Shell-shocked.  Mentally challenged.  And abandoned by fleeing refugees. 

Dumped at our dreamer’s door, her looks were alarming.  Her skittishness startling.  But most of all, her trauma-induced incontinence overwhelming.  

Her world had crumbled before her eyes.  Shells had slammed her village.  Her home burned.  And her caregiving brother died before her eyes.  

In an instant, she was homeless.  Orphaned.  Alone.   Yet a light shined into her darkness.  And that darkness could not overcome it.

How did light appear?  As a new home; a new family.  Her new home was a residence where caregivers live with mentally challenged orphans in dignity.  Her new family of brothers and sisters welcomed her with open arms, even in wartime.

Compelled by the love modeled by Jesus, the dreamer’s young fiancée embraced her, just as she was.  “I’ll take her.  Let me help her.  She’s mine.”

In just three weeks, this traumatized woman was transformed.  She now manages the bathroom herself.  Showered, hair combed, she sported new jeans and a fun t-shirt.  But what was most remarkable?  

They found her one afternoon alone in her room singing to herself, her face transfixed in peace and joy.

That’s a Dreams InDeed light.  A home of mentally challenged orphans singing for joy in the face of crimes against humanity.  Light overcoming darkness.  Gently.  Peacefully.  Powerfully.      

Our vision?  “A light in every hard place in our generation.”  

Our role?  Guard and fan glowing embers.  A few examples of flickers that turned to flames this year:  

  • 241 preschoolers from illiterate families in eight communities at the foot of the Himalayas got their first chance to learn to read, and over a dozen field laborers insisted on night classes, too.
  • 250 internally displaced families with mentally challenged children received food, medicine, and friendship from volunteers in what the UN names the greatest refugee crisis of this generation.  
  • 800 children sidestepped child labor, early marriage, and sectarian conflict in an Arab conflict zone, and stayed in a school with improved teaching, with 28 scholarships for the most needy.
  • We encouraged hundreds at Stanford, the American University of Beirut, New Jersey’s University of Medicine and Dentistry, Wheaton, and a Mennonite Economic Development Associates convention to obey their dreams in hard places. 
  • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations cited our experience in how values in networks achieve impact against the odds, in Cracking the Network Code: Four Principles for Grantmakers

http://www.geofunders.org/geo-publications/680-network-code.  Ask us for this resource to help you enrich your network.  

Last month, our board and staff evaluated our first decade of achievements together to inform our strategic plans.  We’re making headway as we strengthen dreamers in hard places.  But we have a very long way to go to see a light in every hard place.  We must collaborate with networks far beyond ourselves. 

We committed to redouble our efforts in hard places, but also to raise our sights to share a lifetime of lessons learned, broadly and rapidly.  That way, others can put these insights to work in yet other hard places.

This visionary networked approach will require upgrading our capacity to bring our experience to bear with others.   

With you, we will strengthen more dreamers ourselves, and help others to do the same!  

Swiss Secretariat

Dreams InDeed
Rue de Lyon 77
Geneva
CH-1203
Switzerland

US Network Hub

Dreams InDeed International
Post Office Box 549
Wheaton, IL 60187 USA

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We’ve got some great news to share from the Haskells!  

 However, before we jump into that, allow us to introduce ourselves as the chairs of the US and Swiss boards of directors for Dreams InDeed. 

I am
Rick Williamson, US board chair.  As a clinical psychologist, I specialize in trauma recovery and strengthening individuals and communities against stress impact. I prepare humanitarians and responders worldwide to serve effectively in harm’s way.  Over my fifteen years in this field, I’ve recognized the essential role of those special persons in every community who embrace and build up their most affected neighbors. 

I serve with Dreams InDeed not only because we engage in the world’s hard places, but we also aim to strengthen the “insider” for the truly transformative impact that the world so desperately needs. I am honored to serve along with each of you in support of the Dreams InDeed mission.

And, I am
Joe Campbell, Swiss board chair.  As a mediator in civil and political disputes, I contributed to peaceful resolution of the troubles in my home country of Northern Ireland, leading to the Good Friday Agreement.  I also mediated in Nepal alongside politicians, community activists, and church leaders in the search for a just and lasting peace. In both, I supported Dreamers and have often been a Dreamer myself. 

 

I know what it means to be affirmed and encouraged by outsiders who make it their business to be informed enablers.  That sensitive participation fosters hope amidst despair.  It is my honour to join in the crucial work of Dreams InDeed.  Together with you, I will do all I can to nurture sparks of hope into lights of joy.

Now, here is the news we just received from David and Janice in the Middle East:

 

Dear Rick and Joe, 

 

Thank you for your faithful and effective servant leadership as our US and Swiss board chairs.  We were challenged by the wisdom and faith of both boards setting such ambitious goals this year.  As our fiscal year gets underway now in July, we’re excited that strategic doors of opportunity are swinging open on every aim we agreed together!  

 

Goal: equip exemplary dreamer cases in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and East Africa.  Progress: despite escalating violence, dreamers are persevering with six initiatives among the hardest countries of the worldwide Fragile States Index.  This year, we’ll sustain both Dreams InDeed’s unprecedented regional registration and our continuing Jordan residency to strengthen these dreamers, guided by Janice.

 

Goal: research parable communications to engage closed minds via both word and deed.  Progress: The University of Oxford has approved David for doctoral field research on The Pedagogy of Parable.  To develop this Dreams InDeed training curriculum, David will shuttle between research in Oxford and case work on the ground in the Middle East.

 

Goal: research publishable Middle East cases on the transformation of pluralist conflict.  Progress: an exemplary Lebanese visionary has volunteered his civil society, public service, and business networks for rigorous field research.  Plus two Oxford professors, experts in values education and intercultural dialogue, will supervise the fieldwork.  

 

Goal: engage next-generation prospects to serve dreamers in hard places worldwide.  Progress: Kellogg College, with Oxford’s greatest number and diversity of international graduate students, has granted David membership.  Adjacent to Kellogg, Dreams InDeed has secured an operating base in Oxford for us to host and befriend global candidates.

 

Goal: expand our thought leader networks for aligned advisors and European board members.  Progress: upon review of David’s Pedagogy of Parable research proposal, six professors immediately volunteered their expertise in international development, political science, public policy, economics, leadership science, and character cultivation.

 

 

On behalf of the boards of directors of Dreams InDeed, we thank you again for journeying with us on our mission to strengthen dreamers in hard places so the poor thrive as God intended. We look forward to your continuing participation as we accelerate toward our shared vision: “a light in every hard place in our generation.”