Wanted to feature a group that is fighting for something I feel very strongly about. Tiny Hands International (recommended to me by a friend) is an organization that works with orphans, street children and sex trafficking and as they say ‘committed to finding the greatest injustices in the world, and working towards relieving them however possible’.
The fact that these children are hurting is hellish beyond words. The fact that there is those that love them enough to help is beautiful. This is a relatively small organization and I would love it if I/we could help get the word out and increase their prayer, monetary, and volunteer support. There site has lots more information.
I was so excited to find these guys and their blog!
This is a pic of the couple (taken from their website with permission)
In their own words:
We are a recovering, 40-year-old, Type-A couple who learned that living large is not necessarily living well. We did all the typical things people do in their 20s and 30s: climb the corporate ladder, get married, buy a house, get divorced, climb the ladder some more, get married again, accumulate more crap, and keep repeating the process like hamsters on a wheel.
We were in love with each other but not with our lives.
After a serious wakeup call, we decided to focus on what matters and get rid of everything else.
What we kept:
A sense of adventure
What we trashed:
Everything that would not fit into our backpacks
Living by someone else’s rules
Debt and obligation
What do you get when you do the math from that equation? An open-ended trip around the world.
How cool is that! Check out their blog and follow it with me (if you aren’t already… because they are so cool).
They are living their dream. Your dream might not be travel, but as long as your dream includes something beyond the treadmill of the familiar and easy, these guys have hints, tips and even a BOOK to help you. I really like these guys because my dream is travel too.
I read their book in the past few days and really enjoyed it! It is practical and fun.
Do you have a favorite blog or your own blog you would like to share?
This past sunday the kids went to play at grandma’s for the day and Bryon and I wandered kid-less for a few hours downtown. These are some of the pictures he took.
I want to start off by saying that in no way am I saying that anyone needs to be more than a mom to be fulfilled. I am a stay-at-home mom. I am also not saying that being a mom isn’t super important to me. It is my biggest responsibility and my greatest job.
That being said, I am more than a mom.
Becoming a mom is the single largest identity change. Graduating from college, getting married, getting the corner office, none of these are close to the social change that comes from becoming a mother. (probably the biggest personal and physical change too)
I was someone before I had kids, and I will be someone after they leave home. I want my life and how I see myself as well as others and society to remember that identity.
I am not talking about doing, this isn’t a post about working or non-working mom’s, I am talking about who I am.
Sure the world is going to end, but convinced I need to trust God and enjoy life, only dealing with what can make a difference and not stressing about what I can’t change… or packing cans in the basement. … this isn’t a problem we can work out or plan for beyond staying close to Jesus.
Accepting of others but unsure how to culturally meet several
Live life in fast/happy or slow/sad swing
Don’t watch TV or movies much, I get too emotionally drained
Don’t watch or read the news (see #15)
Believe that most of life is what we create, how we respond and what glasses we choose to look through
Not near as strong or healthy as I wish I was, but determined to keep working on it
I don’t spell very whell
Have been in 7 countries and really hope to multiply that by 10 or so if I get the chance
Love my life
In love with my husband more than when we were married
Really this is a post about stereotypes (motherhood is just the big one I see everyday). It is hard with human nature to look beyond them. But, I am learning the joy of taking the time to look past the outside and obvious parts of a person and finding some of their true self. Often, even though the outside/obvious person doesn’t seem similar or have ‘friend potential’, the inside has pieces identical to mine.
Kive is a super cool organization. I have ment to loan to them for well over a year, but finally got to it today. I have given to this lady to help her with her dairy business.
As I am typing this I am realizing that it is probably kind of strange for me to be giving her money for a dairy business when I am trying to be vegan . I liked her and I liked the fact that she had been already working for a while and her motivation was established. I like that this is helping her become self-sufficient and my money has the potential to change her life as well as years down the line to her kids and grandkids. Dairy doesn’t have the same animal cruelty issues in other countries and its high calorie content is much more needed. There is lots more projects and stories.
We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Learn more about how it works.
Since Kiva was founded in 2005:
633,471 Kiva lenders
$252 million in loans
98.90% Repayment rate
We work with:
143 Field Partners
450 volunteers around the world
60 different countries
Why we do what we do
We envision a world where all people – even in the most remote areas of the globe – hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.
We believe providing safe, affordable access to capital to those in need helps people create better lives for themselves and their families.
How we do it
Making a loan on Kiva is so simple that you may not realize how much work goes on behind the scenes.
