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Posts Tagged ‘Orphans’

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I’ve been inspired lately about stories of people going on the mission field. I have a good friend who just went to Uganda to work with Watoto ministries. She has been a God-send and has really encoraged me in my faith and in my own journey. The story of Katie Davis has always been impactful to me as well. She too is doing ministry in Uganda with Amazima ministires and her story and heart for the orphans there are so inspiring.

 

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The government has asked the church to help out with the foster care/adoption crisis going on in the U.S. There are over 14,000 foster care kids in the foster care system in Arizona alone. Mission Community Church, Redemption Church and City of Grace Church have joined together to help solve this problem by spearheading a movement called Arizona 1.27 (based off James 1:17). Learn more on how you can be a part of abolishing this need.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27, ESV)

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Photo by Vintage Blush Photography

Photo by Vintage Blush Photography

A few of my friends shared their testimony in this video. I’m excited to see how PhoenixONE helped them get connected in the church community. One of the things I am loving that PhoenixONE is doing is promoting some of the wonderful organizations out there. I have always felt this is the generation to make a difference in the world. Christian Family Care is an organization that provides adoption/foster care/counseling to kids in crisis. It’s a wonderful organization and lately there has been a growing movement within the local churches to abolish the number of kids in the foster care system (over 12,000).

Ladouceur

Ladouceur

Another awesome organization that has been doing great stuff for many years is Compassion International. Robbie Seay Band led worship tonight and Robbie talked about what they are all about. Compassion provides child sponsorships to the many orphans around the world. For as little as $38 a month, you can make a difference in the life of a child by sponsoring them monthly. It provides food and clothing for the an entire month. I started sponsoring my child Ladouceur from Haiti back in 2006 when he was about five. He is close to teenage years now and I love getting letters from him. Tonight close to 40 children were sponsored by the PhoenixONE community. It’s funny that Compassion was brought up tonight because I have been praying about going to Haiti to visit my sponsored child. Tonight was also special for me as Aaron McRae from Hillside Community church was the guest speaker. He was a Pastor from my previous church and it was great catching up with him and Brian Wurzell – who is now going to be leading worship there.

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1 million meals / 24 hours/ 5,000 volunteers

April 12-13, 2013

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Compassion for consumption. Giving of ourselves to something bigger than any of us. This is Advent Conspiracy.  I want to make each day leading up to Christmas a day to worship Jesus fully. Mission church showed the below video and I was immediately on board with where I want to contribute and serve this year. In 2012, 8,500 orphans and vulnerable children in Chikudzulire, Malawi (for more info check out Somebody Cares) are able to have a nutritious meal everyday because of the charitable contributions of the people of Mission. Once again they want to feed 8,500 children a daily meal for all of 2013 and provide clean drinking water to 8,000 families. I want to give more of myself this Advent season and be a part of what God is doing in the world. I’m excited to see God do big things this Christmas.

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Me with some of the orphans in India

Jeff Gokee is always good at coming up with gimmicky ways of raising awareness. I guess after being a youth pastor for many years, he’s good at it. Staches and Buns wants to raise $10,000 for the orphans at Harvest India. One way they are trying to raise these funds are by asking some of us men to grow mustaches and for the ladies to wear their hair in a bun. I’ve never really grown a mustache, but it is ‘Movember’ and I thought I’d try. Plus I like telling the stories to people about going to India when they ask me about it.

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Feed my Starving Children

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.

 Matthew 25:35

feed

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HE IS RISEN!!!
Good Friday

Worship service in the Student center

Cornerstone hosted a Good Friday worship service. They held it at noon in the student center. What an amazing sight to see many come out on their lunch breaks to give thanks to the Father. Thanks to Ryan and Brain for putting this together.

Later that evening, we attended a Friday night service at Redemption church. It was a beautiful outdoor setting at the Gilbert campus. It was awesome to see 3000+ come out to worship under the stars and give thanks to God for giving His son to die on the cross for us. Pastor Justin spoke on how much God loves us to do this for us. I love the illustration he gave about God even giving His son despite those that reject and turn away from Him.

So what does life look like beyond Easter? When the busy week comes upon us, do we stray and forget about the cross? How do we live our life for Christ day in and day out so we don’t have to constantly live for high moments in order to correct our paths when we drift?

All church Friday night worship service at Redemption Gilbert campus

For Easter, Christin and I served at Cornerstone Saturday night. We met up with our mothers and attended service later that night. Cornerstone had this “Egg your City” theme in which they used eggs to help promote the Easter service. The cool thing is that they also challenged those that attended to “Change the World”. They asked if we would donate $15 to help clothe and feed a child in India. Cornerstone has a strategic partnership with Harvest India and there is a huge need to feed these orphan kids. The goal was to feed 2500 children. Between the 6 services, people stepped up and sponsored over 4300 children ($63,000). Praise God!

