Thursday, February 28, 2013

Just askin'

For a while now I have met with the Lord every morning and begged Him for an awesome, original, out of this world fund raiser idea for Village of Hope.

 And every morning for a while now- I got nothing.


 As I stared at the numbers- as I faced the needs- I tried my hardest to remain peaceful.

Over and over people would say to me “He’s got this." And while in my heart I knew that was true…

at the same time the faces of Yessica...




and the Subuyac family...

would come to mind.

And my heart would hurt…

because I couldn’t imagine facing life, day after day, in their shoes.

To me,

eating dirt to fill your belly,
having preventable polio,

going blind because you don’t have the medication to control your diabetes,

and having your 3 year old son fall into a pot of scalding water and not being able to afford the required surgery is just not okay.

Starting a new ministry is anything but easy. I was warned it would be hard… but I also know that Jesus doesn’t normally call us to the easy. And so in faith we face each day. We face every need and we trust that He will supply.

 And then this morning, as I once again begged the Lord for that amazing, original, super successful fund raiser idea- I sensed him saying ‘just ask’.

Just ask my people.

And so...we've got no tshirts to sell this time and nothing to give away. We have no answers, and no ideas.

But we have hope.

As a new ministry we have many needs- everything from brooms and dish towels to thousands of dollars’worth of wheelchair accessibility and safety railings. We need an automobile to take the orphans to church. We need furniture, and appliances and day to day costs. Village of Hope is built of concrete block and tin roof. Just plain and simple. We are surviving on as little as we can- being as frugal as we can- giving hope to as many as we can.

But we need help- because God never intended for us to do this on our own.

YOU (yes you) are his plan.

So I am just asking.

Asking you to give.

Asking you to pray.

Asking you to advocate.

Asking you to step out of your boat and do something big for the kingdom of God.  

Maybe you can give up ordering out pizza once a month? Maybe you can skip your family vacation this spring break? Maybe He's asking you to trust in Him more than your savings account? Maybe He's asking you to approach your small group, your Sunday school class, your pastor?

Just asking….

"You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it." Matthew 21:22

To give please go HERE. (please indicate for Village of Hope).

  image signature

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In her eyes...

She's 17 just like my Addisyn.

Her smile lights up the world.

 Only for Yessica, her life will never be what it could have been... because a preventable disease robbed it from her.

Yessica has polio. She's had it since she was just 2 months old.

She smiles and she understand what is going on around her.

She responds with her eyes and she responds with her smile... only she cannot communicate any other way.

She is resigned to a wheelchair.

As we rubbed her cheek and swiped the fly away from her eyes she radiated joy.

She is the oldest of 6 children. Her father farms for a living and works long hours-  her mother and siblings do the best they can to take care of her needs but the cost of her diapers is hard on them.

As we prayed with this family and began to build a relationship, I couldn't help but to thank the Lord for the privilege of this new friendship. Her strength, her beauty and her courage blew me away.

 Some people are mesmerized with those who have wealth, power and fame- yet there, they will never find what I found today in the eyes of my new friend... Him.

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
 "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:37-40

If you'd like to help people like Yessica you can support Village of Hope go here. **Please indicate for Village of Hope- Guatemala
image signature

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Right where you are...

I have to be honestly with you all, there are some days here where we feel completely overwhelmed.

Days where we question if we are making a difference.

 Days where the needs before us seem so unreachable.

 Days where, I am physically and emotionally drained.

 Days where I question if God chose the wrong family.

We have so much to learn, so much growing to do and yet, we are here- here we are.

As I look at the funds we still have to raise, as I look at the needs we have to meet- many times, I just feel like crawling into a ball and weeping.

 And then... we come across these families- and God seems to put everything into perspective in a single minute.

 Yesterday some of us headed out to visit a new family we have just found out about. This family has 6 children- and the mother is blind.

They live on someone elses property and the father walks miles to work every day because he cannot afford a bus. He spends close to 18 hours away from home on an average day. I have been told his feet are so swollen he can no longer wear shoes. His job is to carry supplies from bus to bus- his pay is 25Q a day. (which equals between $3-$3.50 dollars a day.) They live on the side of the mountain in conditions my mind cannot even begin to understand.

Their youngest child is 8 years and cannot walk. She has never been to the doctor so they are not sure why. She speaks and smiles- she is beyond precious. Most of her day is spent sitting in the corner, on a mattress in the dark.

