Wednesday, December 29, 2010
While we are very grateful for the tax benefit that comes along with charitable giving, we know that you give to Caroline's Promise for many other reasons besides the tax deduction.
You give to Caroline's Promise because you know that
your generosity changes lives.
Today, I'd like to introduce you to one of those lives....
Betzabe is a beautiful 12 year old girl living in one of the poorest areas of Guatemala City.
She lives with her older sisters and a younger brother. There are no parents living in the home.
The odds are stacked against Betzabe.
• 1/4 of Guatemalan babies are born to teenaged mothers, some as young as 9 years old!
• 28% of women in Guatemala give birth before age 18
• 1 million children enter the sex trade every year. Guatemala is a hotspot for human slavery and sex trafficking. We shudder when we think about the predators who would love nothing more than to victimize this child.
“He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims; like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.” Psalm 10:8-9 (NIV)
There is good news for Betzabe!
She is a student at Casita Adonai, a private, Christian school serving 100 children from her neighborhood. Teachers are investing in her every day, giving her an education, self esteem, safety and the life-sustaining message of Jesus Christ. Thanks to your support, Caroline's Promise has partnered with Casita Adonai, and they are now able able to offer 4th and 5th grades so that Betzabe can continue her education there. We plan to continue helping this shining light grow even brighter by adding a new grade each year.
Your support has also enabled Caroline's Promise to administer a child sponsorship program at Casita Adonai and over 40 of the 100 children there now have a sponsor in the United States supporting them on a monthly basis. Not only is this monthly support meeting physical and material needs, but it is also
an affirmation of God's love to each one of these children and their parents.
“But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, to repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the
helper of the fatherless.” Psalm 10:14 (NI)
Thank you for your generosity in 2010. And, yes, we definitely need your year-end gift which will allow us to continue
Reclaiming Hope for Orphans and changing lives like Betzabe's in 2011.
As a token of our appreciation for your support, we would like to send you a gift.
• When you make a one time donation of at least $25 before December 31, we'll send you a set of 6 notecards, featuring original artwork by two Kernersville, NC artists.
• When you sign up to Reclaim Hope for Orphans as a monthly supporter of Caroline's Promise, we'll send you a package of our private label coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
You can make your donation on-line here or you can mail your check to
1950 Beeson Road, Kernersville, NC 27284
Please choose "South Carolina" to support our chapter there.
All other gifts will support Caroline's Promise as a whole.
Thank you for partnering with us! Happy New Year!
"Leaving the falling snow and stepping off the snow into the unbelievably perfect sunshine was just the first sign of how amazing the mission trip would be. Delmi and Carlos were the most welcoming hostesses there could ever be; greeting us with grilled cheeses sandwiches and delicious soup. After all our bellies were full of the snacks, our group of 12 headed to the dorms to rest from our flight. We replenished our rest and had a full meal for supper at Delmi's again. Since Delmi's food is the most delicious in the world and her prayers so spiritually inspiring, eating her food and hearing her prayers tie for first place in the best experience of our first meals.
Waking up at 6am in Guatemalan time with the effects of the plane setting in was a contradictory start to the continued day. We started the day off with another wonderful meal at Delmi's house and then headed to Casita Adonai (the school and church for the kids). The ride to the school was almost overwhelming, seeing the poverty struck communities throughout the city. With the poverty still in mind, walking in to see the kids' smiling and screaming faces was an emotional thing. It was a heart warming opportunity to see how excited the kids were to attend the school and see us with the aid to help them. We brought Christmas gifts for the kids and teachers and for some of them they are the only gifts they received. To begin our day the kids put on a welcoming performance for us by singing songs that had hand motions. It was awesome to see the difference in songs and games from English to Spanish; ring around the rose and head, shoulders, knees and toes are played differently by the Guatemalans..."
...stay tuned for part 2 coming soon! To see pictures and get snip-its of what Caroline's Promise is up to, click here!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
ECFA accreditation is based on the ECFA Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, including financial accountability, transparency, sound board governance and ethical fund-raising.
Caroline’s Promise joins a growing number of Christ-centered churches and ministries across America, supported by over 35 million donors that have earned the right to display the ECFA seal. When an organization is accredited by ECFA, it demonstrates its willingness to follow the model of biblical accountability.
