Dear friends - It is with an incredulous heart that I write to you. Our little group home in Armenia, that serves residents who are beloved to us, has received Armenian government funding beginning in 2012. We…have...received…government…funding…for…our…residents… The government commitment to our home is to provide between 52 and 60% of our current operating budget (excluding state-side expenses). This is a small miracle. And it means so many things. It means that your gifts and work and passion have taken root in a way we dared to hope they would in the mental health system of Armenia. It means a great leap toward sustainability. It means a great advance in human rights in Armenia. It means that some measure of justice has taken root in Armenian society on behalf of people with disabilities. It means that the government values individuals with disabilities and believes, along with us, that a better life is possible for people with disabilities. And that they are willing to fight for this, too. It means a letting go. It means a chapter closes and another one opens. It means, we hope, some greater possibilities for Anna and Sassoon. It means rejoicing. It means we continue on. A few hours after receiving this news, I opened a card from Susan Barnes, someone who loves our residents. The front of the card says: A mountain is moved by carrying away small stones. (Chinese Proverb) Susan then wrote: I think…this larger system of injustice in Armenia that has years of history at its root is a giant mountain. But, my hope and prayer is that each one of us -- who take the residents on trips, who donate money to the home, who sit on the Board, who sell their art, who buy their art, who research the laws, who translate the documents, who provide training, who provide structure and kindness in the home, who do so many little things -- is removing a stone. We are each removing a stone. It is good, significant work. Even if the mountain in front of us is big. I don't understand why Anna and Sassoon are still in the clinic, despite all your efforts and the efforts of many. It is not just. And there are no easy answers. But, I do believe that our work is to continue to carry away the stones we can today. One day, I don't know when, the mountain will be moved. In the meantime, I hurt with you, with them, as I can from so far away. And I will do what I can to move stones with you and with the international family of stone carriers you've assembled. This acquisition of government funding is one great large stone that has been moved – and by the hands of many of you – our family of stone carriers. I am grateful for you. Let's rejoice together, spread out around the world, as we are. With honor and joy,Natalie---Natalie Bryant-RizzieriFounder, Executive DirectorFriends of Warm Hearth, Inc. Tel. (480) 921-1181Armenian Tel. (374) (10) 39-81-50Address: PO Box 4784; Sunnyside NY 11104www.friendsofwarmhearth.orgProviding a Group Home for Orphans with Disabilities in Armenia If you would like to unsubscribe from the Warm Hearth mailing list, please reply to sender and write "unsubscribe" in the subject line of your response. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you. --Every action begins with strengthening the spirit. - C. P. Estes
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