Thursday, December 26, 2013

Free Gifts With Your End of Your Donation

A Special Gift For You!
On behalf of the Board of Directors and volunteers of Caroline's Promise, and all of the children and families that we serve in Guatemala, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

As our thoughts turn to family and friends we are reminded of how blessed we are to have your support.  Without you Caroline's Promise would not be able to minister.

Many of you have supported our Hope Grows campaign to construct a new building for the church & school in Guatemala.  Thank you!

Will you join us in praying for God to lead people to give an end of year gift to this project?  With less than $20,000 to raise, we are asking God to provide the remaining funds which will allow us to begin construction in January.

As a special gift we are offering these gifts (As supplies last) with your tax deductible contribution.

Receive one of these cute owl ornaments made in Peru with your $25 donation

Receive one of our new HOPE tshirts with your $50 donation

Donate Online or mail your check.  Please write what size tshirt you would like in the comment box or send a note with your check.

Thank you for your continued support of Caroline's Promise and the people of Guatemala!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A sweet answer to prayer

Last week I felt led to spend two days praying specifically for our Hope Grows Campaign to build a new building for the church and school in Guatemala City.  Don't get me wrong - this project is usually at the top of my prayer list.  But I sensed God asking me to pray specifically that He would make the need known to His people and touch their hearts to give.  

Fundraising is such a balance.  On one hand I want to trust that God owns it all and will provide the money in His time, but on the other hand I am reminded that we often don't have what we need because we don't ask.  As I've grown weary in fundraising the past few months my approach has changed a bit.  I've been honest with God about my disappointment and what appears to me to be his "slowness" in answering my prayers.  You see, I KNOW that this building is God's plan.  He's made it clear to me over the past two years.  My latest approach is to ask Him what my part is, do that and then trust Him to do the rest.

Last week He clearly showed me that my "part" was to promote the need and PRAY specifically.  And so I did.  It was such a sweet time with Him.  I'm so thankful for His patience with me.  I began to see answers to my prayers.  People that I would never expect to give, have given in the past week.  Monday was a beautiful example of that.

We were having an Open House at our home when my friend and "spiritual Daddy" Ron Bansky walked through the door.  Ron was brave enough to serve on our very first Board of Directors when David and I presented him with this crazy idea of a ministry that became Caroline's Promise.  He helped us get started and then returned several years later to serve with us again and help take us to the next level.  Ron is one of my biggest supporters and encourages me, no matter what I do.  As soon as he walked in the door he handed me his cell phone and said "Here - talk to my sister Barb."

The week before, Ron had donated to Hope Grows through our Gifts with a Purpose and Barb had received the card acknowledging the gift in her honor.  She began to share with me how she had been overwhelmed with all of the "to dos" on her list that morning.  She was trying to finish writing Christmas cards and just cried out to God about how she wished the focus of the season was on Him and not all of this "stuff".  She said "Lord, I should be writing a Christmas card to YOU!"  That's when she thought of Guatemala and the new building.  The Holy Spirit whispered to her - "Barb, give to that school.  Give to the people who can't give back to you."

Barb was on the phone with Ron when he walked through my door Monday.  She was asking him for the address for Caroline's Promise when he handed me the phone and said "Here - talk to my sister Barb."  As she shared her story with me I cried and told her how God had asked me to pray specifically for Him to lay the Hope Grows project on the hearts of people.  Before we said "goodbye" Barb prayed for the Hope Grows campaign, for the people of Guatemala, and for me.  She asked God to bring in all the money and to surprise me with donations from people I would not expect.  You know what?  Last night I received an online donation and a check in the mail from two people I would never have expected to give.

I love how God works.  How He leads us and is so patient with us.  I love how He uses others to bless us.  I love His timing - even when it seems like he is "slow."  What are you waiting for God to do?  Are you weary of asking and not seeing answers?  My prayer is that He will remind you that He hears you and He is working.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Don't MIss The Caroline's Promise Open House!

We will have an Open House on Monday, December 16 at the Holbrook Home, 1950 Beeson Road, Kernersville, NC.  We are offering two times for your convenience!  9am - 12noon and 6pm - 8pm.  Stop by and enjoy dessert and coffee and great deals on all of our fair trade items.  We will be reducing the prices on a lot of items to get ready for the 2014 product that will arrive soon!  Spread the word and bring a friend!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Story Behind the Photo of the Little Girl

 By now we hope that you've check out our new website! 
We would love to share the story behind the photo of the little girl on the home page.

