issue talks about my recent trip with my son to visit the University of
Western Ontario in London. While we were in town, we toured a local
Salvation Army facility and experienced a heartbreaking swing from the
promise, opportunity, prosperity and hope in the large university, to
the desperation and struggle of homelessness, addiction and poverty.
I hope you feel as inspired as I did to help make a difference in this world.
p.s Looking forward to seeing many of you at our 2nd Annual fundraiser! Click here for more info.
|Despair Only One Street Away |
Tuesday my son and I had a orientation meeting at The University of
Western Ontario. It was a wonderful morning filled with
opportunity and promise. We heard stories from graduates
describing their time at Western and what the new students had to look
forward too. The Campus (Kings) was absolutely beautiful and it
just resounded with notes of promise and opportunity.
My son was so excited I think he would have moved in right there.
We left the campus with such hope and excitement for the future.
...to Struggle We
left Kings at around 12:30 pm and within minutes arrived at a six story
Salvation Army facility run by Cathy and Edson Chiu. What a
contrast; the first thing we saw was a sign saying, "No gang colours
allowed." The facility is a home to recovering drug addicts,
prostitutes, teens without addresses and ex-cons. Cathy and Edson are
such amazing people and I noticed how Ed's eyes watered as he shared
with me the trials and struggles of the young and old who end up at
their outreach centre. The excitement and promise for future
possibilities that I had seen only one or two streets away was not
apparent here. Don't get me wrong, I met many who's lives are
being changed and transformed. Ed and Cathy's faith is contagious.
But as I looked into the faces of many of the young men and women, I
saw pain and suffering. What a contrast between the eyes of those
hopeful university students and the eyes of despair amongst the
Bringing it all home It
was a long quiet ride home from London that day and I am sure both
Christian (my son) and I were contemplating the two different worlds we
had just experienced. For me the contrast was the ladies we work with in
Ecuador and Nicaragua. Women who live in makeshift villages without
roads, running water or any source of employment. Years or generations
of poverty have left them believing they are valueless. To add to
this many have been abused and abandoned by their husbands and
marginalized by society and government. But thankfully we can
offer both physical and spiritual hope. Because of the commitment
of our small but loyal group of donors we have been able to give out
more that 1,500 loans. To so many of these women this loan is a
life line, a floatation devise that has helped them lift their heads
above water. Even for Jessenia who has experienced so much
injustice, their is hope and determination to keep on keepin on.
said all of this we find that the need and demand for help is
growing. One of our field staff in Guayaquil, Ms. America Luz, is
so excited by what is happening that she contacts me every few days to
see when more funds will be available to help more women.
We need your help. We
want to expand our work in the four communities in which we presently
work, two in Ecuador and two in Nicaragua. Most of our financial
resources that we began the charity with are invested in these
communities and unless we get some needed stimulus our hands are tied to
meet the growing need.
Our goal/dream for 2012-13 is to
raise $100,000.00. $25,000.00 for each community. These funds will
help us give more loans to first time borrowers, larger loans to women
who have proven they are worthy because of a good repayment history and
additional staff to help our overloaded staff on the ground. There
are so many different ways you can help. Obviously, one is
through one time gifts or becoming a monthly donor. Other ways you
could help would be to introduce The Lending Journey to others
and share some of our stories of helping women out of poverty.
We also need prayer. Those
close to me know the roller coaster of emotions that we as staff deal
with everyday. One moment is elation because of the success of a
business and then the next is the sad reality of poverty, poor education
and abuse of a number of kinds.
Rebuilding Martina's Home
Imagine coming home and finding your home in flames. That is exactly what happened to Martina almost three weeks ago.
Returning home from the city of Guayaquil, Martina arrived to see her home on fire.
prior to this event, Martina had received a loan from The Lending
Journey to start a small business out of her home. Martina lives in a
small make shift community about 1 hour outside of Guayaquil. The barrio
of Mount Sanie has no running water, no roads or sewage. In amidst this
chaos we have seen blessing as people within her having been helping
her to rebuild her life. We also had an organization called CANADA CARES
contribute funds to help Martina rebuild her home.
In September we will have our Second Annual fundraiser. Our goal at this event is to raise $25,000.00
is another way you could support us! We would love to see you out
at this event. There are two hundred tickets and we would love to
see you all there. We are still looking for corporate sponsors
for the event and for people willing to donate to the silent auction.
If you are interested in any of these you can call me (416-970-0120) or you can make a donation on line at www.davidjonathan.ca
We can also accept aeroplan points to help with the cost of flights as well as with gifts for fundraisers.
|Hope and Heartache
have learned that Jessenia, a four time borrower from The Lending
Journey was beaten and robbed almost a month ago. She is getting back
on her feet slowly. Sadly, it was her husband who was at the centre of
in spite of life's heartache, so many women are full of hope, waiting
for loans and anticipating the dream of becoming micro-entrepreneurs.