  As we talked with her mother we began to understand their needs and once again felt completely broken. One thing that stood out to me was the absorption well on their property... 40 feet deep.

As a mom, all I could think of was how scary that would be to have my children living there by this... Let alone to be blind... and the fear of falling in. This mother has no choice but to be lead around the property by her teenage daughter.

As we looked around their home in hopes of finding a way we could make it more safe and healthy, I once again felt overwhelmed...

part of their home without shelter...
As I began to pray, began to try to wrap my head around this... again a feeling over overwhelmness came over me.
Where do you begin?
They are here all day, unprotected. A mother who is blind. A child who cannot walk. A father who is working as hard as he can and in doing so must be gone all day long. The children are not in school- they must help out to survive.
 I beg God for an answer.
And then I heard it...
I heard the quiet sounds of giggling coming from inside the home. I slowly walk around the corner and at that moment my heart stopped.
In front of me I saw what I think the Lord wanted me to understand all along.
Our daughter Mya, who was adopted at age 4 from Guatemala, sat in front of me on the mattress with her new friend.  While I had become overwhelmed- she had simply done what she could at the moment- crawled down on the floor and became a friend.
I watched in awe as these girls giggled and played hand games.
 I watched in awe as they smiled and whispered secrets.
I watched in awe as these two little girls 'got it' before I ever did.
Lord I thank you for who you are and for the ways you work. I thank you for the way you meet us right where we are. I praise you Jesus for your unconditional love and acceptance no matter if we deserve it or not. I thank you God for this opportunity to minister to those you care about deeply. I thank you God for my husband and my children who too said yes. I thank you God for our partners, for Christi and Dan who serve here with us. I thank you God for Lifesong For Orphans and for Project Hopeful who always, ALWAYS put YOU first. I thank you Lord for sending us.

image signature

Thursday, February 7, 2013

That is my prayer for every child...

I remember when I was a little girl my mother swooping me up in her arms, carrying me off to bed where we would lay together and she would read me stories. I remember her kissing my forehead and tucking me in for the night. I remember clasping my small hands together, closing my eyes and reciting the prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep..." I remember her love. I remember feeling safe. I remember feeling I mattered. 

That is my prayer for every child. That they feel loved, they feel safe and they feel they matter. Because they do - so much that Jesus was willing to give His life for them. 

Yet for many children around the world, this is not their reality. For many children around the world there is no one to tuck them in, no one to pray with them, no one to assure them they are safe and no one to tell them they matter. 

Village of Hope exists to do just that. 

In honor of Valentines Day we are asking you to share the love of Christ with a child who needs to know these things. A child who needs a safe place to go, a place where they will learn about the one who loves them so much He was willing to die for them- regardless of the disease they carry.
Flowers die and candy will soon be gone- in honor of Valentines Day will you consider investing in something so much more?
We are SO thrilled that Rebekah Blocher designed these BEAUTIFUL bracelets for us... which give HOPE to the children that the Lord will bring to Village of Hope. 

To order, click the 'Add to Cart' button below - 
Each bracelet is $30 and all proceeds go directly to Village of Hope's buy-a-brick campaign
Please note: While we can't guarantee shipment prior to Valentine's Day, we encourage you to spread love and give HOPE to a child in need!
We are also THRILLED to announce that the Lord has provided for us to begin the FIRST HOME at Village of Hope... Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides. 
Take a look at the photos below to see some of the progress... 

We are seriously speechless at how the Lord has provided the funding to start the first home... of our $184,500 initial buy-a-brick goal, we still need about $55,000. 
Would you consider purchasing a 'Never Lose Hope' bracelet to help us? 
Maybe your Sunday school class could forego coffee and doughnuts for the next month and donate the funds to give HOPE to a child in need? 
Maybe you would LOVE to sponsor a room or a home in memory or honor of a loved one? 
To purchase a bracelet, click the button right below the photo of the bracelet. 
If you don't need/want a bracelet, but would like to make a donation towards the buy-a-brick campaign, click below. 
image signature

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

And the WINNER IS...

We challenged people all over the United States to host a Both Hands Project with the proceeds going for orphan care to Village of Hope.

 If you are not familiar with Both Hands you really need to check it out. :)

 We love the Both Hands project because it is an easy, tangible way to live out James 1:27- to look after the orphan and the widow in distress.

