Author Archive for Yvonne Murray

Join Rebuilding Together on Oct 26th

Be part of the LAUMC Rebuilding Together Team!


LAUMC is looking for volunteers to join a team that will repair the home of a low-income homeowner in San Jose on Saturday, October 26, 2013.  All skill levels are welcome.  Minimum age is 14.

To sign up, please go to

Questions?  Contact Hal Taylor at (650) 468-6160 or (preferred) 

In partnership with the community, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley rehabilitates the homes of low-income homeowners so that they may live in warmth, safety and independence, and repairs nonprofit facilities so they are better able

to serve our communityΩ.

Upcoming Event for Heifer International- Bold Service & Social Justice


Heifer Invites You to a Northern California Volunteer Gathering!


Unique Opportunity to meet with one of Heifer International’s country Directors and hear about their work in that region.

This is a free event for those who are about Heifer and its work to end hunger, poverty and protect the environment.

The speaker is the the Heifer Program Director from Uganda. Also, a group from Sacramento area will share their August 2013 Heifer Study Tour to Ecuador. Heifer is working more closely now with Eglise Methodiste d’Haiti. And, Pierre Ferrari, Heifer CEO, flew to Haiti on a UN plane with Bill Clinton and others to visit NGO projects, including a Heifer goat project

Hidden Villa, Dana Center 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills, CA
Saturday, October 5, 2013 10:00 Registration and Gathering 10:30 – 3:30 Presentations and Break Out Groups

  • Volunteer Refresher
  • Country Program Reports
  • Farm Fun

Includes Free Lunch

To register,
to receive additional information,

Contact Jill at 650-948-1621 or

Upcoming Events – Bold Service & Social Justice

Interesting and worthy events in April and  May related to Bold Service and Social Justice

Stories of a Girl

1. Stories of a Girl Opened April 14th

Stories of a Girl is a photo exhibit created by survivors of Human Trafficking, now showing at the San Jose State University library…. aka. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library


2. Not Today, The Movie Opened April 11th

Not Today is a story about a people group virtually enslaved and the human trade centered in India. The movie is showing in theaters all across the U.S. Click the link and check it out for yourselves!

 3. Launching of Human Trafficking and Forced Labor Program

Wednesday, April 17, 6:30pm to 8pm

“Human Trafficking: An Innovative Approach to a Global Violation of Human Rights” by Jacqueline Bhabha, Professor at Harvard School of Public Health, and Siddharth Kara, Program Director of the FXB Center’s Human Trafficking and Forced Labor Program. Come and be informed!

Blue Room, Hotel Sofitel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City

4. Anti-Trafficking Film Series: Sex + Money

Saturday, April 20, 7pm

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, 700-B Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park

Website | Part of a screening series about human trafficking, this documentary is about domestic minor sex trafficking and the modern-day abolitionist movement against it. A panel discussion will follow the film.

5. Freedom House Annual Gala/Fundraiser

Saturday, May 4th, Crown Plaza Hotel, Foster City CA

Keynote speaker Francis Chan; Many auction items – including Giants tickets & meeting with Jeremy Affeldt, vacations in Hawaii, ride on SF Fire Boat, fine art, wine tasting, Lake Tahoe vacation. Benefits “The Nest” opening in fall 2013 – Recovery House for trafficked girls 12-17.  Buy your ticket online.

6. Fight Human Trafficking Conference (1 to 2 volunteers/tabling)

Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5

Mount Hermon, Santa Cruz

Website | This conference will be a meeting place for attendees, faith communities, organizations and programs to connect and engage in the fight against human trafficking. There will be more than 500 attendees.

Friday in Nicaragua

photoF1Friday we got to sleep in a bit and had our morning devotions at 7:00 instead of 6:30. After breakfast we said goodbye to the Living Water staff and our new friends from Nebraska and met our driver, Tomas. Tomas brought us to Matagalpa via the pottery village of Ducuale Grande in Esteli. After about two hours, we were in Esteli. Tomas didn’t know where Ducuale Grande was, so we stopped to ask some people on the street. They told us it was some kilometers north and gave directions to Tomas.  About one hour later, just when we were pretty sure we were almost in Honduras, we saw a sign for Ducuale Grande at the side of the road. We went down a dirt road and asked another person where the pottery store was. We had to ask another couple of people before we found it. Although there was a sign on the highway and one in front of the store, there weren’t signs at the other two or three turns you had to make.

At Ducuale Grande they make a special style of pottery from the indigenous clay with simple designs and fire them in wood ovens. The ladies were sitting outside near the ovens making the designs. We bought a few things and then got back in the car. We asked Tomas if he knew a restaurant in Esteli to have lunch. Tomas found a very nice Colombian restaurant with a view of the city.

