A Clear Vision

As I work on creating a clear vision for the future of Kupenda 127, my research has led me to many other amazing organizations doing phenomenal things.  I wanted to share some of these encouraging stories with you.  In the very near future, we will be releasing our vision for where we are headed.

Have you heard of Project 127?  They are out of Colorado and have made it their goal for Colorado to have no waiting children.  In 2007, there were more than 800 children waiting in foster care…today there are none.  Their mission is spreading…check out this awesome  news slip and article about what Arizona is doing to continue the mission.

This movement has also spread to Fresno, California.  Christian Alliance for Orphans has highlighted this program in a great blog that you can read here and here.  Or you can check out the full article from Christianity Today here.

And even right here in the Pacific Northwest, the least churched region in America.  CAFO also wrote a blog on the awesome upcoming events and programs in Oregon and Washington.  You can check that out here.  I am part of the planning for the Spokane Orphan Summit.  If you are in the Spokane area, I strongly encourage you to attend.  Portland churches are supporting their foster community, read this encouraging article here.

And finally, a video about a family who adopted 5 siblings from Peru.  While today’s post has been mostly about domestic programs and movements, our heart is for the orphan — no matter where they are from.  And this video is encouraging too, because domestically most waiting children are older and have siblings…  And we need families to step up and take in these kiddos too.

I hope these videos and articles encourage and inspire you.  If you would like to partner with us in some way, please contact me.  And please be praying for us and we move through the next weeks of changes and new exciting happenings.

Life, Love, & Giving

Finally posting my final post for #itsaboutgiving for Compassion International.

I only recently started blogging with Compassion, the #itsaboutgiving was my first assignment.  The goal of this campaign was to raise $20,000 for children in need around the world.  As of December 17, we (all Compassion bloggers) had only raised $532.

Our final assignment is to raise $100 for children in poverty.

That’s really not a lot.  10 people giving $10.  5 people giving $20.  1 person giving $100.  100 people giving $1.  There’s a lot of ways to break it down, but it’s really not a lot of money for one person.

If you are like me, you probably have a lot of different ministries, charities, and other groups on your radar.  This time of the year, my Facebook feed looks like a giant list of needs that need to met, money needing to be raised, and a reminder of how much need exists in our world today.  Simply overwhelms me at times.

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year to give back.  It’s on pretty much everyone’s mind.  But the need for some remains throughout the year.

Compassion serves children — many of whom do not have parents or they have parents who are unable to provide their most basic of needs — water, food, shelter, and schooling. Compassion steps in, through amazing, generous people who give, to stand in the gap for these beautiful children.

They live in places where Christmas is another day to scavenge for food, not feast.  A day to walk miles and miles to find water, often times contaminated and dirty.  There is no tree.  There is no rushing to open presents, because there are no presents.

When you give through the Gift Catalog, local partner churches in these countries are able to personally hand these children a gift, one that will meet their needs and to share the love of Jesus with these children.

It’s not too late to give.  Can you give just $10 today to help these children?  Be a part of the solution, stand in the gap for these children and help meet a desperate need.

You are the solution.  Each of us has a part to play in this bigger picture of the world.  What is your part?

God bless you, dear readers, as we finish 2012 and look forward to beginning 2013.

Letter to an Investigator

Blog for Rescue
The Exodus Road is such an amazing organization.  They specialize in covert operations to free victims of trafficking and bring the traffickers to justice.  They have presented an awesome opportunity for you to be a part of this journey.
I can only imagine what it is like to be an investigator in these dark, scary places.  Where your life could literally be on the line at any given time.  How difficult it must be to gather evidence to form your case, leaving victims in these brothels until the police can arrest their captors and bring them to justice.  And what about when the system doesn’t work?  Your case is dropped and the criminals get off.  How discouraging.
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Laura Parker, an Exodus Road staffer, wrote in her open letter, “Thank you for pairing action with conviction, and thank you for your sacrifice on behalf of the oppressed. I know that you seldom get thanked or recognized, seldom get the pats on the back that you very much deserve, but please know from this family, you are a bit of a hero.  A lot of a hero.  Because you do the work that so few have the guts to do. You stay up late at night, and you choose to expose yourself to things the rest of us want to ignore.”

And they are extending to you an opportunity to write a letter too!  Handwritten letters (our preference) can by mailed by January 5 to:

The Exodus Road
PO Box 7591 Woodland Park, Colorado 80863

OR you can simply submit your letter online.

They will print, translate, and deliver the letters in person to these AMAZING investigators in January.  They will also make copies so each letter gets to each investigator.

A simple gesture that can reach so far.  These guys rarely (if ever) get a thank you — especially from strangers around the world!!

