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Protect Yourself From A Falling Dollar With Gold And Silver, Episode 182 (interview with Jeremy Brakenhoff)

silverandgoldHost Bill Heid talks to SilverSaver President and CEO Jeremy Brakenhoff, who tells listeners what they need to know in order to buy gold and silver and protect their future from a falling dollar.

Today’s financial system is far removed from the childhood game of Monopoly, in which kids battled to determine who would have the most money and properties in the end. There was a finite amount of money, and each dollar – in the make-believe world – was worth something.

But in the real world, the U.S. dollar is losing value, and there is one big reason for it: The Federal Reserve is pumping $85 billion into the financial system each month, essentially printing money that is not backed by any time-tested methods our great-grandfather and great-grandmother would have recognized. It’s a controversial policy, and it’s why a growing number of Americans are putting their money into gold and silver – two metals that have stood the test of time for 5,000 years, and two metals that only will increase in value as the dollar continues falling.

Off The Grid Radio
Ep182
Released: November 8, 2013
silversaver

BILL:                And Bill Heid here with you once again for another episode of Off the Grid News.  We’ve got a very special guest today up.  It’s Jeremy Brackenhoff, president and CEO of Silver Saver.  We’ve got an amazing show for you today, and a great opportunity.  Jeremy, thanks for being with us.  Welcome.

JEREMY:          Hello.  Good to be here.  Long time listener.

BILL:                Yeah.  Long time listener; first time caller.  It’s great to have you with us today because I’m excited about what you’re doing.  And a lot of our listeners have taken advantage of your services over the past, and we’ve got this… What we did last time was we’ve got an orphanage in Haiti that we support, and we sort of pledged anything that came in that we would put in that account.  So as that account continues to grow, we have got great plans for this.  Hopefully when silver rises a little bit, some great plans.  So I’m excited to talk to you today.  And we’re looking for people that want to invest.

So let me say this really quickly, Jeremy let me give this disclaimer, always talk to… our listeners, always talk to somebody from the government before you do anything with respect to money or investments because they’re going to be able to help you know best.  Just like with healthcare, they’re going to help you know best what to do with your money.  So there’s my disclaimer.  Always talk to somebody from the government.  Of course everybody knows I’m just kidding.  But the real disclaimer would be this:  Hey, think about this thing, the stuff that we’re talking about because not everyone really is suited for even the kind of thing that we’re talking about.  So talk about it with somebody professional.  Talk about it with family of course before you do anything.

But we’ve got an exciting opportunity for you and Jeremy’s going to tell us a little bit about that and a little bit about what’s going on at Silver Saver.

JEREMY:          Great, great.  Well, appreciate the time to be on and I want to make sure to get a little bit of time to talk about the Under Drake project.  I went online yesterday after I’d heard about it for the first time, and I went out and bought the four-pack.  I would recommend definitely doing that.  I got so excited about it.  I’m very familiar with the Under Drake and G.A.  Henty books in our family and so when I saw that, I was thrilled to see what you’ve done.  We need to reserve a little bit of time to talk about that because… It’s really encouraging to see.

BILL:                Well let’s talk about it right now really quickly because as I was telling you before, we were in Glenn Beck’s office and he actually loves it himself and his son Raphe was listening to it and loves it.  As a matter of fact, his son, Raphe went out during the part when Drake’s brother gets… Goes down.  I think he said he told his dad to stop the player.  He went and got a piece of paper and he drew a picture of what he thought Sir Francis Drake would look like.  Which, Jeremy, I’ve got to tell you this is cool because the idea behind audio adventure, audio drama, audio theater, as you know, is to sort of not stifle a child’s imagination but rather sort of lift it up.  So instead of bombarding somebody with a lot of visual imagery which their minds have to do nothing so that it creates atrophy, when you hear these cannonballs whizzing past your head and all that stuff in the story, you have to do… You brain has to do some heavy lifting to kind of catch up with the story.  And the imagination has to take over.  That’s the whole goal behind the spoken word and the written word and why they’re so powerful.  It’s probably why you guys use it as well.

