Thursday, July 28, 2011

God is on the move in Guyana!

This post was written by our Guyana Country Coordinator, Angie Hemric. It's so exciting to see what God is doing through the church partnership there!

Guyana Bible Society sought us out six weeks ago because someone told them about our work in Plastic City. In combination with overseas partners they have purchased 1000 backpacks to give out to children in all regions of Guyana. The target is the poorest of the poor and their hope is two-fold.

Today was our turn as 90 of our children heard a message of hope and the top 50 faithful attenders from nursery school to secondary school were given a backpack filled with basic school supplies. The Bible Society did not stop there. They gave the gift that keeps on giving….the gospel message in book form and in a short message to our children.

The three representatives of Guyana Bible Society sang songs with the children and shared how God loved each child and made them special. They were still not finished, because in Guyana no party is complete without a meal. They supplied funds for sixty children, but we had ninety. Do you see a problem brewing?

Get ready to be amazed…..

….The same church lady who cooks for the church sponsored school feeding program cooked for us. When we dropped off the wares (pots) to her house we told her thank you for cooking for 100 like she would at school. She looked at us with shock as she said: “I got up this morning and cooked for sixty, but God had other plans I see!” I wonder if her gift of time had anything to do with that? The budget to feed sixty children was $1.50 per child. She served them a cup of rice (or more) a piece of chicken and macaroni salad. In short, she spent all the money on food and got nothing for her service. Can you say givers? God has given us givers!

The next round of amazement will really impact those who have been here before and stood where these ninety children sat. For those who have not made this little pilgrimmage just imagine 90 children in 120 square foot space. I mean, I think my math is right and if not let me be gracious and say 200 square feet. Do you know of a child that can sit or stand in 2 square feet of space for two hours in the hottest part of the day………and be happy? One thing I know for sure is our eight benches, were not enough space. We had big children keeping little ones on their lap, boys sitting on plastic boxes and two broken plastic chairs that made one good one for two children to share. WE WERE PACKED!

It was an exciting day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Precious Video of the Mullis Family Adoption

If you want to see an incredible journey of faith, take the time to watch this beautiful video of the Mullis Family's adoption!

Link

The Mullis Kids Come Home!


Two years ago this month our family began to pray about and to discuss adoption. We decided that what was best for our family was one baby boy. Looking back now, I have to laugh at how little control we had over our circumstances and how God was using everything that happened, from the agency we chose to the people we met to direct us to the two children He had for us.

Yes, I said two.

Not the baby boy we were planning, but a strong, handsome 10 year old boy and a beautiful baby girl. God is funny that way. He takes our plans, turns them inside out and show us exactly what we wanted might not be the best thing for us, but what HE has is so much better.

One month after our paperwork was in Ethiopia, we received word, through another family in our agency, about a 9 year old boy in Ethiopia who was what they called a double orphan. Both of his parents had died. His sister had been adopted through another family and he was completely alone in Ethiopia. So much loss in one short life.

So we began to pray for him. We printed his photo and put it on our fridge. After a few weeks of looking into his eyes and praying for him by name, our 10 year old son spoke the words our whole family was feeling. This boy did not need a family to step forward to adopted him. WE needed to be his family. So we asked our agency to look for him and we waited for 3 long months. He was found and after our agency did their investigation, on October 14, 2010 he was referred to us.

We were given the referral of a precious baby girl a few months later and left on January 17th, 2011 to meet our children for the first time. It was a wonderful week of getting to know them and loving on them. After we gave our consent to the Ethiopian courts that we did indeed want to parent these children, with heavy hearts, we said goodbye and left Ethiopia.

It was 5 long months before we were able to go back and bring them home. On June 19th ( Father's Day) we were greeted at the Greensboro airport by family and friends that had come to welcome the two newest Mullis children to NC.

I am so grateful to the Lord for all of the people He has allowed us to meet as we journeyed through the adoption process. We have been strengthen, encouraged and blessed by many and I am so very thankful to included Carolin'e Promise as a supporter, a prayer warrior and a friend to our family.



