Beading for Sammy

My fingers continue stringing beads fast and furious in Colorado, accumulating inventory for the July Texas PTA convention, while my heart wanders far away to the morning bird songs, traffic cacophony, blooming flowers, and singing children of Kenya. Sometimes a young boy steps into my imagination. His smiling face urges me on, keeps my hands…Read more Beading for Sammy

Buried in Beads!

Piles of beads are slowly but surely transforming into mounds of jewelry around here as I prepare inventory for the Texas PTA conference store. You can check out their article, "Pamba Toto spotlight," here. Danny Philhower, the store director, traveled to South Africa a decade ago with my friend and Pamba Toto co-founder, Debbie Lee and her…Read more Buried in Beads!

Canopy of Hope

Day by day Haiti seeps into the sea. Deprived of any other reliable energy source, her citizens harvest what they can find. Food today or soil tomorrow? When a belly roils with hunger pangs, the tree is felled. Peasants charcoal the wood in shallow covered pits, then bag and sell it. Experts say Haiti is…Read more Canopy of Hope

Never the Same – How Pamba Toto Began

We’ve never been the same after just a few short weeks in the summer of 2002. I led a team of six college and two high school students in serving at the Mother Teresa Home for Abandoned Children in Nairobi as part of the InterVarsity Kenya Global Project, directed by my good friends Brian and…Read more Never the Same – How Pamba Toto Began

When Normal is Beautiful

Only those who witness the nightmare these kids survived can begin to grasp the enormity of the word that Steve, our dear friend from Kenya, used to describe the current status of the Sanctuary of Hope (SoH) family:  “normal.” He seemed a bit sheepish to employ this simple descriptor while speaking to a gathering of…Read more When Normal is Beautiful

Each One Small and Beautiful

My aesthetic-loving mind exploded the first time I stumbled upon the “small and beautiful” magic of Kazuri (Swahili for “small and beautiful”) beads. Invited by my friend Debbie Lee, my mom and I toured the workshop with her. Stunning women dressed in exotic batik fabrics leaned over a vast array of clay shapes and colors…Read more Each One Small and Beautiful

A Tale of Two Drowning Kids

The waters first lapped at my son’s feet when he was five years-old. I pulled our “twins” (by adoption - they are six weeks apart) from pre-school mid-year when we traveled to Kenya to adopt my daughter, never imagining they would miss the entire second semester. As days melted into weeks, I imposed structure on our nomad existence with…Read more A Tale of Two Drowning Kids

One of the best days of my life

"The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." Frederick Buechner In August 2011, deep gladness flooded my soul. I pulled out bits and pieces for the pursuit of creativity - markers, paper, beads, and wire. Eager Sanctuary of Hope (SoH) children surrounded me as I explained…Read more One of the best days of my life