Sheldon, Iowa — Assuming there is a RiseFest this year — if you go, you’ll have the chance to hear about a ministry in Haiti and partner with that ministry.
RiseFest, which is normally Father’s Day Weekend in Sheldon has been moved to Labor Day Weekend due to the pandemic. This year, RiseFest is partnering with a ministry called Touch Of Hope.
Kayla Raymond, from Rock Rapids, is one of the founders of Touch Of Hope. She tells us Touch of Hope got started in 2009 when she went on a mission trip to Haiti with her family. She says while there, her “heart was broken” for the poor of Haiti. She tells us that doors kept opening for them, and they soon met Webert Raymond, who is now her husband. She says Raymond and some others were running a small school for poor kids in Haiti who couldn’t afford to go to school.
(as said:) “And so we got to know him and out of that Touch of Hope was born with our initial plan was just to run a small sponsorship program and build one school building for him and a decade later we now are educating 1200 kids and we have an entire campus with five different school buildings and then out of that we’ve also started partnering with an orphanage and doing other ministry in the community in different ways as well.”
Raymond tells us that she started a boutique to help Haitian mothers and families.
(as said:) “After I spent a couple years in Haiti the Lord kind of like shaped my heart and molded it to empower families. The statistics say that 80% of kids that are actually living in an orphanage in Haiti are not orphans. They’re there because their families couldn’t take care of them and so Rosie’s is all about keeping families together and providing jobs that allow the parents to meet their needs of their kids instead of getting to a point of desperation where they’re abandoning their kids at an orphanage gate. So as of today Rosie’s partners with 13 other companies who have the same beliefs in empowering families and then we purchase directly from them.”
She says they also make greeting cards and are employing 26 Haitian women in that endeavor. Women also make baby gifts, jewelry, home décor, and more. She says all of the profits from the business go to their nonprofit ministry, Touch Of Hope. Raymond tells us that in addition to the one in Haiti, there is also a Rosie’s Boutique in Rock Rapids, where all the same items can be purchased, plus there is also a coffee shop in the Rock Rapids store, called Rosie’s Sit A Minute. She says everything but the ice cream is made in Haiti.
Raymond tells us how they got connected with RiseFest.
(as said:) “Rob Roseboom, the founder of Rise Ministries came to Haiti on a trip with the First Reformed Church in Sheldon. After that, just seeing what we’re doing their first-hand, he spent a lot of time with me in Rosie’s and meeting a lot of women that we employ. And his heart was broken for Haiti. So we actually have a joke because, during the week, I said, ‘Rob, do you want me to wreck you?’ And just by showing him who we’re reaching… He says that he was wrecked. And so yeah, he’s just allowing us to use the platform that RiseFest has to get the word out about Touch of Hope. So yeah, as of this year Touch of Hope is going to be the sponsorship partner with RiseFest. Meaning that we’ll be on the big stage talking about our school and seeking out people to join us in sponsorship.”
Plus, she says, if you visit RiseFest, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit Rosie’s, as they’re building their own mini-Rosie’s right on the festival grounds. She says they’re excited about the opportunity.