Mom Remembered…!

“I don’t want my life to be defined by what is etched on a tombstone. I want it to be defined by what is etched in the lives and hearts of those I’ve touched.”  by Steve Maraboli
As it has become our family’s tradition, we spent some time together yesterday honoring Mom’s memory. She passed away on the morning of August 27, 2013. We have our annual family seafood feast, eating lots of seafood including claims, mussels, shrimp, and crab plus more. We declare mission accomplished on the feast and the tradition lives on.

Mom and “Friends of Copey” are connected!  Mom’s personal interest in the Learning Center during my earliest days of involvement subsequently inspired the establishment of the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund (AGBSF) following her death. IMG_5365Setting up the scholarship fund then demanded a more efficient way to communicate with friends which brought about our name “Friends of Copey” and the birth of my Blog by the same name.AGB Scholarships.1

So, it is impossible to honor Mom’s memory each year without also observing the official and important start of “Friends of Copey”. As much as Mom was a blessing to us, we are very fortunate and blessed to have “Friends” to share this opportunity to keep her memory alive by serving others.  Mom…you are missed!

Jane Update!

Well, this afternoon, Jane will head off to Costa Rica. With the help of Skype, I had the wonderful pleasure speaking with Jane yesterday and finally meeting  her family after knowing Jane and her late husband Gail since 1968.

Rutledge family

Jane with her sons and daughter

Jane’s sons and her daughter along with grand-kids gathered at Jane’s home yesterday in Matthews, NC to spend the day with her before her departure to Copey. They were also  there for an early celebration of Jane’s birthday which will come around before she returns home in late November.

Jane is packed up with suitcases filled for her and for the students at the Copey Learning Center. She is excited and has that positive attitude many of the “Friends of Copey” seem to have.

 

 

By the way, her host family will be Ariana’s parents. Ariana was one of our two students who visited us this summer. There should be plenty there to talk about.

As I indicated last week, we will try to keep close contact with Jane and her work in Copey. I can not think of a better way to rush into the final three months of school at the Copey Learning Center.  “Jane, may the force be with you!”

Happy Birthday!

Speaking of Special Dates, Aunt Katherine turned a young 99 years old this weekend. From all of us “Friends of Copey”, we celebrate you Aunt Katherine and wish you well. Yaunt-katherine-posterou have made such a difference in so many lives during the time we have been blessed to have you among us.

Your fame and recognition has brought much joy and praise to us and our family. We have experienced many acts and words of kindness from friends and strangers. All this because of what you have accomplished and for your life well lived. We keep you and Jim along with Joylette and Kathy and all the family in our thoughts and prayers.  Happy Birthday!

Hurricane Harvey 

Our thoughts and prayers also go out to all of those whose lives have been impacted by the recent and ongoing devastation Hurrican Harvey has caused. This event reminds us all just how temporary things can be as we watch homes and other property including some lives being taken away so quickly. Hope however prevails!

Been Interrupted by Another’s Need?

“From my early school days, I was brought up with the belief that we have a duty to use our talents, to volunteer and to make a contribution.”   By Michael Hintze

By now everyone has had either the full extent of the total eclipse or the partial effects. In my part of the world today it was the partial although I am only a few hours from the now famous Madris, Oregon site where thousands of people gathered for the total eclipse. I can only say it did not have the impact I anticipated. It was daylight and sunny much of the time and it really did not get dark outside…hardly noticeable. Okay…now back to normal life. Spelling Bee

Some really good news to report on the Spelling Bee contest results so far (also called the Language Festival in Costa Rica).  To date, there are two winners who are Copey Learning Center students and one high school winner who is a past student from the Learning Center.  Now, you must pay close attention!

Rodriguez photos
Mariana and Margarita

 Mariana Rodriguez won in two categories; the Spelling Bee Contest and the Impromptu Conversation category.  Her younger sister Margarita

Celeste Mora
Celeste  Ulloa Mora

won the Impromptu Conversation category in her group level.

 

Then Celeste Ulloa Mora won the Impromptu Conversation category at the high school level.

 

Now, let’s refresh our memories.  

First, Mariana was our star performer who made it all the way to the National competition in 2016. She lost in the finals but she established herself as a true contender. Well, she is back on track to make another run at the National Championship. This time, she is bringing along her younger sister who is following in “big” sister’s footsteps.

Remember Celeste? She was one of the first two “Pathway Project” students who traveled in June 2016 to the USA. She is an amazing student and could be a very strong contender for a National Spelling Bee Title. Next competition is set for October. Stay alert!

Church Update

Regarding the status of the church, the community is working through the planning for the new church.  As expected, there will be a church built and the community has already begun local fund-raising activities. I am trying to get more specific details on their plans and needs. Thank you for continuing to ask about the status of the church and expressing your regrets for the community’s loss.

