Be Ready to Care…!

Las Vegas Update

A week now has passed and the tragedy in Las Vegas is still in need of our thoughts and prayers for comfort and support. There are still many in the hospital and several remain in critical condition.

Mykel, my “second” oldest grandson, participated in a Candle Light service last week at his church in Las Vegas and was called on to read the scripture (Psalms 23). He is a Junior in high school and this was his first time speaking in front of a large audience.

Mykel church
Mykel Broady

The size of the audience was estimated being close to 3,500 in attendance and another 13,000 plus streaming the Candle Light service on-line. Mykel stated afterwards that he was nervous speaking…but as he says in part…“I did not know what I was getting myself into [when asked to speak], but ‘HE’ did. I did not know how I would contribute to the service but ‘HE’ did

Mykel is a fine young man learning early the power of faith! For me, I appreciate Mykel’s empathy and concern for those in his community, especially the younger members, his peers who have the need for spiritual support. I also appreciate his willingness to respond when asked to serve. As a result, he experienced doing something uncomfortable and finding what “faith in action” means. He says he is ready to do it all again whenever call upon!

Jane’s Quote for the Week

“I have learned to appreciate Costa Rican time! No matter what, they stop to talk and it is just not being polite! They are interested in everyday happenings! The bridges have been stabilized enough for foot traffic and motorcycles! I still hear the river and know it is there. The sound is comforting! I realized in church this morning that Dr. Seuss is consuming my thoughts!

“I can worship here…..I can worship there”
“I can worship anywhere!”

Other News In Copey!

Jane washed out roadThe latest news in Copey pertains to the heavy rainfall that has come about mostly due to Hurricane Nate. Although Copey is a more centralized location in the country, the conditions of the hurricane have been very intense. Roads and bridges have been washed out and landslides have made traveling around and near Copey impossible. The Copey Learning Center has been closed since last Tuesday or Wednesday and remains closed today and probably tomorrow. Even the Spelling Bee scheduled for this week has been delayed since the area is on “Red Alert”.  Jane put it very well when she reported that local folks do not have the luxury of FEMA or some other organized agency showing up to help. Everyone in the community shows up to work and help each other out.

Janes suitcase

Jane’s Packed Bag for Copey

At last report, even with the problems caused by the rain-fall, Jane expects to see some of the parents today for knitting class. You do know she carried a suitcase full of yarn to Copey to introduce the world of knitting to her new friends?  That’s Jane!

Closing Message

The closing message today is one of hope. We can all see the multitude of natural disasters and of course, “man-made” calamities that cause needless pain and suffering. Today it is very difficult to imagine the glass can be anywhere close to half full…just plain empty. We are often reminded on an hourly basis how horrible it all is and one problem has two more problems waiting to be added.

Frequently, I observe when the bad things happen, typically it does not discriminate. Fires, floods, hurricanes, mass shootings, and the rest comes calling for us all. I also frequently observe those who respond and find their willingness to help seldom discriminates. First responders and others arriving to help save and to protect do so without concern for color, race, sex, ethnicity or anything else we spend so much time arguing about. I call on some of us to be ready to respond and to care because if and when that time comes, some of us will be surprised how unimportant our differences are when a crisis hits.

These tragic stories of recent events all end with stories of unimaginable acts of kindness and compassion…and serve as reminders there is a better side to most of us…and Thank God for that. I will never be convinced the glass is only half empty…but always half full! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“As for me…give me liberty!

“Every human has four endowments – self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power [independence] to choose, to respond, to change.”   By Stephen Covey

“Independence Day” was the national holiday in Costa Rica on Friday. Similar to our 4th of July, it was a day of celebration throughout the country. Being one of Costa Rica’s most important holidays, it all starts on September 14th and continues on September 15th. The traditional celebration begins with a symbolic torch called the “Torch of Freedom” representing Central America’s freedom from colonial Spain. After several efforts to establish its freedom and declare its true sovereignty, in 1848 Costa Rica finally became a true  sovereign nation.Sample Costa Rica Children

Every year the torch makes the journey south from Guatemala to Costa Rica. When the torch reaches its final destination of Cartago – the Costa Rican provincial capital when Central America declared independence – Costa Ricans stand to sing the national anthem.

