Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Romania Bound!

My son, Zachary, is a junior at Malone University in Canton, Ohio majoring in social work and English and he has joined a team of fellow students and professors who are traveling to Sighisora, Romania from May 16th to June 6th!

This mission will enable Zachary and his teammates to work alongside Veritas with many opportunities to serve needy and at-risk children and youth, disadvantaged elderly, and people of all ages with disabilities. At the Veritas website you must click on the British flag in the upper right hand corner to read through the site in English!

He will be staying with host families in Romania and have the opportunity to get to know them personally. This trip is a perfect fit for him as he loves interacting with people! Projects and activities will include after school programs, home visits, an elderly club, public school English classes and work projects at various sites.

This is Zachary's first missions trip out of the country and! His team has been working hard to sell candy and sandwiches around campus to raise funds for this mission. We are also having a ham and chicken pot-pie dinner on April 27th at our church and Zach will be there ready to serve you!

He needs 2,500 dollars to reach his goal to cover his costs of travel and in country expenses. If you can't make it to the dinner and would love to help a young college student step into serving the people of Romania, please donate HERE! 

As his parents we are proud of Zachary and his heart for people of all walks of life and for God. Thanks SO much for giving towards this trip and for your friendship and love towards our family!

Monday, March 4, 2013

"I Am Not Shy..."

  Eleven year-old Wamaitha  is one of the children I sponsor in Kenya through Compassion International. This little girl came into my life at a time when I was NOT looking for another child to add to my Compassion family. I was instead heavily involved in advocating for Compassion and seeking to get others involved with this ministry. Michelle Wright from Blogging From The Boonies and a fellow advocate for Compassion, posted a challenge on Facebook to go to the website, find a child who had been waiting longer than six months and then share that child through social media in hopes to find them a sponsor.

I took that challenge, clicked the link to waiting children, and there she was. Bilha Wamaitha. Age ten. Kenya. Waiting for a total of 780 days (which I calculated after discussing her history on the phone with a CI representative.) The plan was to post her profile to FB and reel in a wonderful friend and sponsor for her. And instead she became mine.

I don't really know what it was........the red socks......her shy countenance......her long wait......God's insistence....

I just knew that this one was my girl and there was no way I was going to be able to actively look for a sponsor for her. She was already home.

I have received several letters from her and her personality has been developing as we correspond back and forth. I just love these little details she has given me...

"Personally I am not shy but I don't like talking in public."
"My dad washes cars for others and earns money to feed us."
"I fear being extracted a tooth."
"I am afraid of mosquitoes which cause malaria."
"I would like to visit you in your country."

Recently I was given the opportunity to send her a gift....whatever I could fit in a gallon-sized zip-loc travel with a fellow Compassion sponsor on her trip to Kenya. This is an incredible opportunity as we are not allowed to mail packages to our kids due to mailing restrictions. The only way to send them something other than flat paper items is to travel a million miles TO your child, or send something with someone else who is going that way!

One word.....RARE.

So I knew I wanted her to have a doll. And the doll needed to have a few outfits. I also stuffed a few clothing items in for Wamaitha and some candy to fill up the small pockets of air left. I could barely zip-loc it, but I got it closed, mailed it off to my traveling friend.......and completely forgot I ever sent it.

Until Saturday when I opened my mailbox and found a letter from Wamaitha with this picture of her with her new doll.

In her letter she thanks me for the "beautiful gift which made me so happy" and she tells me she named her doll Julie Wambui.
 I like that.
 It rhymes.
But what I love most is that SMILE.

She also drew me this picture of a helicopter which I thought was pretty impressive!

  YOU have that same opportunity to bring light and hope and joy into a child's life. I am positive that the smile is there whenever she receives a letter from me......that a gift is not a necessary part of the equation. I can't close this without inviting you to join me in Changing The Story for one needy child through Compassion International. 

Leave me a comment if you do decide to get involved as I'd love to hear about it!