Saturday, March 12, 2011

Clean Water- I Can't Wait

After watching this video I can NOT wait until October when Wayne and I are planning to head to Guatemala with Living Water International to do the type of work featured in this video. I got chills just watching this.

God is With Us from Living Water International on Vimeo.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Days 1-3 of 40 Days

Sticking to water and passing up on Starbucks, sodas, etc is hard.

But this is infinitely harder:

Water and Women

Many women spend 15-20 hours per week collecting water, often walking up to 7 miles in the dry season.

It is typically women who collect water, often waiting for long periods, and having to get up very early or go out late at night to get their water; they carry heavy water containers for long distances over uneven terrain. It is women who have to buy, scrounge, or beg for water, particularly when their usual sources run dry. The tragedy is that the water they work so hard to collect is often dirty, polluted, and unsafe to drink. Women trapped in this situation have little time for other activities such as child care, rest, or productive work. The time spent collecting water disempowers women by reinforcing time-poverty and lowering income.
“Reasearch in Uganda found households spending on average 660 hours a year collecting water. This represents two full months of labor, with attendant opportunity costs for education, income generation, and female liesure time.” - United Nations Development Program, 2006

[From the Living Water International   Website ]. So I will continue making my small sacrifice so that precious women like this one can have clean water.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Gifts that Make A Difference

I want this Christmas to be different. I want the gifts I give and receive to be the kind of gifts that make a lasting impact. Not the wow that's the coolest gadget EVER kind of reaction but the kind of impact that changes lives.

So I have been searching blogs and websites for ministries who  sell cool or beautiful items and give the profits to people in need.

So here are some of my favorite gifts that make a difference.

(1)  Amani Ya Juu (means Higher Peace in Swahili).is a sewing-marketing-training project for marginalized women in Africa. The main center is located in Nairobi, Kenya with sister centers in Rwanda and Burundi.The women involved in the project are learning to work together through faith in God who provides a higher peace that transcends ethnic differences.

Amani Ya Juu Sign

This online store has got to be my absolute favorite. You could buy me anything from their store and I would be a happy camper. In fact, I finished  a HUGE chunk of my Christmas shopping at their store. They have jewelry, housewares, purses and other beautiful things for sale in their online store. Just take a look at this necklace:

(2) Lifesong For Orphans is a ministry that seeks to bring joy and purpose to orphans by mobilizing the church, His body, so that each member can provide a unique and special service: some to adopt, some to care, some to give. I recently one this awesome looking shirt from them in a giveaway.

You can buy cool shirts and a cookbook from their site.

(3) The ApParent Project seeks to help mothers and fathers in poverty be A PARENT to their children. They  are educating and taking care of street kids who don't have A PARENT. We are using media and the arts to make the needs of Haiti APPARENT to those who can help, and we are doing this all with the hope that the love of God will be made more APPARENT to those we humbly serve and that He will be known as A PARENT to the parentless. They will soon have their online store up at this site. In the meantime you can host a party and sell their stuff to your friends and get some for yourself.

(4) Blood Water Mission (website) was founded by the multi-platinum, GRAMMY Award-winning band, Jars of Clay, Blood:Water Mission began as a call to personalize the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. The members of the band were committed to share the often-untold stories: those of creative, compassionate, hard-working Africans bringing health, hope and healing into their respective communities. Blood:Water Mission first stepped into funding a late stage AIDS hospice and discovered the vital link between living with HIV/AIDS and the need for clean water. As a result, Blood:Water Mission launched the 1000 Wells Project in 2005 as a nation-wide effort to raise enough money to provide clean water and sanitation to 1000 communities in sub-Saharan Africa based on the equation that $1 provides one African with clean water for an entire year. You can but their stuff here.

(5) Samaritan's Purse does so much that I can't even begin to summarize their work. They literally are all over the world meeting people's basic needs and sharing Christ with them. Visit their website NOW to see the AMAZING work they are doing. You can buy "unique: gifts on their online store. These are not the type of gifts you can unwrap and touch but they are gifts that will make a truly lasting impact.

Lifeson for Orphans Update

Show the love of Christ to a child in need this Christmas!

What are you doing this year for Christmas?

Decorating the house?  Making Christmas cookies?  Celebrating with family and loved ones?  Exchanging gifts?

What if this year you gave gifts that not only celebrated your loved ones but brought the love of Christ to a child in need?  An orphan in Africa, India, Ukraine, or Honduras?

This year Lifesong for Orphans has gifts that will do just that.  Give the new Lifesong cookbook...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Heartbreak and Hope In Haiti

Through a friend's facebook post I found this blog:

It's about a family from Texas that moved to Haiti to minister to the people still suffering from the earthquake. The blog has really touched me because the author is so honest about what she sees and how it breaks her heart. I love to see how she has been able to minister to women in Haiti, teaching them how to breastfeed. This story in particular has touched my heart.

Living Skeletons

And I am super excited that there is a way to help. You see there's a ministry that teaches folks in Haiti how to make beautiful jewelry out of cereal boxes.

Cereal Boxes and Hope

Isn't it awesome how God can use ordinary cereal boxes that we consider trash and turn them into beautiful beads that bring hope to families in such need of it. It's so like God to turn the ordinary into the very thing things that sustain life.

Won't you join me in collecting cereal boxes. If you are interested please leave a comment and I will
get you details.

And so you can see exactly where your cereal boxes are going please take a look at this slide show:
Apparent Project Slide Show

Friday, November 5, 2010

Help Orphans and Win Free Stuff

This week, you have TWO chances to be entered in a giveaway for a FREE Lifesong for Orphans t-shirt! Lifesong will be debuting 2 new colors (chocolate brown for men and red for women) and are offering to give away 2 shirts before they are available for sale!

Here’s how to enter:
#1: Go to the Lifesong blog posting from Monday and guess how many children are no longer orphans that Lifesong helped to bring home through financial assistance.

#2: Leave a comment on Friday’s posting about how we can creatively work together as the body of Christ to care for orphans around the world! Here's what you do... share with us your ideas.  Leave a comment... maybe about a ministry your church is involved in... or a family you helped support financially to adopt.

 Maybe you have this aMAZing idea that has been just waiting to get out and be put in action.  Here's your chance!  Let's inspire each other to rise up on behalf of orphans!

“With this in mind, take some time to walk through your house and ask God what he would have you do with your part of the 200 million orphans worldwide, most of whom may never hear the gospel, much less have it lived out in a loving family of their own.” – Greg Lucas