Friday, January 30, 2009

Movin' on up to the east side!

(Today's guest blog is from Seth Harlan, who's currently team Ecuador's country director, as Mark has once again left the country for some important leadership summit...we all know he just wants to hang out with Chris Taylor.)

"There could be nothing more gratifying than signing the lease and pickup the freshly made keys to our brand new 2009 Manna Office. On second thought, if the keys had belonged to a brand new 2009 Manna Mobile it may have been a little more exciting, but none the less this has been a highly anticipated development for us!

In hopes of establishing a stronger presence in the community, we have decided to rent a program space accessible to all of the communities we work with. Fully equipped with an Ecuadorian washer and dryer (aka a large outdoor sink and clothes line), his and hers bathrooms, hardwood floors, ample storage space, and a balcony with a full view of the surrounding mountains, this elegant one-floor studio has certain Manna PDs considering moving in permanently (Eliah, cough cough). As you may already know we have huge plans for this new space.

In March we hope to officially open it up to the public as our new office, the first public library in the valley, and a center for youth leadership development. We are working closely with our friends at the cooperative Esperanza y Progreso del Valle, the community board for educational development, and several other community leaders to get this project off the ground- a realty that makes this project much more exciting as we see this as not just Manna Project International, but a collective effort from the community as a whole. Currently we are in the process of furnishing the space, organizations book drives, and planning a free concert to announce our official grand opening in March. Mark even convinced a decorator to volunteer this past Sunday and give us suggestions for setting up the office and dividing up the space… Mrs. Hand, you should be proud!

On behalf of all of us, I would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to this specific project:

Campus Chapters at Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Vanderbilt
Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas
MoneyGram International
The Robertson Program at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill
Claudia Diaz
The Geller Family
The Hand Family
Jens Haerter
Linda Roby
Linda Smith
The Ward Family
Jordan Wolf
Alejandra Gomez

We are off to a great start to 2009 and thrilled about the potential for this next year. If you would like to support this project, organize a book drive, or give Mark suggestions for building books shelves please contact Seth at or visit our wish list at

Best Wishes,

1 comment:

lancaster.sarah56 said...

Outstanding! This is a great development, and you are rightly proud.