JEREMY:          Yeah, absolutely.  So when did you start the project? When did you start doing the…

BILL:                Well it took about 18 months to do the whole thing.  I felt like someone… I don’t know what it feels like to give birth, but I kind of have been pregnant with this thing in a weird kind of sense for a long time.  The most common thing, it was funny, because Glenn was saying, “What are the comments you’re getting back? Does everybody like it like our family?” And I said, everybody says to me they listen to it, they spend two hours and they say, where’s the next one.  I feel like a lady in the hospital that just, or maybe at home, that just gave birth to a child and then somebody walks right up to them and says, “When are you going to have another one?”

JEREMY:          Oh, my goodness, yeah.

BILL:                I don’t know of a lady that’s ever really given a resounding thumbs up.  I think there’s a few hours there after you give birth where you kind of want to just gather yourself, but it goes by in two hours and then all that work that we’ve done, all the actors that we hired, all the things that we did, are kind of just, whoof, into the future.  We’ve got another one we’re working on I’m excited to tell you.

JEREMY:          Well good.

BILL:                It’s the William Wallace story.  So we’ll correct the things that Mel Gibson did.  Mel did a lot of things right.  We’ll correct a few of the problems with that story and give you the right story the next one that we work on.  That will hopefully be out next Christmas.

JEREMY:          Outstanding.  That answers my next question.  I guess I just want to ask that, are you going to do anymore? The process of hiring the team that you put together.  I was scanning the people that you are involved with and, man, that was quite the process.  How did that go down?

BILL:                Well we had to… In order to get somebody like Brian Blessed, we really used an outstanding Philip Glassborow’s casting, our casting guy, over in London, and he does a wonderful job.  He’s connected to all the actors over in Europe and especially in England.  His work is magical.  And he was even a character in the Narnia stories.  So Philip is somebody that sort of really just a great connection and a great, great guy.  I had a chance to really spend a lot of time with him over there and really appreciate his work.

JEREMY:          Great.

BILL:                So, yeah, thanks for asking about those.  Because I’m very excited.  I just got back, as I said, from Dallas and I’m very excited about just the opportunities and just we’ve got little kids that like it, we’ve got university professors that like it, we’ve got Hollywood screen writers that like it.  So the diversity is amazing.  It’s designed for kids, but adults are calling us and saying, “I didn’t want to get out of my car and go to work and actually walk in.” So the story’s captivating and it’s really just been a lot of fun.

JEREMY:          That’s great.

BILL:                Let’s talk about Silver Saver for a while and talk about just, I think… The nice thing about sort of accumulating precious metals over time is you don’t get whiplashed and you’re not buying when you accumulate when your dollar cost averaging this way.  You’re not accumulating silver or gold when the price is really high.  You’re not buying a disproportionate amount so it’s not really a leveraged deal or it’s not really speculative, is it?

JEREMY:          Absolutely not.  What we want to do is… Our goal is to give individuals a flexibility and offer them the ability to re-introduce gold and silver as a common part of life over time.  That’s a long term goal is to… For people to use it as a store value and so forth.  You hit the nail on the head that it’s a long term approach that you want to take the labor…If you put out, it’s so hard because money at its core is a store of human labor.  And so we want to be able to take that excess labor and put it into something that’s withstood the test of time and make it easy for people to do it.

So we take a 5000 year asset, something that’s proven over time, over the last thousands of years to maintain value and marry that with technology to allow people to average it over time.  Reduce their risk.  And also the flexibility to take delivery.  If they want to take delivery, they can have it shipped to their house.  We definitely recommend having some and then if you want to spread out your risk of where you have all that personally… Myself, I don’t feel extremely comfortable having everything in my house.  So I have a little bit in my house.  Not very much.  The majority I keep at the depository but yet I still have that security of knowing that I can have it shipped out to me if there’s writing on the wall.  Okay, I better just ship this to my house or have it shipped somewhere a little bit closer to me.  But I do like the fact that it’s inside of the United States.  I don’t have other governments to deal with.  It’s kind of underneath my own jurisdiction.