“We are pleased to include in our membership a ministry committed to educating the community about adoption and orphan care,” said Dan Busby, president of ECFA.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Caroline’s Promise is reclaiming joy this Christmas for children in Guyana. People from all over North Carolina have been purchasing Fair Trade items online or face to face at a myriad of shows hosted by Caroline’s Promise volunteers. Those purchases have made giving joy to the children at RCHCC possible this year. Imagine you are giving a fair trade gift to someone and also helping give a brighter Christmas to a child you have never met. The significance of Fair Trade purchases goes so far beyond the price tag. It is an avenue that can generate hope for someone who just wants to be remembered.
In all of our thinking we never realized the impact a child with a chronic illness would have on another child an ocean away. However the thankful hearts of the children in Guyana and their simple Christmas wishes totally impacted the hearts of two boys. The dream God gave to Lisa and David seven years ago is not only alive in their hearts. It is fueling passion and compassion in the lives of their children.
The Christmas plan went into motion as I went by RCHCC to help the children write Christmas letters to a friend. The friend was not a person, but rather Caroline’s Promise, but my goal was to keep it simple. As I walked in the home I saw paper decorations on the walls, done by the children to dress the place up for Christmas. When I told them I came to help them write letters to a friend they got all excited and wanted to know who their friend would be. Had they come on a team to visit them? Did I know them? Were they the same friends that gave them a gift a couple of years ago? Were they coming to see them? I explained that their friend was someone who wanted to make Christmas a little more special for them and detoured all their questions into having them tell me what they were thankful for this year. answers came from all directions as we started writing a letter addressed to a friend.
As I returned home and read through their letters again I smiled. One of the older girls asked for a Christmas tree, knowing they did not have one this year. She has no idea that decorations and a Christmas tree were soon coming to her door secretly bought by Caroline’s Promise and dropped off while they were at school. Another child asked for a glass slipper, like the ones worn by Cinderella. The one that really made me see how little they know about the price of things in the real world was the one who asked for a blackberry. She saw it on a commercial and thought it was cool. Her teenage wish is written, but that one won’t be granted. The innocence of children shines through in the most unusual ways to remind us children are children no matter where they call home.
I was so moved by their letters that I had to share the moment with David and Lisa and the greater Caroline’s Promise community. I scanned my letters and sent the email to Lisa. What I never expected was for a child to be moved by the letters as they were read to them in a living room a few thousand miles away. However as Lisa read handwritten scribbles and letters of children to her boys they were moved to action. She had as many questions to answer on her side of the world as I did on mine. The ideas for helping the children were rolling off the tongue of the younger son as he passionately wanted to help these children have the best life possible. He was going beyond Christmas and thinking about their life. While the older son totally absorbed the meaning of life for each child at RCHCC and the reason they are so thankful to really be alive each and every day.
Here is a peek at the conversation…
"Are you going to help them get those presents Mom? You need to." “I think this is like the coolest thing ever and you need to make sure they get their presents,” says Kendall.
"Angie has it covered" Lisa says.
Kendall says: “I so understand why they are thankful for their life - every day.”
Cameron says "that's so sad. I hope this isn't their last Christmas." Then, “I will do a fundraiser to gain money so that I can help the children that are taking meds so that they can live longer." "I will also send presents."
He wants to know if they can have stuffed animals?
Then in true Cameron style you hear…”Shhhh…Don't tell the children."
Orphans are real. They have names and faces. Their stories are real and all the questions that stir by the fact that they are an orphan do not have the easiest of answers. However, what we sometimes forget is that we have all been orphans at one time in our life. We have all been in need of a deeper connection to bring meaning to our earthly existence. How many of us have simply passed our days just existing, saying to ourselves, “Well, I got through this one.” We miss the simplicity of the real gift that was given to connect us to a life-changing relationship. So, until we connect to Christ, and realize our adoption in Him, we really cannot know a deeper purpose to our story and the reason we are alive today. One reality at RCHCC is that the children have found joy because they have discovered a Heavenly Father that will never leave them or forsake them. He has not left them as orphans; He has come to them. What they can teach us is that He has come to all of us.