 In a nut shell, you put together a team and serve a widow in your community, send out support letters and the proceeds go to help an adopted child come home or other orphan care ideas. It's a beautiful way to bless a widow in your own community and touch the life of an orphan in another.

Those who participated were put into a drawing for a free mission trip to Village of Hope- Guatemala.

  We are excited to announce the winner is...

(drum roll please)


Mattie comes from a large adoptive family and is not new to orphan care. We have never once seen this precious young lady turn down an opportunity to help a child in need. Thank you Mattie for stepping up to the plate, doing what you can and for being such a blessing to this world.

  Can't wait to serve along side of you here at Village of Hope Mattie!!!


image signature

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The difference giving makes...

Today our family celebrated the 3rd Annual One Day/One Lunch event our daughter Addisyn started 3 years ago. I just adore her heart.

We went to church like most every other Sunday and were blessed by the friends who came up to us and donated their lunch money- some Guatemalans, some Americans. What an encouragement to Addisyn. I love our new church. :)

After church we chatted with some friends and then headed home...

and it began...

as it does every Sunday.

 "I'm hungry!"

 "What's for lunch mommy?"

 And it was, for the very first time , I looked into my children's eyes and said "Nothing".

 It was then that I stopped and let myself imagine what it must feel like for mothers who, on a daily basis, has to look into the eyes of her hungry children and once again say "nothing".

I could only imagine the emptiness, only imagine the burden, only imagine the pain.

Once inside our home we gathered together on the floor and I handed them a plate. I wanted them to have a visual. I wanted so very badly for them to understand. Because you see, we are so guilty of taking so many things in our lives for granted- 3 meals a day being one of them.

 We are guilty of turning up our noses when something is prepared we don't like.

We are guilty of waste.

We are guilty of indulgence.

We are guilty of excess.

We are guilty of turning a blind eye to the poverty around us.

I explained to our children that today we were choosing to go without- so that others could have.

I explained to our children that for many, an empty plate was a reality every day of their lives.

I explained to our children that its important that we walk in others shoes sometimes.

 And then we prayed.

We knelt our heads and we prayed.

We praised God for the many blessings He gives us. We prayed for the children all over the world who lived with constant hunger pains. We asked God to use us, to use our lives in a mighty way. And once again, we surrendered everything we have- even our lunch.

As God would have it,  as soon as we closed in prayer- there was a knock at our door.

 I have come to recognize that knock...

 Little hands rapidly banging on the wooden door at Village of Hope.

When I opened the door this is what I saw. :)

Rosa and her brothers have no idea that today was One Day/One Lunch. They have no idea that people all over the world were giving up their lunch because of kids like them.And yet- they too chose to give what they could.

As they handed me the tiny branches of a bush they had picked with huge smiles on their face, they too realized what a gift it is to give.

Lord, help us all to stop just a little more often and see the needs of your people. Help us with child like faith to never think our gifts are not good enough. Help us God to care for one and other, the way you care for us. Help us to be content with what we have. Help us to love. Help us to understand. Help us to be more like you.

To give to the One  Day/One Lunch program go to:

To donate online go to:

*indicate for Village of Hope- One Day/One Lunch

Mail checks to:
Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744
*Indicate for VOH One Day/One Lunch

Friday, February 1, 2013

One Day. One Lunch. Feb. 3rd.

Often I share their stories...

Well, pieces of their stories.

And yet I know I fail to do them justice.

Because you see, until you have walked in their shoes,

Until you have experienced their hunger pains,

Until you have looked carried their brokenness,

There is really know way for us to truly understand.

As I sat with Rosa the other day,

As I looked into her eyes-

looked straight into her soul,

I became lost in her pain.

And most days,

I don't even know where to go from there.

She is 13 years old.

She eats dirt to stop the pains in her stomach.

She is hurting.

She is desperate.

And she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders.

And so once again,

I end up back where I started...

On my knees,

Begging Him to show me the way...

On Feb. 3rd people all over the world will be joining us in NOT doing lunch-

in going without ONE meal to be able to give out of our abundance to those who have nothing.

ONE meal.

That's all it takes.

  For you and I, for our Sunday school classes, our bible study groups, our friends, our family, our church- to say I CAN do something.

  Would you please join us? Feb. 3rd in not doing lunch?

And instead donate that money so that we can help them?

To give go to:
*indicate for Village of Hope- One Day/One Lunch

To read more go to:

image signature