Her name is Raisa.  In December of 2010 our team met Raisa and her 5 siblings.  They had recently moved into the area near Iglesia Adonai after their parents' marriage dissolved.  The older brother, Max who was 13 at the time had been bringing them to church.  We had the privilege of visiting their home that week and learned that the older children had to take turns caring for the younger kids while their mom worked.  When Keila and Carlos went to school their older brothers, Max & Alex took care of the two little ones.  In the afternoon they switched and Keila and Carlos cared for them while the older kids went to school.  We walked to the rooftop of their home and I naiivly asked, "Do you play up here?"  I'll never forget Keila's response.  She looked confused and then said "We don't have time to play."  So little HOPE in her sweet eyes.

Their mom, Claudia  was doing her best to provide for her family.  We met her on New Years' Eve that year when she attended church for the first time.  Understandably she was a little cautious about us.  Why would a bunch of gringos be hanging out with her kids?  I remember the look on her face as she sat in the church service that night.  I remember how awkward she looked and I thought about how hard her life must be.  What did she HOPE for?  I watched her kids, caring for one another.  Keila, who was 8 at the time - caring for Raisa who was such an unhappy child.

Delmi asked if we could find a sponsor right away for the Keila and Carlos who were old enough to attend Casita Adonai.  I returned home, asking God to provide and He did.  Within two weeks they had sponsors and began their studies at Casita Adonai.  Over the past two years I've watched Keila and Carlos grow and come alive.  They're smart, loving, and caring.  And I've watched their older brothers get involved in youth ministry and outreach.  HOPE began to grow!

Last spring I asked God to help connect me to  Claudia.  I had seen her over the years and she was always so appreciative and made sure to tell me to thank the kids' sponsors.  But I wanted to be her friend.  I was drawn to her but the connection just was not there.  One afternoon Pastor Carlos offered her a ride into the city so that she could take a 12 hour bus ride to her hometown and check on her mother who was sick.  I sat in the back seat of the truck with a team member on one side and Claudia  on the other.  She looked at me, pointed to my shirt and said in Spanish "Do you know that your shirt is on inside out?"  We both burst into laughter!  Just the connection we needed.  And God had so creatively provided!

It felt like we were instant friends from that point on.  She began taking the sewing classes through our Threads of Promise program and I was blessed to see her graduate and receive her sewing machine this past summer. I saw HOPE in her smile as she stood proudly with her kids.   In October I witnessed more growth, not just in the kids but in Claudia .  At the 6th grade graduation the teachers recognized one parent from each class for helping them throughout the year.  Claudia was one of them - standing proudly on that stage.  I learned that she is consistently offering to help at church or the school and that she has bonded with the women in her sewing class. Now she is giving HOPE to others.

During the Sunday morning worship service I glanced over and saw the most incredible site -  Claudia on the back row, arms lifted high, eyes closed, tears streaming down her face - worshipping her Jesus.  It took my breath and Jesus whispered to me "This is why you are here."  Later that day as we shared a seat on a bus I talked to her about music and she said "I can walk into church with so many worries and very little HOPE but when I start worshiping Jesus it all goes away."  We got off the bus in Gerona, a little community where Iglesia Adonai is planting a church and Claudia jumped in to help wherever she could.  When she saw kids being awkward about singing and dancing she encouraged them.  And her kids were there - ministering beside her.  The next day she presented me with bags that she made and wanted to give to
me to sell for construction of the new school.  I was speechless. 

Over the past 2 years her daughter,  Raisa has stood at a distance from me.  The first time we met she screamed every time she saw me.  I have that affect on kids at times!  This past summer she stopped crying and let me give her my peanut butter sandwich.  This past October she decided she liked me and would run to me each time she saw me, screaming, "Liiiiiiiiiisaaaaaa".  When I look at that
picture of Raisa on our website that Hannah took 3 years ago - and then I look at the picture of her on  my cell phone, I can hardly believe it's the same child.  The difference?  HOPE.  The hope that only Jesus can give.

