Wednesday, February 27, 2013

They Need You

Today at the CP office, we received a list of children that will be attending Casita for the school year 2013. Lisa asked me to go through the list, and figure out the kids who will be returning to the school and who wouldn’t. Not really thinking, I started my job. I went through the new list of kids looking for the names to match up. About half way through, I felt my heart get heavy. I had to mark in yellow the kids who had left the school and I realized the list was starting to become more yellow than I had anticipated. So I did what I always do, I triple checked the list. Still the same.

Lisa came back in from her morning meeting and asked me to read off the list that I had marked yellow. I started reading them off, one by one. I could see the hurt in her face as she pulled out the children’s pictures and put them in a discard pile, and I felt it too. “How is it that these children left the school?” I asked Lisa, she responded quite simply, “It’s the economy.” I thought to myself, how can this happen. How can these children literally go to school one year and not the next. It didn’t make sense.

The sad thing is, these children would probably have stayed in school if they had sponsors. 34 children left the school, 25 of them didn’t have sponsors and the 9 children who did, had to move away with their family to a different area. Sponsorship is a real thing. It keeps these kids in school and gives them a place to learn and grow. No child should be robbed of that, but these children are. Ultimately, everything happens for a reason and God is in charge of that. If you feel that God is calling you to do more or stretch further, this may be an option for you.

I encourage you to quiet your heart, listening for God’s voice, and ask Him if sponsoring a child is something you’re able to do. We can protect these children and give them the education and experiences they deserve with this sponsorship.To see a list of the children needing sponsors on our web page, click here. For more children (and if you are on Facebook) click here.

God Bless,

Natalie

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Craft Camp For A Great Cause


We always love to hear the creative ways people find to raise funds, whether for an adoption or to go on a trip with Caroline's Promise. The ingenuity and creativity of each story amazes us, as we watch God prove His faithfulness when we take that first step in faith. The Soutter family is no stranger to watching God's providential hand. Caroline's Promise was able to award them with a grant when they adopted their son from Guatemala. And when Rob Soutter and his daughter Anna, went on one of the family teams to Guatemala, God provided again. Last year,  15-year-old Anna witnessed first hand how God provided exactly what she needed with her own unique step of faith. While planning a second trip with Caroline's Promise, she started an art camp for kids to help pay for it. It was a great success.

This year Anna is planning on returning to Guatemala and is hosting two more craft camps this summer to help pay for her trip. If you live in the Raleigh area, this would be a great opportunity for your child to make some wonderful art AND help a teen raise funds for her trip. Check it out here!




Friday, February 22, 2013

Uniting A Forever Family

Our journey started 12 years ago, in the spring of 2001, as a 17 year old girl and a 20 year old boy. We had not been dating but a few months when my (now) husband Brian went on a missions trip to Kenya, Africa. He worked with orphans while he was there and came home a different man. He wanted to bring those children home with him. He told me that he wanted to adopt one day. So from the first few months of our dating relationship, we knew this was a calling for our future. For these past 12 years it was always part of our future plans and we just continued to pray that the Lord would direct us when the time was right to start the journey of adoption. In 2007 we had our first son, and then we welcomed our second son in 2010. When our youngest was not even a year old, we began to feel like the Lord was calling us to start the process of adoption. We were led to the country of Ethiopia and sent in our first applications in October of 2011. 

We were concerned about the finances, but had a indescribable peace that the Lord would provide for us. We knew if he called us to this, He would provide! We refinanced our home, paid off our vehicles. We started fundraising and together with our own savings we were able to pay the first $10,000 of paperwork and agency fees. In the spring of 2012 we traveled for our court date and spent a week in Ethiopia getting to know our new daughter!

It was heart breaking to leave her, not knowing exactly when we would be back to get her. We came home and again started to worry about where the finances would come from for our return trip to bring her home. We had already done so much fundraising and had been so blessed by friends and families supporting us financially we were not sure where the remainder of the money would come from. 

We had applied several months back to Caroline's Promise and they had been keeping in touch with us about where we were in our process and how close we were to traveling. On October 9th, we got a call from Lisa informing us that we were receiving a grant to help with our travel expenses! What a blessing! These funds would almost cover our expenses for our flights. The very next day, on October 10th, our case was submitted to the US Embassy for final clearance to bring our daughter home! It was supposed to take weeks to be cleared ...but instead took 2 months. It was a long 2 months of trusting God that our daughter would be home! 

