Vote to Send Diana to Rwanda with Noonday

Hopes and Dreams

May 15, 2014

I went to India 11 years ago this summer.

India 2003

When I left, I was newly married and all of just-turned-20. The trip was to work at an orphanage and live with a family there for a month, while teaching the children about Jesus. I ended up stunned by what I experienced – the poverty and conditions and caste system.

I came back to the US shell shocked. It took a long time not to walk into a grocery store and be overwhelmed by choices. To see children playing and not picture the little servant girl who’s mother had shaved her head in thanks to her god. To erase the image of a blind woman holding a nearly dead baby in her arms as she patted and wailed on our car windows while we sat in traffic. The father of the family we stayed with refused to roll down the windows and help her, telling us it was just a ploy for money.

It’s been 11 years and still the tug to return, to do this again, to help in some small way remains.

Noonday to Rwanda

When Noonday announced yesterday they’d be sending one addition person to Rwanda with their team, my heart instantly leaped and ached. I tried to explain why I wanted to go in 350 words, all the while wiping tears as I wondered if this – this might be the thing that pulled me out of my overwhelming “It’s all about me” grief and into a life again that was so, so far beyond me. This might be the start to the answer of my heart’s never ending, “What might come of all this?”

I want to go. I want to be a part of something bigger than me, bigger than the story that at times threatens to suffocate what I know God could use it for. It would be so easy to just fall into self pity and let loss consume me, but I can’t do that because I know that’s not what I went through this for.

Vote to Send Diana to Rwanda with Noonday

I’m asking for your help in the first stage. Vote. Click the link, scroll down to me and my story, then click the blue VOTE button. Every day. Share it if you feel led. So many of you did yesterday – thank you. After May 28th the top 7 move to a panel who chose 3 and then the 1 going.

Rwanda with Noonday

I don’t know if this is what God wants me to do – because many times I’ve thought,  “This is it!” and look – it wasn’t. Maybe this won’t be, but I can’t pass it up. As much as I’d rather VERY MUCH not to do this publicly and have another thing fall through (believe me) I can’t not take this chance. Even if I end up not being picked, I will know in my heart that I followed a very strong tug that is always there for international need.

So here we go – let’s try to send me to Rwanda and break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness there with this amazing team.


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  • Nicole

    May 19, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Voted!! 🙂

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  • Sarah

    May 16, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Diana, I know this potential opportunity jumped out at you, and I truly hope you find some type of mission that will help you, but I urge you to do a bit more research before trying to win this spot. There is a storm of comments on Kelle Hampton’s blog with genuine, thoughtful questions that Kelle and Noonday are not doing a very good job of answering. I would urge you to hop over and check some of them out.

    Also, this blog article about a previous Noonday trip might be relevant to your research:

    The Noonday blog itself says “Make no mistake: we aren’t going to serve, to preach, or even to help. We aren’t going as saviors or as philanthropists or as teachers. We are going to CONNECT. We are connecting with the talented men and women Noonday relies on to bring amazing products to our customers.”

    All the best to you & your family.

    1. Diana

      May 16, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Sarah – I want to thank you for bringing this to my attention. I don’t follow either blog mentioned and had no idea these questions were being asked. I’ve read the Guatemala one and am currently reading Kelle’s and I’ll admit – I’m having some real concern right now over this. Please know I’m going to ask questions and reach out and follow up on here as best I can.
      I know I can get a little – sharp – on here with comments at times but please don’t feel like when it’s something as crucial as this you need to have an anonymous email or anything. You are doing the right thing by sharing concerns publicly over something this massive. Thank you for doing it.

      1. Sarah

        May 16, 2014 at 9:21 pm

        Thank you for being responsible and doing some further research Diana. I’ll admit, I had never heard of this organization before I saw it on Kelle’s blog, but from seeing the comments, it really did make me think about what this trip is trying to accomplish. As best I can tell, it’s more for marketing purposes than actually DOING anything to help the artisans. You and your “brand” for lack of a better word, seem far more genuine and I do believe you are looking for a way to actually make a difference, as opposed to just visiting and “feeling the impact” for your own personal gain. Someone else’s poverty and situation are not appropriate blog or instagram fodder (as in the blog post I linked to previously, which really made me a bit sick to read), which is what this “storytelling” seems to be, along with an attempt to sell more jewelry. This organization could very well be legitimate and may be trying to do good but so far, there has been very vague information and no one has stated any numbers when asked how well the artisans are compensated for their work.

        If anything, I think this is a wakeup call to anyone with a blog to really dig deep and consider more than just what’s on the surface before promoting a company.

        I have followed your blog for awhile now and this is the first time I’ve commented. I generally don’t comment on blogs too much but I thought you should have this information.

  • Erin

    May 16, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Voted…what a wonderful experience!

  • Ashley Dowaliby

    May 16, 2014 at 2:58 am

    Voted again 🙂

  • Jessica Pardee

    May 15, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Going to vote again!! I didnt realize I could vote every day for you.

  • Jennifer

    May 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    You’ve got my vote!

  • Breena Holt

    May 15, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Beautiful, Diana! I'll be very happy for you if you get to go and get healing for your heart. Love to you.

    Breena from

    1. Diana

      May 15, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Well this just made my day because I simply adore you. <3 Thank you Breena.

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