Kim Harms

Life Reconstructed


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Today’s Christian Woman story on Haitian Dress Ministry

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I was blessed blessed blessed to be to contracted to write Esther’s story (the woman on the left) for Today’s Christian Woman – Women of the World segment. I love looking back over time and seeing how God orchestrated our trip to Haiti in April and along with it the opportunity to spend a week with Esther whom I now consider a role model and friend.

Her story is a fantastic journey of following God’s lead, and if you read it, I’m sure you will find her as inspiring as I do. I find all of the staff of Mission to Haiti inspiring, but Esther has a special place in my heart.


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Encouragement Cafe Radio Show with Luann Prater and Suzie Eller

 

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Most of you know my mom and I (with the participation of many friends) have been sending dresses and shorts to Haiti for the past few years. And most of you know that our connection with Mission to Haiti led to Corey and I spending a week in Port au Prince this spring (which was incredible by the way).

If you’d like to keep up with what’s going on with that ministry and learn about Haiti in the process, head over to 500 Dresses. We’d love to have you join us.

If you’d like to get involved, we are currently looking for some nice current bridesmaid/prom type gowns to ship to Mission to Haiti’s Dorcas Ministry Shop (a dress rental business), and we’d happily take your donations.

If you’d like to hear a little about the ministry and what God has been teaching me through it, listen to my my radio interview with Luann Prater and Suzie Eller at Encouragement Cafe. I was honored albeit extremely nervous to be a guest on their weekly syndicated broadcast last week.

 


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Good Words

Some people have such an incredible way of saying things that they stop me in my
tracks. And sometimes what they say is worth sharing. Good Words is gonna be a regular event
here. Each week I will post either song lyrics, a quote, an excerpt from a book, or a guest post. That
way you can enjoy the words, and I will have a place to keep all the good words I find.

The following excerpt is from Sacred Romance by John Eldrige (also the author of Wild at Heart which is one of my all time favorite books.) I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to get to the end of my life having done all the dutiful things but missing a passion that God has set deep in my heart. I was not put here to follow a set of rules, but to follow a living and active Savior.

“Aren’t you thirsty? Listen to your heart. There is something missing.

We listen and we are aware of…a sigh. And under the sigh is something dangerous, something that feels adulterous and disloyal to the religion we are serving. We sense a passion deep within that threatens a total disregard for the program we are living; it feels reckless, wild. Unsettled, we turn and walk quickly away, like a woman who feels more than she wants to when her eyes meet those of a man not her husband.

We tell ourselves that this small passionate voice is an intruder who had gained entry because we have not been diligent enough in practicing our religion. Our pastor seems to agree with this assessment and exhorts us from the pulpit to be redoubling our efforts at Christian service. We join a small group and read a book on establishing a more effective prayer life. We train to be part of a church evangelism team. We tell ourselves that the malaise of spirit we feel even as we step up our religious activity is a sign of spiritual immaturity and we scold our heart for its lack of fervor.

Sometime later, the voice in our heart dares to speak to us again, more insistently this time. Listen to me – there is something missing in all this. You long to be in a love affair, an adventure. You were made for something more.”


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Good Words

Some people have such an incredible way of saying things that they stop me in my tracks. And sometimes what they say is worth sharing. Good Words is gonna be a regular event here. Each week I will post a song lyric, a quote, an excerpt from a book…that way you can enjoy the words with me, and I will have a place to keep all the good words I find.

David Crowder is my good word guy this week. What might take me several paragraphs to say, he can tell in a handful of beautiful words. Most recently I have fallen in love with his song Everything Glorious, especially this phrase.

You make everything glorious

and I am yours

What does that make me?

Wanna hear the whole song? Click and listen, it’s good stuff.


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500 Dresses (Almost)

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Do you ever have little ideas float through your head and think, “It’d be cool if someone did…” or “I should try…” or “It would be awesome if…” And then you push those ideas aside and go throw another load of clothes in the wash. I do that a lot. But for some reason, this dress thing lodged itself somewhere in my brain, and I’m so glad I followed through.

There is one thing I especially love about God’s ideas. He never does things halfway. And sometimes, all you have to do is say yes and  go along for the ride, because He has already prepared people to do the work behind the idea He put in your head. That’s what happened with these dresses and shorts, now rolled up and packed away in two boxes weighing 40 pounds each. (Those are my handsome kiddos sitting on the boxes. Actually, Carter is in the process of pushing Lewis off the box, but hey, at least they’re all in the picture.)

The original goal was 500 Dresses. We didn’t reach it, and that’s okay. We got very close and ended up with 3 times the amount of clothes I sent last year.

GRAND TOTAL

436

Dresses – 331        Shorts – 105

It has been an awesome couple months of buying fabric, practicing my sewing skills, collecting dresses from you guys out there, doing a group sewing day at my house, working assembly-line style cutting, sewing  and ironing  with my Sunday School class, and watching my engineer husband come up with ideas to streamline the operation. Seriously – he cut dress forms out of wood which we clamp to a cutting board on a special table top thing he built and then cut the fabric with rotary blades.  It’s really pretty sweet. Take a look below.

Rotary Cutter in Action (not my husband 🙂 )

Assembly Line (my husband 🙂 )

It’s time to take a little break from the dress campaign, but in the meantime we’re going to sort through the logistics of making 500 Dresses an ongoing service to Mission to Haiti. Corey just figured out this streamlining idea, my brother has a start-up business, www.kazzoinks.com, from which he plans to donate a portion of his proceeds for dresses and I have had a fair amount of interest from people who want to participate in more dressmaking. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like, but I am pretty confident that this dress thing is not done.

Thanks so much to the 50+ people who helped with this project by donating money for fabric, donating money for shipping, donating fabric, loaning out sewing machines, cutting, sewing, ironing…

If you want to check out the organization that will be hand-delivering the dresses go to www.missiontohaiti.org.


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Dresses, Dresses, Dresses (and shorts)

This is just a quick “Clothe Them” (that’s what I’ve decided to call this project, at least for now) update. I would like the world to know that my mom is a sewing machine. Not literally 😉 but definitely figuratively. She just keeps cranking out the dresses and shorts. I’ve also been receiving bags of dresses from friends and friends of friends. It’s quite amazing really. It makes me a little emotional, or (maybe that’s just hormones). Whatever it is, I get tears in my eyes when I look at the piles of clothes in “Mara’s room.” (We let our longtime babysitter, as close to family member as you can get without actually being in the family, claim a room when we moved in. That’s totally unrelated, but now you know a little bit of trivia about my family.) I will post a grand total next Monday after I ship the dresses, but for now here are the numbers.

DRESSES – 268                                    SHORTS – 100


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500 Dresses – Clothe Them

5 Facts about Haiti

(Taken from www.house-of-bread.org)

  • Infant mortality rate – 99 deaths per 1000 births
  • 20% of children have the opportunity to attend primary school
  • 60% of children do not receive 3 meals per day. Most get very little or nothing for breakfast and lunch. (Many have even been forced to eat what they call dirt cookies for sustenance since the earthquake, according to Mission to Haiti.)
  • Unemployment in Haiti is 65-70%
  • Life expectancy is 51 years

If you haven’t noticed the new “Clothe Them” tab at the top of my blog, take a look. We are nearing the end of this clothing drive, but I know this is not it. I’m not sure where the project is going, but I know the dresses that get shipped in a few weeks will not be the last. I’ll keep you posted as I figure out where this project might be heading long-term. Maybe it will be a dress drive each year, maybe an ongoing service…I’m not sure.

CURRENT TALLY

Dresses – 199    Shorts – 76