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.
Terri Cranmer President - Mustard Seed Peace Project