Kiva works with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. One hundred percent of your loan is sent to these microfinance institutions, which we call Field Partners, who administer the loans in the field.
Kiva relies on a world wide network of over 450 volunteers who work with our Field Partners, edit and translate borrower stories, and ensure the smooth operation of countless other Kiva programs.
For this post I wanted to get pictures of our feet representing how we need to focus on where we are at presently. I love these shoes of Lily’s. It was cold and getting dark so she wouldn’t take off her socks like I wanted.
I am excited to write this post. This is something that God has probably been trying to teach me for years, but it is only now that I am really ready to understand and rest in it.
I want to work for God. I want to make a difference in my world. I have spent most of my adult life trying to figure out how I can achieve this. As a family we have looked at lots of mission calls, and lots of ‘mission’ jobs here at home. I read about people helping orphans or doing relief work and I want to be part of it.
My boy will take off his shoes and socks and play in the grass no matter how cold it is outside
For all these years it has never worked out. I am ok with that and assume God has something else we are supposed to do, but I am always looking, always wanting the ‘change’ to ‘true’ service for God. I completely understand that my family and my kids are my ministry, but there is so much pain and hurt in the world I want to try and help.
The problem with always looking for ‘the call’ is that I am living in the future. I am focused on what I could do, or what I might be called to do, and everything I am doing now has just been a time filler till something else.
What I have discovered is that this is dangerous for both my sanity and simplicity, as well as my position and relationship with God.
My husband never takes off his shoes, here he is standing on the slide at the park. Thanks for playing along baby!
A common saying in our culture is ‘Don’t just stand there, do something’. God however calls us to ‘Don’t just do something, stand there and focus on me’
We try so hard to work for God that we don’t have a chance to know God. And, if we don’t know Him, how can we really know what He wants us to do?
We learn about God, and we grow to want to serve Him, but all to often, we jump from one to the other without getting to know Him in the middle. Once we fill our life with lots of ‘good-God-work’ we don’t have the time to ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ Ps 46:10
Here are my feet with my home-done toes. I love red! Usually looks better from a distance… up close they look pretty messy.
So What Does It All Mean?
Our society has us living in the future… when I get past this busy time at work…. after the kids get potty trained…. after I get at least one good night sleep…. when I am finally out of debt…., and I was taking the same problem to my spiritual life.
We have to live in the present. Live in the present with our kids, our finances, our life, and our God. It is a simple law of biology and physics, there is only mental energy and time for the present.
God wants my worship and service today, maybe just this hour or this minute. It isn’t that we shouldn’t wish to make a difference for Him, it is that we need to focus on what He wants us to do now.
I would love to personally pack up and ship out, but I can’t right now. I wanted to write about how we are, AND how you can, pack up and ship out a Christmas gift(s) to a child(ren) around the world. It is super easy. Here are the steps you need and some pics of my kids packing. How to pack a shoe box
First go shopping for fun toys, (and other things mentioned on their site). I loved this pic of Ian!
Here is the good pic of him with his cars
Here is princess Lily shopping for a little girl. We found a bunch of stuff at Target in the dollar section.
Next, get packing. Here the kids are going through stickers. Stickers are fun for kids everywhere and we send lots of them ever year.
Candy is super important…. but it is also important to double bag it and make sure it isn’t something that will melt if it gets to hot. We usually stick with these smarties that are everywhere in big Halloween bags now. … I got candy canes mailed to me when I was overseas several years ago and they melted all over the whole package…
Get packing. Grandma made us a king’s cape for Christmas last year and Ian now calls it a ‘super-hero’ cape and has worn it for several days in a row… I think he may be sleeping in it as well. He is so funny. He is also sporting his Canada shirt proudly for mommy that we got on our vacation last summer.
This is Ian’s favorite toy from the collection.
Lily packing her princess box.
Ok, this is important. After the boxes are packed they ask that you put in a check for $7 per box. If you are like me and don’t want to just send a check with all my bank info on it AND if you want to be e-mailed to find out where your box was sent you need to follow this link, donate on their website and print out these labels.
After your box is all packed it can be mailed or sent to a drop off location for collection the week of Nov 14-21.
There you have it! Get some Christmas shopping done early and make a childs year. With each box they are also told about Jesus and get Bible studies. It is such an amazing ministry and a great thing to get the kids involved in.