The most beloved Independence Day tradition is street parades, held on September 15th in every town around the country. School children spend months preparing for their marching baStudent bandnd, color guards, and folkloric dancing. Men, women and children often dress in their traditional best – flowing skirts, straw hats, and pressed shirts in a red, white and blue color palette. Congratulations on your freedom!

Goodbye to Anne and Kevin

You long time “Friends” have readAnne Lawrence about Anne and Kevin. They were the owners of the successful Bed and Breakfast (Hush Valley Lodge) business very close to Copey. Anne was with Seidy in 2013 when I first visited the Copey Learning Center. Anne and Kevin had moved to Costa Rica from Canada to experience a little different life style. Anne authored the very informative and colorful book titled “Following my tug…! Check out the Post written in March 2014 for more information about Anne.  We “Friends” wish Anne and Kevin our very best on their return home to Canada to renew their lives and relationships with family and friends. You will be missed.  https://friendsofcopey.com/2014/03/12/418/

 

Jane’s Quote for the Week”

“I guess it was divine intervention that I am here and we can blame it on Gail. If he hadn’t passed away, I hadn’t called you, you hadn’t made the donation on PayPal, and sent me the “Friends of Copey” newsletter (Post), I will still be at home watching Days of Our Lives and eating Chocolate.”  Jane with students

Jane also pointed out she is really getting her feet wet…and from all indications she is. Each day there is some rainfall and she has had to get some rain gear to stay dry. But, she is also deeply involved and getting her feet wet with the students and the community. She is certainly meeting all my expectations. She is expected to have some family visiting her in Copey soon. Seldom is there an opportunity for a volunteer to share with their family their work. Without doubt, when Jane’s family sees first-hand the relationship she has established with the students and the community, they will be most proud and pleased.  BTW Jane…you were not watching a lot of soap operas I am certain….before Copey entered your life.

During the month of September 2015, my featured quote was by Rosa Parks. She simply proclaimed…“I do the very best I can to look upon life with optimism and hope and looking forward to a better day…”  

She did awake one morning and decided to fully embrace her full endowment and exercise the power to choose, respond, and change. This helped spark an historical movement.

Should you find this week’s Post worth sharing, pass on to a friend.   Thanks to all!

I’ll Fly Away, Oh Glory..!

“It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal.”   By Helen Keller

This is a very special week for me. As a proud member of the Tri-Cities Industry Kiwanis Club, I am invited to share updated information about the “Friends of Copey” and the Copey Learning Center.

For two plus years, “Friends of Copey” has been an approved project by my club.zzzKiwanis Club members support many club activities locally and elsewhere benefiting the health and welfare of children. “Friends” is honored to be included among the programs approved by Kiwanis which are focused on kids.

I plan to share information about the “Pathway Project 2017” which our Kiwanis Club’s Foundation played a very important role. Then, recently Fatima and Ariana made a “Pathway Project 2017” presentation to the Copey community covering their travels last June to the USA and Emory & Henry College.

Consider this!!! From Washington state to the local community of Copey, Costa Rica, we are sharing information about two very special weeks in the lives of two young students from Copey.

Jane’s Quote of the Week!

“The most amazing thing is the love and respect the people have for each other [in Copey]. They all work hard and no one seems to complain. The students have never complained or said they don’t want to do anything!”

This was Jane’s observation after witnessing the Copey community’s efforts to raise funds towards the reconstruction of the church lost recently by fire.

larry-cindy-windes.jpg

Ana Yancy, Michael, Cindy, Jane, and Larry

Last week Jane visited Angela who has returned to Copey.  Then, Jane and Michael, her volunteer teacher counterpart, along with Ana Yancy visited the very talented folks, Larry and Cindy Windes.

