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Harvest of Shoes

Shoes for Orphan Souls Help Children Step Back Into the Classroom

By Analiz González Schremmer
Buckner International

(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) — Without shoes, Mexican children can’t go to school.
Harvest Field Ministries knows that. That’s why they partner with Buckner International’s Shoes for Orphan Souls.

For the past four years, Harvest Field Ministries has distributed Shoes for Orphan Souls to indigenous and rural children in need of support in Mexico. Karen Klassen, co-founder of the ministry, said that when they first began serving, things were a lot worse than they are now.

[caption id="attachment_978" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Karen Klassen, co-founder of Harvest Field Ministries, takes a picture with one of the children who received new shoes."][/caption]

“We had seen some Indians who cut tires in the shape of their feet,” Klassen said. “Then they would pull a piece of leather in between their toes and wind it around their legs until it got so bad it began to grow into the skin of their legs.”

Klassen, who is also a nurse, said that they once had to cut makeshift shoes off a child’s feet because they were bleeding. The foot had grown through and around the tire rubber, but the parents wanted her to go to school.
“We had to present them with new shoes before they would let go of what they had put on her feet and give the child anti-biotic medication for the infection.

[caption id="attachment_979" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Village children show off their new shoes. Mexican children are not allowed to go to school if they do not have a pair of shoes."][/caption]

“These shoes are a huge blessing. We take pictures of what we see. I sent (Buckner) some pictures, but a picture doesn’t do justice. You can’t see everything that’s happening around you. You can’t hear the noises or smell the smells or show the things the people are feeling.”

This year, Harvest Field Ministries distributed 583 pairs of Shoes for Orphan Souls and 121 pairs of socks in December 2008 and March 2009. Some of the shoes went to children living in an Aztec mountain village called Acachquatitla. Others went to children in the Harvest Field Sponsorship program.

You can also help Buckner put shoes in the feet of a child by making a $25 online donation that will pay for shoes, socks and shipment.

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