I loved how Pastor Linn tied in the feeding of the hungry with an Easter message. What we believe in is a big deal. Deep down our hearts are hungry for something and we look to the wrong things to fill us. The majority people in India are Hindu. In Hinduism, they believe in karma and this idea that we get reincarnated into something better in the next life if we live out our lives well. Well.. we need something more to satisfy our hunger because the result from us filling it with worldly stuff (accomplishments, relationships, etc) produces bad fruit like worry, anger and pride. These things will build a wall that will separate us from God. We need to make contact with God and let Him fill our hunger and deepest needs. Christ is the bread of life and if we believe, we will never go hungry or thirsty.

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. John 6:2-27

Earth Day

Good Friday was also Earth Day. I saw it as a day to celebrate God’s creation and how we need to take care of it as inhabitants of this Earth.

Lent – Week 6

Final week of lent. I have really enjoyed using the resources of World Vision ACT:S as I participated in lent this year. The information they provided really got me in tune to the world and the need out there. God has really made my heart ache for those in poverty and how I can be used to be a voice for those that don’t have one. Please pray and consider how you can be an advocate and be a part of creating a modern-day book of Acts of living.

This is Romeo. He is one of many growing number of street kids that are roaming around Albania. His family left him and he was forced to live life on his own around the age of 12. He is often ignored by those passing by as he has to beg and steal in order to eat and live. There have been many times I have felt forgotten or left out. In fact, I have done this to God – forgotten about Him. Yet, God never leaves me and is always there. This gives me hope that we are never forgotten and that He will use us.

A great example is the shepherds in Luke 2: 8-11. Shepherds were forgotten people in their society back in biblical times. Yet God used them to spread the news to them of Jesus’ birth. How awesome is it that a great host of angels appeared to them that Christmas morning to proclaim the birth of Christ. God then used their excitement to spread the news to others. God will use anyone for His purposes.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NIV).  

Jesus came to this broken world to be one of us. Because of what He has done for us, we have the opportunity to partner with Him and be a light to those that know Him. Imagine if instead of ignoring a street child like Romeo that we give him food and shelter. What a way to impact someone who needs to see and know the love of Jesus. God has called us to be missional and to seek justice for His people. I want that for my life, to see the world the way Jesus did and to love on others the same way He has loved me.

May we bless the world with comfort. Comfort when a child is suffering and no parent can help, so that we may become the arms of a God who heals. Amen

May we bless the world with peace. Peace for the persecuted and those who struggle to provide, so that we may become the feet of a God who brings good news. Amen

May we bless the world with love. Love for the ones who only encounter the demons in others, so that we may become the heart of a God who feels every human affliction. Amen

May we bless the world with wisdom. Wisdom to pass wisdom, so that we may become the mind of a God whose dreams become reality with the breath of a word. Amen

And the blessing of God, who provides comfort, peace, love and wisdom, be upon us and all that we love and pray for this day, and forever more. Amen

Today marked the end of my 40 day only drinking water as a beverage campaign for Blood:Water Mission. This year it was a lot easier for me to give up my morning coffee. I either really don’t need it or God is really working in me. But this lent season was very impactful for me as it came at a time that God is refining and restoring me to be who He wants me to be. I am grateful for the prayers and support from everyone while using this time to learn more about myself and drawing closer to God. God is working!

Pumping a water well after dedicating it in India - a huge blessing for me!

The work that is being done in Uganda and others parts of the world have really been inspiring to me to learn more about water. I have always had a heart for these water wells and how they can provide clean water for an entire village for very little money. God has really taught me a lot through Blood:Water mission about how much water we waste here in America and how we take it for granted. From not drinking coffee and tea for 40 days, I saved $105 and I will be donating that money to help fund water projects in Uganda. Please read this inspiring story of how God is working in Uganda here.

Oh coffee. How I missed you..

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VBS Photos

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Vacation Bible School

We began day one of our Vacation Bible school outreach for the kids. We began by singing some songs with them. We sang “I’m in the Lord’s Army” and some other songs that had motions. We split them up into 3 teams – the green crocodiles, the red roosters and the yellow lions. We gave them colored bandanas to wear. We then performed a skit on stage with the kids – the story of David and Goliath. After main session, the kids broke up into stations. Some did crafts, some did memory verses and the some did games. We rotated them in and out of the stations and I got to work with crafts. We made little necklaces with beads and a cross on them. Afterwards, we all got back together to close it out. I love working with kids and had a great first day with them.

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