Greg and Jackie Mullis and their children, Abigail, Nathan , Micah, Esther and Sarah Faith Mullis are from Kernersville, NC.
Greg is the pastor of Goodwill Baptist Church and Jackie is a full time home school mom.
You can follow our adventures at: www.themullislife.blogspot.com

Monday, July 25, 2011

A little life changed


In December we met Kenzy. Her mother had just passed away from breast cancer and she was living with her maternal grandmother. Grandma was helping out at the school and would bring Kenzy each day. The "kid magnets" on our team tried to get her to smile. But she wouldn't. They tried to get her to play. She wouldn't budge. I'm not sure I ever saw her smile that week. She was grieving. Lost without her Mom.

Her grandmother told stories of how Kenzy would wake up, begging to be taken to her mother's grave. Once there she would refuse to leave. I told Delmi that week, "Kenzy needs to be at Casita." We had an emergency fund that made it possible for Kenzy to start school in January. Delmi told me in April that she was thriving and we prayed that God would provide a permanent sponsor for her.

When we walked into the school a few weeks ago I could not believe my eyes! Kenzy was a different child! There just are no words to describe the difference in her. I found myself over the next few weeks just watching her. She's spunky, full of life, determined. The only time I saw her cry was when she was exhausted one afternoon. Most days I would stop in my tracks when I walked by her because she is just so different!

Casita is a safe place. It's a place of healing where kids can leave the stress of life at the front door and play, learn, eat, grow, and be loved. It's where they find their purpose and know that someone cares for them. I'm thankful that Casita exists for kids like Kenzy.

And God provided a sponsor for her through one of the families on our first team. They are the perfect fit for Kenzy and I can't wait to see how God blesses their relationship!

Caroline's Promise is blessed to partner with churches in Guatemala and Guyana to meet the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in their communities. One way we do that is through child sponsorship. If you would like to invest in the life of a little one like Kenzy, please contact us!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Partnership Works! Building a Computer Lab at Casita




A few months ago Steven Martinez of Pennsylvania contacted his former Bible College Professor, Dan Cruver. Steven's parents are from Guatemala but have lived in the states for years. Steven and his beautiful wife Ashley were planning a trip to Guatemala to visit family and were looking for a project that supported orphans. They asked Dan for ideas and he sent them to us! As we talked we realized that they would be in Guatemala the same time we were! So they worked it into their schedule to visit the school and attend church with us.

Steven and Ashley asked if there was a project that their church, could support. We told them about the computer lab that we are trying to build at Casita and they joined the cause, raising over $1200! We were thrilled to meet Steven, Ashley, and his parents, Osberto and Esther. As we talked with Delmy we learned that her father was actually Osberto's pastor when he lived in Guatemala City! And Delmy grew up with Osberto's aunts. What a small world!

Steven and Ashley joined us for church Sunday where they gave gifts to the kids and saw the beginning of the computer lab. With their support we were able to paint, install all the electrical needs for 10 computers, upgrade the security to the room, build a desk, and purchase office chairs. With the remaining funds we hope to purchase the first laptop.

We've been blown away with how God has connected us to people who have a heart for orphans and are ready to make a difference! If you would like to contribute to the computer lab please visit our website, choose the donate button, Guatemala orphan projects, and write "computer lab" in the comment box.

Thanks Dan for connecting Steven and Ashley to us!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

God provides connections for eye exams


One of the goals of our child sponsorship program in Guatemala is to meet the physical needs of the kids. We've been looking at things we can do to prevent illness and improve the health of the kids. All of them have been receiving vitamins each weekday at school and this summer we implemented daily brushing of teeth. Our teams were also able to purchase and give deworming medicine to the kids which will continue every 6 months. Team one was able to host a medical clinic for the children and their families where they learned that many of the kids were sick, even though they didn't appear to be.