In this Christmas season we are celebrating the birth of a babe who had to be legally adopted by his earthly father; taken as his own with his name. Jesus grew up knowing His purpose with a one- of-a- kind connection to His Heavenly Father. He used his time on earth to be a world-changer as He challenged the minds of the religious with a call to true justice and true religion. He challenged the minds of his humble followers to believe in Him and love him with all their heart, mind, soul and strength.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Visit our Smarter Shopping (link here) page and choose "Honor a Teacher". For every $10 given we will send you a Christmas Card to give.
This is a repost from November 15, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Children's Home Society has a program called "Hope for the Holidays" where children present their Christmas Wish List. Mae still needs about 50 sponsors for these wish lists. Most of them are middle school and high school aged children. You can bless them this Christmas with as little as a $10 gift card from Wal Mart or Target. If you would like more information, please contact Mae at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
A really big step for our family was when our twin 19 year old sons were going to Guatemala for over two weeks with two different Caroline's Promise summer mission teams. It's not like they had never been out of the country, like when we adopted Levi from China and when our family spent 6 weeks in Haiti working at an orphanage. But this time they were on-their-on.(kind of) But hey, they are 19 and besides they were going with David & Lisa Holbrook and Tammy Rumsvelt. Needless to say it was a life changing two weeks for them, along with some surprise moments when God not only revealed Himself to them in a fresh way, but He allowed them to experience His emotion, love, care and compassion for the defenseless which not only included orphans but rescued women who had become victims of rape, abuse and violence many times by their own families. How can they ever forget that? How can we ever forget that? It's the way God made us--once we see and experience first hand the reality of the world, it never leaves you and you then become an evangelist of sorts. The story flows freely and the images are forever burned in your thoughts. You can understand Isaiah's perspective when he talks about the message was like, "fire in my bones."
Travel always has a certain level of risk from terrorism, weather or sickness, but this trip was looking questionable because of the Volcano Pacaya. Who would have thought that of all times and places a volcano would begin to erupt, it would be while they were in Guatemala! Eruption in a major way close enough to Guatemala City to spew inches of this coal black coarse sandy ash everywhere. The emissions from Pacaya were significant to the point of closing the Aurora airport! God's provision allowed the volcano to calm down, the airport reopened and business as usual like any two-thirds world developing country. Blake and Ethan were on their way.
The idea of the Christmas ornament was a way to share the residue from the fire. A reminder of the countless orphans and children in Guatemala that need to be remembered by us as we yearn to be like the Father. And by-the-way, Ethan and Blake made it home and the "fire in their bones" is only beginning.
Contact us at email@example.com to purchase your ornament. $3 for small and $6 for large. Or purchase them at our Christmas Open House this Saturday, December 11. 10am - 2pm at Juicy Java in Kernersville.
"It started with looking around her room wondering how we would fit another birthday's worth of gifts in with all the rest of her "stuff". A sigh escaped my lips as I shook my head, just shutting the door, wishing that birthdays didn't have to equate with gifts. But she was turning seven and I couldn't exactly stop the cycle cold, now could I?
But then my friend Lisa sent me some posts to publish on her blog and as I was reading the posts, I realized I had an answer to my problem. You see, Lisa is the executive director for Caroline's Promise; a non-profit focused on reclaiming hope for orphans through education, financial assistance for families adopting and orphan care. And right now, they are collecting gallon-size bags filled with school supplies for children at Casita Adonai in Guatemala City, Guatemala. And an idea began to form...
I talked it over with Rachel, who, at first was very hesitant, and then within a few minutes was ecstatic about the idea. We decided that in lieu of birthday gifts at her birthday party, we would ask her friends to donate to Caroline's Promise on her behalf. (I had to reassure her, she would still be receiving gifts from us and her grandparents.) Her excitement at "making a difference in the world!" was so sweet and touching. She actually thought she was going to change the whole world by this one act.
So we sent out invitations, giving details as to how they could donate, where and why we were doing it. The day of her party arrived and some kids still came with gifts, but all had donated. There were questions and comments and many opportunities to share with the families why we were doing this seemingly strange thing.
A couple weeks after the party, Lisa called and told me all the money had come in and we planned on a date to shop for the school supplies. It was very important to me that Rachel be able to see what her sacrifice of birthday gifts had truly done. So one night last month, we met Lisa and her daughter Caroline at the store. (Caroline and Rachel have been friends since infancy. It was so fun to have her join us in the special shopping spree!)
