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March 21 is the Feast of the Annunciation! We celebrate Mary’s Fiat and Conception of Jesus, Son of God (Luke Chapter 1). This marks the foundation of the first Christian Family, the Holy Family: God as the Father, St. Joseph the Foster Father, Mary the Mother, and Jesus the very Son of God.

Our Doll Project for the children of Bethany Christian Services focuses on children in need of the love of a healthy family. Locally, Bethany serves some 350 children in some 400 Foster Care situations. Bethany worked with the U.S. Southern border crisis last summer; the work of reuniting children with their families still continues.

Last week our friends at Bethany told me they are supporting immigrant families settling in Grand Rapids. Two families are from Burma and two families are from the Congo.

Bethany also works with expectant parents, foster families, struggling families and children in need of basic necessities and demonstrations of love. Worldwide, the organization serves 45,000 people annually.

Rhonda Fitzsimons, supervisor of Community Engagement Volunteer Services, and Michelle Roub, administrative assistant came, and visited with the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids Doll Project gathering last October. Rhonda shared an update on our first delivery of dolls. Many of them were given as Christmas gifts for the children, and some of them went to the counselors “resource closet” where a child care counselor who is going into a difficult counseling situation can take a toy for the child.

Michelle Roub is leaving this week for a mission trip to Uganda. If any of our dolls remain, she may take some with her. It is very important to them that prayer accompanies our dolls. Each doll carries a dedication tag.

Rhonda will be especially busy while Michelle is gone. And then Rhonda paused, and said there is another thing she really hopes and wants from us. She specifically asked: “pray for our staff.”