July 17, 2012  

Dear reader,

This 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.

Vince

p.s Looking forward to seeing many of you at our 2nd Annual fundraiser!  Click here for more info. 

 

Despair Only One Street Away
From Opportunity

From Prosperity...

Last 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 street kids.

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.

Having 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. 

Just 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 This Issue
Despair and Opportunity
Rebuilding Martina's Home
Join Us! Fall Harvet Gala
Hope and Heartache
In September we will have our Second Annual fundraiser.  Our goal at this event is to raise $25,000.00

This 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

We 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 this abuse.

But in spite of life's heartache, so many women are full of hope, waiting for loans and anticipating the dream of becoming micro-entrepreneurs.