Friday, September 21, 2012

A Step Of Faith

I've had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala with Caroline's Promise a number of times.  However, this year, I was able to experience a CP mission trip in a whole new way.  I had the honor of leading a mission team from Wilson Community Church in Wilson, NC.  It was the first mission trip this young church had ever taken and most of our team members were brand new to missions.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't quite intimidated initially about taking on this responsibility! Here I was, relatively green as a leader, taking a group on their first trip!  What if everything went wrong?  Would they blame me?  Would they blame Caroline's Promise?  Would they decide that missions trips were all bad?  Thankfully, God reminded me I wasn't really the one in charge.  He had placed the Holy Spirit at the head of our group and as long as I followed His leading, everything would be just fine. 

Actually, it was better than fine. Our team worked together beautifully and we were privileged to witness a number of "God Moments", evidence of His deep love for the people of Guatemala and the kids, teachers and administrators at Casita Adonai.  Our team members were so deeply impacted by the experience that many of them have now sponsored children at Casita Adonai and some are even planning a return trip next year!

Caroline's Promise can help facilitate a mission trip for your church or other Christian organization.  We'll provide a team leader and take care of the paperwork and travel arrangements so you can focus on ministry and outreach. If you're interested, give us a call or send an email for more information. 
Written by, Tami Rumfelt

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

PAL Kids Get Textbooks!

On Saturday the first group of PAL children made their way to town to purchase their school textbooks and believe me when I tell you this event sized up to be about a lot more than just textbooks.  This day was about:

Simple smiles of thanksgiving
Big brown eyes of shocked belief
Words of thanks from hearts so deep
Walking tall in dignity

Bianca is one cousin in a sea of ten more who all live with their mothers and no fathers.  At eight years old she is the one lone cousin that has made up her mind to attend PAL consistently.  Saturday she reaped the benefits of that decision and joined sixteen others on a trip to Georgetown. She returned home with a backpack full of school textbooks totaling $20. I have a feeling we will be seeing more of her cousins in PAL, and one day, they tool will benefit. 

Ryan, is one of our five consistent high school students that attends PAL. He has lost both of his parents and is in the care of his 22 year old sister. As a 10th grader and one who has his eyes set on education after High School, $55.00 for High School textbooks was a huge educational obstacle. That obstacle got demolished this past Saturday thanks to sponsorship. Now Ryan can follow along in the classroom and also study for his 2013 college exams at home. He has now been empowered, not only with textbooks, but with hope! 

There is an old Chorus that says."In His Time. In His Time.  He makes all things beautiful in His time." It has taken three years to reach this point, but God has been showing us the way forward.  Now, for the first time ever, children from nursery school to high school are talking about what they want to be when they grow up and gaining the confidence to believe it.  

Together we will rise higher than we are right now! To all who promoted the sponsorship of textbooks and all who gave $25 to help a child walk in dignity - Thank you!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Win a Mission Trip to Guatemala!

Have you always wanted to go on a mission trip?  2013 may be the year for you!

Hope Grows is our campaign to build a new school for our kids at Casita Adonai in Guatemala City.
Our goal is $80,000 by the end of October.  We are looking for at least 20 individuals and families to set up a fundraising page and invite their friends & family to contribute to Hope Grows!  If you raise $1000 by the end of October you will be entered into a drawing where one blessed person will receive a mission trip to Guatemala to be used in 2013.

It's so easy!  Simply go to this link and register to get started!  Then post your personal link on facebook, at the end of your signature in your emails, and anywhere else people will see that you are part of Hope Grows!  You can even send emails from your fundraising page, inviting your friends and family to contribute to the cause!

What are you waiting for?  You can be a part of the miracle! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ministry Dreams Coming True for Young Adults in Guatemala

Caroline's Promise partners with a church in Guatemala City, Igelsia Adonai.  The Pastors there are Carlos & Delmi Rivas.  Delmi is a dreamer.  And she dreams big dreams for the people in her church and community.  I can relate.  I'm a lot like Delmi.  In fact, our husbands sometimes roll their eyes when the two of us get together and dream.  I've known Delmi for eleven years and was thrilled when God made it clear that we were to partner with them in Guatemala City.  Often God will confirm this when Delmi opens her mouth to share a dream that she's had and I've had the same dream.

Delmi's church has a girls' choir.  They are led by a young adult, Omar, who is amazing.  This young man is so gifted in music and with kids.  Each time I visit the church I secretly hope that the girls' choir will sing.  It's been a great opportunity for girls who are talented and just need someone to invest in them.  Many of the girls in our child sponsorship program are in this choir.

Last year while we were talking about the choir Delmi shared that she had another dream.  Surprise!  She dreamed of a dance ministry for girls where they would learn how to worship Jesus through dance, learn their value and beauty, and realize how beautiful they are.  I asked her what stood in the way of starting the ministry and she responded "dance clothes and shoes."  That's it?  That's all you need?  Something so simple.