Delmy had told us in the spring that a lot of the kids were complaining about their head hurting. She wondered if their vision was poor. Dr. Amy Harper of Kernersville, NC provided us with an eye chart and medicine for the kids. Our plans were to screen the kids and then hopefully find a place where those who needed further attention could receive a formal eye exam. One day I decided to check the vision center at Wal Mart to see how much an eye exam would cost. Our friend Francisco was with us and told me that his neighbor was an optometrist.
"I can call him and see how much he would charge to come to the school and give exams." he said.
Within minutes I overheard him talking to the optometrist and saying "100 kids." I almost freaked out.
"Francisco - I can't pay for 100 kids to have eye exams! We only need them for those that don't pass our screen." I exclaimed.
"Oh" he said. "Well, his price may increase if he's seeing less than 100 kids."

"What is the cost if he sees 100 kids?" I asked.

"$2.50".

Diana and I looked at each other and said "Tell him to come see all 100 kids!"

Can you believe that? $2.50 for a complete eye exam! The Optometrist came two days last week and will finish with all of the children and teachers this week. So far there are 25 children who need glasses. Can you imagine the difference in their learning when they can actually see? We have had some contributions to help pay for glasses but are still looking for some additional support. If you would like to contribute please visit our website (www.carolinespromise.net) and choose Make a donation. Make a one time gift toward Guatemala Orphan Projects and write "eyeglasses" in the comment box. Thank you for helping us improve the lives of the kids at Casita!

Guatemala Summer 2011

DSC_0137DSC_0114DSC_0081DSC_0074DSC_0060DSC_0055
DSC_0027DSC_0014IMAG0077Waiting for the doctorDSC_1342DSC_1338
WaitingDSC_1332DSC_1330Meds for the free medical clinicEl DoctorDSC_1317
DSC_1308DSC_1286Ruins in AntiguaMayan maskSan Jose Antigua Guatemala Cathedral

Guatemala Summer 2011, a set on Flickr.

The summer 2011 Guatemala family mission trip photo collection is nearly complete! Check it out...

Green Eggs & Ham in Guatemala















































We are blessed to have teachers join us on our short term mission trips. They offer special workshops for teachers and consultation for our partner schools. Several of the kids on our 2011 Guatemala Family Team had Diana Saavedra for first grade at Jones Elementary in Greensboro, NC. The kids thought it would be fun to host a Green Eggs & Ham Party at Casita - just like they did in first grade. Diana was more than willing to help the kids get it together.

The Casita Kids and teachers came to school in their pajamas and made Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat hats. Diana read the story and Denise gave a devotional. Everyone ate green eggs and ham and paraded through the school! They ended up in the new library where they celebrated and Pastor Carlos prayed. t was a fun day for all but especially rewarding to see that God can use our kids to come up with ministry that really works!

Castaway Kid in Spanish - changing lives in Guatemala

































Our friend, Rob Mitchell wrote the book, Castaway Kid to share his life as an orphan. God has used the book to open any eyes to what it feels like to be an orphan. We were thrilled to learn that the book was being published in Spanish and Rob was generous to give Caroline's
Promise 96 copies to share in Guatemala. What a gift!

Last week we hosted a special program for the ladies of our partner church, Iglesia Adonai. Team member, Denise Shelton shared a devotional and all of the ladies received a personal copy of Rob's book, called "Solo" in the Spanish version. The ladies were thrilled and our prayer is that God will use Rob's story to open their eyes and move them to action on behalf of the orphans and vulnerable children in their community. Most of these ladies don't own books of their own. We've been able to donate books that they share but to have their own copy is a true gift! The remaining copies will be shared with pastors in Guatemala.

Thank you Rob for being such a wonderful friend of Caroline's Promise and for giving so much of yourself!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Remember all the Kindermusik Votes?

If you were involved with Caroline's Promise in the past year you will surely remember us bugging you to vote, vote, vote for us to receive a Kindermusik Grant! Well, your persistence paid off and we received $1000 to build a library at Casita. I guess we just didn't understand how few children actually own books here in Guatemala. We've checked prices while we've been here and a book that would cost $8 in the US is around $28 here. That's crazy!

