My birthday gift~
As if being in Jamaica with my incredible husband was not enough, I opened my email/fb to countless birthday wishes and I feel so loved. Thank you all for your love~
I opened an email from an extraordinary woman in Australia, Joanne Dae, who knew immediately the power of the Intent Heals Journal and how this would impact her students at the Catherine McAuley school. Last November, she ordered 500 journals for her students and staff. It has been a long journey -- the journals being held in customs for weeks and weeks while they radiated the biological plant material in each journal. Needless to say, Joanne had to reassemble each and everyone of those journals!
Three week ago, she gave her students a journal. The following email describes the impact the journals had on her students. With tears of joy, and incredible gratitude I share this with you. Thank you Joanne for such a wonderful birthday present. And, thank you, Lisa and Sally for embarking on this journey with me. I hope you know what a difference you have made in the world.
I have been very tardy getting back to you. It has been a very hectic time here and I find myself spending 14 hours a day at work and still not getting everything done. Perhaps I am getting less efficient in my old age!
The journals were given to my Yr 9 girls 3 weeks ago now and they went out to the Year 12 girls when they completed their semester 1 exams; just last Wednesday. To say they were a huge hit with both groups is an understatement. The Yr 12 Coordinator told me the girls just adored them and were very moved when she showed them the video clip on your website about the story behind the journals. They were also highly impressed about the process used to make them and how it sustains the poor and the refugees. Our students are very concerned about social justice so this really struck a chord.
My Year 9 girls were absolutely amazed with their journals and I have had so many of them tell me how much they treasure them. I have even had dozens of phone calls from parents telling me how much their children appreciate the journals and how often they see them writing in them and praying with them. The most satisfying thing for me is to see some of the students I would never have expected being so moved and using their journals. One of my girls who has told me several times she is an atheist has written in her journal regularly and her mother told me she saw her praying the prayer just like the picture on the card and she was moved to tears herself as she had not seen her daughter do this for many years. I think the fact that it is very spiritual rather than simply religious has made a big difference for some of the students. One lovely story is from a parent who told me her daughter was bullied terribly in elementary school and the child showed her mother that she wrote down the names of the bullies in her journal and prayed for them. The parent was in tears telling me that for the first time, her daughter has laid all that to rest and has actually said she feels sorry for the bullies who are “so unenlightened” (how precious is that from the mouth of a 14 year old). A few parents have asked about where they came from and I have directed them all to your website and told them to read the cards inside the journals. I have also made it clear they can order journals for their organisations from you, so here is hoping. Because we are on Easter break for a week, I don’t have access to the photo’s; they are on the school camera but I promise I will attach them to an email and send them off to you when we return. It was very remiss of me not to do it before. I did think about it several times and have even got a reminder in my electronic calendar so there is no excuse. However, you can be very sure that the students adored the journals and I have even had staff ask about them. I am not telling staff they are all getting one on the Spirituality Day in July as I want it to be a surprise for them.
So, there you have it. I am not at all surprised about the reaction from the students as I knew they would treasure these journals but I was surprised at the response from parents who are equally enthralled and of course delighted that they seem to have reached some of the students who are highly disaffected with the Church and all things ‘religious’ at the moment. You have really made a difference on this side of the world and I know that will make you feel very good about your little journals making such a difference. I will finish with a question a student asked me about a week after I had given the girls their journals “Hey miss, do YOU really believe we can heal they world one prayer at a time?” My response; “ABSOLUTELY”. She got a distant look in her eyes and her response back to me so quietly I could barely hear it was “I do too!” A truly precious moment in my 24 year teaching career and one that will stay with me forever.
Enjoy the moment Jennifer because you have made a real difference in the lives of some young people here in Australia.
Many blessings and with so much gratitude,
God bless you Joanne, for you have made a huge difference in the world!