Friday, September 19, 2014

The New School Year

In western Africa, our scholarship project is underway for the fall semester.  Staying in school is hard for many.  Parents have to choose between food and school, sometimes.

Supplies accumulate at STeP UP in
preparation for the project startup.
STeP UP is the NGO on site; they identify the ones who need a hand, then provides school fees, uniforms and shoes, and some assistance for the family.

Education is a key part of the way forward for these folks.  
Join in; it's tax deductible.  Around $60 does it for one child, and it's a big deal.  Email or IM me for the details.

Delivering family photos from
 the preceding year.
Friends from Pantufo, the 'rowdy neighborhood'; it's a 
fishing village right on the beach on the northeast coast,
maybe 5 minutes from my work site. It's among my 
favorite places in the world.
Latest photos of growing kids ...

Grandma and her kids cutting up for
the camera.  Again.
And if you'd like to visit the country and meet some of the world's nicest folks, we'll introduce you around.  For a $60 donation, we'll tell you all about it!  :)  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Purpose in Life

photo credit ashley kitchen
Ashley and her sister Louise spent two months in Tanzania volunteering at LOHADA. The organization's Camp Moses and Camp Joshua provide food, schooling and shelter for kids in need. Hundreds of kids are on their waiting list, hoping to escape the death-grip of poverty.

From the sisters' blog:
"A few nights ago, I was invited to join the kids at the orphanage while they said their goodnight prayers. What I experienced was nothing like I have ever seen before. These beautiful children, some the same age as my nephew Theo, ages 2 to 6 sang such beautiful songs with big smiles on their faces in a large circle. Kids pushed their way to sit close to me….as we sang these songs I had no idea what we were singing but my heart was so happy to be with them. Yet I was so broken thinking these kids should have a mom and a dad. They are lucky to have Lohada but it still made me so sad. Then they started worshiping the Lord….with their eyes closed and hands lifted up…I felt the love of Jesus so strongly as tears streamed down my face. And if that wasn't moving enough, they soon after went into a prayer time when all these baby kids started pressing into Jesus, crying out to Him….I Joined in. Before you knew it half of them were on their knees crying out to God. These kids have hardly anything but what they do have is the best thing a person can have…a relationship with Jesus!"
"This is what I believe is our purpose in life. To receive Jesus’s unconditional Love and then in return give it back to Him by sharing it with others."
If you're curious, read the rest of their story here.

If you're hovering at the poverty level in America, you're in the top 30% of the world's rich folks.  It's hard to grasp the reality faced by most of the world and especially by children like these who have nothing at all.  They, more than we, can pray with a genuine heart, "give us today, bread."

Grant me, Lord, neither wealth nor poverty lest I in my comfort think I have no need of you, or in want decide to take from others and spoil it all.