Greetings Friends!

Thank you so much for to everyone who participated in our Mother’s Day celebration project! This was a record setting year and we are so grateful for your support! This enables us to spread the wealth and resources to women who need it around it the world.

Below are the women honored in memoriam:

Bonnie Kline-Smeltzer
-Beverly Kline (Mother)
-Belinda Kline Good (Sister)
-Elizabeth Kline Smeltzer (Daughter)
-Rebecca Good Reynolds (Niece)

Shirley Braner
-Helen Freeman (Mother)

Emily Mumma
-Elsie Harley
-Eileen Sexton
-Ruth Funderburg Botkin

Ardalia Wade
-Mattie Jackson
-Minva Reid

Marlene Neher
-Marie Smith Moats (Mother)
-Mary Margaret Smith (Grandmother)
-Wava Long Neher (Mother-In-Law)
-Vera Gilbert Moats (Grandmother)
-Clara Thompson Moats (Grandmother)

Marcia Sowles
-Maxine Sowles (Mother)

Kathleen Hepner 
-Nettie Schneider
-Mildred Hepner

Phil Miller
-Ellen Divine Miller
-Mary Wine Fruth
-Dorothy Shaeffer Miller Saylor

Anna Lisa shared a really wonderful blog post with me by Kathy LeMay. LeMay spent years working with women in Bosnia Herzegovina during the siege on Bosnia. She shares reflections from how the women coped and endured during that traumatizing time and it reminds us of the strength, leadership and endurance of our amazing project partners. She shares five lessons that we can also use to endure the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, #4 Perfect won’t happen. LeMay shares, that the women “didn’t adapt over time. They adapted in the moment. If something wasn’t working, they pivoted. The circumstances around them weren’t static. They were ever-changing. They shifted and adapted to the new circumstances, then addressed them head on. As we tackle COVID-19, we should aim for inclusion, reach, impact, and results, but not perfection. Perfection is a punishing goal that will ultimately lead to running around in circles vs. solving the challenges at hand.” Friends, this is an important reminder to me to abandon perfection for purpose and to respond and adapt in the moment. I know many of us have had to swiftly change how we work, parent, live, and relate.

Her final piece of advice was to remember that “Joy is a requirement.” She shares that when the women gathered to work, they’d also relive precious memories of weddings and births. They had each suffered greatly and lost loved ones, but took time to reach for joy. LeMay remembers, “They went to poetry readings together. They talked about what foods they would have when food wasn’t donated. They imagined weekends at Croatian beaches. They imagined. They felt joy. In this, they showed me what it means to survive when you’re not sure if you’ll be here tomorrow. They embodied the future they imagined was possible, and I think in doing this, they slowly and beautifully created it.”

Thanks to Anna Lisa for finding and sharing this meaningful post with us! If you want to read the rest of her post, you can do so here. https://feminist.com/resources/artspeech/genwom/lessons-from-a-siege.html

Friends, may you find moments of joy that give you the strength to persevere and imagine a future that we are all creating together. Thank you for your continued support of our partner projects!

Yours in ministry,
Katie Heishman

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