MEMO Honoured By Canadian Governor General, Canadian Red Cross

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davep_smIt is always exciting when good things happen in the life of one member of a family. Everyone rejoices with them. Every now and then something GREAT happens, and we all need to celebrate together. This letter is an invitation for you to celebrate with the family.

Dr. Jerome and Maureen Harvey have given relentless leadership to MEMO for many years.  Over 50 containers of medical supplies have been sent to Cuba, El Salvador and Liberia.  Thousands of volunteer hours in Thunder Bay have made this possible.  But it has been the passion and vision of Dr. Harvey that has been the force behind this effort.

In a ceremony in Thunder Bay on March 29th, Dr. Jerome Harvey was honored to receive the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award for his commitment, vision and hard work.

(Click this link to read more about the award.)

“The Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award recognizes individuals who volunteer their time to help others and to build a smarter and more caring nation. The award also highlights the fine example set by these volunteers, whose compassion and engagement are so much a part of our Canadian character. It allows us to thank them for their contributions and for the positive impact they have had on the lives of others.”

MEMO will also be honoured by the Canadian Red Cross when Dr. Harvey receives the “Power of Humanity” award on May 5th. This award recognizes MEMO’s “relentless and selfless humanitarian efforts within the Thunder Bay community and beyond.”

Dr. Harvey shared this anecdote in a recent email:

When the GG’s secretary phoned me to inform me of the award, she congratulated me. I said,”Don’t send congratulations, send money!” Her very serious response was, “Oh I am sorry sir, we cannot do that.” When I pointed out I was just teasing she finally laughed.

His heartfelt desire is that in receiving this reward there will be increased awareness and support for MEMO and all it continues to accomplish. We all can join with the Harveys and the entire MEMO team in thanking God for the opportunity to share God’s love in such a practical way. May the Glory go to Him!

With gratitude,

Dave Penner (EFCCM Director)

”What Do You Need Most?”

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LaPresa
An update from MEMO Ministry’s work in El Salvador.

“Jerome, this is the most important meeting you have had this trip!”

Eduardo was referring to the brief tour given by an elderly, spritely town counsellor who showed Jerome the conditions of La Presa. La Presa is a village close to the larger town of Texacuangos, but is separated from it by a steep, often treacherous pathway. The people have great needs and we have the ability to help physically, socially and spiritually.

Dutchaks scrap metal in Thunder Bay, ON is setting aside 1,000ft of hand rail over the next little while to help make this pathway safer. MEMO volunteers will pick it up from time to time and MEMO will start shipping it to the region.

Of course that is the easy part. With the help of the community and town workers the pipe has to be cut and welded and then installed. But what an opportunity to show care in a practical way!

We want to collect child’s and adolescent size shoes so kids can go to school. The Shalom clinic is a 20-minute walk away for serious medical problems. MEMO will supply a “sitting” stretcher to carry patients down the mountain.

Finally, it is possible for us to provide a pre-fabricated first-aid post and church building, with 2 rooms, galvanized walls and a concrete floor, if we receive $3,000 in donations.

There are no churches or significant help from churches in La Presa. The town with its limited resources brings in food once a month.

MEMO wants to be involved in a supportive role in this community in this time and for Eternity. This is its vision and with your help this community can learn that God loves them!

For lots more about MEMO, visit the ministry’s website by clicking here.

MEMO Packing Day (Updated)

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Just a last minute reminder to those of you who live in Thunder Bay area that tomorrow (Thursday May 22nd), beginning at 9am we will be packing our 55th container, this one headed to El Salvador.

There will be a ceremony in which the keys of the ambulance will be handed over to Eduardo (an EFCCM missionary). It will also be dedicated it to the benefit of those using it in El Salvador, and then put into the container.

This container itself has been bought by MEMO and will remain at the Shalom Clinic as a much needed warehouse.

We are also shipping a lot of shelving, digital X-ray machine and needed tools.

If you’re not in the area, please remember to pray for the packers, and the whole process of shipping this container on its long journey.

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Here is a quick summary of the packing, which was another great success!

The container is now filled with:

  • 1,000 lbs of modular metal shelving
  • 5 palettes containing the components of the digital X-ray machine
  • a palette of computers
  • bicycles
  • furnishings (eg a ping pong table)

The bottom of that list is to benefit Cecilia Huezo’s Christian Community Centre in the remote hills of El Salvador.

It should arrive in Tuxecuangos the later part of June.
We hope Eduardo will be on hand to unpack it as he was integral to the packing.

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MEMO Can Do That!

