Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It's Care Package Time!!!

If you are a sponsor at Children's HopeChest's Trees of Glory or I Care for the Nations, then it's time to get your care packages ready.

Kids at Trees of Glory

Kids at I Care for the Nations

Our team will be leaving next month for Ethiopia where we will spend time with the kids at each of these care points.

This is always a special time and I'm lucky to have been able to deliver care packages to our sponsor child as well as the sponsor children of our friends and family in the past.

Fanosa holding a picture our her sponsor Devin who will be on our trip.

Nick and his parents' sponsor child Mitiku

My Aunt Debbie's sweet girl Muri getting her package.

We are trilled to have this opportunity to once again take a personal package from each sponsor to their sponsor child.
Me with Tigist, Heidi's sponsor child (they will meet for the first time next month!!!).

This is such a fun and special way to connect with your child.  The kids love receiving letters, pictures and gifts from their sponsor families.
So, don't miss this unique opportunity to have your care package delivered across the world to let your child know you care. 
We would like all care packages
to be MAILED not later than
next Friday May 15th.
You should have received a detailed email with instructions on what to include and where to send your package.  If you did not or have questions, please contact me at jirvin79@gmail.com
I can't wait to meet our new little guy Besufekad and his beautiful mom and bring him his first package from his American family!

Let's get those packages in the mail!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Love Like Jesus.....A Challenge

Lately, I've noticed a theme in the sermons I've listened to and the studies and articles I've read.

All have asked this question:
How did Jesus love?

I'm doing Jen Hatmaker's study Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity with the group of women who I'm traveling with to Ethiopia.  It has really challenged us to think about how Jesus loved and what that means for us as Christians.

Jen writes, if we took Jesus' teachings away and just focused on the way He lived, He would still be radical."

So what do we know about how he lived?  What was Jesus all about?

Our pastor put it pretty simply. 
He was about looking, feeling and acting.

Who was he looking at? 
Those in need. 
The ones who are sick or hurting or lonely or outcasts or imprisoned or persecuted or hungry or orphaned or widowed.  The people on the margins. 

What was he feeling?

He felt compassion for them.

I think that many of us are getting these two steps right.  People usually feel compassion when they learn of someone who is hurting or in need.  Surely most of us have heard about or seen a hurting person and felt bad about what they were going through.

But this last step, this last one of acting, it is so often overlooked.

It's easy to do in our busy culture where every day is jammed packed with a schedule full of to do's and lists to check off and carpools to run and commitments to keep.

But this is not how God intended his followers to respond.

James 2:16 says,
If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs,
what good is it?

It is not enough to simply "feel" for someone, we must follow that emotion up with an action.  When Jesus saw the poor, he felt compassion and he did something to meet their immediate need.

My friends and I will be traveling to Children's HopeChest's care point I Care for the Nations this summer to bring care packages from sponsors, donations and food for the kids and their families and hopefully to convey the message that we see them (looking), we love them (feeling) and we are working hard to ensure that they have hope for a brighter future (acting).

There are still THIRTY NINE kids at I Care for the Nations without sponsor families. 

When a care point is not fully sponsored, all of the children still receive some support, but it is at a minimal level.  Things like protein are unable to be added to the diet because the funds are stretched to cover all 150 children at the center. 
Even more heartbreaking to me though is that the ones without sponsors are missing out on that connection with another person or family who is standing in the gap for them, praying for them and encouraging them.
They don't yet know that they are seen.  They don't yet know that they are loved.  They don't yet know that they can depend on someone to help meet their very real and immediate needs for food, education, discipleship and basic medical care.

It is our prayer that all 39 kids will have sponsors
 before we leave.

(Update, 9 kids have been sponsored in 3 days so far! Keep it going.)

So here's the challenge:
***I need 12 people to volunteer to advocate for
3 kids to be sponsored.***
That's it.
Take 3 kids and use your circle of influence to spread the word about this need.
Please email me at jirvin79@gmail.com or message me via facebook
and I'll send you all the details.
Here are my 3!

Esubalew an 11 year old boy

Miheret (means mercy) an 8 year old girl

Tsega (means God's grace) a 13 year old girl.

Look at these faces,
feel compassion for them and

I challenge you to do it for one year.
At $38 a month, that's just $456 a year.
(the average American spends nearly $1100 on coffee per year, $1200 on fast food per year and $2400 on entertainment per year).
If at the end of one year  you feel like your contribution to your sponsor child's life didn't make a difference, you can cancel your sponsorship at any time. 
But, I bet if you engage and commit to making a difference in the life of a child, you will not only change their lives, but yours also.

Plus, if you do it now, we can personally take your child a care package
 and hand deliver it to them.

Click HERE to start your sponsorship today!
And don't forget to contact me to get the names of
3 kid to advocate for.

And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.
Matthew 18:5

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter 2015

I always love to get pictures of my kids on Easter morning.  Easter is one of those days when they all look so nice.  They have learned that this is important to me and so they humor me.

My handsome boys.

They requested this pose because they're so cool!

Our beautiful girls.  All I can say is their dad and brothers are going to be busy
running security in a few more years (well, like 20!).



And the cute one with the dimples.  Little Eli.  Just gets cuter by the day!

I love these kids! 

Happy Easter

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. 
Titus 3:4-5