Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Most Hopeful Place in the World



One of the most hopeful places in the world is Suzy Peacock High School in Eldoret, Kenya. The brightest of CRF sponsored children in this area attend school here and rival the best government-funded schools in the nation of Kenya. 

The kids at Suzy Peacock know there is hope for them, which makes so much of the difference. They study from 6am to 10pm. They are hard workers. And they truly believe success is possible for them because they are surrounded by the brightness of their futures every single day. 

In July I’ll be preaching at Suzy Peacock’s church on Sunday morning. I’ve never preached a church sermon before, but of anywhere I could possibly speak, Suzy Peacock will certainly offer me tremendous grace. They’re joyful like that.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Locusts



“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten… You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God.” –Joel 2:25-26

In Kenya last year I met a girl a few years younger than me. She repeated this verse many times when she talked about how God had transformed her life through CRF sponsorship. Once she was a street child, barefoot and hungry with no education. Now she’s in medical school. She has planted churches and shared the Gospel throughout the Rift Valley. 

In the slums in Kenya, many orphans have had years of their lives devoured by the swarming locusts of poverty. Childhoods are snatched away by these locusts. Years of innocence and joy are lost. 

The Lord walks through sponsorship to create stories of redemption and restoration. He restores the years that the swarming locust has eaten. He gives in abundance. 

Sponsorship offers orphans the chance to experience the childhood that was taken from them. These precious children become as overflowing with hope as an abundant harvest, no longer a locust-eaten field. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

How to Empower the Third World



I never really thought about what girls in developing countries do when they get their periods… and then I thought about it. 

It isn’t an awkward subject. It isn’t a women’s only subject. It’s a matter of equality for girls who have to stay home for a week out of every month during the school year because they can’t afford sanitary products. I’ve heard awful stories of a girl sitting in a hole in the ground for days until her menstruation is over and girls tearing off precious pieces of their mattresses to create homemade sanitary napkins.  

According to Femme International, menstruation is the #1 reason why girls miss school. KEMRI/CDC estimated that Kenyan schoolgirls lose 500,000 days of school each year. These girls fall behind their male peers, struggle with monthly humiliation, and it becomes especially difficult to have self-esteem as women loved and created by God. 

Women perform 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of the world’s food, but earn 10% of the income and own 1% of the property. 70% of the world’s poverty is women. 

Empowering women means empowering the third world—and providing sanitary products to schoolgirls means supporting girls through their education and into success. 

Two sweet friends of mine, Kim in Texas and Consolata in Kenya, have headed the CRF work to bring sanitary products to girls in the third world. You can give for this issue at christianrelieffund.org/donate.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Agape Love



"I love you with an agape love."

his body to be broken on our behalf. Christ loves with an agape love.
A child wrote these words to her CRF sponsor this week. Agape love is the highest form of love. It's unconditional, unfailing, always serving, self-sacrificing. It's the love of John 3:16. It's why Jesus sacrificed his life for us and allowed his body to be broken for us.Christ loves us with an agape love.

And this week an orphan, neglected and forgotten by much of the world, a girl whose first understanding of love may well have been through sponsorship, wrote to her sponsor to say, "I love you with an agape love."

Sponsorship expresses agape love well, reflecting Jesus into the lives of children whose worlds have shattered after their parents died and their homes washed away in the rain and they have felt hungry again and again. It's self-sacrificing and marked by the decision to give of oneself to help another person across the globe.

We cannot love with the fullness of agape love that Jesus has for us, but we can reflect his love like glass windows shining brightly from the sun. And with our fragile flames, we can flood love into the world of a child who will learn about agape love alongside us.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2015 Yearly Recap

1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before? 
I gradated university, I've lived by myself without roommates or family, I've started a "real world" job, and I led a trip to Africa. Lots of new adventures last year!  


2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My resolutions were to read 75 books, which I kept. This year, I want to give to a cause every month.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this year - although coming up in April is the due date of one of my closest friends!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My precious Nawnie died on September 11 and life has not been the same without her here.

5. What countries did you visit?  
Amsterdam and Kenya

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
I want to have more community. The process of moving and adjusting to a new life has left me with very few friends in this city. I'm praying that the Lord will bring me people who love Jesus and people who don't love Jesus yet, that he will raise up community in my city.

I'm also hoping to be busier in a good way, that I will learn to be more selfless with my time instead of holding it as a precious treasure that is only mine.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
September 11, as I mentioned before, was the day my grandma died. May 16 was my graduation from university. And June 1, I began the job of my dreams.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating from university was a big deal for me! (I still have dreams that I've missed important exams.) Another achievement was starting this job and stepping into the adult world without too much struggle.

9. What was your biggest failure?
 Laughingly, I think my biggest failure was the first month I tried to keep a budget on my own.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? 
Nothing crazy last year, praise the Lord!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The best thing I bought was a kitchen table and chairs for my new house.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Most of my money has gone towards food, moving into my new place, and towards spoiling my dog.

13. What did you get really excited about?
I've gotten so excited about working for CRF and leading trips to Kenya. I have such a passion for orphans and this career lets me serve them with my life.

14. What song will always remind you of 2015? 
Probably Blank Space by Taylor Swift.