With the Kindermusik grant we were able to purchase books from Usborne Books and they matched that 100%! New Life Church in Maryland contributed money that allowed us to purchase beautiful Christian books this week. When we arrived in Guatemala we got busy cleaning and painting what was once a storage closet. Our teams sorted and coded the books, recorded books on cd, and helped the teachers develop guidelines for the use of the library. In the end over 300 books filled the room, including excellent teaching resources and learning guides. On Thursday afternoon the first graders filled the room as Pastor Carlos dedicated the library.



Thanks to everyone who contributed to this project. We believe that these books will change the lives of the kids at Casita!

Friends, yarn and new hope for kids at Casita!


Douglas and Oneida live in the community around Iglesia Adonai with their three beautiful girls. They serve daily in the church and are in many ways the "right hand" of Pastor Carlos and Delmi. The job market in Guatemala is far worse than in the states and Douglas has been without work for a long time. He has been an angel to us this week - accompanying us everywhere we go, assisting with work projects, and becoming our friend. Douglas is intelligent, practical and a true servant. As the church and school treasurer he is a vital part of the ministry. We are thrilled that Douglas will be helping with our child sponsorship program at Casita. This will provide a little income for Douglas. Will you join us in praying for a more permanent job?

Oneida is an excellent seamstress and has taught many women in the church to sew. Her next project is to teach the older girls at Casita to crochet. While they learn a new skill there will be many opportunities to talk about the girls' lives and the power of Jesus to help them.

Caroline's Promise will put the finished products into our fair trade inventory, allowing you to join the partnership by purchasing beautiful handmade items. Of course all of this would not be possible without the generous donation of yarn from our amazing volunteers and friends at Caroline's promise. God used our short term teams to complete the project by purchasing the remaining tools needed.



Oneida and her girls also made beautiful head bands and bows that Caroline's Promise will add to our fair trade inventory in August.

This is a beautiful example of partnership and empowering struggling families to use their talents to provide for their families.

A life redeemed in a bus


While our team spent the afternoon in Antigua, Douglas and Clemente stayed at the bus. A 16 year old girl named Dexie approached them with food that she was selling. She began to tell them her story of her anger toward her parents and how she had left home. Over the course of the next hour and a half Douglas and Clemente shared Jesus with her. At the end of their time together Dexie asked Jesus into her heart.

Will you join us in praying that God will bring others into her life who can disciple and help her with her new found faith?

New Ideas in Guatemala

Several months ago Delmi Rivas, founder of Casita Adonai visited Caroline's Promise in North Carolina. While she was there she learned how local preschools have consignment sales in an effort to raise funds for their school and help the community. Although this concept is foreign to Guatemalans, Delmi was adventurous and told us to give it a try!

More than a year ago one of our grant families donated a lot of clothes but we just weren't able to take them until now. A group of ladies from Shady Grove Wesleyan tagged all the clothes and once we were in Guatemala we explained the sale to the parents of the kids at Casita. They caught on quickly and were excited to participate. 11 women consigned their clothes, raising money for their families and approximately 100 people attended. In the end over $400 was raised for the school. That's a lot considering all of the items were under $1.00! We are excited that these ladies are learning how to give back to the school and Caroline's Promise is excited to present new ideas versus handouts. Our friend Oneida worked closely with Barbara, Lea Ann, and Debbie and is ready to have another sale at Casita! The ladies are asking for a ladies' consignment sale.

Each July and December the school is required to pay the teachers and staff one month extra salary. This money will go toward that expense. Thanks to everyone who helped before and during the sale!

Heather's Thoughts


We were blessed this trip to have Heather Tuttle join us. She has amazing experience, having taught in Korea and a very poor area of High Point. Heather organized our library, taught math classes, helped organize the teacher supply room, painted a lot, and fell, in love with a little girl named Jennifer at Kairos House. Thanks for assisting with our Teacher Team Heather! It was great to get to know you!

"This week in Guatemala has gone by so quickly. I'm amazed at what God is doing here. Especially at the school, Casita Adonai. The thing that has stood out to me the most is the students' spirits. Thougt they are living in extreme poverty and many of them are orphans, each one of them has such a pure and innocent heart. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of what God is doing here. The Bible talks about how God brings beauty out of ashes and that is exactly what He is doing here!"