Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Retro Move...Thoughts From Angie

29349_276643402439298_1074649229_n The last couple of months our senior pastor has been teaching/preaching on the fear of the Lord and the conscience.   It’s been profound and the Holy Spirit has been stirring all of us.  However the momentum hit a crescendo in yesterday’s service as God showed up in powerful and authoritative ways.   While I could share some of those stories with you, I am not sure that words could actually paint a picture that could be understood from the outside looking in.  It’s just one of those times when you just had to be there.

575990_246865312083774_761931175_nHowever one story that I can paint for you involves a 13-year-old girl who lives in Plastic City.  Her family now comes to church and she was recently baptized. As I stepped carefully through the crowd yesterday to talk with her at the altar she told me her greatest need was for God to help her learn to read.  My heart crumbled once again.  Nikki and I have been working with her since the summer and she has the letters and sounds down and memorized some two-three letter words.  As she rested her head on my shoulder and sobbed I just began to pray into her ear.  I asked God to open her mind and cause sounds to connect and words to come together.  I asked him to supernaturally make reading easy for her.  Then I prayed for the shame that silences her and asked God to break that off of her and remind her of who she is in Christ.  Tears flowed down my face as well as my heart was re-broken for the umpteenth time.
tape recorder488007_10151009619559936_331715929_nLate in the afternoon after I reached home my girl was still heavy on my mind.  I silently asked God to give me some fresh ideas – ideas that would give her 24/7 help.  He answered that prayer.  I jumped on amazon to see if the idea was even a possibility and there it was.  A new, but oh so retro, RCA shoe box-shaped tape recorder priced at $20.00 .  Just below it was a six-pack maxell 60 minute cassete tape pack for $6.00.  There is no electricity required with this retro solution – Four AAA batteries will do the trick. I sent off an email to someone due to arrive here in February to see if they would be willing to bring it in with them.  The answer was a yes!  So, before I leave for India my girl will have 6o minutes of sight words, simple books, and phonics to listen to over and over again. I have already decided to ask two of the oldest girls from RCHCC to help me with the project.  They will do the phonics…A says, B says… and they will read the simple books.
All we can do now is wait, see, hope and pray!

Monday, January 28, 2013

"So We Eat A Lot Of Spaghetti"....

This story touched our hearts and we wanted to share it with you. Written by Garrett Tenney, from FoxNews, this article was published on January 23.

"At first, the Sterlings didn't believe the email that reached their Missouri home: Five Peruvian siblings were orphans and needed a mommy and daddy.
It might’ve been scam. But the five hopeful children whose pictures were in the email weren’t asking for money, just making a plaintive plea that worked its way into the hearts of Scott and Lauren Sterling. When the couple checked into it, they learned the children's parents indeed had both died of tuberculosis.
And although they were already busy with two kids -- Scott's 17-year-old daughter from a previous marriage and their 15-month-old girl -- one night. Lauren couldn’t fight the nagging feelings anymore.
“Somebody’s got to do it, and why can’t it be us?” Lauren, 30, said to her husband.
It was pretty much decided then that they were going to adopt the kids, who had struggled to stay together after their parents died some seven years ago. Now they desperately needed some grownup help.The kids had learned of the adoption ministry at the Sterlings' church from a congregant who had met them in South America.
Just last month, the Peruvian branch of the Sterling family arrived in the United States - and their new home in Blue Springs, Mo. The kids are now at four different schools because of their ages, and transitioning to school in America has been a struggle. But their English is improving by the day, Lauren Sterling said, and the boys are looking forward to playing soccer for their schools next fall.

Even though the children only arrived recently, they've been part of the family for more than a year. The Sterlings first laid eyes on the five kids, whose ages range from 9 to 17, over Skype. They learned everything they could about them -- their favorite colors, foods and hobbies and each child’s personality. And they began thinking of them as part of their family. That bond was crucial as the family began navigating the long, expensive and at times emotionally draining process of international adoption.
“We got told 'no' a lot of times, and by then we were already crazy about these kids, so it was a rough part of the story," Lauren Sterling recalled. "And you had to keep trusting that we were fighting for something that you knew was yours to fight for.”

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"If I had the money I would go"

I went on my first short term mission trip when I was in the 9th grade, I think.  Maybe it was the 8th grade.  I'm getting old.   I was part of a state Life Corps team through the Wesleyan Church.  I remember thinking that I'd never be able to raise the money to go.  I can't remember the cost but I'm sure it wasn't more than a few hundred dollars.  It seemed impossible to me.  But I knew that God wanted me to go and I watched Him provide.  That summer I spent a week with amazing people as we sang our way through the south and served at Hephzibah Children's Home in Macon, Georgia.  Hmm......God must have looked down and thought,

"Oh girl - you just have no idea what I have started in you."