When I returned home I contacted Robin Thompson, who owns In His Company Dance in Kernersville, NC.  Robin was more than willing to set up a box and collect dance clothing and shoes.  She even took up an offering at their spring dance recital.  And that's all it took to start a dance ministry at Iglesia Adonai!

Anna Rocia on the left leading worship with team member Rebecca
This summer our teams delivered the dance supplies and I asked Delmi who she had in mind to teach the classes.  "Anna Rocia"  she replied.  I know Anna Rocia,  Like Omar she is gifted with children.  When she leads the kids in worship they engage in a way I've never seen.  I think it's because Anna Rocia truly worships when she leads those kids.
One day I asked Anna Rocia, "What other ministries are you interested in?"
"Oh - I would love to teach the girls dance."  She replied.
"Really?  What keeps you from doing that?"  I asked.
"Well, I'm not sure the pastors would want us to do that."
"Anna, I happen to know that it's a dream of Delmi's to have a dance ministry at the church."
Her face lit up as she looked to her friend with excitement.
"That's great but we don't have the supplies to start the dance ministry."
"Now you do" I said.  "There is a huge bag of dance clothes and shoes at Delmi's house waiting for you."

I wish I had taken a picture of her face.  It was priceless.  A young adult realizing that her dreams of ministry were about to come true.

A week later Anna Rocia messaged me on facebook to tell me that they were going to have their first dance class.  They are meeting in her home and by the looks of the pictures she has sent, they may run out of space and have to move to the church soon!

I guess this whole experience has been a reminder that when we partner - truly partner with churches in other countries, it's not really about our ideas and dreams.  It's about theirs.  It's much more fun to help their dreams come true; to invest in them and work behind the scenes to make sure they have what they need, to do what God has called them to do.  You see, I love those girls at Iglesia Adonai.  I believe in them and I pray for them.  But I won't be there on a weekly basis to pour into them.  Anna Rocia will.

Thank you Robin Thompson and In His Company Dance for making this possible!  I can't wait to send you video!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Local Business Serving Guyana and Guatemala Kids

We are so excited that Kaylyn Van Camp and Dunlap Love have chosen our kiddos in Guyana and Guatemala as their next project!  They are creating plush toy animals to be given to the children in Guyana and Guatemala, each one with a child's name on it. For these kids, a toy is a rare treasure. We would love to show our appreciation to Kaylyn and Dunlap through our support of their business. If you're in need of a unique and fabulous gift for birthday/Christmas or other special occasion, check them out! To read the story of how they are helping the children and how you can support their business, click here!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ladies' Group Helps Church Recover From Break In

Projector being used for the first time at Iglesia Adonai
Members of The S.T.A.N.D. (Sisters Touching A Need Directly) circle group from Shady Grove Wesleyan Church in Colfax, NC were troubled when they learned that our partner church in Guatemala City, Iglesia Adonai was broken into.  They lost over $2000 in equipment that is used for ministry at their church and in their church plant.  The ladies decided to do something and hosted their first 5k walk on June 2.

The church was blessed when one of our summer mission teams delivered the money and helped them purchase a new projector and portable sound system.  The members kept saying how blessed they were to have people in the US who cared enough to host a fundraiser to help them.

Thank you ladies from S.T.A.N.D and everyone who supported the 5K!  You are a beautiful example of how any group can make a huge difference for others!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ways to Help us Build Casita

The task of raising $80,000  in 2 months for the new school building at Casita Adaoni seems overwhelming......when we try to do it on our own.  When we take the time to remember that this is God's dream for the kids and we trust that He is able to do the impossible, our faith increases!

There is a balance between trying to raise the money on our own and giving God room to do it.  We have been asking God how we should best invite you to partner with us.  This post will give you practical ways to help us build Casita Adonai!

*  Pray!  Join our Facebook Event - Fast & Pray For Casita Adonai.  You will join a group of people from both Guatemala and the States who are committed to fast and pray for this project.  Weekly updates will be sent and we will all join hearts and pray specifically each Wednesday during the month of September.

 *  Fill a Bank!  We filled this little bank with change and it totaled $85.00!  Contact us to receive your bank or better yet, get your school, church, or scout group involved.  We have 80 banks that when filled will total at least $6800!  What an easy way to support this project!

Organize a Fundraiser:  Let us help you organize and promote a fundraiser.  There are lots of ways that your group can host a fundraiser and help us reach the goal!

*  Ask your church to get involved:  Many churches have mission funds or civic and church groups have money set aside for special projects.  Often these groups are looking for special projects to contribute to.  All you have to do is ask!

Set up a Personal Fundraising Page:   We can help you set up a simple webpage that can be posted on facebook and sent through emails.  This is an easy way to invite your friends and family to support what you care about!

Contact us today and let us know how we can help you advocate for Casita Adonai!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Change for Change!

