A Year in Review

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Dear​ ​Friend​ ​of​ ​Mustard​ ​Seed​ ​Peace​ ​Project,
Let​ ​me​ ​take​ ​this​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​wish​ ​you​ ​and​ ​your​ ​loved​ ​ones​ ​a​ ​very​ ​happy​ ​holiday​ ​season​ ​and a​ ​new​ ​year​ ​filled​ ​with​ ​much​ ​love,​ ​happiness​ ​and​ ​peace.​ ​As​ ​I​ ​look​ ​back​ ​on​ ​2017,​ ​Mustard​ ​Seed Peace​ ​Project​ ​(MSPP)​ ​has​ ​much​ ​to​ ​be​ ​grateful​ ​for​ ​-​ ​completed​ ​projects,​ ​new​ ​relationships,​ ​new projects​ ​and​ ​the​ ​continued​ ​support​ ​of​ ​our​ ​friends.
When​ ​we​ ​ask​ ​the​ ​communities,​ ​“What​ ​are​ ​your​ ​most​ ​urgent​ ​needs?”​ ​Their​ ​response​ ​is​ ​typically, “help​ ​with​ ​the​ ​education​ ​of​ ​our​ ​children,”​ ​and​ ​”better​ ​healthcare​ ​for​ ​our​ ​children.”​ ​In​ ​2017,​ ​MSPP was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​address​ ​both​ ​of​ ​these​ ​concerns.
In​ ​January,​ ​two​ ​members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​MSPP​ ​engineering​ ​team​ ​and​ ​I​ ​made​ ​our​ ​final​ ​assessment​ ​trip for​ ​our​ ​school​ ​repair​ ​project​ ​in​ ​Virginia.​ ​In​ ​May,​ ​students​ ​and​ ​faculty​ ​from​ ​Westminster​ ​College in​ ​Fulton,​ ​MO.​ ​made​ ​the​ ​long​ ​journey​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Ixcan.​ ​We​ ​were​ ​able​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​the​ ​community​ ​with the​ ​funds​ ​to​ ​add​ ​a​ ​new​ ​roof​ ​to​ ​the​ ​school​ ​and​ ​the​ ​school​ ​kitchen,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​purchase​ ​a​ ​new stove​ ​for​ ​the​ ​kitchen.​ ​While​ ​the​ ​men​ ​of​ ​the​ ​community​ ​added​ ​the​ ​new​ ​roof,​ ​the​ ​students​ ​painted the​ ​classrooms.​ ​The​ ​students​ ​even​ ​had​ ​enough​ ​time​ ​and​ ​energy​ ​to​ ​play​ ​soccer​ ​with​ ​the​ ​kids.
In​ ​July,​ ​members​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Organization​ ​for​ ​Associate​ ​Degree​ ​Nurses​ ​(OADN)​ ​conducted​ ​medical clinics​ ​for​ ​Virginia.​ ​With​ ​a​ ​team​ ​of​ ​Nurses,​ ​Nurse​ ​Practitioners​ ​and​ ​EMT’s,​ ​we​ ​were​ ​able​ ​to provide​ ​basic​ ​medical​ ​care​ ​and​ ​then​ ​assess​ ​and​ ​provide​ ​referrals​ ​for​ ​more​ ​serious​ ​cases.​ ​As​ ​an educational​ ​piece​ ​we​ ​were​ ​able​ ​to​ ​train​ ​four​ ​women​ ​in​ ​the​ ​community​ ​to​ ​be​ ​“first​ ​responders,” so​ ​that​ ​they​ ​could​ ​provide​ ​basic​ ​first​ ​aid​ ​and​ ​compassion​ ​to​ ​their​ ​community​ ​until​ ​transport​ ​to​ ​a medical​ ​facility​ ​arrives.​ ​Through​ ​our​ ​partnership​ ​with​ ​OADN​ ​it​ ​is​ ​our​ ​hope​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​a​ ​minimum of​ ​one​ ​medical​ ​clinic​ ​per​ ​year​ ​to​ ​each​ ​community.
Since​ ​2004​ ​MSPP​ ​has​ ​been​ ​helping​ ​our​ ​friends​ ​in​ ​the​ ​rural​ ​Ixcan​ ​region​ ​of​ ​Guatemala​ ​improve the​ ​lives​ ​of​ ​their​ ​families.​ ​While​ ​our​ ​main​ ​focus​ ​is​ ​still​ ​public​ ​health,​ ​education​ ​and​ ​community development,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​equally​ ​important​ ​for​ ​MSPP​ ​to​ ​raise​ ​awareness​ ​of​ ​the​ ​needs​ ​of​ ​people​ ​around the​ ​world​ ​and​ ​provide​ ​opportunities​ ​for​ ​people​ ​to​ ​have​ ​an​ ​international​ ​experience.
This​ ​year​ ​we​ ​participated​ ​in​ ​the​ ​city​ ​of​ ​Alton’s​ ​first​ ​“Small​ ​Town,​ ​Big​ ​World”​ ​cultural​ ​festival.​ ​This event​ ​allow​ ​us​ ​to​ ​raise​ ​awareness​ ​about​ ​our​ ​projects​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Mayan​ ​culture.​ ​For​ ​the​ ​second year​ ​in​ ​a​ ​row​ ​we​ ​were​ ​invited​ ​to​ ​present​ ​to​ ​the​ ​students​ ​of​ ​Alton​ ​High​ ​School​ ​at​ ​their​ ​annual Oxfam​ ​dinner.​ ​The​ ​focus​ ​of​ ​the​ ​dinner​ ​was​ ​food​ ​and​ ​water​ ​scarcity.​ ​For​ ​over​ ​six​ ​years​ ​MSPP has​ ​participated​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Water​ ​Festival​ ​held​ ​on​ ​the​ ​campus​ ​of​ ​Lewis​ ​and​ ​Clark​ ​Community College.​ ​This​ ​program​ ​provides​ ​over​ ​300​ ​fifth​ ​graders​ ​with​ ​information​ ​about​ ​water conservation.​ ​MSPP​ ​teaches​ ​the​ ​youth​ ​about​ ​the​ ​lack​ ​of​ ​clean​ ​water​ ​in​ ​developing​ ​countries.

