For just $30,000 we can build two classrooms and a small office for safe-keeping of supplies.  This would be a Christmas gift that would keep on giving forever!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yeah Michigan!

Thanks to Sharon, one of Mirriam's terrific workers in Michigan, the good news of HealthEd Connect was spread far and wide last weekend.  The Michigan Mission Center convened Saturday with representatives from throughout Michigan as well as parts of Indiana and Canada.  Over 95 congregations were involved.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of our good friend and colleague, many more people now know about HealthEd Connect.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Zambia here we come!

Plans are well underway for our next trip to Zambia in January 2011.  Training will be held at the Chipulukusu church for approximately 30 Child Support Specialists (social workers).  The training will provide background information on normal growth and development phases of childhood and contrast it to the phases of grieving that children experience when they lose loved ones.  Lots of small group participatory activities will be utilized to encourage active learning.  Excellent resources have been found that were developed for use in Zambia.  The community is excited about providing support groups to help the kids!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Boss Day to Mirriam!

Happy Boss Day!!  We are so grateful for the inspiration and motivation provided by our Little Boss Mirriam.  She provides a powerful incentive for us to work for her and other children in similar circumstances.  Mirriam is HIV positive as is her mother, father, and brother (age 5).  Life is tough, to say the least, for Mirriam and her family.  Mirriam's workers are dedicated to helping provide the support necessary for little families like hers to survive successfully.
We think Mirriam has got what it takes to be a great leader!  Dennis Peer said, "One measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you."  Hats off to the incredible people who have become workers for Mirriam by supporting HealthEd Connect.  In the picture above, Mirriam is posing with her mother and friend Evans, the chair of the Zambia School Steering Committee.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let's hear it for Michigan!

I received a facebook message from a friend of HealthEd Connect in Michigan this week offering to sponsor a booth for us at a conference this weekend.  There will be 95 church congregations represented at the event.  There is now a box stuffed full of brochures and HealthEd Connect letter openers speeding on its way to her via the USPS.  She found out about HealthEd Connect because her daughter, who is currently enrolled in a midwifery nursing program here in the U.S., is a BIG advocate of our Traditional Birth Attendant programs in the Congo.  The power of social networking!  Let's hope Boss Mirriam has many more workers in Michigan after this weekend!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Board Meeting

Busy weekend for the HealthEd Connect Board of Directors!  Members traveled in from Wisconsin, Colorado, California, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri to participate in the weekend activities.  Friday evening provided time to socialize over dinner and share in fun fellowship.  Saturday, the meeting started at 8:30 a.m. and went through 5:00 p.m.with a working lunch.  An amazing board!  The varied skills, experience and passions of the combined membership make for an awesome work team.  Our newest media releases were reviewed --- well, at least we tried!  Somehow the wireless connection refused to connect so somethings ended up being described rather than demonstrated like the new video link on our home page  The afternoon session of Strategic Planning left us rather breathless as we identified the heart-tugging needs and limitless possibilities that lie ahead of us. An exhausting but very stimulating day.  Little Boss Mirriam would be so proud of her workers!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thank you from Boss Mirriam

The Graceland students did such an awesome job on the 5K Shuffle on the Square (they raised $10,373!!) that they received a 'thank you' cake today from little Boss Mirriam.  If you haven't met her, go to our website and see her.  You'll love our little 3 year-old dynamo as much as we do!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Oh so quiet house...

The house is lonesome and so are we!  Jennifer left to make her way home to the Philippines yesterday, Nanda shifted to another place to stay, and Catherine left for Zambia this morning.  We loved having them for two weeks!  What lively and fun times we had while they were here!!

People are awesome!

We presented a series of HealthEd Connect stories and pictures at a local congregation this morning.  It was suppose to be just an informational/discussion program.  By the end of the morning, however, over $600 had been pressed in our hands with promises from others of donations yet to come.  Everyone falls in love with little Boss Mirriam!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Congo bound..

We met with Kinama from the Democratic Republic of Congo and he said the villagers were thrilled with the new batteries we sent for the solar panels.  The solar panels and batteries were installed in 4 little make-shift 'clinics' in the Congo 3 years ago primarily to provide light at night when babies are delivered.  The panels and batteries were a donation made through the million penny campaign at Graceland University.  Electricity is so taken for granted in many parts of the world.  Doing without a convenient always-present light source is unthinkable for most of us.