BILL:                Sure.  Let me interrupt you and ask this question.  Because here’s something that I think that our listeners really need to know about.  What’s happening in the world? We’ve got this conceptual framework we live in now.  This is not Sir Francis Drake’s world.  Right? Where silver and gold are just not only a store of value, but they’re currency.  They have this exchange value as well.  So we’ve morphed into this advanced society with division of labor and with all these other sort of economic complexities.  What we’re finding is many of these bullion banks, especially some in Canada where people I hear horror stories.  People Email me and call me and this has actually happened in a few places in the United States.  So I want to give you the opportunity to talk about how you’re different.

Here’s what happened a few times.  People go in and they say, “I’d like my silver or gold,” to the bullion bank.” Then all of a sudden the manager comes out, then he comes out and says he needs to talk for a while and then you’re there for about an hour and you’re starting to wonder what the heck’s going on.  Only to find out the guy comes back and says, “We’re going to need four months to get you your silver and gold.” So what’s happened, Jeremy, this is my thinking.  What happens is we’ve just become fractional reserve bullion bankers at the same time and they put a piece of paper in there that says, I promise myself to bring some gold back in here sometime maybe.  It’s like a… Yeah.  It’s not really anything very solid.  So they’re putting pieces of paper in there now saying we promise to pay… Put some gold back in here someday.  And their little promissory notes and they don’t mean anything to sort of hard money guys like you and me.  So what do you do different at Silver Saver?

JEREMY:          Interestingly, that’s why we created Silver Saver because we saw the fractional nature of the paper markets and we thought, you know what; we need to give people the access to actually own the metal, provide a service for them that they can hold it.  Set it up, soup to nuts.  That they can have it stored for them in a secure location that’s outside of the banking system.  I think that’s key is that it’s outside the banking system.  It’s not on anyone’s balance sheet except for the customer.  Except for the person that owns the metal.  So as soon as the metal is purchased, the ownership of that metal moves to the customer, to the client.  They are the only one that has ownership on it.  So that’s a key attribute of what we do and so if, God forbid, something terrible would happen, they would be the ones with the only ownership interest on that metal.  So it’s held one-to-one, at minimum, at the depository with the actual metal behind every ounce that’s there.  So that’s definitely a key.  I can relate to those fears because I was one of those guys and am one of those guys.  I’m very leery of the Wall Street instruments, the SLV’s and the GLD’s and really want to provide a service for people where they can… At a moment’s notice, they can click a button and have metal shipped.  So if it’s in large bar form, they can have it shipped no cost.  Everything just shipped directly out to them.  If they want a smaller divisible form, then at that point there’s an exchange from the big bars to the smaller.  And so there’s just an exchange cost there if they want to take delivery.

Or, they could always… Liquidity is something that we offer as well.  Because we found that… I like to keep a lot of my savings in precious metals just because I’m a long term guy.  But if I want or need liquidity, I like the fact that I can, at a click of a button, get liquidity back to my bank without having to package it up, get insurance, ship it off to someplace, wait for them to look at it, verify it and then maybe two or three weeks, have a check sent to me.  We’re filling a role that it’s pretty flexible and we’re trying to just make it easy for people so they can diversify their risk all the way across.  Because there’s risk everywhere you look.  There’s risk at home.  There’s risk at a depository.  There’s risk at a bank.  And so we want to minimize those risks and be someone that can be part of that risk averse portfolio.  That’s kind of our goal.

To be able to keep long term customers and that dollar cost averaging approach, something that we do is we have lifetime loyalty pricing.  So there’s basically a high water mark.  So any funds or anything that you save with us over time, you hit a high water mark and the premium over the spot price goes down per use.  So your costs actually reduce the longer that you’re saving.  That’s a benefit as well.  And here’s another thing that I want to make sure that we address is… We are in a process of making it easier for employees to be able to take just a payroll deduct.  So if their employer offers Silver Saver PMA, then they can say, I want to take out $25.00 a pay period.  I want 60% in gold, 40% in silver and every paycheck I want this much of my income diverted over to silver and gold.  We’re really excited about that.  There’s thousands of employees that are in the process of having this available.  So we’re very excited about that.  So anybody’s that’s listening, if you’re an employer, talk to the person that’s in charge there and ask them if they offer it, if they would offer it, because we’re getting a lot of good feedback.  It’s an education process, but a lot of good initial feedback with the Silver Saver PMA Employee Benefit.  It’s an after tax benefit so there’s no red tape.  You can take delivery of it or do whatever you want to after it’s there.

