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Why Haiti?

So I’m going to Haiti…want to know more? I wanted to give you some background to where we will be going and what we will be doing, though I must confess at this point in time,  I am not absolutely sure of all the details!  I do know when we are going and the organization that we are serving.

The organization we are going to be working with is called Child Hope International which was started in 2001 by two missionaries from California. The home page of their website opens with this statement:

“Child Hope International is a charitable, Christian organization, dedicated to rescuing suffering and abandoned children in Port Au Prince, Haiti.”

I don’t really know a lot about Haiti, except that it is a poor country that was destroyed by an earthquake two years ago. As I have begun to investigate this little country I have been shocked by the statistics. Here are just a few:

  • Haiti’s population is over 8 million
  • In Haiti there are 450,000 orphans and 300,000 children in slavery (that is more than the total amount of people that commute daily in the DC Metro area. Next time you are in traffic, think about every person in every car you can see being an orphan – you will get a sense of the scale of the problem)
  • Haiti’s infant mortality rate is 76 out of 1000
  • Haiti’s literacy rate is 52%
  • Voodoo is widely practiced.

Child Hope International has built one orphanage in Port Au Prince and currently cares for 47 boys and girls in a safe, Christ filled environment. Every day though, there are more and more children that appear at the gates to the orphanage. The need is huge and sometimes small efforts can seem like such a drop in the bucket, but to each of the children being cared for in The Lighthouse (Maison de Lumiere), to each child the presence of a loving smile, freshly prepared food and a safe place to sleep, is priceless.

Our team will be going to Maison de Lumiere for a week to hopefully give the full time care givers a much needed rest and vacation.  This is plan A. Plans B,C and D may follow!!!

I would like to encourage you to check out Child Hope International  for yourself and see the work that they are doing. Who knows, you might even hear the Lord whisper in your heart that maybe you could help. Maybe you could talk with your pastor, or your friends, or your missions coordinator at your church about offering support and maybe, just maybe, you could join a team that goes to serve and show love to those in great need.

You can find Child Hope International HERE.

Please begin to pray for Child Hope International and our team as we begin our preparations.

Thanks for reading. God bless,

Julie

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Posted by on April 25, 2012 in causes, Make Everyday Count, Purpose

 

A New Step, At Least An Old Step Being Taken Again

Today is a special day. Today I have a special guest blogger taking over this site. My sweet wife Julie is stepping out into the blogosphere for the first time.

Ok, so here we go.

I guess this story goes back to August/September of 2011. As many of you may know, Jason and I were in a transition period at church and we were just beginning our journey  at our current church, Revolution Annapolis. I was feeling unsettled and so I started praying for a new opportunity to get involved and get connected.  When you have lost something, the best thing to do is to go back to where you started and remember the important things.

I started to pray for an opportunity serve on a mission team, something that I have been doing since I was a teenager. But since moving to America and becoming a mother, other responsibilities had taken priority. Now I felt like I had caught hold of God’s heart and was praying it into being.

But it wasn’t until the early part of 2012 when I first spoke it out loud. It is one thing to believe that God has said something to you about what you should do, but it takes on a different meaning when you tell someone else. I talked to Jason about it and he was supportive and together we agreed that we would be open to the possibility, if it arose.

At the end of February, Jason spent two weeks in Costa Rica with a group of his physical therapy students and when he came back we talked again about the possibility of me looking for a mission trip. To be honest, I didn’t think one was likely this year, mainly because we were planning to be in the United Kingdom for three weeks this summer for my sister’s wedding.

It’s funny how God often has plans that are different to ours.

We went to Revolution that next Sunday and at the end of the service, during the announcements, one of the leaders got up to announce an upcoming opportunity. Yes, you guessed it, the church was planning to send a team to Haiti THIS SUMMER, for a week, to work at an orphanage they worked with last year. I couldn’t believe it. When we got back to the car, Jason and I looked at each other and he said, “Well, do you want to go to Haiti?”

I didn’t know what to think. It is one thing to say, or even believe, that you should do something. It is completely different when the opportunity presents itself and you have to step up. I wanted to go, but if I am truly honest, I didn’t. This trip would be two weeks before we leave to go to the wedding, and what would happen if I went to Haiti and caught some weird disease or something? Aaaarrrrggggghhhhhh!

This was a new step, well, it was a step that I had taken many times before, but it felt like it was a long time ago. One thing is true, I couldn’t deny this was what I had been praying for.

So, to bring a long story to a close, on Friday July 6th 2012, I will be boarding a plane along with a team of people from Revolution church and heading to Haiti – on my own, without my family. I am both excited and terrified at the same time, but most of all I am ready. Ready to go, ready to serve, ready to demonstrate to my girls that mommies do this stuff too, and ready to be used in whatever way I can be of most use on the team.