Our prayer from the very beginning was that she would be home before Christmas and before her first birthday on December 19th. We were cleared to bring her home on December 4th and were on a plane a week later to Ethiopia. She stepped foot on US soil on December 15th just in time for her birthday and to spend Christmas with her forever family! I still am in awe at how the Lord provided for us at the right moment each time we were in need of finances. We could not be more thankful that our daughter is home and adjusting so well! She adores her brothers and they adore her. It is like she has always been a part of our family. We are so thankful for this precious gift that we were given! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Partnership Works

Caroline's Promise is blessed to partner with others as they work out God's plan for their lives. Sometimes we don't get to see the end of the story, we only get to walk a small part of the journey with them. While we don't know the end of the story for these ladies, we did get to witness a huge milestone for the sewing ministry at Iglesia Adonai. We wanted to share their excitement with you!

Seven ladies successfully graduated from the sewing ministry last week. They received their very own sewing machine and a Bible. What is amazing to us is the way God weaved so many different groups into the path of these women. When we first mentioned the sewing ministry last August,  we shared that a local preschool had a fundraiser to support the start up of this ministry, that Iglesia Adonai provided a teacher for these women and a space for the sewing classes. We told you about the sweet girl who asked to receive a donation of pillow cases for her birthday party in lieu of gifts...and how the Caroline's Promise mission team last summer helped with the beginning classes....since then Sunday School classes and individuals have donated money to help sponsor the ladies.

All these different groups doing their part toward a bigger goal....today these women have made pillow case dresses that have brought an income to them. They have the skills and tools needed to continue their own sewing businesses. And while each of these women did put money into their accounts from their first sales, what blessed us so much was that they also donated $40 each to the Hope Grows Campaign building fund! One of the participants of the class said, "I am very happy because today I received my sewing machine and a beautiful Bible.  I am so thankful to God and the ministry of Caroline's Promise and all of the people that made this possible.  May God bless all of you!"

Our second group of ladies began classes this week.  In three months they will graduate and receive their own sewing machine.  If you or a group you are a part of would like to sponsor one of these ladies at $150  please donate here, choosing the fund "Guatemala Orphan Projects".  Write "sewing" in the comment box.

We don't know the end of the story for these precious ladies. But we do know the One who holds their future in His hands... Partnership in ministry works, and their story proves how the blessing of one is multiplied to the many. Thank you for partnering with us to provide a brighter future for the women of the sewing ministry and those whose lives are impacted by them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stuck

 "STUCK is a new award-winning documentary film, produced by Both Ends Burning that uncovers the personal, real-life stories of children and parents navigating a roller coaster of bureaucracy on their journeys through the international adoption system, each filled with hope, elation – and sometimes heartbreak.
STUCK steps into the complex human experience of adoption, exploring the challenges faced by birth parents, prospective adoptive parents – and children.
The purpose of the film is to help the average person understand the issues and create a movement that will ultimately put pressure on U.S. officials to force a more supportive attitude toward International Adoption. One objective while we are on the road is to gather over 1 million petition signatures asking congress/global leaders/President Obama to take specific actions to change the landscape of adoption. The petition will be hand carried to members of Congress in the Step Forward for Orphans March in Washington, D.C., which will coincide, with the last day of the bus tour, tentatively scheduled for May 17."

Showings of the film STUCK will be March 2 in Raleigh at the Grand 16 and March 3 in Charlotte at Northlake Mall 14. We would love our Caroline's Promise folks to go to one of these dates, not only to view the film, but also to have the opportunity to sign the petition.

To see a trailer of the movie, click here.

(All quoted information taken directly from the www.bothendsburning.org website here.)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cake Decorating!

From Angie:
I have learned in my time working in Plastic City, to stop looking for the big numbers as a means to measure success because the elation of the big “Wow!” is very short-lived. In order to stay with this work I have turned to celebrate the “one” or in the case of the cake decoration course, the “five.”  These ladies pulled together in class and encouraged one another outside of class.  Every Friday my feet hastened to get there just to be around them to hear them laugh with one another, give advice to one another, and push one another to be a little better.  Friday’s were bright, bright days in the Jetty!
Working hardProud Cake DecoratorIn six weeks ladies found a way to have an apron, a head covering, a bowl, whisk, eggs, limes, icing sugar, cake thimbles and all they needed to bake one cake a week to bring to class.  Some of them borrowed from the community box we established, and gave back to it when they had it later in the course.  Others borrowed from friends, but the bottom line was all of them found a way to have their supplies for class AND purchase their certificate from the distance education arm of the University of Guyana.
Final ClassThere is much, much more to tell, but for today enjoy the gallery of pictures and a video from the first class. To see the video and more pictures, click here!



Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hope Grows 5K & Family Fun Walk!





Join us for this fun, family event on Saturday, April 13Proceeds will be used to build a new school in Guatemala City.  The event will take place at Triad Park in Kernersville, NC.

You can participate in the competitive 5K run, 1 mile or 5K fun run, or 1 mile or 5K walk.  This is a great event for experienced runners, individuals, or families.  You can even bring your dog!  Each participant will be running or walking for a child at Casita Adonai in Guatemala.

Registration:   8am
Zumba Warm Up: 8:45am
5K timed run:  9am
Family Fun Walk:  9:15am

Early Registration by April 5:
5K Timed Race or Walk for an individual - includes a t-shirt:  $25
Family Fun Walk for a family of 4 or more - includes 2 t-shirts  $50
5K Run or Walk for children 12 and under - includes a t-shirt:   $12

If you live out of town or aren't available the day of the race you can walk or run on your own!  $25

Once you register you will receive information on how to set up a personal fundraising page.  Participants who raise the most money will receive amazing prizes!  More details to come!

There will be lots of music, food for purchase, bouncy house, face painting, and activities for all!

Register Today!

Call or email for more information:  336-669-7340  LisaHolbrook@CarolinesPromise.net

The following video shows a day in life of Melany, a child who attends Casita Adonai in Guatemala City.
Hope Grows in Guatemala: Building a School for Casita Adonai from Lisa Holbrook on Vimeo.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Backpacks Arrived!

 Last spring we found a great deal on kids' back packs. We were so excited because this gave us an opportunity to offer backpacks to the children at Casita Adonai! Offering a child a useful tool that is their very own is so special to them. We are excited to tell you that the kids received their backpacks this week!  The parents and kids were thrilled not only for the kind gesture it represented but also because the economy is so bad right now, buying simple things like school supplies is extremely difficult.Thank you for allowing us to share in their joy!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Supplies For The Guys

So many times Caroline's Promise has offered opportunities for you to partner with us in loving the children at Casita Adonai in tangible ways...we love it when God's children from all over the world partner together to care for one another. It feels great! We wanted to tell you about a new way for you to show that love to another great group of kids.

In March, when Lisa heads back to Guatemala, she'll be spending some time with a very special group of people: the teens at Iglesia Adonai! These teens are so awesome! They volunteer at the church in the youth ministry, caring and loving on the kids and becoming a positive influence and role model for them.  The church is having a one day conference for the teens and Lisa will be speaking to them. While there, the church wanted to love on these teens in a special way, and we need your help! While we already have a small gift for the girls, we have an opportunity for you to help out with the guys! We are looking for toiletry items to put in a gift back for guys. Things like razors, soaps, shampoos would be great!

If you or your group would like to collect these items for the guys, please let us know! You can email Lisa at lisaholbrook@carolinespromise.net or if you are local, just drop your supplies off at her gazebo with a note that says these are supplies for the guys. We need to get all items in by March 5, so check your supplies and see if you don't have extra sets of disposable razors, shampoos or soaps that you could donate.

In addition we would love to provide a meal/lunch for them.  If you would like to contribute to this project you can donate online.  Choose Guatemala orphan projects and write "teen conference" in the comment box by clicking here.

Thanks in advance for partnering with us in this way!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Our Bags Are Packed!

Exciting news from our partner missionary in Guyana, Angie!