For several years I traveled with Life Corps teams.  Sometimes they were musical teams, sometimes they were church planting teams.  Each one gave me new opportunities to trust God and learn to lead.  My first year of college I went to Haiti and got a taste of what it was like to serve in another country.  Again, God provided. And for every trip after that.  As a young youth pastor my trips were paid for, but that didn't mean that God wasn't going to teach me something.  I watched him year after year provide for people who stepped out in faith.  Almost 30 years later I can't tell you how many people I've taken on trips.  What I can tell you is that God provided for every one of them.....except one.  As I watched her struggle to raise her funds and then eventually drop off the team I questioned God.  Within the month we learned that she was unexpectedly pregnant.  God knew she wasn't to be on that trip and He stopped it by not providing the funds she needed to go.  That has happened once.

It really is a joy to watch faith increase.  For the team members and for me.  Because you see, God doesn't ever stop teaching us - if we allow Him.

Last year a high school junior told me she wanted to go to Guatemala with us.  She felt like God was calling her to be a teacher and she loved kids.  But one thing stood in the way......

"I don't have the money"

I gave my speech about trusting God and stepping out in faith and guess what?  God provided all that she needed in a big, powerful way!  Her gift with children is undeniable.  I listened to her share in a debriefing session one night about being a little confused regarding God's call for her life.  Was he really calling her to be a teacher?  I remember praying for God to show her.  One of my favorite memories of last summer was standing outside a classroom in Guatemala City, watching this 17 year old take complete control of a class of kids.  I saw them "eating out of her hand", responding to her love and wanting to learn everything she could teach them.  It was a God moment.  Others saw it too and confirmed this calling on her life.

I wondered if she would return with us this summer and wasn't surprised to get a facebook message from her, asking about the dates.  "What stands in your way?"  I asked.

"I don't have the money"

I reminded her of how she didn't have the money last year either.  How God provided.  And then I gave her ideas of how she could raise the money, including odd jobs and using graduation money.  A few days later she told me she was going.  She was stepping out in faith.  I was so proud of her!

Last night I got another facebook message from her.  "Lisa, I want to share a God moment with you."
Someone who donated to her trip last year received a 2012 contribution letter from Caroline's Promise this past week.  They called her and asked if she planned to go to Guatemala again this summer.  And then.........they offered to pay for her entire trip!

I love how our Father works.  It's never really the same, but it's always personal.  He knew exactly what she needed and He just wanted her to step out in faith.

Honestly, I get tired of hearing it from people who want to go on a short term mission trip.  I get tired of telling my story - of how God will provide.  And that's wrong of me.  You see, this year I have a 14 year old who is going on a mission trip and I have no idea how we are going to pay for it.  I'm feeling the same things everyone else feels.  But we made the decision that he's going.  And guess what?  He got a job for this Tuesday that will help pay for his deposit.  

I think I needed to hear the "God moment" from this student last night.  I needed to be reminded that when we step out in faith to do what God has called us to do - He will provide.  What about you?  What is God calling you to do - that you can't pay for?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Free Webinar!

Resources4Adoption is hosting a free webinar on February 13! Martha Osborne with RainbowKids will be featured discussing special-needs adoptions, post-adoption resources, international adoption issues and more. Space is limited so make sure you register! Click here for more information!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chocolate and Running...Sometimes You Need Both!

Hey all! So excited to fill you in on what I have been up to at the Caroline's Promise office. So far, I have had so much fun working with Lisa and coming up with fundraisers for the new school in Guatemala. Right now, we are talking about chocolate and running... only one of which I actually like. Valentines day is coming up and for those of you who are chocolate lovers like me, listen up, we have an little fundraiser that can not only benefit you but also Caroline's Promise and the summer mission projects we have planned! There are some handmade delicious treats we are selling that range from $4-$30 and shipping is available too! Find out more about the chocolate fundraiser on the CP blog under the post "How sweet it is to do something good!"

Secondly, Caroline's Promise has been trying to plan a fundraiser for the spring and we are thinking on putting on a HOPE GROWS: 5K and Family Fun Run! Our mission for the race and walk is to raise money to build a new school for the children at Casita Adonai. We are making it possible for participants to run in honor of a child that came to your family through adoption or a child in Guatemala. Stay tuned to see if God wants us to continue through with this fundraising idea. We are extremely excited and anxiously waiting to put a date on this fundraiser! Please be praying for Caroline's Promise and our efforts for both of these fundraisers. Don't forget to order your chocolate before we RUN out! (pun intended) God Bless and thank you all for your continued support.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How sweet it is to do something good!