BILL:                Well let’s talk about something else that’s near and dear to my heart which is you talked about diversification and I think this is one of those deals where you’re really diversifying against a government that’s really doing a lot of pumping.  There’s two things that are happening in my mind that are sort of very dangerous harbingers, dangerous lines of convergence.  And that is the growth of… Let’s talk about it in sort of a… I’ll mention it and we can talk about it probably chronologically more insightful is that the Fed’s pumping $118 million an hour into our system.  Right? So that’s billions and billions of dollars over the course of time.  So historically, what do we say? It’s $85 billion a month.  Historically and they said, you know what, we need to continue to do this.  So historically when someone does something like that, there’s usually ramifications to it.  You’re increasing, by very definition; you’re increasing the supply of money.  That is the definitional quality of the word inflation.  It’s doing that.  Now at the same time they’re doing all of our listeners a great service.  And here’s what it is.  They’re keeping down by sort of manipulating the markets…They’re keeping precious metals down so as not let you know.

JEREMY:          Absolutely.

BILL:                Your government is doing you actually an amazing, amazing favor on some level.  It may be immoral on some level as well.  But why not take advantage of what they’re doing which is keeping the prices of what historically have been great, great standards of wealth, as you said.  Eventually what’s going to happen, Jeremy, and I just get our comment on this.  Eventually what’s going to happen is you pump $85 billion a month and the value of your dollar goes down because you can’t really play with supply and demand for very long.  Emerson said you can stand up at a parade for a while and then everybody else stands up.  You want to comment on what’s going on on this macro level?

JEREMY:          Yeah, absolutely.  $85 billion a month, you’re exactly right.  That’s just kind of what we’re seeing.  That’s the official number.  There’s credit at the same time.  So, you know, money in our system it’s debt.  When you create a dollar, it’s a debt.  And it also comes with it an interest payment.  That interest payment is never created.  Okay? Only the new debt is created and so, therefore, you always have to have more credit expanding than the new money out there.  So we’re in this process where it’s a credit boom.  We’re in this credit bubble.  Just all the way around.  It’s about confidence.  At some point, they talk about the tug-of-war between inflation and deflation.  And we’re on this edge of inflation and deflation and that’s why it seems like the economy cannot get out of this rut that it’s in because there’s this glass ceiling where there’s so much credit out there that it’s a parasite on the system and the demand of the interest is stealing away from the productive economy.  And so they’re trying to create more and more credit.  The, QE, they’re creating more money.  And we’re on this razor’s edge that we can lose confidence on one side and just go straight inflationary or we can go deflationary.  But the key aspect is that it’s a loss of confidence in the government’s ability to manage the system.

And so that’s why it’s so important to have something that’s real that has not been what I call financialized.  That’s why real estate can be in a bubble because they create such a long note on it, 30 years.  After World War II, up until World War II, the longest note was around seven years.  And we know the history behind that.

BILL:                Certainly.

JEREMY:          Of why it was only seven years.  They’ve financialized that asset.  So that’s why gold and silver it’s not a financialized asset, it’s an asset that it’s actually the opposite of that.  They’re trying to keep the price down.  It’s almost a double whammy in our favor.  (Crosstalk 00:20:31)

BILL:                Yeah, it really is.  Because they’re holding this price down for you for dollar cost averagers, it’s an amazing thing.  But you don’t know how long this game can go on.  But while it’s going on, why not accumulate silver at $21.00 or whatever.  It’s an amazing, amazing value because I read all the time what people say.  They do financial analysis and they say, well, really what’s silver really worth? And I see some pretty crazy… If it wasn’t… If J.P.  Morgan, the government wasn’t using J.P.  Morgan or whatever the story is, I’m not sure all of the facts about it, but if we weren’t pressuring some of these metals down by the shorts, then you would have a price much, much higher and a lot of the hard money guys will reveal in their newsletters and say to you this is what silver really would be adjusted for inflation and adjusted for this downdraft that big money houses are putting on it.