After lunch we got back in the car for about another hour to get to Matagalpa. Tomas explained some of the sights along the way — tobacco farms with drying sheds, rice fields and other things. I understood most, but not all, of what he said. He did not speak a single word of English.

We arrived at Casa Materna in the late afternoon, settled in at the Casita and then walked into town for some wifi at the cafe and then dinner. We had pizza at the Italian restaurant we had eaten at last year. The weather is much cooler here-you almost needed a sweater.

Back at the Casita, we met another Dana who was visiting from Maryland. She was leaving the next day on the public bus to Masaya for several days of Spanish language school. We were impressed with her courage to travel alone on the bus.

Leslie & Dana

Thursday Well Drilling in Nicaragua

Thursday was a big day – the day of the well dedication. When we arrive at the worksite, the men had filled in the two pits we had used for the bentonite. Dana, Coleen, Kenya and I sorted and re-packed the boxes of hygiene education materials so they would be ready for the next group. Meanwhile, the men assembled and installed the hand pump for the well.

One of the Living Water staff dressed up as a clown and put on a show for the kids. He led them in several silly songs. The kids loved it.

Then we all gathered around the well. The Pastor said a prayer. Rosa, the community’s leader, thanked us for helping the community to receive a well. The five of us from the US each tried to say how blessed we felt to have been able to work with them to bring a well to their community. It was very emotional.

Rosa had prepared a delicious chicken soup for us. After lunch, we headed back to the Living Water house and then to the beach for dinner at a restaurant. The beach was lovely with a cool breeze. We walked along the beach, watched the surfers (including our Living Water staff person, Stu) and ate a variety of seafood for dinner. The sunset was beautiful.

Leslie & Dana

Saturday in Nicaragua

Saturday In MatagalpaSaturday morning we had breakfast at 8 am at the Casa Materna and talked with some of the staff. Then we walked to the Escuela Colibri School for our morning Spanish lesson which was a warm reunion with several teachers we met last year. The school and Matagalpa Tours has updated their entry area with fair trade crafts made locally. Leslie and Dana were distracted with shopping during our break!

After our morning lesson we meanderd to a little shop then ate lunch in a corner cafe. There we met two older Scottish men traveling by bus from Panama City to Nicaragua and back. We had a very interesting conversation with them. After lunch Matagalpa Tours took us to the Molina Norte weavers. This is a coop of five women who weave beautiful cloth into bags, purses and other items.

Dinner was enjoyed with our host Kitty at her home. Her cat had 4 two week old kittens who entertained us -so adorable!

The remainder the evening was spent reading, relaxing and preparing for Sunday’s activities.

Dana & Leslie

Tuesday Well Drilling in Nicaragua

Drilling the well

Drilling the well

Each morning we start with a devotion at 6:30am.  The air is cool and we sit in the patio at the front of the house. Dana led Tuesday’s devotion with a piece from “The Way” devotional about doing good works for God and not for show.

On Tuesday, we re-drilled the well with a larger bit, using the bentonite slurry.  We took turns operating the rig.  It was good that Angel, one of our leaders, stood right next to the rig to remind us what to do next.  The metal pipe was removed, a section at a time. Then the PVCcasing was inserted.  Each section was glued to the next, wait for 60 seconds for the glue to dry, and then lowered into the hole.  A sliding “stopper” held the wide junction of each section to keep the whole thing from disappearing down the hole.  The PVC was installed by lunchtime.  We had tuna salad over rice.  Some of the ladies in the community also made fish lunches for the crew.  Living Water doesn’t encourage the community to make lunches because it’s quite expensive for them to feed a whole crew.

Dana and Colleen’s morning hygiene lesson was about germ transmission.  They had a quite realistic little plastic piece of “poo” to demonstrate how a fly (mosca) lands on the poo and then spreads germs.  They also had a great craft activity with the moms where they made a mirror frame by decorating a paper plate and had a bible verse attached.

Fun crafts


Kenya is our interpreter. She studied English in Leon and has been very helpful. Dana is trying to use her limited Spanish and learning to use a few words during hygiene instruction. Wednesday’s topic is nutrition.

We brought little homemade dresses to give to the girls in the community and will be purchasing something for the boys.

Dana and the kids


In the afternoon we put the smaller PVC pipe into the well and flushed it until the brown water turned a much paler color. We had quite a crowd watching and helping. There was plenty of good natured teasing and joking going on. We returned to the guest house for showers and another great Nicaraguan dinner.