Monday, February 26, 2024

What's a Bigger Word for "Thank You?"



It's Monday morning after our big event and the final numbers are still coming in.

In a day or two I will be able to report the final amounts and give more details.

What I can say, at this point, is that we have certainly exceeded our goal of $10,000.00 towards Auberge des Vieillards and the care of the ten vulnerable Seniors there.

And what I want to say, right here and right now, is how in awe I am of our stellar volunteers.  

We're not a big church, so when I say that 37 individuals came together to pull this off, that's a huge buy-in. 

Haiti Volunteers - Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I honestly wish there was a 'bigger' word for it, because that's what I hope you can hear.

And at the risk of minimizing some contributions (which I in no way want to do ever), I still feel it's worth mentioning the over-and-above from certain individuals.

Colin - you really outdid yourself this year in going in for 'the ask', gathering corporate donations towards the meal and the event itself!  That was a lot of footwork!!!!  Not to mention how much you were on your feet on the day of!!  (Enjoy your auction item bid win.)

Lillian - you can 'stand the heat' in the kitchen like nobody else we know!  You and your whole kitchen team were giving it your all.  And that you stay to the very, very end, washing up and putting away AND getting back at in first thing on Sunday morning for our Haiti Leftovers Lunch....those are 'last push' efforts that are nothing less than heroic!

Brian - it's your heart and passion and positivity that leads the whole thing in the first place.  You are the one gathering the auction items and also going in for the ask at the corporate level.  Thank you for keeping Haiti on our radar in ways that are a perfect blend of love and tenacity.

I've just got to say, as Highview's Missionary in Residence, it is such a humbling thing to be part of a family of people who love like you do.  Over the years, no matter what role I've held, a common question when meeting other church leaders is, "How big is your church?"  I've learned to answer with a question.  "By what measurement?"  Because, if I take in what happens when it comes to weekends like this, regardless of Sunday morning attendance or any other metric...we are ENORMOUS! 

So, yes, every single one who came together in any way, 

THANK YOU!!!

I just wish there was a bigger way to say it!
Except, you just are the bigger way.



Monday, February 19, 2024

Still Time to Be Part of Something Important - Caring for Vulnerable Seniors in Haiti

HIGHVIEW COMMUNITY CHURCH presents
the annual
HAITI DINNER AND SILENT AUCTION
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Details in the yellow box below.

Hand Carved Soapstone, Artist: Amber Barrett

I just gotta say, our line up of Auction Items is pretty impressive this year.

Here are just two of some pretty awesome prizes to be bid on this coming Saturday, February 24.  

Interlocking Set of Live Edge Black Walnut Charcuterie Boards, Woodcrafter: Roger Bowman

And that's just a taste.
But speaking of taste - you won't want to miss our signature turkey dinner complete with dessert.
All for the very worthy cause of caring for our ten Seniors at Auberge des Vieillards in Pignon, Haiti.

Tickets still available.
Brian Ogilvie - brian.ogilvie@obfinancial.ca
Ken Breithaupt - kdb@ptsoft.com


 

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Ridiculous Hope, Right Now

Marilyn McIlroy stops to care for a homeless senior.
 
"I will make peace your governor
and well-being your ruler.
No longer will violence be heard in your land,
nor ruin or destruction within your borders.
but you will call your walls Salvation
 and your gates Praise."
Isaiah 60:17-18

This spectacular vision painted by the prophet describes a future full of the redeeming glory of a God who has set all things right.

It stands in stark contrast to the harsh realities being lived out by Haitians right now.  Particularly vulnerable are the seniors who have no place to go.

It could leave us all feeling hopeless.

But here's the astonishing thing.  We even might call it 'good news.'

You and I can participate in bringing that kind of hope, 
where God's grace is unleashed and light shines in dark places.
 
Right now.

We can help bring God's vision to bear. 

Right now.

That's what our Haiti Dinner and Silent Auction is really all about.
Bringing hope and health and belonging to vulnerable seniors in Haiti who would otherwise be homeless.  