I would like to challenge my readers to send a letter — my goal is 10 letters.  I will be writing one and my daughter too.  So, if just 8 of you sent a letter we could meet that goal.  Comment or message me so I can see if meet this goal.  It only takes a few minutes but could provide needed encouragement to keep these guys going!

Watch the Video

 

Book Review: Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis

This is from my personal blog…I thought I would share it here as well.

Journey of a Thousand Miles

Basic Info…

Title: Kisses From Katie

Author: Katie Davis

Publisher: Howard Books

ISBN-10: 1451612095

ISBN-13: 978-1451612095

My thoughts….

Probably the best book I have read in years.  I literally could not put it down.  My conversations have been littered with…Katie Davis said…and in the Kisses From Katie book…and so on.  When I was thinking about what I would write about the book, I picked up it and again….could not put it down.  I could re-read it again and again, learning and growing each time.

After finishing the book and through reading Katie’s blog, she really writes honestly and transparently.  It leaves you feeling like you are her friend.  Like she is writing to you, to tell you about this amazing adventure.

I already had a soft spot in my heart for Uganda and their people, but this book really took that to a whole other level.  I long to be…

View original post 187 more words

Tangible Ways.

There are a lot of ways to serve these kids.  Some are bigger and require a huge commitment, others are smaller.  It’s important to remember that not everyone is called to adopt or work in the developing world, there is so much that you can do right now, right where you are.

Of course, there are the basics that we think of when we think of orphan care.  And these are very important.

  • Adopt a child.
  • Become a foster parent or an emergency foster parent.
  • Volunteer or go on a mission trip to an orphanage overseas.
  • Donate to a reputable ministry or agency who works with orphans.
  • Pray for them.

However, if those are not a possibility in your life right now, there are a lot of creative ways to serve.

To serve local children in foster care:

  • Bring a foster family a meal (or two).
  • Offer to help a foster family with house cleaning, yard work, or shoveling their walk when it snows.
  • Pray for them.
  • Hold a food and necessities drive for the families in your area.
  • If there is a group home, find out if you can hold a game night.
  • Hold a play date for foster families to get together with you and some of your friends.
  • Become a mentor, informally or formally.
  • Become a CASA volunteer.
  • Regularly encourage families who are fostering – send them a card, give them a call, let them know that you are there for them.
  • Become a tutor for a foster child.

To serve in the Church:

  • Coordinate an event for Orphan Sunday (November 3, 2013).
  • Start an orphan care ministry at your church.
  • Plan an event to educate and encourage your church (Faultless is a great movie to show.)
  • Organize a prayer summit for members of your church and community.  Get serious about praying for orphans.

Educate yourself and your community:

  • Learn some of their stories.  Talk to foster or adoptive families about their children’s past.
  • Talk to your children about the importance of orphan care.
  • Host an event and show the movie Faultless.
  • Read Reclaiming Adoption, Kisses From Katie, The Hole in Our Gospel, Crazy Love, just to name a few.
  • Network through social media.
  • Check out great organizations and get involved with them.  (Some great ones are: Lifesong for Orphans, Christian Alliance for Orphans, Together for Adoption.)

Support those who are adopting:

  • Throw them a shower, even if the child is an older child.
  • Offer to babysit so the pa.rents can enjoy some down time.
  • Pray for them

Other good ideas:

  • Reach out to a child who has “aged” out of the system and become a mentor and a friend.
  • Connect with grandparents raising their grandchildren.
  • Let those who are working on the “front lines” of orphan care know that you are thinking of them and keeping them in prayer.

Faultless.

I can’t wait to see this documentary.  I haven’t focused very much on American children waiting to be adopted or even orphans from countries outside of Africa.  I am putting together a list of tangible ways that we can serve orphans together, where ever you happen to be.

I strongly encourage you to check out the documentary Faultless, Christian Alliance for Orphans, and BeUnthinkable.  All great resources!

Why I love orphan care

Check out this video from World Orphans

I love orphan care because it’s an opportunity to serve a child who is vulnerable.  There are a lot of people that are willing to “care” for orphans, but at times they are not interested in the child’s well being.  By studying and applying best practice in orphan care, we can truly make a difference.

The vision for Kupenda 127 is becoming clearer every single day.  It’s wrap around, continuum of care for these children — no matter where they are.  It’s supporting their caregivers, families, and the child.  It’s not just residential care or finding kinship care — it’s education, food, medical, and whatever other needs that child and their family have.

It’s partnering with other organizations and groups to help provide great service to these kids and meet a need that is so large and wide spread.  It’s a journey and a chance to really live our faith, be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world today.

Won’t you join us?