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I AM ONLY ONE

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. Helen Keller

Fast forward to November 2010 at a Women’s Aglow meeting in Kelowna where I was asked to share about a children’s book I had written called ‘The Story of Henrietta Caterpillar’. After the meeting, a woman came up to me at the book table. She wanted to buy a book for her granddaughter. As she looked at the books, she looked at me and said, “These books would fit nicely in a suitcase to go to Africa.” “Africa?” I said. This lady had caught my attention.

The lady introduced herself. Her name was Karen Barkman and her ministry was Provision of Hope based in Kelowna. Karen explained that “Provision of Hope” is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the poor in Liberia, West Africa. We share the love of God by reaching out with His compassion for the least of these.” “Our mission is to respond to the cries of the ORPHAN, the WIDOW and the REFUGEE by providing food, shelter, clothing, medicine and education for those left hopeless because of war.”

Was this the time? I asked Karen how much it would cost to go. When she told me, I said that I had that amount because a friend had prayed for me a few years ago and said that I should start a bank account because I would be going to Africa one day. And this friend knew nothing about the dream that been hidden in my heart for so long . . .

Karen and I agreed to meet for lunch and discuss this in more detail.

FAITH SEES THE INVISIBLE

“Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.” Corrie Ten Boom

Karen and I decided to meet for an hour at a local restaurant in Kelowna. Our one-hour planned appointment in late November turned into four hours filled with conversation.

We poured over photos of the children, youth and adults of Liberia and the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana who had become such a part of Karen’s heart and life over these last seven years. I listened to stories of transformed lives – hope flooding in where hope had not lived before; smiles replacing tears; bodies becoming healthy through medical care and food; a chance for an education – and, oh yes – MIRACLES – and lots of them!!

However, among all these wonderful, joyful stories of rescue and renewed hope were the stories which brought tears to my eyes. The child, the youth or the adult who had passed away due to many and different circumstances. Life is hard in Liberia and in the Buduburam Refugee Camp. I know that Karen felt each loss personally and grieved with the family members.

When I was driving home to Vernon, the faces of the children became etched in my heart and in my mind.

During the next few weeks, before Christmas, Karen and I met to get our Visa applications for Ghana and Liberia prepared and ready to submit. I started my round of vaccinations, beginning with four right away – Tetanus/Diptheria/Polio, Meningitis, Twinrix for Hepatitis A & B, and let’s not forget the one for Yellow Fever. Oral Typhoid capsules were part and parcel of the mix. Anti-malaria pills – all 62 were added to my medical kit.

The purchase of a mosquito net, Deet, and summer clothing – in particular summer dresses and skirts (not easy to find in the middle of a Vernon winter) was accomplished. I contacted my friend, Selina, who had toured through parts of Africa and asked her if she could send me a list of items/clothes she took, wished she had taken and items that she found unnecessary. Selina’s list was definitely helpful!

Family and friends purchased ‘The Story of Henrietta Caterpillar’ books to tuck into my suitcase, to give out at the schools where I would read ‘Henrietta’ and to children in the communities and at the refugee camp. People donated funds to help with my expenses. From my heart to each and every one of you – Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Our planned departure date from Kelowna was January 26, 2011. Elaine, a retired RN from Dallas, Texas would be meeting Karen and I in Frankfurt. Elaine and I got to know each other through e-mails – by the time we met in Frankfurt, I felt as if we were already long-time friends.

As I prepared for this trip, God was preparing my heart. I felt my heart being filled up to overflowing with His love, compassion and concern for the people of Liberia (and the Liberians still remaining in the Refugee Camp in Accra, Ghana) even before I met one of them. I was filled with an excitement I did not understand at the time, but would understand as soon as my feet stepped off the plane and on to the Liberian soil.

Prayer…..never leave home without it! Karen, Elaine and I had wonderful people commit to pray for each of us, and for us as a group, for the whole time we were away and for a period of time when we would arrive home and go through a time of adjustment back to life in Canada for Karen and I and back to life in the U. S. for Elaine.

And now, we were on our way . . .

A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Welcome to the ‘Journal Entries’ page of my website. Over the next few days and weeks, I will be sharing with you my recent Mission Trip to Liberia and Ghana, West Africa, with ‘Provision of Hope’ out of Kelowna, BC. Accompanying me on this journey was ‘The Story of Henrietta Caterpillar’. As I journal, I will post photos and introduce you to the many wonderful people I had the opportunity to meet. I hope to share their stories of incredible faith amidst hardship and uncertainty. Please join me on this journey of a thousand miles.

WELCOME!

Welcome to the new site of Henrietta Caterpillar

If you have been here before, you will notice our new website design. I have switched to a WordPress website that allows me to be a lot more interactive and provide more up-to-date news and information.

You can still see and purchase our publications by clicking the publications page, but now you will also be able to see what I have been doing as I make updates to my journal page.

Enjoy!