Auberge des Vieillards (Inn for the Elderly) is the object of our love, as we come alongside some true heroes of hope, Pastor Abdon and his wife Madame Lumide, and the Committee and Staff that care for eleven of our brothers and sisters.

Right now.

Fundraising Goal:
$10,000.00




Thanks to everyone who has already signed up to be part of the action on Saturday, February 24.

Still want to help?
Desserts are still needed.  Please contact Lillian at lweatherall110@gmail.com
Dishwashers are still needed.  Please contact Ruth Anne a rabreithaupt@hcckw.ca.

Want tickets?
Contact Brian at brian.ogilvie@obfinancial.ca
Contact Ken at kdb@ptsoft.com


Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Spectacular Gatherings of Superheroes


 

The mobility scooters at Auberge des Vieillards make for some good fun.

At least that's what Hadassah and Mike think.  They are the two youngest children of Pastor Abdon and Madame Lumide, and they are with all their Grammas and Grampas a lot.  Their parents are part of the spectacular gathering of superheroes who care for our senior friends, along with the Leadership and Staff Teams, all labouring together to make the world a brighter place.

I call them spectacular for good reason.  They are caring for the vulnerable midst their own vulnerability.  Haiti, as we all know, is a chaotic and often dangerous place to live.  Yet these amazing people have welcomed an even grater level of complexity into their lives by choosing to embrace these seniors who would otherwise be homeless, protecting them from all manner of harm and indignity.

I also think they're kind of spectacular because they took this picture, and then even sent it along for us, even after admitting that they have repeatedly dissuaded their children from playing with the scooters.  To me that gives us a peek into real-time parenting, children being children, and an ability to find the fun and humour in the midst of demanding ministry.   Also, maybe it's just me, but I'm thinking our seniors find it somewhat entertaining.  So there's that.  

On Sunday, February 11 at Highview (10:30 a.m.) we'll be highlighting these spectacular folks, their incredible work and the inspiration they can bring to our own light-shining here in Canada.  We'll touch on Isaiah chapter 60 with the proposition that every believer can participate in Isaiah's vision of ridiculous hope by releasing the grace of God to bring light to dark places, right now.

Then later this month we'll really ramp it up with our Haiti Dinner and Silent Auction, Saturday, February 24.  We've been doing this since 2008, and it's always a pretty big deal.  

Our fundraising goal is $10,000.00, and we've got a lot of dedicated volunteers lined up to help make it happen.

Hope you can join us.

Questions?  Contact me at rabreithaupt@hcckw.ca.

Ruth Anne Breithaupt
Missionary in Residence
Highview Community Church




Monday, January 29, 2024

The Mud Factor

 


I'm going to guess that I don't know mud like Haitians know mud.

This is a space between buildings on the property known as Auberge des Vieillards in Pignon, Haiti where eleven seniors are cared for by the dedicated team of staff connected to the church there.

I do not know what season it is in this capture.  But I do know that in the rainy season, whatever looks like damp soft earth here is going to be a hot mess of mud for weeks and weeks on end.  Problem is, getting folks, especially folks with mobility issues, between those buildings will be no small feat.  Even staff and other caregivers have to maneuver through the mud. 

That's why one of the items on the projects list for A des V is cement.

I'm being this specific because it's no secret that sending money to Haiti has its understandable concerns.  And I want to be clear about what we're doing and what the funds are going to when we host our annual Haiti Dinner and Silent Auction event at Highview.

Cement pathways, of course, are only one of the projects underway on the property.  There's still some last steps to help make sure the water gets from the pump to the buildings.  There's supply rooms that need to be properly shelved and stocked.  And there's general maintenance always on the go.  We all know how it goes.  

But I wondered if it might help to give a 'concrete' example (see what I did there) in order to keep us all focused on what it is we're doing here.

Of course, it's not just about the building or the property.


There are real people here.  People who deserve the basic dignities of life in the last phase of their lives.  People who, for reasons including poverty but which also are way more complicated than just that, have no recourse for sustenance.  Who would be begging on the street otherwise.