The time has finally arrived for Tina and I to travel to India for her heart surgery.  Once again thank you to every person who has prayed for the entire process of paperwork. The organization we are traveling with raised funds for Tina's medical expenses and airline tickets and special donors like yourself have taken care of her other needs and my travel expenses.  So many of you have given financially and many churches and Sunday school classes have taken up love offerings to meet our travel needs. Thank you to all who have surrounded us like a family, adding a layer of peace to what now lies ahead of us.    Tina and I depart with a group of 22 others on Friday, Feb. 15th.  We will touch down in Toronto, Canada for the weekend and spend time with the host organization.  Our 16 hour plane ride takes us through Austria on our way to New Delhi, India and travel begins on Monday evening.  The hospital room in India will be our home for the month and we are due to leave India on our return March 10th.  I believe you will know how to pray and God will tune you in to what our greatest need is on a particular day.  For that I am thankful.  In general you can pray for:
OUR TRAVEL
It is going to be a long trip and while Tina feels the adventure now what she does not realize is that every experience, airports, planes, big cities, immigration, hospital stays, new food, new people...will add up to a lot to process!
OUR HEALTH
Pray for Tina to stay well now, free of colds, and for her recovery to be smooth and strong. I already believe that her surgery will be a 100% success and have taken the posture to thank God for this.
You can pray for me that my health will stay strong. I have been warned that India can be rough on the system! Trusting God to supply all my needs so that I can give Tina all she needs.
OUR ENTRY/EXIT IN COUNTRIES
Pray that we pass in and out of countries smoothly and without incident and that all will be safe in every place that we lay our head.
OUR TRAVELING COMPANIONS
Those travelling with us come from all different walks of life and faith backgrounds, pray that will be an encouragement one to another.

Monday, February 11, 2013

And We’re Off... 0 to 5k! Who’s with me?!



 Here's what our intern Natalie has been up to!
This past week in the Caroline’s Promise office we have been very busy! Last Tuesday we had a board meeting, where I presented the pitch for the  
Hope Grows: 5k and Family Fun Walk and we were approved! I am so excited to get the ball rolling on this amazing project. So get ready to have a fun time with friends, family and Caroline’s Promise supporters on  April 13 from 8:00 AM -12:30 PM!


The Hope Grows 5k and Family Fun Walk is designed to raise money, solely for the new school building at Casita Adonai in Guatemala City.  The idea is that each participant at the event will be running/walking for a child at Casita. What is great is that if you sponsor a child, you can run for them! You will get the child’s story and a button with a picture of the child (that you will wear during the race) in your packet pick-up before the event! 


We are really excited for people to start registering for the event and also to start fundraising! When you sign up for the event, there will also be an opportunity for you to start your own fundraising page, where you can raise money for the school yourself! By doing this, not only are you helping the school but we also have  
awesome prizes for the highest fundraisers in 5 different categories! The highest fundraising family will get a prize, the highest male, female, child and group of 10 people will also receive prizes! The prizes are still in the works but they will range from things like a head to toe spa day, basketball tickets, family vacation and more!
 

We really want this event to be fun and not too serious! If you’re not an excellent runner, welcome to the club, you DON’T have to be for this event! We understand that 5ks are popular right now and we want this to be a sort of training 5k for people who want to get in shape and also want to have fun! We will have a one mile route for people who are running or walking and don’t feel like they can finish the entire 3.1 miles... trust us, we get it. The most important goal for this event is to raise money for Casita and to be thinking of the children and the need they are in.
 

Imagine running and just when you feel like you want to quit and give up, you see a sign. The sign reads “Thank you for running for my education” and you see a child's face next to the words, then you realize it's the same face that is on your button! You then think to yourself, that is who I’m running for! That is the child, I will impact! That is the little girl or boy who needs my help! Imagine the motivation you will feel. Imagine the prayers you’ll start praying. Imagine if you had their life. Imagine the love that will fill your heart. You open your eyes, and you realize you’re still running and you’re farther into the race than you ever anticipated. This is the goal for the Hope Grows: Family 5k and Fun Walk, this is the vision we have for the event. We hope you can be a part of that vision and make Hope Grow for the kids at Casita Adonai!
 

Now,  go register! 

If you're wondering what you'll be running and walking for, check out this video of Melany
  Hope Grows in Guatemala: Building a School for Casita Adonai from Lisa Holbrook on Vimeo.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A few spots left on our summer teams to Guatemala

Have you been thinking about going on a summer mission trip?
Two of our teams to Guatemala have a few spaces open but you need to decided asap!

Wilson Community Church is taking a team June 21 - 29, 2013 and they need a few more people.  This team is being led by our amazing board member, Tami Rumfelt and is for adults 18 and up. 

Our camp team is July 5 - 13, 2013.  This team is mainly young adults/adults and we need some men!!!  If you love kids and camp then this team is for you!  We'll take more ladies too:)

Cost for either trip is $1900 and includes everything but passport and personal spending money.  Application and $100 non refundable deposit are due this week.  However, if you are interested and need more time to get the deposit together, let us know. 

Catch all the details here.  Call or email LisaHolbrook@CarolinesPromise.net.  336-669-7340.