Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22: 37-40 KJV)
Emma carrying a box
Our neighbors are the peoples of the world; and while we recognize that each of us can have only a very small impact, we try to share our love with each person we meet. Together we hope to make many feel joyful and needed.
Initially when we were approached with a request to send 50 Bibles across the world to China we hesitated. Would the Bibles really reach China? Did the people in China really want Bibles? Really need Bibles?
But then as we began to do some research we realized that not only is China the country that has the fastest growing Christian population, it is also a country that is religiously intolerant and is persecuting its own citizens, taking down crosses,
and attempting to destroy churches and jail priests and bishops.
This made us very sad.
Faced with the potential destruction of their church by government forces, one protestor told the Telegraph,
“A church is a sacred place and we are all brothers and sisters; Christianity has made a big contribution to society in many ways.”
And so, we joined with many others, and send our prayers for peace and acceptance, along with 50 Chinese Bibles, across the seas, to China. Join us in our prayer for peace and unity!
It is our hope that President Obama will join us as well!
Barack Obama urged to use G20 China visit to fight for persecuted Christians
Our community partner, Zoe Barry, Founder and CEO of ZappRx,, recently traveled to Uganda and Rwanda.
Kampala, a large city in Uganda
Roadside market, Rwanda
Zoe traveled light, with only 33 pounds of allowable packed luggage, she made the most of it,
packing paperback stories, coloring books and crayons
for distribution to children throughout her trip.
Note: Cautionary tales promoting chastity are posted on the closed shutters when this “dialy” school is done for the day.
Young girl in foreground is balancing a machete on her head. Obviously more coordinated than most US toddlers!
Armed guards accompanied Zoe and her companion as they delivered books.
Everyone loves to see themselves!
Zoe, delivering books to members of the Batwa Pygmy Tribe.
Now that it is July, I finally have the time to complete the Iowa tests. And what do I find in the middle of the reading comprehension section?
A perfectly wonderful recipe for Gooseberry Fool!
Being no fool, I promptly set aside my test (after the required 25 minutes) and begin cooking!
I hope to continue my testing session by rolling down hills while eating Gooseberry Fool, as suggested by the directions in the reading passage!
Ahh! Nothing tests better than a good standardized taste!
On Tuesday we held a meeting to commemorate the end of an Asian themed selection of books.
For each book or set of books that we read, we choose a project. Wonderland BookSavers is both a book club and a global charity; this project was for our team book club.
We read Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai, Leaving Vietnam, by Tuan Ngo, Water Buffalo Days, by Huynh Quang Nhuong and Chinese Cinderella, by Yen Mah. Each of these stories is an autobiographical account of a childhood marked by displacement due to war. These stories are set in different countries, and are from different perspectives. Water Buffalo Days is from a young boy’s point of view. Inside Out and Back Again poetically reflects a young girl’s perspective. Chinese Cinderella narrates a young girl’s life from birth through college, and Leaving Vietnam portrays displacement through a young boy’s eyes. Through these tales we learned of the difficulties children face when the world around them falls apart. They are forced to adapt to extreme challenges and must become adults in entirely foreign circumstances.
One refrain among the four books was the desire of each child to return to “home.” We decided that a fitting activity for this set of books was to investigate what would constitute “home” cooking for these four children. Using the Usborne Children’s World Cookbook, we researched simple and typical Asian food.Our meal included: Egg drop soup, cold sesame noodles, chicken satay, and fried rice.It took us about two hours to cook all the food, then we served our soup, rice, satay, and noodles all at once on a table. We did everything authentically, except eating with chopsticks. We cooked all of the food methodically, following the directions exactly. It was far different from just throwing everything in, and the result was that it was time consuming, but the taste was well worth the wait. It was a very delicious end to our Asian selection in literature.
We know it is finally midsummer with the arrival of the Annual Pequot Library Book Sale.
This sale is the largest in New England. Thousands of book lovers come from the surrounding areas, some as far north as Massachusetts and New Hampshire, some as far south as New Jersey. The tents are filled with dog-eared and beloved books on every subject. Booksellers, book lovers and book browsers peruse the books, each searching (and finding) those unique volumes that will inspire and delight.
These past three days we went to the Pequot Library and set up a lemonade stand in rain and sunshine. We all huddled under an umbrella as it poured and were still huddled under it for shade when it was sunny. We made $212 by selling lemonade, different kinds of cookies, brownies, and cupcakes. I enjoyed making the brownies with my two little brothers and sister.
On the last day of the sale we used our money for a great deal: $5 a box! We bought 40 boxes of wonderful children’s books, over two thousand books filled with facts, fiction and fantasy. We chose classics, illustrated novels and inspiring picture books. Many of these books we have read and loved ourselves.
The volunteer cashier was very impressed and asked to have a picture taken with us. She wrote down the quote on the back of our shirts, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free,” by Frederick Douglass.
Soon we will pack up the boxes and ship them to different parts of Africa, with the help of a donating corporation.
My favorite part of this process was giving a cookie and lemonade to our first customer, a little girl with a beautiful smile.