Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Friday, Mar 27th Scarlet Cord Update

I had a great night with the Ladies; Carol, Vania, Bekah, D, Tiffany, Esther, and S.
We feasted on stir-fried beef and rice that Carol brought, fresh fruit and veggies from Esther, and bread and butter.

It was good to visit with our regular and hear about D's interest in the Green movement and that she is making contributions at the airport in this field. She continues to share small portions of her past and the struggles she has had for the past several years each time I see her, and I think it's good for her to have a positive environment to communicate. She strikes me as a woman who has not had a very generous share of that.

S stopped by and stayed for around 20 minutes. I would pray for her that her spirit would be calm and that she would find freedom in the truth of how God looks at her. It seemed to us that she is going through some pretty profound struggles right now.

See you all soon,

Street team summary
Esther N., Bekah and I (Tiffany) headed out on the street team. We parked near 82nd and walked that strip, stopping in at the 7-11 and several clubs and bars in the area. I realized this week that Scarlet Cord is now a regular presence in the neighborhood! Having spent 6 months in Amsterdam, it has been great come back into our Portland SC neighborhood and see that the girls in the clubs we visit are aware of Scarlet Cord. Each was at least cordially thankful for our visit, some even happy to see us. One girl asked if we’d brought any lotions or samples. Unfortunately, we had forgotten to bring anything, but now we know that they like it when we bring a little gift.

In one club, there were two girls working, both presently unoccupied and excited to see us. They told us they really like what we at Scarlet Cord are doing, they are thankful for our presence on the street, and they want to help us out in some way. They offered to make donations and had several ideas for us including handing out our flyer to other girls, making Costco runs for hygiene products, and even donating money. One said she’s had a tough life, but is now in a financial position where she can give and really wants to contribute to our efforts. She showed us a picture of her two-year-old daughter, and gave us her phone number, as well as her co-worker that evening, saying “These are our real names”.

We are thankfully surprised by their eager interest in helping us at Scarlet Cord, and will be discussing as a leadership team how we will respond to their kind offer.

Blessings to you this week,

Monday, March 16, 2009

Friday, March 13th Scarlet Cord Update

It was another quiet evening at Scarlet Cord. Raelene gave me a ride, and as we drove down 82nd, then Sandy Blvd. before 6 o’clock, there were lots of folks out and about. We were hopeful that the slightly warmer temperature and increase in street activity of the early evening would be indicative of a more lively evening at Scarlet Cord. Not quite.

Ellisha, Muna, Cindy and Sandy headed out together as a street team to walk up and down Sandy Boulevard. They were happy to report that most of the flyers posted by volunteers last week are still posted. They were only able to talk with one woman on the street, S, who while showing signs of being under the influence, said she was attending church regularly and getting baptized this weekend. She was interested in coming to SC for dinner soon. Let’s keep her in our prayers.

D showed up at her usual time, with magazine in hand. She has shared articles with us the past several weeks about child brides escaping their husbands in the middle east. These articles usually spark up plenty of conversation amongst all of us while eating dinner, which was nothing short of wonderful this week. Christina dropped off a delicious tray of homemade chicken enchiladas, made by Raquel. Muna brought fresh fruit, Cindy fresh veggies and humus, Raelene “the broccoli chef” made a citrus sweet broccoli salad, and Sandy brought pizza for the appetizer.

D is doing well. She is looking for a new roommate for her house, and has recently been interviewed for an article write-up for a publication through her work. She seems to feel proud of herself about that, and will be happy to share the article with us when it’s published.

We at Scarlet Cord are looking forward to the coming of Spring, the warmer weather and the later evenings. We are hopeful, now that we have become a regular presence in the neighborhood, that the change in season will allow us more face-to-face contact with women on the streets, and bring in more guests on Friday nights. Thank you for keeping Scarlet Cord lifted up in your prayers.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Big Thank You!

A big thank you to the four people who responded to my financial need this month. God is so good in providing. Your giving provided more than enough to pay my bills this month.

Thank you!
Dank je wel!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Friday, March 6th Scarlet Cord Update

It was a laid back, pizza and soda pop kind of night at Scarlet Cord this Friday with Elisa, Muna, Bailey, Emily C., Tiffany, Sandy and Jennifer. Judie dropped off a few take-n-bake pizzas which, when cooking, filled the entire basement with the mouthwatering aroma of pepperoni, Canadian bacon and cheese. We had plenty of sugary indulgences such as root beer, Emily C.’s deliciously moist brownies and zingy lemon bars, chocolate candies, and a huge assortment of donated baked goodies from the church. Thanks to Jen, we had at least one healthy item on the menu – big, juicy orange wedges, yum!