They are the ones who need the cement walkways to take them from building to building.
They are the ones who require the care and supervision of staff.
They are the ones who need supplies properly stored.
They are the ones who need proper nutrition and medical attention.

They are the ones who happily benefit from a far-away turkey dinner with dessert, and a sometimes-slightly-competitive-but-always-fun silent auction at the end of the evening.


We're more likely to have snow than mud on February 24th.  
But either way, we'd love for you to join us.

For more information you can email me directly at rabreithaupt@hcckw.ca.
Love to hear from you!!!




Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The Wall Story




It's important that we keep telling the stories.  
They help connect the dots, 
bring context and meaning, 
and keep our spirits inspired.

This is a wall.

That may seem way too obvious, but it's an important part of the story.   Because, as far as our partnership with Auberge des Vieillards in Pignon, Haiti is concerned, the wall is where is all started.

The construction part, that is.  Even before the wall, there was a vision.  A vision to care for vulnerable seniors with no place to go.  That came from a Haitian Pastor named Abdon, and it was a long, long time ago.  In 1988 he began his theological studies in Cape Haitian, and would often see the elderly begging in the streets back and forth on his way to class.  The images stayed with him, wouldn't shake off, until it became a part of the very DNA of his leadership, and how he would inspire the church he and his wife Lumide would lead together in Pignon.  

Between the first inklings of that vision, and the eleven seniors now receiving care, there was a parcel of land.  And it needed a wall.  Without the wall going up first, whatever was kept or built on that parcel of land would be 'free game' for theft and destruction.  

Highview, along with Teams from other Canadian churches, helped build that wall.



In fact, a good-sized stone that got dislodged from Highview's foundation in a spring-thaw flood back in Canada, has been incorporated into the wall that now surrounds the Auberge des Vieillards property.

Oh yes.  The stories.

On Saturday, February 24, 2024 we'll be continuing the story of Highview's partnership with Pastor Abdon, Madame Lumide, and the astonishingly generous people of the Pignon Church who have freely chosen to take on the love-task of caring for people who otherwise would suffer greatly.

We'd love it if you'd join us.  
Be part of the story.



For tickets:
Brian Ogilvie  -  brian.ogilvie@obfinancial.ca
Ken Breithaupt -  kdb@ptsoft.com

For more information:
Ruth Anne Breithaupt - rabreithaupt@hcckw.ca
(Sorry no links)




 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

When Your Donation of an Auction Item Goes a Long, Long Way


This is one of our seniors who lives as Auberge des Vieillards 
(Inn for the Elderly) in Pignon, Haiti.  
He needs extra care because he has a lesion on his leg 
that just won't heal.  
Every day the lesion is cleaned and dressed.  
Three times a day he eats nutritious meals.  
Every night he sleeps safely in his own bed.

These simple, basic realities are possible only because of the combined factors of the vision of Pastor Abdon, and the support of people like you.  Moved with compassion at the sight of forgotten seniors begging on the street, Pastor Abdon and his wife Lumide, who is a nurse, have gathered their small congregation around the care of vulnerable seniors in their district.  This is no small task in a country as destitute as Haiti.  Especially now, as gang violence, political confusion, and economic chaos runs rampant.

In Canada, Highview, along with others similarly inspired, have gathered to first build the residence itself, and now support the seniors who live there.  

That's what our Haiti Dinner and Silent Auction is all about.



There are many ways you can contribute.
One fun way is to donate a service or an item to be auctioned off.
Perhaps you have a business, or provide a service, and you could donate a product or your time and expertise.
We'd love to showcase your business, and of course, all proceeds go to Auberge des Vieillards through the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada.

To donate an item please contact brian.ogilvie@sbfinancial.ca.
For tickets contact Brian (same email) or Ken Breithaupt at kdb@ptsoft.com.
For other information, and to volunteer on day of, contact me, Ruth Anne, at rabreithaupt@hcckw.ca.
(Sorry, no links, please cut and paste).