When we got to the school supplies section we told the girls how much had come in for Rachel's birthday. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS. $150.00!!!!! When we added up the price per bag, with tears, we realized that 21 children at Casita Adonai would receive much-needed school supplies...because of the generosity of 8 families. We were blown away....
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
December 1, 2010
Written By: Jedd Medefind
Today is World AIDS Day. There was a time when Christians weren’t known for being involved with response to this dread disease. Like most others, in the early days of what was then often called “slim disease,” the Christian community failed to grasp the severity of what was coming. There were also many controversies—some legitimate and important, some fear-driven and judgmental—over what causes were driving spread of the disease. The bottom line is that we were late to respond.
In prior eras, devout Christians had been at the front lines of addressing the most feared diseases of their era—often at great risk to themselves—from leprosy to the black plague. This was not initially true of AIDS. Thankfully, it often is today. From small missionary outposts and indigenous movements in Africa to the Sisters of Charity in India to local clinics in the U.S., Christians are coming close to those afflicted by the worst pandemic of our era. Meanwhile, globally, even critics of President George W. Bush affirm how his own Christian faith informed his decision to invest tremendous energy, focus and funds in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest global health initiative ever undertaken by the U.S. Christians are again—like Jesus—earning a reputation for receiving and loving individuals that others hesitate to come near.
This week, some of my favorite people—Kiel and Carolyn Twietmeyer and family—are blazing this reality like a beacon fire. (See this post from a visit to their home last November.) The couple and their thirteen children are featured in the current edition of People magazine, which explores their decision to adopt children with HIV/AIDS and also their ministry through Project HOPEFUL. The People story has also spurred a host of other interviews for the Twietmeyers, including a feature on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric that will appear in The American Spirit segment of the show tonight.
This is what happens when Christians mirror the heart of God to a hurting world. Yes, sometimes we will be misunderstood. Often we will be overlooked. Sometimes, the message we hope to convey through our actions will be distorted. (Carolyn shared with me that this has happened with them a bit, including a unilateral ‘editorial’ decision by one publication to alter her quotes by replacing ‘blessed’ with ‘lucky.’) But even in this, light shines in the darkness of need and brokenness, and the darkness will not overcome it.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Relationships make all the difference.
We can tutor the children of Plastic City every day for years, but if they do not feel love from us, then we have not given them what they really need. Almost ALL the children we had in PAL tutoring have never ever been told they can do it, they are smart enough or they are special. If you have children, reflect on your child never ever hearing those words or feeling encouraged. In most of these children’s lives everything points to the opposite. This constant reality breaks my heart.
So we can help stop the cycle right now through our presence. I am so thankful that these children have Angie, Genny and the other volunteers working with them each week. You cannot imagine what it is like to tell a 9 year old child, for possibly the first time, "You are special"! That child cried when I left because she felt connected to only a couple people who she felt cared. And I was one of those people and was walking away to reunite with my family back an ocean away. Will you please join me in praying for the hearts of these children?
High fives go a long way to making a child feel good!
I LOVED watching the volunteers and kids learn the effect of positive encouragement and the importance of the children feeling our love. The smiles showed it. And I don’t just mean on the kids’ faces—on the volunteers too!
(Angie) As Stephanie taught a Fast-Track overview course on the Five Love Languages of Children the adult mentors absorbed the information for their own lives! Our team not only practiced High Fives with the children, but with one another! The overflow of all Stephanie taught from her head and modeled with her heart still flows in the lives of our mentors and our children. We all feel good! High Fives are one way to fill the love tank of another and as we practice this one we also incorporate all the others in order to help every person know that they are indeed loved by us! One day I look forward to introducing children and families to the one who is the source of our love. “Greater love has no man, than he lay down his life for his friend.”
God will use your willingness and multiply it!
I am truly amazed, in awe, of how God used the info I brought and the materials that were donated. He took my portion and like the loaves and fish—multiplied it beyond my imagination.
Are you ever like Moses (and me!) and sometimes think God has somehow got the wrong person- there are all kinds of reasons that God surely couldn’t have called YOU! Is it to go on a short-term mission trip or lead a team, or train people, etc. God has more than we need and blesses what we offer to Him. When hearing what the local team and children got out of the week, I was speechless. Not because I think I am so great, but because He has multiplied my offering to Him. God is awesome! Angie says AMEN!