I am very excited that Jane is meeting some of the people who have been and continue to be extraordinary supporters of “Friends of Copey”. You may recall Larry and Cindy are transplants from Arizona. Larry is the architect responsible for the beautiful design of the new Learning Center. You will be hearing a lot more about Larry and Cindy in the near future.

Final Word

So many times I complete my Post, hit the button to send out my weekly message and then it hits me. I think about Carol who helps me with editing each week and I think of Dr. Lin Church who has been the co-chair of the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund since its beginning.

Lin church

Dr. Church and Arthur

Dr. Church, with his support has helped us do an amazing job over the 4 years by providing students in Copey an opportunity to attend the Learning Center. Dr. Church has been a significant partner in this effort and a “true” friend sharing this journey.

I had the pleasure of visiting him during my June trip thru North Carolina and that was only the second time he and I have met face to face. The first time was at my mother’s memorial service in late 2013.

More information about why Dr. Church is involved and his connection with the Broadys is included in the menu titled “Scholarship Fund”.

But, almost without exception, he will send me a note with feedback following each Post. I want to tell everyone that I am very appreciative of his support and his ongoing encouragement. Thanks Lin!

Thoughts and prayers continue for those seriously impacted by the recent hurricanes, floods, and the rest of the weather conditions being experienced in the south.

 

 

Make today a masterpiece…!

“No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.”  By Robert Southey

In Copey

Jane arrived last week in Copey on schedule to take on her volunteer teaching duties. Michael, also a volunteer teacher arrived from Colombia to team up with Jane for the balance of the school year. Both arrived in time to say goodbye to Jim who was just completing his volunteer term at the Learning Center. Jane Jim and Mike Jim was provided a going away party and it afforded Jane the chance to see and meet parents and other community folks who support the Learning Center.

I spoke to Jim and his wife via Skype last Wednesday and also with Jane, Michael, and Ana Yancy. It was really great to see all of the crew and talk about the progress being made at the Learning Center.   (Michael, Jane, and Jim shown)

Jane’s Quote for the Week…

I planned to share a quote each week from Jane so all the “Friends” can share in a small way the experience she is having while in Copey. This week’s special quote is…

“I have already taught several classes! These students are so very impressive–their command of the English language is superior! I love the 6 and 7-year-old students! They are like sponges! They call me Teacher! They are so typical especially the teenagers! I have several new ideas to try with them!

Mom, Aunt Katherine, and Harvey!

Several notes and comments arrived commenting on last week’s Post and they have all been very much appreciated. Some can be seen in the “Comments” section of this Blog.

Aunt Katherine.2

Katherine Goble Johnson

Others comments arrived by email. I would like to share one note from a “friend” and representative of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (an AGBSF supporter)

“Thanks for such an inspiring message of remembrance and gratitude for your mother and aunt. We pray for those who suffered due to Hurricane Harvey and we are also grateful for the many first-responders, neighbors and strangers who risked their lives to save others. God Bless!!!  Vivian T.-Washington State

Notes from “friends” who appreciate and understand the value of family and relationships are precious and personally uplifting. I have pointed out many times with my Posts, I am blessed with both family and friends. Without either, “Friends of Copey” would not have begun and certainly not successfully continued as we move into our 5th year.

I am eager to share part of another note that you can read in full by clicking on the “Comments” link. My “friend” and senior high classmate from 1966, Kay wrote…

“I enjoy reading your blog each week and feel as if I know your family. You honor your mom with all your comments and I wish I had known her. Mothers are special, all of them. Best of wishes for your Aunt Katherine too. She is a remarkable woman and continues to inspire young woman all over the world with her perseverance and example.”  Kay F.-Virginia

Message to the Copey Community

Vivian and Kay are examples of “Friends” who know about you and your community and care about the Learning Center and its work. Remain steadfast in your belief that your children are special and that we are your “friends” stretched from one end of America to the other end who care about the Copey community.  Love and Peace!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

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.