SPEAK UP Spotlight–The Van Gundys
Nathan and Lori Van Gundy visited Haiti in April 2012 for the first time. To say that Haiti changed their lives would be an understatement. Nathan and Lori had been to Nicaragua before with their church, Chilhowee Hills, so this wasn’t their first time out of the United States nor was it their first time in a 3rd world country. This was however the trip that rocked their world because of bowls and cups.
That’s right…bowls and cups. Every day during the myLIFEspeaks Feeding Program, children from all over the village of Neply, come with some sort of container (bowl) and something like a cup (sometimes it’s a tennis ball container, sometimes it’s a salt shaker, sometimes, it’s a cup) with the knowledge they are going to get beans, rice, and veggies, and juice. Many people who have been on a trip with myLIFEspeaks have indicated that these are some of their favorite memories of being on the campus.
Lori however couldn’t handle what she saw. She couldn’t believe that kids were coming and getting food that was piping hot in metal bowls. She couldn’t stand the heat on her own hands but knowing that some of the children in the Feeding Program were taking their bowls AND the bowls of 2 or 3 of their younger siblings–THAT was unbearable to her.
So Lori did all that she could. She told Nathan that she had to do something. She then told everyone she knew about these kids and their scorching hot bowls and how they didn’t have proper cups. She began a drive to help buy new cups and bowls…and then she and Nathan went to their friends. Before long, they had raised enough money to buy new bowls and cups for EVERY CHILD IN THE FEEDING PROGRAM. Now when these kids arrive, they don’t have to bring their own bowls and containers…they can use the brand new ones at the community center. These new bowls also help us insure that children are eating the food they are given–and that they don’t have to give it away to someone else when they leave.
Read her thoughts in Lori’s own words below.
The question is, have you ever been so disturbed by something you realized you just HAD to help? Did you? Don’t read Nathan and Lori’s story and think it’s about them…IT’S NOT! It’s about being a part of something BIGGER! Nathan and Lori spent quite a few hours in Haiti trying to unpack what they were seeing…it caused them some sleepless nights and even some tears…cause that’s what happens when you realize that the world is so much BIGGER.
Will you help? What is YOUR story? How will you SPEAK UP for those who can’t speak for themselves?