Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Words that have been spoken to me on multiple occasions, and that were spoken over me again last night. Words that I needed to hear. Today, I am thankful for the friends and family in my life who speak truth to me.
This is a text that I return to over and over. It is full of wisdom and sums up the story of my faith pretty effectively.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
I came across this super advertisement a few weeks ago, and thought it was worth sharing. It is a very clear and effective use of images and draws attention immediately to the cause – access to water. Their website is well thought-out, and the organization is using currently popular social media to promote the cause. Charity: water works with through local partners, utilizing organizations that know the area and are familiar with the issues present and needs of the community.
As a violinist and individual hoping to work in development, this idea and video makes me so happy! Take a look and then check out their Kickstarter campaign!
This is a commercial that I received in my email inbox, as an update on the not-for-profit that I supported once in the past. END7 is an organization that is working to end 7 diseases by 2020, all of which can be easily prevented with a simple packet of pills.
Personally, although this organization is doing good work, I think they have chosen to use excessive shock and guilt to sell their cause. What do you think of the commercial? Do you think it was effective?
Let me know your thoughts!
Let me introduce you to three handsome young men for whom the orphan advocate army of Reece's Rainbow is screaming. We’ll call them Sebastian, Joseph, and Casey, and they each have only a few weeks to find a family. Once they turn sixteen, they will no longer be able to be adopted, and will not experience the love and care a family can provide. Sebastian and Joseph will ‘graduate’ from the orphanages and be sent out into the world to fend for themselves, and Casey will be relegated to an adult mental institution, and will probably spend the rest of his life lying in a crib.
Please, share this post, their links, or these other posts by orphan advocates, and help us spread their faces far and wide in these last few weeks that we can shout for them.
(this advocate has met Sebastian and was asked by him to find a family)
Some of these posts feature other orphans who are at risk of aging out without a family as well. Join me in spreading these faces across the internet. The more people that see them, the more likely we can find them a family.
Read on for more information about each of these special boys. Thank you!
Boy, born April 26 1997
Sebastian will turn 16 THIS MONTH (April 2013). A family must have paperwork filed for him with USCIS PRIOR to his birthday — so, it must be filed on 4/25/2013.
We’ve been told Sebastian is available for adoption, but his paperwork will not be cleared in country until fall 2013. However, the process *MUST* be started with USCIS (US Immigration) prior to his 16th birthday, for an American family to adopt him.
Sebastian so badly longs for a family and to belong. He is shy, and has a very calm demeanor, slow to think and respond and soft spoken. He is not the ”in your face” kind of young man. He has ran away from the school on several occasions because he is sad living at the school and just does not fit in. With him being shy he is often picked on and accused of things he does not do and becomes a target because he does not fight back. Anything he was asked to do or help with the mission team he did not hesitate to help. When activities came up and he was asked to participate he had no problem engaging and playing. He has a slight stutter that comes out at times but nothing that will enable him or his future to achieve any goals. He is a precious young man. He says at times he has a hard time remembering things . He stated that he believes in God.
He loves to read the encyclopedia and to learn. He loves animals and like to look them up and read about them. He loves all animals and would love to be in a family with any kind of animal. He loves mashed potatoes and chicken and he does not care much for fish soup! He enjoys sports like Futbul (soccer), basketball, running and swimming. He enjoys drawing cars.
Although Sebastian is shy he can be funny and talkative at times. If he had a choice to be in a calm and quiet place, alone or with friends he would rather be with friends and not alone. He would prefer to be one to follow a good leader verse being the one to lead others. If he had some free time he would love to wind down by reading a book. He wants to build houses and that is the one trade he would love to learn. If he had three wishes he said to come to have a family in America, live in America and live near his other friend named Sasha or be able to talk to him. If he could be like anyone in the world he said he likes himself the way God made him. If he could visit anywhere in the world it would be America. He said he has visited a camp in Greece and he liked it there. When he went he thought he was going to be adopted and it did not happen it was just a camp so he was heart broken. He would love to visit an athletic gym in America and look at houses (architecture). He loves to look at church buildings and study how they are built and what they look like and enjoyed seeing them in Greece. He said he does not smoke or drink like many in his school and his favorite color is yellow. His favorite school subjects are Math, drawing and PE and his least favorite is Chemistry. He states he is an average student. When asked if he could visit a family in America would he like to be the oldest or youngest he said he did not care he just wanted to be part of a family. This young man is running out of time and it was so clear he just wants a family. He wrote a letter to a member of the team, asking for her help to find a family and thanking her for being willing to find him one.
Boy, born April 25, 1997
Abnormal development of cardiac system, recurrent infection of ENT organs and respiratory tract, humpback
Joseph WANTS to be adopted and we want to give him a chance in case there is a family that is paper ready or able to file petition for his adoption with USCIS before he turns 16 to adopt him.
He has no younger siblings.
Born June 1997
Cerebral palsy, significant mental delays, seborrheic dermatitis
Casey is very sweet. He is bedridden, yet full of smiles. He desperately needs a family to save him.