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The MEMO team recently spent 4 days visiting our new ministry partners in El Salvador. The Shalom primary care community clinic run by Harvesting in Spanish Mission, is waiting to be furnished and medically equiped to get its license to operate. MEMO can do that!

This clinic will provide free care to poor people in the community for Paediatrics, Ophthalmology, Gynecology, Emergency room, general medicine, day surgery, diagnostics (lab and X-ray), nutritional counselling and spiritual counselling and social work . There will be health fairs held regularly in the community for preventative medicine. Staffing will come from the El Salvador Evangelical University Medical school as part of their training

This Christian Medical School has 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students! They are planning a large community clinic in the capital city, San Salvador, to be followed by a 50 bed hospital for medical training. MEMO can help to provide that!

The 250 student Amilat Christian School also run by Harvesting in Spanish is needing computers for training, and some new desks and chairs. MEMO can do that!

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The large empty home across the road donated to the Shalom children’s home for use as a residence for 18 year old graduates of the children’s home going on to College and University needs furnishing (beds, couches, chairs, tables, etc.). MEMO can do that!

When told about the Mammography machine and the mobile breast screening clinic sitting in our warehouse, both the Shalom Clinic and Christian Medical School eagerly said they will collaborate in running the program. Teri Benner the director of the medical clinic has already selected the room for the fixed mammography machine and adjacent dark room. MEMO will send that that!

The computer teacher in the Christian School, when he heard of all the computer equipment we can supply, said “I am going to faint!!” The school doctor from the medical school said something we have often heard in Cuba “We have enough doctors and nurses but not enough equipment.”

The needs of these folks in El Salvador fits perfectly with what God has called MEMO to do.

There is a huge amount of work ahead of us!

  • We have to continue collecting medical equipment and inventoring it for customs.
  • We have to collect money for shipping.
  • We will have many days of packing ocean containers for El Salvador.
  • In El Salvador we do not need government permission for shipping things. We only need our partners to tell us what they need. That is such a blessing.
  • Please pray that the equipment and supplies can be put to good use without complications.

A MEMO Memo

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Flashback: Jerome and Maureen became Mission Associates with the EFCCM in January 2004 after Jerome entered “boring old retirement”, and joined Steve Neufeld (Latin America Area Director) on a work team to Cuba. Realizing Thunder Bay has two hospitals closing, and seeing the need for medical equipment in Cuba, a plan was formulated and MEMO (Medical Equipment Modernization Opportunity) was born!

Let’s take a look at what’s happening at MEMO now!

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A MEMO trip was planned for June 2nd but had to be cancelled at the very last minute when the Cuban government did not send the special D1 visas the teams always travel with. There was no problem other than inter-departmental differences within the Cuban government. Finally the trip became a reality on August 18th. Talking directly to hospital directors and health officials is so helpful. We then know who needs what and what to put in each container. We asked specifically for permission to send 4 containers (one from Sioux Lookout and 3 from Thunder Bay) in the next three months.

On September 8th, container #45 was packed with 70 hospital beds for Cuba. The whole community is involved in the town of Sioux Lookout in the task of slowly and steadily packing the container with the medical equipment from their amalgamated hospitals and district ambulance services etc. They are now set to ship their third container to Cuba. We are astounded at what this town of 5,000 people has accomplished together to collect, pack, ship and pay for these containers under the direction of MEMO. Another miracle!

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The month of September was busy with ongoing inventory of donations sent, shipping a container (the 46th!) and setting up a wheelchair repair shop in the our big warehouse.

The Big News:

The City of Thunder Bay has now taken ownership of the large warehouse we have been sharing with two other charitable organizations and has said we can continue in the building at least until late spring while just paying the utilities!

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This year the MEMO dinner was held at the Airlane Hotel (as Jerome said “We kicked it up a notch.”) and all 280 seats were filled. “Our theme was “For Such a Time as This” and we were thinking of the comments made to us by several Cubans, that this is a critical time in the life of the Cuban government.”

The night of the dinner, the room was full, the meal was good, the crowd was expectant and Dariel was truly electrifying as he told of his familiarity with the hospital at Placetas (his mother was a nurse), shared the impact that the equipment from MEMO had on his family’s life, including the survival through childbirth of his now two-year old daughter. He thanked Canada, he thanked MEMO, he thanked Christians and he thanked God! There was a spontaneous standing ovation and the people opened their purses as well as their hearts. After expenses we had $18,000 to ship two more containers.

Another MEMO miracle!

If you would like to get involved in MEMO personally — and there is a mind-boggling number of ways that you can be — Jerome is eager to hear from you:
tjharvey@shaw.ca

If you would like to donate toward getting equipment and supplies to Cuba, you can use our donation page and under “Project” add this code:
2-5055