These Shoes Were Sent For Walking

Every year at Portland Mennonite Church, Ardy Alberts and the other members of the Christian Education Committee find a different missions project for the children of PMC to be involved with. After hearing a presentation by Erin Holcomb about Lahash and a project at Grace & Healing Ministry to provide some much-needed shoes to children in Tanzania, they decided to work with Lahash for their missions giving project. PMC had just held a Vacation Bible School with the theme of “Shoes of Peace,” and the idea fit in perfectly.

Each pair of shoes donated were represented on the wall to show the progress of the project.

“We posted a picture of our children in Portland on one wall, and a picture of the children in Dodoma, Tanzania on the wall across the room,” said Ardy Alberts. “Then we had a punch-out of shoes of different colors, so after each pair of shoes were donated, we would put another set of shoes on the wall, ‘walking’ on our goal toward Dodoma. It was a fantastic way for the children to visualize how many shoes we were given toward our goal.”

The children of PMC and GHMD shared posters back and forth to strengthen their connection

Dan Holcomb, the Director of Lahash, also had a chance to talk to the children at PMC, and brought photos and stories of the drastic need for shoes. He brought photos — and an actual pair of worn, tattered shoes that Eliya, one of the children in the GHMD program, wore daily. He brought the shoes, which were full of holes and breaking apart at the seams, and passed them through the congregation during the worship service. It was an amazing visual for both the children and the adults at PMC to see. “We wanted the parents to become involved as well,” said Alberts. “Dan also brought the children at GHMD a poster from our kids with their names and pictures. Then he brought back some posters from the children in Dodoma to give to our kids. That was an amazing connection!”

Thank you so much to everyone at PMC for the love, connection, and care that went into this fantastic project!  In all, about 100 pairs of shoes were donated to the kids at Grace and Healing Ministry!