Travel required; married couples only. Large families welcome.
$1862.30 is available towards the cost of my adoption
A very sweet Reece’s Rainbow adoptive mama, who blogs over at Micah 6:8 is working very hard this month, trying to raise funds for a large group of specially chosen people. She has called it the Mulligan Stew – naming it after a depression-era stew that was made by everyone contributing what they had to offer, to make a more nutritious meal to share. The Mulligan Stew is a giveaway with many donated prizes, and it only costs you $5 to enter!
This fundraiser includes eight adopting families who are struggling to reach the numbers needed to rescue their children. There are eleven waiting children who have many strikes against them – special needs, older child, male, in the worst institutions – and who we can help by getting their faces seen by more people, and raising funds so their future families have a little extra help. Some of these kids have severe special needs that require medical attention, or at risk of aging out of the system, and families are racing against the clock to try to reach them in time.
The goal is to raise $2000 for each family, and $1000 for each child. At this point, there is less than one week left in the Mulligan stew, and many of these families and children are being blessed with matching grants that will double your donation!
Now for some stories of the people in the giveaway.
I challenge you to join the Mulligan Stew – everyone can find a way to spare $5, and it goes to a great cause and enters you into a giveaway. Buy one less coffee this week, or pack a lunch instead of going out to eat, and make a difference in a child’s future by helping them come home to their families.
Visit the Mulligan Stew by clicking on the below picture, to see pictures of the families and children, and find links to their Reece’s Rainbow profiles to read their individual stories and donate to them. Or, click on the link at the beginning of this post, to visit the Mulligan Stew blog and read more updates and stories of the families and children that are being blessed by this fundraiser.
Did this pile of children's underwear, though appreciated by the mothers, actually help effectively? Or could we have bought more for less in the market and supported the local economy?
I read this article, “Letter to a Short-Term Missionary” a few months ago, and I think it contains valuable insight about short-term aid trips (though focussed on religiously-affiliated ones) that I’d like to share. Read it here, and then come back to read my take and contribute your voice to the discussion!
I’d like to preface this with the reminder of my personal experience with an international religious short-term aid trip (I wrote a post here). One of the biggest aspects to overcome once home from the trip, for both my mother and I, was that we felt that we had not made a difference, and that we had wasted money on flights and our costs that could have been put to better use by the locals. It took us a while to realize that while that was true, the experience also deeply changed our perspectives on life, and restructured our values system. Although we lived frugally before the trip, it inspired us to be more frugal and less focussed on consumer goods. And, the biggest change for me, it redirected me from studying music or art in university, to international development.
Personally, I agree wholeheartedly with all the bolded points of Bob Lupton’s letter. Short-term trips are more about teaching the participants about the world their eyes are so often blinded to, than about making immediate change in the world.
I think that time and again, short-term trips are marketed as being a huge help to the people we visit, when it actually is more likely to harm the culture, economy, and pride of the people we so want to help. Is bringing a suitcase full of stickers, candy, and underwear along to hand out really making a valuable difference in lives? Modifying the way in which these trips are marketed, to be more about your learning experience, is a better method than leaving short-termers wondering about their ‘impact’ after they leave.
The two-way relationship is also regularly lost – if it is only about handouts, and not about learning from each other and contributing to each other’s lives tangibly, I think the trip loses the ability to be a valid way of creating change.
Finally, the important and many times ignored aspect of the trip - preparation. Learning about the other culture, history, the organization the group will work with, other people’s experiences, being briefed on culture shock, etc., are all extremely important to having an effective team. Before I went on my trip, I read multiple books on short-term missions, completed a training course on aid work and cultural differences, and read 5 books on Rwandan history – all as part of the required preparation to go. In comparison, I have also seen family members go on similar trips to other countries, having received only a few hours of tutelage on the culture and language they would encounter.
As I begin to prepare in earnest for my placement, I have acknowledged to myself that I will most likely not make a huge change in any one person’s life, other than my own. I may have an impact through my work with the organization, but it will be a result of the cumulative effort of myself, my co-workers, and predecessors. I also go into this placement excited to learn a lot from the people I work with and for, and hope to gain an even broader understanding of the world through my interactions with another new-to-me culture. And believe me, my need for control means that I am already researching Malawi and as much other information I can find about the people groups, culture, language, bugs and critters, availability of groceries (I plan on trying out hand washing my clothes in the near future as well). Oh man, I better stop listing things because I am finding more to research and I’ll be up all night.
Anyhow – what did you think of the letter? Do you agree with Bob Lupton’s points and my arguments for them? Or do you have a different perspective to share?
Welcome! My name is Katiana and I am a development professional pursuing my dream to live out Isaiah 1:17 to the best of my abilities. I am passionate about teaching and working with vulnerable families and children to improve their lives sustainably.
This blog is composed of my personal opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of institutions or organizations that I may be or have been affiliated with.