Over the next couple of days I will share what I know about what we will be doing when we are there, and I will also ask for your help. Jason and I have taken this as a step of faith and are believing that God will take care of all of those needs. You never know, God might want to use you to help meet the needs.

So its out there. I am going to Haiti on a mission trip.

God is good.

Julie

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in causes, Make Everyday Count, Purpose

 

Steps of Faith

Recently USA tv has been airing the classic Indiana Jones movies. It is a walk down memory lane for anyone in their 40’s and a curiosity for anyone in their teens. Yes, they really did make movies with little models and yes the train car sequence in the mine shaft is a little rough around the edges, but there is one memorable moment in the Indy trilogy that has always stuck with me. That scene was in the Last Crusade where Indy walks along through a narrow passageway and almost steps off the edge into a deep seemingly bottomless chasm. As he stands on the edge (I never understood why he had to get so close and couldn’t back up a step) he checks his guidebook and it is clear that this is the way to go – he has to walk across the chasm when there is no bridge.

Each time I see this part of the movie I think about the way that God often gives us what seem to be crazy instructions, and yet He simply asks that we follow them. In the movie, Indiana takes a deep breath, musters all his courage, raises a leg high in the air (as if that would help) and steps forward – falling to his death!

No, just kidding. As you can see from the video clip. as Indiana steps forward, his foot doesn’t fall into nothingness, but instead he finds the sure footing of a previously invisible bridge. The bridge was there all the time, he just could not see it. His lack of vision was the things that made this so potentially dangerous. The bridge was always there so there really was no risk.

Well, throughout history God asked people to take steps out into the unknown. To take steps that in their mind could end in them falling to their death in a bottomless abyss. Yet, when God asks us to step out, we need to remember that He already knows there is a bridge there to catch us. All it requires is a step of faith.

Tomorrow, I have the great privilege of introducing to you a guest blogger to my site. Yes, that’s right, tomorrow my dear sweet wife, Julie will be taking over the pages of the blog and letting you all know of a new step of faith that we are taking.

You might not want to miss this.

 
 

Bible in 90 Days – Day DONE!!!

Congratulations! You have successfully completed a cover to cover reading of the entire bible in 90 days. I know that you thought this was a daunting task way back in the beginning of January, but look at what you have achieved – you did it.

Today’s reading is taken from Revelation 18:1 – Revelation 22:21

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Bible in 90 days

 

Bible in 90 Days – Day 87

We are nearly there. Only two days readings left and we will have completed the bible in 90 days. The design of this reading plan is such that there is a little wiggle room so if you are day or two behind, keep going and get finished over the next few days when we have grace days.

Today’s reading is taken from Jude 1 – Revelation 17:18

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Bible in 90 days

 

That is an Awfully Big Number

When I ask my girls for a big number they often say “one hundred million thousand … and sixty” for some reason. I know it is odd, but when you think about it, 100,000 is a lot of people. I live in the 5th largest city in the State of Maryland, and there are only around 60,000 in our city.

This morning, our family set off a little earlier than usual for church, because today was not an ordinary church day for us. Today was a special day. Today was a day when we didn’t go to church – today was day when we were the church. Today was a day when our church joined with other churches from the area and a bunch of friends and family members to pack meals to send to Somalia. Working with Stop Hunger Now, we had a day ahead of us that would be filled with excitement, hard work and the chance to create some special family memories too.
Entering the gymnasium at Bates Middle School we were faced with a number of ‘funnel stations’ where we would have the opportunity to take a packet of vitamins, add a cup of soy protein, some dried vegetables and a cup or so of rice to create a single packaged meal for about 6 kids.

We took up our positions at a station and everyone was assigned a job to do – Emma was our vitamin provider, I was designated bag holder, Julie supplied the soy, a new friend added the spoonful of dried vegetables and Cara topped it all off with a cupful of rice.

Our little family took up positions to become a little Craig family production line. Following some brief instructions, we were off and packing, one scoop at a time, one bag at a time, 6 lives at a time. This is what church is all about – reaching a hurting world through practical love, as a family.

Scooping and packing, packing and scooping our hour long packing session seemed to fly by, and at the end of it, there were enough meals packed to feed over 25,000 people. Now, we did our share, our kids ran packages of food to the appropriate locations to see them sealed and boxed, Julie and I kept going with the packing and were joined by our good friends, James, Marie, Ashley and Adam.

Over all this packing session was just an awesome experience, and one that we will all not forget. As we put the kids to bed tonight, Emma asked if we could do this again next year.

What could I say but, “Of course, its what the church does.”

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Bible in 90 Days – Day 86

We are coming near to the end of this great book. As you look back over the past few months I hope that you have been inspired to read the Word of God each and every day from this point onward. God has a lot to continue to teach us as we develop our walk with Jesus.

Today’s reading is taken from James 3:13 – 3 John 14

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Bible in 90 days