Tuesday, October 2, 2012

An Email That Touched My Heart

This is something I just had to share with all of you.  Last week, a customer who placed a few orders replied to me with a letter that touched my heart. Her name is Karen and she works with Native populations in remote areas. Here is what she wrote:

"Thank you, Debbie-Anne!
I'll definitely enjoy your art, yes. I love your artwork; it's just gorgeous to say the least.
My crafts go to Native Indians and will for a long time to come. They don't have access or means to many paper crafts like yours or mine, and that literally breaks my heart and just plain bothers me--enough that I try to do something about it even if I am a total of one person in this process. :)
For instance, I bet you would do the same for a young Native girl on a reservation who just had surgery. I made her a journal album (see image below--it was five pages in all). The 13-year-old girl was overwhelmed with joy. The tribe gave her a pow-wow to honor her life when she came home from the hospital, too. As it turns out, the girl suffered more trauma. I'm not giving up on her (at least in prayer) or doing what I can to show honor and care for all Native people.

The Eskimo children in Shungnak and Point Hope, Alaska, live in very remote Arctic villages. Our VBS teams went into their villages last summer. The children were excited because they knew they would be getting snacks and art projects. The VBS teams brought in string art. I understand the children enjoyed their projects, so God bless the volunteers for doing what they could for the kids! My hope is to introduce the children to other projects. As you know, paper crafting is so-oooo much fun, so I hope they can enjoy the same crafts that you and I are blessed to enjoy. There is so much color and texture and shapes and ways to create with paper, after all. They deserve the chance. You have to realize that there are no shopping centers in the Arctic. :) That's right, not even one--not one craft store to purchase a glue stick or a package of double-sided paper--and there are no roads in or out to get to one, either. People and shipments have to be flown in and out of Shungnak or go by river.
I'm gifting my work to these children and to people who serve them personally. God willing, I do what I can to provide them craft supplies. If it's OK with you, I would love to provide the children with some of your items already printed for their use. But, again, I'm not in the position to supply them with a lot; I'm still collecting for the time being. I'm also making the photo journals for Native people as I can and for those who serve Natives that I am associated with. For instance, Rosemary in Fairbanks goes to remote Alaska villages every year, so I gave her a photo journal as a thank-you and also to give her ideas for similar art projects for the children.
I thank God for the opportunity to show honor to the all Natives--His creation. And thank you for your good work, too, Debbie-Anne! Your art will make stunning photo journals! I'm really excited about using them. I'm going to Neah Bay and Port Angeles, Washington, next week, and I will be visiting the Makah Indian community and the Klallam Indians on the Lower Elwha Reservation. I am taking two photo journals with me to give to each Native group. I hope to show the Makah women how to make these journals and think about ways to incorporate Native elements into them, like spruce-root stitches and beads."

Karen is an inspiration and I feel so blessed to have met her! Karen, if you're reading this, thank you for being of service in the world in this wonderfully creative way. You're an angel walking among us!

**Karen has since shared more photos of another album she's been working on, so I added them here for you.**

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  1. Thanks for sharing that, Debbie. It is very touching :)

  2. I've just read Karen's story, how selfless she is and she has such a huge giving heart.


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