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.

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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

 

Contemplative.

I haven’t been posting a lot here (although I have been posting on my personal blog recently).  I have been thinking about how to be most effective.

I can recite or post a million statistics or stories of horrible atrocities.  Sad pictures of children who need a mommy and a daddy.  Awful realities of what it’s like to live in the 3rd world while we enjoy a rather lovely 1st world experience.

No matter how poor (which believe me, I am poor) we are or how hard times can get, I still have a home.  I still have indoor plumbing and running, clean water in my home.  I still have heat in the winter and a/c in the summer.  I have a car.  I have food and can easily obtain more, even if I can’t afford it — only 2 blocks to the nearest food bank.  I have parents who still help me when I need it and I always have had loving parents who made sure that I knew how loved I was.

I get weary of defending my passion for Africa and the orphans there.  I care about ALL orphans, but God has placed a burden for Africa on my heart.  It’s hard to stand alone for a long time.  It’s hard when money is tight and you try and you try and you try but it doesn’t happen.

It’s just hard.  But I am learning that relying on God and His strength can renew you.  And not exhaust you.  And it’s worth it.

But I want to be effective.  Not exhausted.  So, I am figuring this out — little by little, step by step.  And in God’s time, it will happen.  Meanwhile, I am going to pray and advocate and do whatever I can for these precious children.

A Life That Matters.

Isn’t having a meaningful life something that we all aspire to?  Each of us has our own path, our own skills and talents, and our own life goals.  But really at the end of the day, we want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

It’s so easy to become discouraged and burned out.  Pushing through the hard days is sometimes almost too much, especially if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  People let you down.  Dreams die.

Whenever I am feeling especially discouraged, there are two things that I do.  First is to remind myself that usually really great stories have a trial in them somewhere.  If life moved along perfectly smoothly, it would be easier but I think that we would miss a lot of things.  Amazing things can be born out of darkness.  A sunrise wouldn’t be so special and amazing if there was no night.  A rainbow wouldn’t mean as much if there was no rain.  The joy after the suffering is special, it reminds us just how good joy is.

And secondly, I remind myself that in trials, there are lessons to be learned.  And I really push myself to try to figure out what lessons I can learn and grow from.  If I think that life in Spokane is difficult, what will I do in Uganda?  No family, different culture and language, none of the luxuries I take for granted every day.  Same God.  It’s learning how to deal with anxiety, loneliness, sorrow, joy, love, all of those emotions and feelings and most of all, relying completely on Christ.

When we can rely completely on Christ, focusing our attention and energy on Him and what He has called us to do that day, that is when we will begin to impact and change the world.  We will have a life that matters…no matter where we are or what we are doing.

Fearless.

{Encouragement and inspiration are courtesy of the Case Foundation}

First and foremost, we have a BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal).  Using the examples I have read, for instance…NASA, Amazon, Malaria No More, etc; I have prayed about and researched and wrote about a billion notes…I would like to unveil Kupenda 127’s BHAG:

Every community has the ability to care for the orphans that are part of their community and there will be due diligence done to find families for each and every orphan, in every community, in every country, throughout the entire world.

This is big.  Huge.  Audacious.  Crazy.  Do-able?  To reach this goal it will take numerous partnerships.  Collaboration.  Hard, hard work.  New ways of doing things.  More than likely, a few failures.

There is an urgent need:  There are between 140 – 210 MILLION children in the world today, who do not have families.  Who are hungry.  Who are dying.  Who do not know that anyone on this planet loves them.

At this moment, it seems a little bit impossible.  I am relatively alone on this journey.  A single mom, without a job and not even $100 to my name.  But I have perseverance, motivation, a lot of research, and a relatively new found ability to push past the sea of no’s.  And most importantly, I serve a God who loves these children more than all of us combined and I know that He has called me to serve them.