After sending two street teams out (Muna/Sandy & Jen/Bailey), the rest of us cooked up the pizzas and had some good conversation on topics that were sparked by a womens’ forum Emily will be helping to facilitate. D came in to enjoy some pizza with us, and Elisa graced us with her lovely and graceful injured wrist dancing. She is recovering from a recent wrist surgery and had to keep her arm elevated for most of the night, which made for some entertaining positions. What a trooper for making it to SC after her first day back to work!

Both street teams were able to make a few connections with interested women, one who’d heard of us before and would like to come with her children soon. They also posted many flyers around the neighborhood, at bus stops, in phone booths, etc. Sandy and Muna were able to reconnect with V who works in one of the small hotels on Sandy. V was friendlier this week than in recent months, even giving Sandy and Muna each a hug!

Upon the return of the street teams, we sat, ate, and had some interesting discussions about body image issues, self esteem, and how our much our families and society play into our thinking in those areas. S, a first time visitor, came in quickly to check us out. She said she’d heard about us before and wanted to come see what we’re all about. She wanted to know if we’re the kind of ladies who’ve “been there, done that”. After talking briefly with a few volunteers, she happily accepted some hygiene items before heading back out to the street. We were sure to let her know that we’re there every Friday night, we’re a safe haven and place to just hang out, we’ve always got hot food, and that she’s always welcome. We were all thankful for good conversation and a new guest at Scarlet Cord. We hope and pray that S felt welcome, that she’ll tell her friends and they’ll come back soon.

A side note from me:

I have to say, I am so pleased and impressed with the volunteers at Scarlet Cord. I’ve read the weekly email updates and kept in good contact with the other SC leaders while in Amsterdam, and it is SO good to finally be back and see y’all in action with my own eyes. There is a beautiful spirit and energy about our work together, which flows abundantly to the women we are there for every week. I am so blessed to be a part of this work.

P.S. A big thank you to Emily for driving me and my bike home at the end of the evening. Props for getting that bike rack on your car!


Friday, Feb 28th Scarlet Cord Update

Last night was wonderful in so many ways. Tiffany who has been in Amsterdam for the past eight months, working with Scarlet Cord Amsterdam, is back in town! She will be here for about six weeks and then had back to Amsterdam. It was so wonderful to see Tiffany back home at Scarlet Cord. For both Tiffany and other volunteers, it was great to be able to put a face to a name too. Welcome back Tif! We also welcomed Joanne, a new volunteer to Scarlet Cord. We are excited to have you join us! Also, Bekah announced that she is getting married in August! We are all very happy for you Bekah! The rest of the team last night included Vania, Bailey, Laura, Carrie, Sandy, Muna and myself. It was quite a full room! The food was absolutely wonderful too! Glen brought some great sandwich fixins, Bailey brought some killer potato and chive soup and Sandy brought a wonderful chicken noodle soup that Carrie said was probably the best she's ever had! I must say that the sandwich and sup combo was perfect last night! Thanks everyone! Sandy also brought these great little gift mugs on behalf of Abundant Life for the volunteers present that night. They are these very sweet pink mugs with Starbucks goodies in them! Thank you Sandy, Judie and all the others at Abundant life!

Sandy, Muna and Joanne headed out as one of the street teams and covered most of Sandy in our neighborhood. Vania and I went out towards 82nd area. We had a wonderful conversation with "H" at one of the lingerie shows. She was getting ready for work and was telling us that she works 16 hour days every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. She said that she and the other girls love when we come in to talk. She thinks it's great what we do and wishes she could have an opportunity to come to Scarlet Cord. We're hoping that maybe the girls could sneak out for a few minutes one friday night so they could actually have some dinner with us! We were also greeted nicely at all of our regular stops and were able to talk with a couple ladies out on the street as well. It always amazes me how just the simple gesture of inviting someone to dinner can soften someone's face so much. I love it!

Back at home a new guest, J, came in for some dinner. She stayed for quite a while and seemed to have a good time. Also, D came in before work. It is always nice to see her and it seems every time she comes in she is more relaxed and even smiles more now too!

Also, we had a prayer request from our security guard last night. His mom fell a couple days ago and went into the hospital because of some complications last night. He is quite worried about her and asked if we could pray for her. I let him know she is in our prayers.

I hope you all have a fantastic week!