For​ ​the​ ​past​ ​two​ ​years​ ​MSPP​ ​has​ ​been​ ​working​ ​on​ ​the​ ​development​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Young​ ​Mustard​ ​Seed Group.​ ​We​ ​are​ ​currently​ ​working​ ​with​ ​several​ ​colleges​ ​and​ ​universities.​ ​We​ ​recently​ ​added​ ​three local​ ​high​ ​schools​ ​to​ ​our​ ​group.​ ​We​ ​believe​ ​it​ ​is​ ​important​ ​to​ ​engage​ ​the​ ​youth​ ​of​ ​our​ ​world​ ​and provide​ ​them​ ​with​ ​the​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​become​ ​global​ ​citizens.
Looking​ ​forward​ ​to​ ​2018…​ ​we​ ​hope​ ​to​ ​begin​ ​phase​ ​II​ ​of​ ​our​ ​school​ ​project​ ​with​ ​the​ ​addition​ ​of new​ ​bathrooms,​ ​a​ ​wash​ ​station​ ​and​ ​four​ ​classrooms.​ ​Also,​ ​this​ ​is​ ​the​ ​year​ ​for​ ​drilling​ ​the​ ​well! The​ ​community​ ​has​ ​been​ ​patient​ ​for​ ​so​ ​long​ ​and​ ​it​ ​looks​ ​like​ ​it​ ​is​ ​finally​ ​going​ ​to​ ​happen.​ ​We​ ​will continue​ ​to​ ​strengthen​ ​our​ ​relationships​ ​with​ ​Las​ ​Mojarras​ ​and​ ​San​ ​Alfonso.​ ​Finally,​ ​​ ​hope​ ​to add​ ​dental​ ​clinics​ ​to​ ​our​ ​outreach​ ​in​ ​the​ ​next​ ​year.
As​ ​MSPP​ ​continues​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​we​ ​realize​ ​that​ ​none​ ​of​ ​what​ ​we​ ​do​ ​would​ ​be​ ​possible​ ​without​ ​the help​ ​and​ ​support​ ​of​ ​our​ ​friends.​ ​Thank​ ​you​ ​so​ ​much​ ​for​ ​allowing​ ​us​ ​to​ ​continue​ ​the​ ​work​ ​that​ ​we are​ ​so​ ​passionate​ ​about.
Merry​ ​Christmas,
Terri​ ​Cranmer President​ ​-​ ​Mustard​ ​Seed​ ​Peace​ ​Project

Christmas Appeal 2017