JEREMY:          Yeah.  So to your point on the macro side, we have never been in this place before.  We’ve been in this place as countries, individual countries, but as a reserve currency.  Because essentially the dollar right now is a reserve currency.  It’s a world currency.  It’s a one currency.  There’s other currencies that are trying to compete with the Euro.  They’ve got their own problems.  But we’ve never been in this position that we find ourselves in in the history of the world.  If anybody says they know exactly what’s going to happen, they’re lying to you.  What we can do is we can look at history and say, okay, how can we extrapolate in these microcosms of what has happened before, what has been the bridge to get us past the upheaval.  What I’ve come to, is that silver and gold is definitely one of those things that you want to have in your diversified plan.

BILL:                Part of a diversified plan.  Very well said.  And with other countries if something ever happened, and had the Yuan or some other sort of currency take over as the world’s reverse currency what would happen is, you would see accelerating inflation in this country like you’ve never seen.  We read history books, we know like the German inflation of the ‘20s where you would literally see it, it would probably be digits instead of wheelbarrows, but you’d literally see prices double and triple and some cases they do that every day.  So we all need a hedge against what I think our government’s doing to us in the long run.

JEREMY:          Yeah.  Absolutely.  So 100% agreed.  You talk to people that have experienced the Weimar, for instance, they use terms like it was lightning fast.  When confidence started dropping they felt that shelves were empty.  It happened very, very quickly.

BILL:                You just hit it Jeremy.  I agree exactly.  What happens historically, if you read books from people that have lived through these eras, what’s the common denominator? They all say, we weren’t ready for it and then it happened too fast.  Those two… You talk about a double whammy.  We weren’t ready.  And then when it came, it came and the world changed forever.  In other words you wake up some day and it’s a totally different world.  Our listeners need to know.  This isn’t something that’s speculative.  This is something that’s happened historically.  We’re not talking about events that are impossible for these events to transpire.  This is real stuff, with real, real, problems that could affect you and your family.  I totally agree.  Since we’ve only got a few minutes, let’s segue into what you’ve got for us here because and our listeners, especially, why is it so valuable? What’s going on at Silver Saver right now that makes it even better than what we’ve talked about?

JEREMY:          Well right now, what we’re doing.  For new clients, their first $1000.  They create an account, their first $1000 they’re buying that actual physical metal at the depository at the spot value.  So there’s no… We’re waiving all fees.  Any margin for new customers.  So they have 30 days to be able to use that $1000.

BILL:                Say, it one more time.  That’s a really, really good… Gee… Have you ever done this before?

JEREMY:          No, no.  Customers who sign up before 11/15 will have 30 days to purchase their first $1000 at spot prices.  The landing page will be set up.  Let’s see, the Euro… If you go to silversaver.com/org (for Off the Grid).  silversaver.com/org I don’t know if you’ll have a link on your site there, Bill.

BILL:                We’ll put a link on our site as well for people and everyone has to know the reason that we’re doing this is when you sign up, a very, very small amount, but a significant amount goes to our charity in Haiti.  So what we’re doing for the kids in Haiti is the same thing that we’re suggesting that everybody we’re buying a small amount for them every month and we’ll get a little bit of a commission and our orphanage there will get a little bit of a commission.  And so this is one of those deals where really everybody wins, Jeremy.

JEREMY:          Absolutely.  Let me share one last thing with you.  And this is something that’s really important to me personally.  What you’re doing and the way that you’re integrating your business into doing something that’s good, I think that’s outstanding.  The other thing is that we do not want people to fear.  We don’t want them to fear about the things that are coming down the road.  We are not selling the fear.  We want people to be prepared.  We want to try to give them the tools to help them prepare for that.  And so while we may be facing something that could be fearful, I think that it’s also a great opportunity to do some good.  To be able to come in and be prepared and then be able to make a difference in your local community, in your city and even in your nation.  There really is an opportunity.

