This is something that we want to be a part of. These are the kinds of gifts that keep on giving.
So we gathered a bunch of friends. and material. and food.
We cut... and laughed... and ate. We talked about adoption. About kids. About life.
Between the two parties that we had, there was a total of 8 families, 15 adults, 30 kids and LOTS of fun.
The material that we cut is on it's way to S. Carolina where the headquarters of Sole Hope reside. They will send our materials to Africa and with them, they will employ local woman to sew the shoes together. Then they distribute the shoes to children in their communities. This is such a GREAT ministry for so many reasons.
It allows children who don't own any shoes, to be outfitted with a pair that will protect their feet from being infected with jiggers (sand fleas that embed their way into the foot... infecting it and causing extreme pain).
Without shoes, the children in these impoverished communities cannot attend school.
On a side note: I can't even imagine walking around Toledo with no shoes on. I wouldn't want to step on a stone, glass or other sharp objects, let alone have sand fleas embedding their way into my feet. I definitely can't imagine one of my sweet children having to walk around without shoes... as a mom I would rather suffer than see one of them suffer. But in Africa, this is a daily reality. There are soooo many that can't afford shoes. I would be embarrassed to count the number of shoes in my closet... and I'm not even a shoe fanatic.
Since we've adopted our kids from Africa, the reality of what is happening there has become so much more real to me. I won't ever forget. I don't want to forget.
Because of all of our friends that attended and cut and cut and cut, we were able to send 180 pairs of shoes to Sole Hope. 180 pairs!!! It brings me to tears to think that 180 children will now own their very own pair of shoes.
One of my favorite verses that has become so very real to me through our adoption journey and beyond is from Matthew 25: 35 -40 "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?" The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
If you'd like to have your very own Sole Hope shoe cutting party, you can get more info here.
I promise you, you won't be disappointed.
Thanks to these families that helped to make this awesomeness happen: Frantz's, Kurfis', Varner's, Priestap's, Olin's, Gingerich's, Vile's and Heaston's. Thanks to all for bringing your old jeans and material! Thanks to Kerri Varner and her AMAZING photog skills for many of the above pictures! Check her out at Bleu In Love Photography