Importance of Local Church Involvement
Caroline’s Promise partners with local churches in the countries they serve. I am excited by the vision of the Vreedenhoop Wesleyan Church in Georgetown, Guyana. To hear of the ways they are reaching out to assist the community and realizing that care about the issues in people's lives, not just to get them through the doors of the church.
(Angie) One hundred members have stepped out in faith to sponsor a Friday feeding program that empowers 100+ children at a primary school with 850+ enrolled students. Love is being lived out and families are being touched by the consistent care shown to them.
The church is showing a great example to churches in the area and the US. The church
demonstrates that they care about domestic violence and child abuse, and lack of
education in areas like Plastic City
(Angie) The complexities of situations do warrant frustration, but compassion is not thwarted. The leadership team has shown amazing resolve to do what they can do while protecting their long-term investment in the community.
The vision to transform Plastic City is awesome! I was excited to hear about the future vision for serving Plastic City. To hear the conversation between Angie and a church member as they dreamed about a large warehouse that could potentially be a future site for a Resource Center, to help transform Plastic City. Will you join us in thanking God right now?
So what are the next steps?
Stage 1 is The community resource center that will serve as the one and only library for the area. It will also be developed to include life skills training for parents and job skills that empower residents of Plastic City an opportunity to change their life and location through micro-enterprise initiatives.
Stage 2 will establish a support system for children who suffer from disease and need
daily medicine supplemental nutrition to keep them healthy and strong.
Stage 3 moves us into the more difficult areas of social support and a haven of healing
for those who have been abused and/or victims of trafficking.
Isn't that exciting? You would be immensely blessed to come next time to Guyana and
be a part of touching lives and being a piece of the transformation. You will get hot and
sweaty and you will hear "Miss, Miss" a thousand times a day as each child wants your
attention...but it is the sweetest sound!
Most of all you will touch lives. Your heart will connect to the life of another and
be forever changed. Your time will not only refuel your walk with God, but it will
encourage the local team that tirelessly works to accomplish the dream God has called
them fulfill. So, are you ready? I certainly am, and I just got back!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Caroline's Promise Christmas Open House
Unique Gifts, Surprisingly Low Prices, Worthy Cause, Free gift wrap!
Sure, you could buy your sister another bottle of her favorite perfume. You
could give your kid's teachers apple-shaped note pad holders to add to their
collection. And, we're sure Aunt Millie would appreciate the hand made doggie
sweater for her precious Fifi.
But, what if this year, instead of just giving gifts, you gave stories? Each
unique, fair-trade item we have to offer comes with the story of the person who
made it. Widows whose "magazine bead" necklaces are providing the income they
need to survive. Single mothers whose hand-crafted purses and jewelry are
putting food on the table and their kids through school. Stunning
mother-of-pearl jewelry made by young women who have been rescued from human
trafficking. Or, the "chip bag" earrings made by a group of school-aged boys who
are paying for their own education. These are just a few examples of the dozens
of one-of-a kind items that will be offered at the Open House, each one made by
people from around the world who are breaking the cycle of poverty, oppression
and injustice with their handiwork.
There is no doubt, your friends & family will love these gifts with a purpose
and you will love the great feeling that comes along with "Smarter Shopping".
Prices range from $5 - $38
Help us celebrate Christmas and learn how you can help us reclaim hope for
orphans! Invite your friends! Door Prizes will be given!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
10am - 2pm
500 Pineview Drive Kernersville
Across from Park Chevy - behind Hams
Contact us if you would like to volunteer at this event
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
In honor of Caroline's Happy Adoption Day, we're asking you to help us support vulnerable children in Guatemala. Many of our kids at Casita are orphans. All of them live in poverty. Daily they are faced with malnutrition.
You can help us change that with your gift of $35 a month. If you've ever considered child sponsorship, I encourage you to do it this month. We need sponsors for 45 children before school starts on January 15th. You can read all about it here.
When I'm in Guatemala I often think of where Caroline would be if God had not placed her in our family. Most of all I wonder, where would we be? I'm thankful that He "interrupted" our life and gave us Caroline. And a greater purpose in life.