That's what Caroline's Promise is about.  "Reclaiming Hope Around the World."  Not just for kids like Raisa - but for their mamas, their daddies, churches, communities, countries.  It's a privilege to take the HOPE of Jesus to others.

You are a part of Reclaiming HOPE when you pray, give, volunteer, and go.  Thank you.  Without you, families like Claudia's would be hopeless.  

Check out our new website - win a new HOPE Tshirt!

We are excited about our new website and want you to see it!  To encourage you to take a look, we will have a contest Wednesday, December 11 - Friday, December 13.  It's so easy!
1.  Take a look at our new website.  Make note of what you like, your favorite page, etc.
2.  Go to our facebook page or Instagram (Caroline's Promise).  Find the contest post  (pic of the new HOPE tshirt) and comment below it.  Share what you thought about the site, your favorite page, or your favorite pic.
3.  Check back on Friday at 12 noon to see if you won!  We will give one tshirt on facebook and one on instagram.  And if you share either status you will receive an additional entry into the contest.
If you would like to skip the contest and just buy a tshirt today they are $20 and you can order them online.  

We would like to thank Matt King for designing our new logo and Ministry Designs for helping us create such a cool site.  Thank you Stephanie DiMora, Sara Toney, and Stanley for all of your help with the site.  Hannah Capps took many of the photos that we used on the site, including the photo of the little girl, Raisa on the home page and the background image of the area around Casita Adonai.  Hannah is an amazing photographer - you should check out her work at Paper Heart Photo
Thank you Hannah!  When we visited Raisa's family that day, 2 years ago - I knew that God was up to something.  I'm so glad you were there to capture it!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Piece Of The Puzzle

We are so close to getting the necessary funds to begin construction at Casita Adonai! The board members of Caroline's Promise were tasked with raising money by asking within their networks to purchase a puzzle piece for $25. The completed puzzle will hang in the new school, and each piece purchased will have the donors name written on the back. One of our board members had a touching experience with this project and we wanted to share it with you:

"Hi all! I wanted to share with you a really neat experience that I had this week as I have been promoting our puzzle project. I hate to ask people for money. Really I hate to ask people for anything, but I know how important this puzzle project is to CP and this final push to finish up the building project, so I bit the bullet and started really trying to promote it on Facebook as well as sending out some personal "asks" for support. One of the people I sent a personal request to is a struggling single mother. Honestly, I came very close to not asking her at all because I knew her situation but I felt prompted to ask her anyway. I made sure to tell her that her prayers were just as important as any donation she could make so that she would have an "out" if she needed it. She responded back that she would definitely be praying but that things were so tight for her right now that she was literally counting out change at the grocery store. I told her I totally understood, that prayers were the most important thing. I thought that would be the end of it. Nope. After I posted on Facebook again last night, I got a text from this young mother asking "Just how much do you need, exactly?" I told her that each puzzle piece was $25 but that any amount would be appreciated and again that prayers were the most important way to support. She responded back that the $25 was on the way. She had taken her daughter to get her hair done and the hairdresser told her not to pay her anything but to make sure that she paid it forward somehow. The amount she usually spent to get her daughter's hair done? $25.00. That in and of itself was a "Wow!" moment, but then she started telling me that she told her hairdresser that she was going to pay it forward by giving the money to Caroline's Promise and her hairdresser shared that she knows both Tami and Lisa and was SO happy to hear that the money was going to CP.

This was a lesson and a blessing for both me and for this young mother. A lesson for me in that I should never judge God's ability to use people of limited means to do His work and that He will provide the means for them to do it if He calls them to it. It is not my place to make that decision ahead of time, it is just my job to ask. Like Lisa said a few weeks ago, ask, and God will make the impossible possible. And a lesson for this young mother, that God sees and hears our struggles and He will provide over and above if we are just faithful to listen and move. Maybe none of you needed to hear that this Christmas season, but I know I did. Have a blessed week!"

For more information on how you can be a piece of the puzzle (pun intended!) click here!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Have you seen these adorable owl ornaments?

Several weeks ago we offered these adorable Christmas ornaments at a Party with a Purpose.  We sold out before we could tell you about them!  We now have them back in and it looks like we may sell out again.  If you want one please go to our online store and order yours today!  They are located in our "fair trade" section of the store.

