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.

Use Your Power For Rescue

I wanted to share an amazing opportunity to support a fantastic organization.  The guys (and gals) at The Exodus Road are changing lives.

They need to fund some upcoming investigations.  The time to end child sex trafficking is now.  Please check out this link for info on buying this fantastic shirt and supporting this organization.

 

I also encourage you to follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

They are working in the trenches to end trafficking.  Right now, they are in SE Asia working with investigators and local police to assist in investigations and prosecution of traffickers. And they need our help to keep these missions going.

So show them some love and get this awesome limited edition tee-shirt and show not just them but the world that you are committed to end human trafficking and the trafficking of child sex slaves.

Announcing…Our Partnership with Youth Sport Uganda

A couple of months ago, Joshua Opolot contacted me about partnering with his organization, Youth Sport Uganda.

Their mission, “YSU works towards a world where all young people have the opportunity to improve their lives through access to sports and recreation.”  {taken from their website}

They work in Kampala, Uganda in the slum districts.  Providing sports and recreation to the poorest of children, including programs for girls.

One of the reasons that I love this program is that they not only provide something for children to do that is healthy, they go so much further.

Started in 2006, they have helped thousands of children from all types of backgrounds — differences in socio-economics and religion come together to become friends.  They do other amazing things like address health issues (including HIV/AIDS awareness) and promote health and education across Kampala and into the rest of Uganda.

Their program started simply and has grown to truly be a “sport in development” program.  It provides these children with stability, opportunities, and a change for future success and to truly excel in life.

Joshua was kind enough to share some photos of their projects with me and now I would like to share them with you.  {These are not my photos, they have been used with permission by Joshua Opolot of Youth Sport Uganda}

Happy kiddos with new stuffed animals!

The amazing Joshua Opolot!

Looks like fun!

Field hockey rocks!

Check out their website and Facebook page for even more great photos and information on current stuff happening…and follow them on Twitter.

Youth Sport Uganda is able to grow and thrive because of people like you…and they are in need of sponsors for some of their participants.  In the coming days, we will be featuring some of these kiddos.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child, you can contact me or Joshua.  Sponsorship can literally change a child’s life — giving them hope and a future.

And more great stuff…if you live in the Spokane area, we are going to be holding a sports equipment drive this spring and want to send them lots of great stuff.  If you have sports equipment that you would like to send them, please contact me at spokanegirl26@gmail.com.  If you don’t live in the Spokane area but would like to send them some awesome stuff or host a drive yourself, let me know.

AND…even more awesomeness.  I might be most excited about this.  Joshua and some awesome, wonderful ladies are sending us beaded necklaces and bracelets.  100% of the money goes directly back to Youth Sport Uganda.  You will not want to miss out.  These are not only gorgeous, they support such a great cause.  More to come on the beads, but please comment or e-mail me for information on purchasing them.  {Pictures are courtesy of Joshua Opolot.}

So beautiful!

Hard at work!

These are must haves 🙂  Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, birthdays, just because!

So much more to come, but we are thrilled to partner with such an amazing organization.  They are truly the hands and feet of Jesus.

The Most Vulnerable of All

Today there are 140 – 210 million orphans in the world.  You can check out past posts for more statistics — here and here.

Today I want to focus on a special number of these.  According to Avert, at the end of 2010 there were 3.4 million children living with HIV/AIDS around the globe.  90% of these children live in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa’s struggle with the AIDS virus has caused a lot of fear in people.  There has been a lot of work done to educate the African people about AIDS and HIV…how it is spread, how it is prevented, and other facts about the virus.

However, fear remains.  This fear results in children who are orphaned and have HIV being shunned, sent to special orphanages, and avoided.

Project Hopeful has done some outstanding work in advocating for these orphans.

{Photo courtesy of MorgueFile}

These children are unlikely to be placed in families in their home countries.  They are often not able to access the anti-retro viral medications that they need.  And they often will not get the care they need because of limited resources and the belief that healthier people should get the resources.

Their best hope for the future is adoption.  And often, because of our own fear and lack of education, we pass them by as well.

There has never been a transmission of the virus between family members in a normal household setting.

These children have the possibility of living long, happy, fulfilling lives through adoption.  With the right medications, the virus can become nearly undetectable.  It is a chronic, yet manageable disease.

I encourage you to check out:  Positively Adopted, Reece’s Rainbow, Rainbow Kids, andProject Hopeful.

And I hope to begin featuring a special kiddo in need of a loving home here weekly, specifically focusing on those with HIV/AIDS.

You have the power to make a difference in the life of a child.

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