Valentine's Day is coming up and we have a fundraiser that will not only benefit you but also Caroline's Promise mission team projects! We are selling the most delicious homemade chocolate made by Debbie Barwick from High Point. Debbie has a passion for chocolate and helping people and has offered to help Caroline's Promise with her sweet treats. Get your Valentine's gifts out of the way; order these chocolates and the proceeds will go to helping Caroline's Promise fund projects run by our summer mission teams in Guatemala such as, medical and dental clinics, camp for kids, sewing projects for women, and community outreach. 

Choose from a plethora of dangerously delicious treats, like s'mores pops, rice krispy pops, white chocolate peanut butter crunch, truffles and a 1 pound chocolate heart for your valentine this year. Items range from $4 - $30.  Order by Monday, February 4th and pick up on February 10. Shipping is available too!

Check out the sweet treats here!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Local Church Blessing Plastic City

We love seeing the work of the local church in the areas we serve- in Guyana that is Vreedenhoop Wesleyan Church. Last month, the church  had a school supply outreach in Plastic City. Even some of the kids who participate in the tutoring program in PC helped pack and distribute the school supplies. Vreedenhoop Wesleyan members gave out a small pack of school supplies, as well as information about the church. But most importantly, they prayed over the children and families. Lives are being transformed in Plastic City in Guyana!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Welcome Our New Intern, Natalie!

Why hello, my Caroline's Promise friends! My name is Natalie and I am the new intern for CP! I have not started working yet, but I am here to tell you a little about myself and what I will be doing with Caroline's Promise. You can look here for my blog posts that I will post every Thursday to keep you in the loop on how Caroline's Promise is progressing, and also the events that happened for the week.

So to start off, I am senior at High Point University, with a human relations major and a minor in communications. I am very passionate about Caroline's Promise and their goals to help reclaim hope for orphans in third world countries. Specifically though, I am focused on Casita Adonai and the children in Guatemala. I traveled with Lisa, Barbra and Kendall this past October to Guatemala, where I was first introduced to the children, the school, and the visible need they both shared. I automatically fell in love with the children and their happy-go-lucky personalities. You could see that Casita Adonai was a place for them to escape and become children.

When I returned to America, I knew that I needed to contribute and help raise money for the new school. So far I have raised $1,700 and am looking forward to reaching my new goal of $2,000. I am extremely excited to be the intern for Caroline's Promise and I hope you all enjoy the updates and projects I will be working on.

God Bless!


Friday, January 4, 2013

O Happy Day!

"Today, on this last Sunday of 2012, we celebrated the baptism of twenty persons from all ages and stages of life.  It was an extra-special celebration in my heart as three of our children from plastic city were among the twenty.  Nine year old Shania, Ten year old Beni and Thirteen year old Kelly, all three were girls and all three represented a different family.  They all made professions of faith in 2011 at our Christmas gathering and we built on that foundation throughout the year.  Then, in the summer Vacation Bible School, they talked with someone about being a friend of Jesus and we started working one on one with them through the community Sunday School and New Believers class.   Like every other candidate they were interviewed by the board and because they were children their parents had to give them permission to be baptized.

 Kelly, was the second in her family to be baptized.  Her mom blazed the trail with her profession of faith in July, and entered the New Believers class which culminated in her baptism on the first Sunday of  October.  The other young girls are the first in their family, but we are praying that the families will follow behind them soon.  Tomorrow I will share more of their stories, but for today, I just want to soak in the moment and celebrate this happy day!
So, do a little karaoke with me and celebrate our newest family members……………
O’ Happy Day
When Jesus washed my sins away!"
Thoughts from our partner missionary Angie, in Guyana.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Join Us This Summer!

Join us in Guatemala Next Summer!

We have just announced dates for our 2013 Summer Mission Trips to Guatemala!  Now is the time to pray and make decisions.  Application and $100 non refundable deposit are due January 15.  Consider asking for the deposit as a Christmas gift!  There will be an Orientation/Training for anyone who has never been with Caroline's Promise on a short term trip - Saturday, February 16.

Wilson Community Church Team June 21 - 29, 2013 - open to WCC Members Only.

Family Team   June 28 - July 6, 2013.  Open to adults (18 and up) and their children (10 and up)
                                                               Adults without children are also welcome.
                                                               Focus will be dental and medical clinic; kids' ministry

Camp team - July 5 - 13, 2013.              Open to adults (18 and up) and teens (15 and up) with a parent
                                                               This team will partner with the local church to provide a camp
                                                                to kids and teens.

If your church is interested in taking a team please let us know!  We can organize it and provide all of the training.  Read about it here.

Read more about our work in Guatemala and our partner church by clicking the "Guatemala" tab at the top of this page.

Application is available on our website.