A GREAT BLESSING
It took the communication of four Smilemakers to have an unbelievable evening. Gerrit Davelaar from Inwood, Iowa, read in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader about a large wood auction that was going to take place three miles west of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He told Art Franken of Sheldon, Iowa, about it, who then informed Harold Niemeyer from Sioux Falls. Harold went to check it out and told Art there was a lot of great wood.
Harold, his wife, Lorraine, and Art decided to go, thinking they could probably get some scraps.
Harold and Art told the auctioneer why they were there and showed him the cars that they make for TFGK. Before the auction started, the auctioneer explained why Harold and Art were there and showed everyone the cars. They were given loud applause! Everyone thought it sounded like a great organization.
Boards were auctioned off one at a time. After about 10 sales, no one bid on three odd-shaped boards.The auctioneer stopped and asked Harold and Art if they could use them. They said yes, they could cut them to down to a size they needed. The auctioneer said "SOLD. Give it to TFGK and mark it to me!"
After that, men in the audience started doing the same thing. Everyone got so excited to get involved with buying boards and giving them to TFGK!
By the time the sale was over, Harold and Art had two pickup loads of beautiful wood. They were thrilled beyond words by the generosity of all the men there! They are still amazed how they went hoping to get some scraps, but got many boards to make lots of cars and wheels!
They still get goose bumps when they think how they were blessed by strangers that night!
Written by Jo Franken from Sheldon, Iowa.
A thank you note from Connie Kurash:
“I can't believe we have completed the Haiti Missions trip. We went to Bonne Fin Haiti to a hospital up in the mountains of Haiti. Our team provided therapy to the kids as well as adults at Hospital Lumiere.
The toy cars were very popular, as they always are! It is a lot of fun to hand out the cars! We made sure that all of the children in the hospital received a car. We even gave toy cars to the pregnant moms who will be delivering very soon. Thanks again for donating!!!”
THANK YOU Smilemakers for helping create smiles for these special children in Haiti.
Sue Kass writes: “Thanks to you and all the guys who make these great little cars! We had a wonderful trip to Guatemala, and the cars were a HUGE hit. They produced the best smiles. Thanks again for a service that touches the hearts and lives of kids around the world. I hope you enjoy these photos of some of the sweet children we had the pleasure of meeting and loving.” Bill Wiersma indicates they sent 415 cars, stamped in Spanish; can you see it on the photos? Great work Smilemakers.
In October 2017, Mark Cameron, son-in-law of Darrell Rose, led a CHOICE Humanitarian expedition to the northern Peruvian highlands of the Meseta Andina, a remote and isolated area above 10,000 feet in the Andes Mountains of Peru. There, in the small rural community of Las Pircas, this humanitarian group of 25 participants and leaders worked side by side with the villagers planting gardens and digging a foundation, hauling hand-made adobe bricks, and building the walls for what would someday soon be the new community center. The group also had the opportunity to visit the pre-school and kindergarten classes, where they were able to give the teacher small wooden cars made by Darrel Rose - enough for every child in the school. The children played with and enjoyed the cars, after which the teacher stored them in a box in the classroom where they would be available every day for the entire class to play with. Both the teacher and the students were most grateful for the gift, and the joy of the students was evident in their big, genuine smiles. CHOICE Humanitarian has been engaged for over 25 years in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty in remote regions of the world. They currently work with communities in Nepal, Kenya, Mexico, Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru, and Ecuador. Darrel Rose’s cars have been delivered to communities in Mexico and Peru, and will be delivered to small rural villages in Nepal this coming Christmas.
Written by Mark Cameron.
No words needed regarding this mom and son in Nicaragua.
This is a young patient in Ted Glattke's program for the hearing impaired program in a remote area of Mexico. Most children have never seen an automobile, but they still enjoy playing with them. Thank you to Darrell Rose for sharing the cars.
ISN'T IT AMAZING WHAT A FEW TOYS CAN DO! A few years ago, Brian Balster sold most of his welding business in Platte, SD, and is a self-supporting missionary currently on his 5th trip to Africa. He shared with us the following story and pictures via email.
“I arrived in Uganda and then drove to Kayango, Uganda, where Pastor Joshua Masaba lives and ministers. We were welcomed by 114 children and all of the staff and teachers of the orphanage/school. Upon arrival they sang and performed for us. There are absolutely no words to describe what it is like to receive such a greeting from 114 orphan children singing and dancing with joy and faces with the biggest smiles that you can imagine. I spoke briefly to the group and then was able to give out the gifts that I brought along. Each child received a small wooden car. Duane Strand from Platte makes these cars in his back workshop. They were a big hit! Thanks Duane. For many of the children, this is the only personal possession they have.”
THANK YOU to all Smilemakers for putting smiles on the faces and joy in the hearts of children all over the world during this Christmas season.