You know that change that's in your car, purse, kitchen drawer?  What if you could put it to good use?  We gathered change around our house and filled this little bank.  We were shocked to find that it totaled $85.00!  Just our loose change!

That got us to thinking that if we found people to fill the 80 banks that we have, it would total $6800!
It's such an easy way to raise awareness and raise funds for the new building at Casita Adonai.  Read about the need here.

Here are some ideas:

*  Put a bank on your kitchen counter and ask your family members to put their loose change inside.

*  Get your kids to go through the house and car and look for change.  Hey, you might get your car cleaned out!

*  Invite your Sunday School class, scout group, or school group to join you.  Create a contest with a prize for the child who brings in the most money.

*  Put the bank on the counter of your business.

Our goal is to raise $80,000 by the end of October.  Your change can make a big difference!  Contact us at  LisaHolbrook@CarolinesPromise.Net or 336-669-7340.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A New Building For Casita Adonai!

Casita Adonai is our partner school in Guatemala City.  125 of the area's most precious kids attend this school where they are taught, loved, and protected.  Many of you have stood in the school while it rained outside and watched the water pour in and flood the school.  In addition, we have outgrown space for new classrooms.  If we do not do something soon, our fifth graders may have to go back to the area public school.  We have known for several years that the situation was getting desperate.  

This summer we met with an architect and plans have been drawn for a three story building.  The current building will need to be torn down, a new foundation put in place to accommodate future growth, and then the first floor could be built.  This part of the school will accommodate preschool - sixth grade and pave the way for a second and third floor to be added in the future.  The first floor would also allow us to offer 7-9th grades if the Lord leads us to.

An estimate for the first phase is $100,000 of which Caroline's Promise has $20,000.  That means we have an exciting opportunity to watch God provide $80,000!  It will take a miracle but our goal is to raise the funds by the end of October so that construction can begin when the kids finish school and be complete by the time they start the new year in January.

We are asking you to partner with us.  I realize that there are plenty of worthy projects to support in your community and around the world.  I simply ask you to pray and ask Jesus how He would have you be involved.  We will post ideas in the next few days of ways that you can help!  For now, if you would like to make a donation please visit our giving page.  Choose one time donation and the fund "Guatemala Orphan Projects".  Please write Casita in the comment box.  Thank you for your support!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Oaks of Righteousness

One Sunday morning in the Spring, I was in a church service, enjoying our time of worship.  Often my mind drifts to the kids in the countries where Caroline's Promise serves.  This particular Sunday I was overwhelmed by the need in Guatemala City for a new school building for Casita Adonai.  As I was praying for our partner church and their needs, I realized that we were singing a song about Jesus being our healer.

"Nothing is impossible for you.  Nothing is impossible."

I realized that God was clearly reminding me that all things, even this new school building, are possible for Him.  

As I continued listening to the lyrics about healing, I sensed God saying that He would use the new school to heal the community.  I asked what He meant, and almost immediately I was given a vision.  The current school building changed - and I saw a new building with multiple levels.  It was beautiful and full of children.  My doubt came back and I said,

"But God - a building like this will make the school a target for the gangs that are active in the area."

I sensed God saying that the school would not be a target - but would be a light to the community.  Since we don't currently have the resources to build the school, it will be obvious to all that God built it; that He provided everything needed.  And people will be drawn to the church and school.  They will be drawn to God.

In the vision I saw a current student, but she was a young adult, walking with a husband and two children to church on a Sunday morning.  I sensed God saying that, just as I have invested in youth and watched them grow into adults-with children of their own, serving God - so I would live to see the kids at Casita do the same.  

I quickly wrote the vision down and spent the next few weeks asking God to provide a scripture to confirm it.  A month later He led me to Isaiah 61. I've read this chapter many times but I could hardly contain my excitement as I read it in relation to Casita Adonai!  When you have a few minutes, please take the time to read it.

Verse 3 really stood out to me:  

to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor. 

Over the next few weeks I couldn't get the image of "Oaks of Righteousness" out of my mind.  One of our CP Board Members and Guatemala team leaders challenged me to share the vision with the adults at the church in Guatemala this summer.  I resisted, not wanting to draw attention to myself.  However, God made it pretty clear on a Sunday morning in Guatemala when it was my turn to share after one of the youth on our team.  The teen shared how God had given him amazing parents who had led him to Jesus and helped him to grow into an "Oak of Righteousness." God opened the door and I walked through it.  I shared my heart for the church and school, the vision God gave me, and Isaiah 61.  I talked about partnership and believing God to do the impossible.  

Over the next two weeks I watched God use Isaiah 61 to change lives.  Children began to believe that they were Oaks of Righteousness and adults accepted the challenge to nurture them.  

Banner made by our first Sewing Class for Moms. Leaves were made by children at Casita Adonai
Not a day goes by that I do not claim God's promise - the vision that He gave me that Sunday morning.  It's such a powerful thing and an honor to be able to partner with the church in Guatemala as these children become Oaks of Righteousness.  Will you join us?