We also have these precious Nativity ornaments.  All are fair trade and handmade by artistans in Peru.  If you plan to pick up your order and do not need it shipped simply make a donation online here to the fund "wherever most needed".  Be sure to write what you want and the quantity in the comment box.

 While we're at it we may as well tell you about our beautiful new headbands - handmade my our friend, Oneida in Guatemala.  They are $8 each and help support construction of the new school as well as Oneida's family.  They fit great because of the stretchy elastic and they come in tons of colors and patterns so visit the store and get yours today!

Are You a Piece of the Puzzle?

Our amazing Board of Directors are doing their part to see Hope Grow in Guatemala City!  In an effort to raise funds for construction of the new building for the church & school, they are doing a PUZZLE PROJECT.  For each $25 tax deductible gift, your name will be written on the back of a piece of the puzzle.  Once the 250 pieces have been sponsored and the puzzle is complete, it will be placed in a double sided frame and hung in the new building.  How awesome it will be for the kids to see how many people cared about them!

Are you a piece of the puzzle?  Make your donation to the Hope Grows Puzzle Project by December 15!  Donate online here or send a check to Caroline's Promise, 1950 Beeson Road, Kernersville, NC 27284.  Be sure to mark your check "Puzzle Project". 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gifts With A Purpose For Christmas

Our Gifts With a Purpose have been a hit the past two years!  We are excited to offer three life changing gifts for 2013.  With each donation you will receive this beautiful Christmas Card to give to your loved one, acknowledging that a gift was made in their honor.

    Teacher Gifts:  $10

Are you scratching your head, trying to find a teacher gift for all those wonderful people who invest in your kids? What teacher needs another coffee mug or hand lotion? This Christmas, Caroline's Promise is giving you a way to honor the teachers in your life while helping a teacher in Guatemala. When you donate $10, we'll use it to assist a teacher at our partner school in Guatemala City. These precious ladies make $120 a month and give so much to the kids at Casita Adonai. In return, we'll mail you a beautiful Christmas Card that you can give to your teacher, acknowledging the gift given in their honor.

 Your gift of $125 will sponsor a mama in our Threads of Promise Sewing Program in Guatemala.  Your gift will match her investment and together provide a sewing machine and Women's Devotional Bible.
 Help Build a School in Guatemala:  $25

Our partner school in Guatemala City is in desperate need of a new building, and we've almost reached our goal in raising the funds!  Your gift of $25 or more will help make that possible!

Order your Gifts With a Purpose today!

2014 Guatemala Trip Dates Announced!

Join us in Guatemala Next Summer!

We have just announced dates for our 2014 Summer Mission Trips to Guatemala!  Now is the time to pray and make decisions.  Application and $100 non refundable deposit are due January 31.  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 22.

March 7-15, 2014
Spring Break Trip. Open to adults ages 18 and up. $100 deposit and application due by January 10. Focus of this trip will be teacher training, ministry to kids at Casita Adonai, and help with an area crusade.

June 20 - 28, 2014  General Team.  Open to ages 16 and up.  $100 deposit and application due by January 31.  Team leader:  Tami Rumfelt

June 27 - July 5, 2014 Family and Dental Team. Parent(s) with children ages 10 and up, adults 18 and up and any dental students and professionals welcome $100 deposit and application due by January 31.  Team Leaders:  Stephanie DiMora & Lisa Holbrook

 July 4 - 12, 2014 Heritage Team. Parent(s) with children who were adopted from Guatemala. $100 deposit and application due by January 31.  Team Leader:  Lisa Holbrook

July 4 - 12, 2014 General Team
Open to ages 16 and up. $100 deposit and application due by January 31.  Team Leaders:  Kaitlyn Armstrong & Trish Bansky

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

 New Policy:  Only team members 18 and older will be allowed to serve with CP for more than a week without a parent or legal guardian.  If interested please apply for a multiple week trip.  If under 18 you will be allowed to do back to back weeks if one of the weeks is with your church and one is with CP.

Application is available on our website.  

 The approximate cost for all trips is $1900 per person which includes airfare, in country expenses, and ministry funds.  The only other items you will need to pay for are your passport, two airport meals, and any spending money you would like for personal items.