So I just encourage people not just for this, but as they’re looking forward that they look and they try to find opportunity because wherever there’s a crisis, there is opportunity and so what opportunities do they see that they might be able to utilize.  Keep your head on a swivel.  Try to figure out ways that you can better those around you.  We want to provide a value.  Yes, we have to make money while we’re doing it.  But, we want to provide a value and when there’s a crisis, there’s also going to be opportunities for everyone in all areas of their life that they can have an influence.  Have a positive influence on the world.

BILL:                Well look what Paul did early in church history.  One church gets in trouble.  There’s famine…  There’s trouble.  He goes to some other churches and says, “Hey, I’m going to need some cash to help these people.” And the beautiful thing is those people had the cash to ante up to help.  And so I think both Jeremy and I see a crisis ahead.  We want to be in a position so I know both of us feel the same way.  We want to be in a position not only to just help ourselves and our own families, but to reach out and make this something where we can help the people around us.  And that’s what community building community is all about.  And I think that’s what I love about just thinking in these terms.  How can we be good stewards of what we’ve been given? I think we’ve got lots of opportunities here to be given a lot.  Because at some point you’re silver’s going to be worth a lot more than $21.00.  That’s hardly a prognostication that many of these guys… Some people say it’s $200 and $500.  I don’t know.  I could never say what it’s going to be.  I think at $85 billion, you guys do a little math.  At $85 billion it’s some day you’re going to have something worth more than that.

So, Jeremy, thanks so much for sharing this stuff with us today.  It’s too great to have you on.  Thanks for the comments on Under Drake’s Flag as well.  It’s good to…

JEREMY:          Oh, I’m excited.  Real excited about that.  I’m ready for the next one so make sure you let me know when the next one’s coming out.  I know you just had a baby, but listen, there’s work to do.  So, get on that.

BILL:                Thanks a lot Jeremy.  And thanks for being with us today.

JEREMY:          Uh-huh.

BILL:                We’ll be right back right after this.  And we’re back with Jan Ross of Heart of God.  And Jan, I know you’re traveling, you’re on your way to the airport you’re on your way someplace you’re going to end up in Haiti a little bit.  And we were just talking a little bit about what’s going on at the orphanage in Haiti and kind of wanted you to give us, as we head into the holidays a little bit, what’s going on with the orphanage?

JAN:     Okay, thank you for the opportunity to share, first off.  I really appreciate it.  I’m actually on my way to Rochester and we are leaving from Rochester about 5:00 in the morning to visit the kids and to touch base with our new missionaries, Elisabeth and Eric Ream who live in Saint-Marc, Haiti.  Originally, our very primary focus in Haiti was the children’s center.  We started working with them about a year and a half ago.  They were an orphanage that was the victim of having lost their support which actually happened to a good many number of ministries in Haiti.  It’s like a lot of the missionaries lose their support from home as a result of the difficult economy in the states here.  So they end up having to go back stateside and leaving the work that was originally started without support, without management.  So we found one of these orphanages and we decided that after giving them a trial period, that they were trustworthy people and they were like-minded as far as their focus.  They had several kids that were just really, really in need and of course, it was very difficult to turn away without saying that we were going to do something.

BILL:                Hey Jan.  Let me stop you right now because I think people need the big picture.  Tell us about one of the children.  Talk a little bit about one.  Give us names and tell us a little bit about the needs.  I think that people appreciate the big picture statistics, but I’d like to drill it down and sort of say, “Who in the world are we talking about?”

