Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy Birthday

Yeeeeeees.  If you are a friend on FB I'm sure you are by now aware that this past week was I had my birthday.  I don't say that with any disdain for the day and I certainly do not dread the annual event.  In fact, I LOVE my birthday and all that it entails!  Who doesn't like a day to get spoiled and pampered and loved?!?  I certainly do!  I only...occasionally...get a tad bit embarrassed by all the attention.  ME?!?  I know, it must shock you.  But somewhere deep down inside is the shy little girl that used to cling to my mother's leg and look at the floor with any mention of my name.  I try my darndest to keep her at bay, but she still appears on occasion in the form of butterflies in my tummy, sweaty palms, or a beet red face.

But instead of celebrating myself right now (because really, that would be just a little weird) I want to celebrate a few ministries that inspire me to be more than be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Ordinary Hero

My love for this ministry is no secret.  Through teaming up with them for fundraising our precious Cocoa's adoption, I learned more about the heart behind this ministry.  Kelly Putty founded this organization, which started out by helping within their own community, seeking to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.  It quickly opened their eyes to needs of children around the globe.  Ordinary Hero is now involved in seasonal mission trips to Ethiopia, South Africa, and Haiti.  They put on community outreaches including Project Backpack, a Halloween event, Christmas Stocking Stuffers, and Mother's Day celebrations with Rescue Mission.  They help countless adoptive families fundraise to bring their children home.  And that just touches on the many ways they touch others' lives.  Our family was so blessed by Ordinary Hero and we will forever be grateful for their assistance in fundraising.

Steadfast Love

Again, anyone who knows me probably knows about Steadfast Love.  Our dear friends Ian and Brittany Bentley are the family behind the name, sacrificing the comforts of an American life to touch lives of the least of these in Ethiopia.  They have given it all away, in the world's eyes, to pour into the lives of orphans, street children, and women escaping a life of prostitution.  Working with Women At Risk, FashionABLE, and No Ordinary Love Ministries Children's Home, they have already made a difference for countless families in less than a year that they have lived in Addis.  Their stories about these women and children touch my heart in a way I cannot describe, due in part, I'm sure, the the hold the country of Ethiopia has on my heart.

One Child Campaign

Founded by Caleb and Becca David, this ministry facilitates short term mission trips and connects individuals with families and ministries around the world.  They partner with Steadfast Love, No Ordinary Love Ministries, Children's Hope Chest, Embracing Ethiopia, FashionABLE, Noonday Collections, and Bring Love In....just to give you a glimpse into the many ways they are impacting lives around Ethiopia and beyond.  Through child sponsorship, orphan advocacy, and mission trips I believe they are reaching their goal of breathing hope into the orphan crisis.

147 Million Orphans

This foundation was created to impact the lives of children in a positive way.  The founders, Suzanne Mayernick and Gwen Oatsvall, met during their first adoptions 9 years ago and since then have accepted the call to speak up for orphans everywhere.  With projects in Ethiopia, Haiti, Uganda, and Honduras they are helping provide food, water, and medicine to those who need it.  They are showing the love of Christ and impacting many lives by providing medical clinics, water wells, and storage facilities housing food!  On top of that, the 147 Million Orphans Store aids adoptive families in their fundraising.


Latin America Child Care has been helping children since 1963.  LACC is involved in over 300 projects, affecting over 100,000 children in 31 countries, including Mexico, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Columbia....just to name a few.  Our good friends Randy and Lynne Forsyth (and their daughter Jenny) have joined the mission field and will be moving to Panama shortly (for the last several months they have been living and training in Costa Rica).  There they will be working along side the local pastors and administrators to develop future schools for the program.  They will also be assisting in the construction of a regional training center for the teachers and administrators, located in Panama City, a convenient and cost effective location for them to receive their required credential updates.  

Obviously there are many, many more ministries out there doing amazing things for God's kingdom.  I have barely scraped the surface.  These are just a few that are close to my heart.

I have many people tell me they don't feel called to adopt, but want to help in someway.  Supporting an adoptive family with prayer or financial aid is a HUGE part of that (and being a recipient of such support, I can personally tell you how appreciated it is and can take such an enormous load of stress off of you).  But as you can see, there are many organizations reaching out beyond adoption and making a difference both in our communities and globally.  I hope this can be used as a tool to get you involved in one way or another.  Educate yourself and ask God how you can make an influence and begin changing the world.  Many people are out there doing it one person at a time.  You can be part of that!  Let me know what you decide =)


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