10,000 Pairs of Shoes – An Answer to Prayer

Post a Comment » Written on July 29th, 2009     
Filed under: News
LAFAYETTE, IN (July 29, 2009) – Tornado warnings had just sent Sandy Doyle to seek shelter in her basement on Friday, June 19, when the telephone rang. The woman who called wanted to know if Doyle headed the Haiti ministry at the Evangelical Covenant Church of Lafayette.

ShoesDoyle said she did, but given the circumstances of the moment, she preferred to talk another time. The woman said she understood, but quickly explained that someone connected with the Crocs shoe company would call the next day because the firm wanted to donate 10,000 shoes for the ministry to distribute in the impoverished nation.

That caught Doyle’s attention.

Doyle had been praying since March about how the church might help provide shoes to the people in LaMare, Haiti, where the congregation has an extensive ministry. Although she had been to the country many times before, Doyle was “overwhelmed” with concern about the need she saw during a trip that month and then when she returned in June.

The country requires students to wear shoes to school, but many families can’t afford them for the children. As a result, the students wear shoes that are in terrible condition or use their parents’ shoes.

Doyle also was concerned that the church not spread its ministry too thin. It already was building homes, paying salaries of local teachers, providing required school uniforms, supplying food, and helping provide medical care.

BoxesAnd then the second call came.

The representative of the Croc company’s “SoleUnited” program called on Saturday to say the company wanted to donate shoes to Haiti, but had no contacts there. Crocs would distribute them through the Covenant church, but the ministry needed to find a warehouse to store them by Monday due to other time constraints on the company.

Doyle quickly found someone to donate industrial warehouse space on Monday. By the end of the week, a semi-trailer delivered the 10,000 shoes.

The shoes range from size 2 for children to a men’s size 14, Doyle says. Her son Ben and two adopted Haitian daughters, Fabienne and Lucy, spent eight hours sorting all the shoes.

Doyle is distributing the shoes among several other churches in the community who will then bring them to various parts of Haiti. The Covenant church will distribute 2,000 shoes in December.

For a previous Covenant News Service series on the church’s ministry to Haiti, which was started after Doyle’s son was killed in an auto accident, click here.

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