Tag Archives: Africa

Because faith is a verb

Tonight, I rock a baby who is not mine.

For the fifth time this year, we have a foster-baby.

I snuggle her close and gaze into her eyes as I feed her a bottle and sing Jesus over her. I kiss her forehead and pat her back just as if she were mine. I swaddle her tight and I tuck her in beside my pillow as if she were mine. But Jesus said, “Not this one.”

When we offer to foster a baby in the midst of our craziness, and when people learn that we are fostering another baby, they make the “you’re crazy” face. (come to think of it, people make that face at me a lot 😉 ) “Don’t you already have your hands full?”

Yes. My hands are full. My heart is full. My life is full. And that is why I do it. Because faith is a verb. Faith does. Love does.
~ From a blog by Katie Davis

In December of 2006, 18-year-old Katie Davis from Brentwood, Tennessee, traveled to Uganda for the first time. She was immediately captivated with the people and the culture.

In the summer of 2007, Katie returned to Uganda to teach Kindergarten at an orphanage. As she walked the children home, she was shocked to see the sheer number of school-aged children sitting idly on the side of the road or working in the fields. She learned there were very few government-run public schools in Uganda, and none in the area where she was working. Most schools in Uganda are privately operated and therefore require school fees for attendance, making impoverished children unable to afford an education.

God laid it on Katie’s heart to start a child sponsorship program. Originally planning to have 40 children involved, the program now sponsors over 400 children.

Now the mother of 13 daughters, Katie offers, “People tell me I am brave. People tell me I am strong. People tell me good job. Well here is the truth of it. I am really not that brave, I am not really that strong, and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am just doing what God called me to do as a follower of Him. Feed His sheep, do unto the least of His people.” 

You can read more about Katie here.

God isn’t calling all of us to move to Uganda and love on children in need. But He is calling us to live out our faith in some tangible way. What is God pulling your heart to do?

***

2 Comments

Filed under Courage, Determination, Faith, influence with the world, Inspiration, Loving others

Saving lives with left-over soap!

Imagine life without soap!  It is critical to our health and humanity, a vital component of our ability to keep our families safe. But what we take for granted in non-existant in many places around the globe. Consider these facts:

  • 1.4 million deaths can be prevented each year by handwashing with soap
  • Children under 5 who wash with soap can reduce their risk of pneumonia by 50%
  • Handwashing by birth attendants before delivery reduces mortality rates by 19%
  • 7 million children have died due to disease that could have been prevented with proper hygiene since 2009
  • Handwashing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, which together account for 3.5 million child deaths annually. ~ UNICEF. Soap, Toilets & Taps, 2009.

The Global Soap Project began with Derreck and Sarah Kayongo, humanitarians and social entrepreneurs, who together, are fulfilling a dream to help families in developing nations improve their health and build better futures for their children and their countries.

From Africa to Atlanta with nothing but a dream and tenacity, Derreck Kayongo beat the odds, earned an education, and has served in leadership roles in some of the world’s most respected NGOs since 1994. In 2009, he met Vicki Gordon, a veteran hospitality executive, and shared his idea – what if we took the discarded soap from your hotels and turned it into new bars? Derreck recalled his time in a  refugee camp in Uganda – where families were vulnerable to disease simply because they had no soap or clean water to wash with. Vicki, who became one of the founding board members of the Global Soap Project, started making calls and assembling a team to support Derreck and his mission.

In just two short years , the Global Soap Project has expanded operations from Derreck’s basement to a warehouse in Norcross, Georgia with the capacity to produce thousands of bars of soap a day. It seems fitting that a recent shipment of 10,000 bars will soon arrive in the world’s newest nation, South Sudan.

To find out more or to get involved click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Wellness, influence with the world, Loving others

Friday Funny (Freaky)! ;-) How to catch breakfast in Africa!

I’m the puller,

but if you’re interested,

the position of hole-guy is open!

First, we wrap our arm in a skin for protection

Then we find a big old hole and

hole-guy crawls in.

We use modern lighting.

There it is!

Those are the eggs for breakfast

I let it take my protected arm to grab on to…

Sort of like fish bait when fishing

Then my buddy pulls me out with snake attached

Ain’t it a beaut?

It’ll feed the village their supper for a while and

then some of the 70 eggs will be shared with everyone for breakfast

And you think your work is tough?

Maybe standing in line at the grocery store isn’t as bad as it seems!!!

2 Comments

Filed under Animals, Gratitude, Humor, Just for fun

Will we die empty?

The following is from a blog post by Todd Henry describing some insight that came from a challenging season of life. I found it very inspiring and trust you will as well.

During that season, I was in a meeting in which a South African friend asked, “Do you know what the most valuable land in the world is?” The rest of us were thinking, “Well, probably the diamond mines of Africa, or maybe the oil fields of the middle east?”

“No,” our friend replied, “it’s the graveyard, because with all of those people are buried unfulfilled dreams, unwritten novels, masterpieces not created, businesses not started, relationships not reconciled. THAT is the most valuable land in the world.”

Then a little phrase popped into my head in such a way that it felt almost like a mandate. The phrase was “die empty.” While it may sound intimidating, it was actually very freeing because I was suddenly aware that it’s not my job to control the path of my career or what impact I may or may not have on the world. My only job—each and every day—is to empty myself, to do my daily work, and to try as much as possible to leave nothing unspoken, uncreated, unwritten.

I made a commitment that if any given day were my last I wanted to die empty, having completely divested myself of whatever insight or work was in me to share on that day. As I began to apply this principle to relationships, art and work, I felt a measure of peace even in the midst of busy times. Once I realized that I only have influence over the work that’s in front of me, I stopped trying to control things that were beyond my grasp.

What do you need to empty yourself of today? Is there a project that you’ve been waiting to begin that seems too daunting? Take a small step today to get the ball rolling. Is there a conversation that you need to have, but have been waiting for the perfect time? Pick up the phone. Is there an idea that you want to execute but there’s no room for it in your create-on-demand role? When you get home tonight, get moving on it.

The last thing Jesus said on the cross was, “It is finished.” There was much more to do in God’s kingdom agenda, but He had done everything the Father had given Him to do. To use Todd’s words Jesus died empty.

Life is short. It’s our choice. Will we die empty?

3 Comments

Filed under Life in General, Peace