JAN:                 Okay.  One little guy has captured my heart.  He’s the captured the heart of many people.  His name is Ezekiel.  He’s actually part of a sibling group of two that are at the orphanage but comes from a family with six children.  Ezekiel and his brother, Ednel, are the youngest in the family.  They had lost both their parents and they were actually found in their house and they were near starvation.  When they came to the orphanage, Ezekiel was basically very, very dehydrated and he showed some severe signs of real bad problems.  We got him to the hospital and after a series of tests it was determined he has sickle cell anemia.  If we had not been able to get into the hospital, he was probably within a couple of days of dying.  Ezekiel is a dynamic little guy.  Eager to learn.  He will capture your heart.  He’s a loving child.  It just tears my heart out thinking that there was a possibility we could have lost that little guy if we hadn’t gotten him in time.  Ezekiel is six years old now.  He’s actually the best English student at the orphanage.  Eager to learn.  Full of energy, but he still goes through the sickle cell crises every month or so to where he ends up at the hospital having to get blood transfusions and iron supplements and everything through an IV.  He’s probably not one of our typical kids but he is one that he’s definitely a success story and we praise God for just allowing us to be able to find him at the right time.  Because there’s no doubt we would have lost him.

BILL:                And this is a guy that’s got nothing.  By the way, Jan, he was one of when my daughter Stephanie went down with you all.  He was another one of the guys that sort of… She said, well, here’s this amazing story of this little guy.  And he’s so eager to learn and he’s so… He’s got that look in his eye.

JAN:                 He does.

BILL:                I was tickled to hear that story then and even more so to hear it… You talk about the story of just Ezekiel.  Because it really is… It’s an amazing thing.  The other thing that she said that really kind of touched me.  Here we are Jan, we’re moving towards Thanksgiving.  And Thanksgiving’s supposed to be a time that what? We sort of way, we get this idea of grace.  We’ve got more than maybe we deserve.  Our glass is half full.  We got it pretty darn good.  What she said about Ezekiel was, he is such a thankful little boy in that he appreciates everything and when we talk about that, I’m thinking how many kids in America, they go from one good video game to another.  And they’re just living this life of excess and really it’s such a nice contrast.  But here’s a guy that doesn’t have anything, he seems to be thankful for everything.  On the other side of it, here’s this world that we live in, that’s a little crazy where we all maybe have too many things.  So supply and demand, right? We just appreciate each additional thing less and less and so we’re a bunch of ingrates, kind of right?

JAN:                 Absolutely.  The thing with Ezekiel is, like you said, he came with nothing.  And even though he’s abundantly blessed compared to many of the Haitian children, especially the orphans, he’s one that he never takes anything for granted.  Not even a hug.  If you hug him, it’s like he pushes right into you and he appreciates that hug.  I don’t know.  There’s a definite difference between the children, particularly like we were talking.  Ezekiel and so many of our children here in the states, because he does have that way of pulling that… He shows the gratitude like you said.

BILL:                Well, it’s an amazing thing and maybe that’s just something we can all learn from.  Imagine we would look to Haiti and say, we want to help Haiti and so we look almost down kind of at people.  But what I’m suggesting people take from this story is, let’s not look down to Ezekiel.  Ezekiel needs some financial help.  But let’s look up to Ezekiel as setting the bar pretty high for just what we should be thankful for and how we should live our lives.  I think Americans who are living life in the fast lane and who have all the stuff can learn a lot from this little boy.

JAN:                 Absolutely.  If you watch him play, he will pick up stones and he’ll make a design on the ground and that will actually capture his attention for hours.  He’s always looking… He’s creative.  He takes things that are… We would consider nothing or something that we would throw away and he can put it together and make a toy or make something that will cause him to use his imagination.  And that’s something that our kids really have lost is the ability to use their imagination.

BILL:                Well said, yeah.

JAN:                 Yeah, so, we see this in a childlike Ezekiel who has had nothing and has had everything against him but yet he’s got so much going for him.

BILL:                Well and let’s look at kind of… We all see through the glass darkly, so we’re all a little bit in this modality of not really knowing who we’re talking to.  When I hear the story about little Ezekiel, you know who I think about? George Washington Carver.  Here’s a guy that when he went away to school, he took six of his favorite rocks and a pair of pants and three shirts and that was the assets that he had.  And you know what? Like little Ezekiel, he had this same sort of set of that concept of thankfulness.  So no matter where he went, he took that with him.  That concept of grace and thankfulness was the currency.  So Carver was a rich, rich man from that perspective.  And everybody said it.  White people said it.  Black people said it.  Everybody said it about him.  This guy’s a rich man because he had Ezekiel’s spirit.  Or Ezekiel’s got his spirit.  So how do you know? Here’s what I’m positing, a really kind of interesting idea.  What if no one would have ever helped George Washington Carver? Right?

