Awareness, funding, volunteer recruitment, Gospel the goals of ‘Love La Gonave’

By November 25, 2013

USA (MNN) — Generally speaking, fundraiser events have one goal: garner financial support for a non-profit organization or ministry.

Some have the added dimensions of raising awareness for a cause, situation, or people group, and recruiting volunteers. The first annual fundraiser for Starfysh, “Love La Gonave,” incorporated all of the above.

“It was a way not only generate some funds for the project initiatives we have lined up for the next couple of years, but also to share our story, our history of how God has…raised this up,” says founder Steve Edmondson.

“In addition to the fundraising aspect, we really were throwing a line out to see if anyone would like to volunteer in the future…hopefully go to Haiti and participate in our work down there.”

On Thursday night at the Prince Conference Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, over 230 people heard about the plight of La Gonave’s people and how God is moving on the island through Starfysh.

See pictures of the event on MNN’s Facebook page.

Edmondson says there was yet another vitally-important purpose behind “Love La Gonave.”

“Within that 2-hour segment of time, we had a witness to share,” he states. “I wanted the event to not only talk about Starfysh, and not only talk about the people of La Gonave, but be a very clear and sharp witness to the love of God that is there to be experienced by all of us.”

Donations and inquiries are still being tallied, but Edmondson feels the 3-year-old ministry’s first-ever fundraiser was a success.

“It was very gratifying, very well received. [We] had some very good comments [by] people who started to understand what Starfysh is all about and what we’re doing,” he says.

Motivated by faith in Jesus Christ and by His model of compassionate servanthood, Starfysh exists to demonstrate Christian love and compassion through alleviating physical suffering and addressing social injustice on the island of La Gonave, Haiti. Starfysh’s singular mission is to bring holistic, sustainable transformation to an island

Learn more about their work here.

Edmondson describes the people of La Gonave as marginalized. “They are alone in the world, and they feel that aloneness. They just assume–and perhaps rightly so–that nobody in the world knows they’re there,” he says.

“Even within the country of Haiti, they are marginalized because they’re out there on an island, and they’re kind of distanced from what goes on, even within their country.”

Read a 2010 article about the “forgotten Haiti” here.

“We want the people [in La Gonave] to realize that somebody in fact does know they’re there. We know they’re there, at the very least…and…we’re committed for the long run to being there and to coming and working with them, and sharing in their struggle,” states Edmondson.

“To the extent that we can help them realize that they are a child of God, and they have purpose and meaning and importance in the eyes of others, that’s what we would like to accomplish.”

Pray for the Starfysh staff as they follow up with event attendees. Pray that the people of La Gonave will be encouraged by relationships established through this ministry.

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