Jane’s Latest Quote!

By the way, the title for this week’s Post came about because of a recent epiphany. During this day and time, we all struggle with allowing our needs to be interrupted by a need belonging to someone else. Even those with a “servant’s heart” struggle with being interrupted. This is one of the reasons Jane (and others) is a special volunteer. There are and have been many really great “Friends” and supporters who have invited the interruption and Jane is included. Jane’s notes to me reflect that “servant’s mindset and willingness” to endure the interruption in life caused by a need in another’s life.

For example, Jane wrote this note this week as she prepares to travel to Copey…“I am so excited. One suitcase for clothes and one loaded with books and yarn. The extra is donations and I have so many and more to come.”   

Is there any question why I love this project? “Friends” are just such wonderful people ready to take on the interruption!

 

The Union of the Faithful…!

“The Church is the pillar and the ground of Truth….”    1 Timothy 3:15

We are still feeling the loss of the wonderful church which was the centerpiece for the Copey community. Tomorrow will be one week since the fire destroyed a significant historical and religious symbol of probably all this is good about Copey.

Several “Friends” have expressed their thoughts over the week in response to last Monday’s Post. I wish to share some of these with you.

“Your Friends Say…”

“Expressing in words the sorrow over the loss of Copey church renders me speechless. Then as I gaze at the standing white pillars, I felt overwhelmed with the possibilities that will come of rebuilding. Church beforePrayers for Copey Church and your community are headed your way, from our churches, our communities and our families here in Washington State. We will spread the word around the world. Our love to everyone who is affected.”  Jennifer W. 

“We have learned from our past that we can rebuild and be stronger, wiser, and remain positive as we take on challenges each and every day. Much can be gained from a new beginning, especially when we are surrounded by love. I know the love is there.”  Lisa B.

“I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I will have the community in my prayers.” Ed. D.Church after

“My heart and my prayers are with them. I promise to do whatever I can to help them rebuild their temple. But today, I am specially grateful to know that people from so far away from my country, pray for this wonderful people.  Thank you!” Catalina C.

“So sorry to hear of this devastating loss. Prayers for healing and rebuilding, oh but what a tough loss.” Cynthia M.

“I’m so sad to hear about the church. I”m sure in a community that size that the church is probably the center of activity and community events. I”m so sad for everyone. ”  Monica H.

“Arthur, what a tragedy! I will let folks at my church know, please keep us updated on the plans and progress.” John L.

The community is in shock. So very sad!  Anne L.

“And I Say…”

During my very first trip to Copey, I was literally only steps from the front door and the pillars of this church when I met both Seidy and Anne for the first time. The church was fascinating to look at as it seemed to be the biggest building in the community, it appeared to occupy the most land, and seemed to be the center to everything else as if the community and maybe even the world revolved around it. It was the place where newly weds spoke their marriage vows, the place that welcomed newborns, the place where the community celebrated great news and the place where all could feel safe in times of trouble. And, it was the place many said goodbye to loved ones passing on.  It was all this to so many since about 1928.

One of those who commented asked the question what are the pillars made of since they appeared unmoved by the fire and destruction all around them?

Well…I am not sure about the answer to the question. But, maybe it is just symbolic of what Copey really is all about and what the community is made of. Perhaps those pillars represent the heart and soul of the people of that community. I have always said these are some very special people living in Copey and Copey is a special community. We can bet those pillars will not stand alone for long! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Church…Gospel Made Visible!

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”      By Khalil Gibran

Usually, when I awake on a Monday morning I am full of excitement with a very positive outlook on both the day and the week ahead. This morning was different. As customary each Monday morning, I receive a Post from my friend Anne who resides near Copey where she and her husband Kevin own and operate a Bed and Breakfast…Hush Valley Lodge. I met Anne along with Seidy on my very first trip to Copey in 2011. The Learning Center at that time was located directly across the street from this church.  Church beforeAnne’s Post this morning reported the tragic loss of the local church in Copey. Apparently, the church burned to the ground last night and the community is in serious shock over its loss today. The church is a historical site and has been standing in the center of the community since 1928. In 1999, it was officially declared a historic site.

Church after

Notice only the white pillars remain standing!

Reports already indicate the community’s plans to rebuild and to do so soon. This points out to me once again the “special” nature of this community and its drive to take on those challenges which affect their lives…challenges facing the old and young within this community.

 

“Friends of Copey” extends our sorrow for this loss of a valued community and religious resource. This is a building that I suspect not many residents can remember when this church was not sitting in the center of the community. I ask all “Friends” to pray for Copey as they work now to recover from this significant loss of part of the community’s identity and its history.

If you have a personal church you attend, send a personal church message to me that can be passed on to the Copey community.

An additional Post will be issued later this week.