JAN:                 That’s an amazing idea.

BILL:                The world is a different place because he lived.

JAN:                 Right.

BILL:                And so what if you got a George Washington Carver here and people just say, “Ahhh, let’s forget about Carver.” I would say, here’s a great opportunity to sort of help a little boy and this is a shameless pitch just to sort of… It’s Thanksgiving.  We all have a lot.  How can people go, if they wanted to help him?  How can they go and sort of do that specifically? Is there anything else that he needs other than just some help each month? Maybe he needs clothes or whatever he needs.  How can people help?

JAN:                 Well I think the greatest help that we can give Ezekiel and the children like him, is the financial donations.  It’s very difficult for us to take clothes and to ship them over there.  Because it’s very expensive.  And we are all about trying to boost the economy in Haiti.  So what we will do is send funds over to our missionary.  She will actually go and do the purchasing for us there which helps not only the children but it helps the community where she uses the money to buy the products.  Ezekiel also has medical expenses.  Again, that’s something most of the children don’t have on a regular basis.  Like I said, he is in and out of the hospital.  So that would be another area if somebody wanted to sponsor his medical expenses, that would be a tremendous help to him.  I don’t have a specific amount I could tell you right now because it does vary.  Some months you’ll have two crises and then other months he might not have one.  As far as supporting the children, they all need support.  We have several sponsorships available.  Ezekiel could be sponsored.  His brother could be sponsored.  We are trying to find actually an adoptive family for Ezekiel and his brother, Ednel.  If somebody is interested in checking into that, they could contact us through the website.  We do have a family that has applied, but nothing has been… Everything’s all in limbo right now at this time.  So there’s many opportunities to help.  All they have to do is contact us or go to our website which is www.heartofgodhaiti.org.

BILL:                And you can see pictures of the kids.  I’m looking at Ednel.  And I’m looking at Ezekiel right now.  Again, if you want to sort of see a twinkle in the eyes of kids.  Go just take a look at these kids.  They are just happy.

JAN:                 They’re precious.

BILL:                It’s an amazing… It’s a testimony to the people that are helping take care of them as well.  One of the things, as everyone knows that I like about your organization is, there’s not a lot of bureaucratic middlemen.  Not a lot of big salaries.  I don’t know of anybody who takes, other than the missionaries themselves, I think they feel like it’s a good idea to actually eat food so we need to sort of give them a meal from time to time, Jan.

JAN:                 Right.

BILL:                There’s no baggage.  There’s no big overhead with Heart of God, Haiti.  There’s nothing that really needs to be that we don’t have to pay a bunch of people.  So the money that you give goes right straight through to the kids.  We’re very excited about the work that you do.  Anything else that you want to kind of chat about before we…

JAN:                 I just want to say, Bill, that we are extremely grateful for you and for your organization and the support that you’ve given us.  It has been invaluable.  And you have literally made a tremendous difference in the kids, the lives of our kids in Haiti.  As far as Heart of God, we don’t take salaries.  Every one of us works out of our own home at our own expense.  None of the ministry leaders, like I said, takes a salary or takes any benefits from the ministry.  Which cuts our overhead down to as minimum as possible.  You did say that we do make sure our missionaries eat, but they can be sponsored as well.  They’re good people.  And the missionary family in Saint-Marc, they have four children.  So, we’re always looking for sponsorship for them.  Erin, who lives at the children’s center, she is also looking for sponsorship.  So there’s opportunities not only to help the children but to help those that have a direct impact on their lives.

BILL:                Well, Jan.  Well said.  And we just want to wish you the best.  We’ll be praying for your upcoming journey.  And that’s all the time we’ve got today.  We really appreciate you tuning in with us.  We know your time is valuable and we appreciate you spending some of it with us.  Thanks again.

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