Thursday, August 4, 2011

Scattered Thoughts, Thanks, and The Forego Project

Just a forewarning... This will probably be a jumbled mess with lots of honesty. I've never been one to cause a ruckus or want to offend someone, but just in case it happens in this post, I'm sorry in advance!

We'll start off with some good news! A couple days ago, I got the most amazing message on my phone from Katelyn's Fund. I cannot say enough good about this group and how blessed we are to "know" them. She let us know how they've been continuing praying for us and to let us know that they approved us for a grant.  I was literally in shock... As in not being able to move or talk kind of shock. Shock because with this grant, (among the other grants from Show Hope and Hand in Hand, along with the remaining money in our adoption account from donations and money Michael and I have been working hard to save... every. single. penny. every. single. "sacrifice.") our entire adoption is now funded. Totally and completely debt free. This was God's dream for us from the beginning, and HE made it happen! Deep down, I knew He would... I just never would have dreamed (and I dream BIG!) that He would do it in just 7 months time. $28,000 in 7 months time. Is that not amazing, or what?

Now, I will say, we're not completely done, though... That is including the matching grant from Hand in Hand, so we actually are only 100% funded if we get $2500 donated by Sept 8. I have absolutely no doubt that God can do it! We sent out support letters earlier this week to family and we're also encouraging anyone who wants to buy a tshirt, puzzle piece, or cookbook to send the money to Hand in Hand then e-mailing us at to let us know and we will send you what you ordered. This way you get the item you want AND your donation is matched. Tshirts are now just $18 shipped!

Ok, now to the more serious matter....

I'm sure many people have seen the news about the famine in East Africa... They are facing its worst drought in 60 years! It tears at my heart when I read about it and see the pictures...

They all break my heart, but this last one especially. This little boy is 2 years old. His name is Aden. My little boy is 2 years old and his name is Aydan. I cannot imagine if I were in that same position as his mother. If I were not able to feed my precious children. If I had to walk hundreds of miles for help to feed my little ones or just to try to find water! Can YOU imagine? I haven't been to Ethiopia, yet, but I've seen the statistics, I've seen the pictures, I've read the news (in case you haven't, go HERE or just google "famine in East Africa"!).

Like in Brooke Fraser's song "Albertine", she sings "now that I have seen, I am responsible. Faith without deeds is dead." We, as Christians, who have seen this horrible tragedy happening as we speak, are responsible. God specifically tells us all throughout the Bible (just look up poor or needy - you'll find tons of verses) to help those in need. 

We created the "Forego Project":

Basically as a challenge to EVERYONE, specifically Christians, to forego, or give up, one thing this month, whether it be eating out once, giving up some Starbucks, not going to Target, giving up a few sodas, etc. Find something, ANYTHING, to give up, and instead, give the money you would have spent to help those in Eastern Africa. Here in the US, $20 would feed one small family (maybe) for an evening out, or it could feed one child for 20 days in Africa. Stay home and dig through your pantry to find something to fix, fix your own coffee, give up that shopping trip (come on, do you really NEED those things you wanted?)... Do SOMETHING. Anyone can do this... Even those who don't have much money:

Just giving $1 will feed one child for one day. You can still make a difference whether your annual income is $10,000 or $10 million! The choice is yours. Will you?

Here is a list of organizations in which you can donate to:

  • UNICEF is asking for $31.8 million over the next three months for relief efforts. The money will help provide therapeutic treatment for women and children with severe malnutrition, access to clean drinking water and vaccinations to prevent deadly diseases like measles and polio. "The earlier we act, the more children we can save. Americans are a generous people, and a little goes a long way -- just $10 can feed a child for 10 days," said Caryl Stern, president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. To help UNICEF's efforts, text "FOOD" to 864233 to donate $10 from the United States or visit the website. Follow this link to make a donation from other countries around the world. 
  • A Glimmer of Hope - "100% of all donations given to the emergency relief fund will help some of the 3.2 million Ethiopians, and Somalia people seeking emergency aid in Ethiopia, facing hunger, and seeking food, water and medical care. “When people, particularly children, are collapsing and dying because there is no food and water, you cannot just turn the page, and turn a blind eye. It is not ok to remove it from your conscience,” said Philip Berber, Co-Chairman of Glimmer. “This is a harsh reality that is not going away overnight.“ Having impacted the lives of more than 2 million Ethiopians over the past ten years, Glimmer will identify, evaluate and partner with international NGOs and relief agencies – specifically those who have a long-standing presence in Ethiopia and a proven track record of delivering emergency relief, including food, water, medical and shelter."
  • Doctors Without Borders is operating nine medical-nutritional programs in south-central Somalia. These programs, along with three projects in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia, provide thousands of medical consultations each day. Teams are treating more than 10,000 severely malnourished children. Donations can be made online in the U.S. and by following this link in other countries.
  • Samaritan's Purse is feeding 2,100 families in Wajir and Garissa counties, providing a supplemental nutrition program for 1,700 school children and supplying porridge and health care to 400 children under 5 years old in Garissa. The group is also drilling boreholes in the region to supply water in hard hit communities. Visit the website to make a donation from the United States and other countries.
  • Or for more websites/organizations to choose from, go HERE

(P.S. Just in the time that you spent reading this post, almost 75 children died from hunger throughout the world... What are you willing to give up?)

(and yes, people in the US need help, too, but honestly, and this may be harsh, did you SEE these pictures? Have you really READ the news? The hunger problems in America is no where NEAR what those in Africa are having to endure. Here, thankfully, there are soup kitchens and shelters in just about every city. In Africa, families are walking hundreds of miles for food or water, with many elderly, children and babies dying before they get any sort of help. Here, you can go to a hospital anywhere in the country to be treated, whether you have the money or not. In Africa, you'd have to walk hundreds of miles and be lucky if you even make it there alive... Again, YES, the US needs help, and if you'd rather do that, please go ahead! I have nothing against helping out the US, and in fact will be donating items this weekend at our church's annual 5K to help those in the US!)