I wanted to help raise awareness of some huge world issues by highlighting some amazing things being done. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when I hear of all the pain that so many people live through, but there is so much hope when people allow themselves to be used by God to be His hands. Women especially have a hard time and I am excited to hear how this program is helping. If you know of another great project that is making a difference, let me know! Here is a link to the full article.
SILVER SPRING, Md. – In Bangladesh, women and girls struggle for equality due to patriarchal traditions of the country. This results in a minimized role in decision-making within family and social structures, leading to marginalization in a variety of areas, such as education and health. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is improving the health status of women and their children through nutrition, hygiene, and skill training programs.
In the slum area of Mirpur, a suburb of the Bangladesh capital city Dhaka, ADRA is training new mothers and pregnant women health and nutrition methods to improve health conditions. Women are taught the importance of taking adequate care of themselves as well as their children through proper feeding, basic hygiene practices, monitoring children’s growth, and properly vaccinating children to prevent disease, such as polio. ADRA’s training has benefitted approximately 2,000 women and 500 severely malnourished children under the age of five, and an additional 10,000 household members indirectly.
For a number of years, a young mother by the name of Nargis (pictured above) and her husband Abdul Goni, have been living in the Chalantika slum with their three young children. Nargis expressed her family did not maintain proper hygiene within the home and admitted hand washing with soap after bathroom use was something they were not familiar with. A significant change in their lifestyle came after ADRA made a community visit to their home. Shortly thereafter, Nargis began attending ADRA’s hygiene, sanitation, and literacy classes.
Since joining, Nargis is now preparing nutritious meals for her family and monitors her children’s growth and health. She boils water to ensure it’s safe for her and her family to drink and has enrolled her two oldest sons into school. Nargis now shares what ADRA has taught her with her neighbors, and through her lifestyle changes, she has attracted many others to ask and learn these simple life-saving methods.
To learn more about ADRA’s humanitarian efforts, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org
Follow ADRA on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest information as it happens.
ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.
Welcome to my simple living blog! Thanks for reading. Take a look around and feel free to comment or e-mail me.
I want to share a simple way that my family has been involved in making a powerful difference. For the last 3ish years we have sponserd 2 children through World Vision.
First off I have a huge burden for those in 3rd world countries. There are evils and poverty in our country, but here there are programs everywhere for food and medical. Clean water and education are amazingly easy to come by no matter who you are or where you are. In other countries it isn’t this way. Lack of clean water, food and basic medical attention kill millions of people. The education that could help pull them out of the cycle is often something they can’t get, don’t have time to get, or are too weak to get. We did nothing to deserve where we were born and they did nothing to deserve where they were born. In the world, we are all family and we should do all we can to help each other.
What is neat about world vision is the connection. We picked 2 children, matching ages and genders with our own as close as we could and have been able to write back and forth and learn about how they are benefiting from our support. We know that these children will grow up to get the education that can give lasting help to their community.
Let me introduce you to our kids:
Juster(below)-Juster is a 7-year-old girl in Malawi. She seems shy, but likes to draw us pictures and is doing well in school. Her aunt writes us letters because she isn’t old enough to write yet. As she does more school I am looking forward to seeing letters from her. Last Christmas we sent extra money and she was able to get several things including a metal storage container to keep the bugs from destroying her blankets, cloths and a goat. We send $35 for Juster every month and a world vision worker checks on her everyday because she is high risk. She is a Hope Child.
Phochland(seen at the top of the post)-Phochland is a little 4-year-old boy with lots of older siblings living in northeast India. Still to old to do school or write he has done a few simple drawings or colorings for us and we send him lots of stickers. He loves playing ball and is very healthy. Last Christmas, with some extra money we sent, world vision purchased a bike for his dad. We send $30 a month for Phochland and the world vision worker checks on him every week.
These are my additional kids. It has been a great experience for our whole family. Lily and Ian both write letters and pick out stickers and treats to send. We would love to visit them someday.
In this world we can’t fix all the problems, and it seems overwhelming when we hear all the terrible struggles people face. I love that I can do something for someone. These kids, their families and their communities benefit from a small amount that is automatically withdrawn out of my account each month.
Will you help too? Will you find a kid to help? It is super easy, pick and kid and set up automatic withdrawal and they take it from there. If you have time, when you remember, you can send a note, but your money is working even when you don’t think about it.
My reason for writing this article is two-fold. First, I think all kids deserve a chance no matter where they are born, and I believe World Vision does a great job of offering sustainable help to communities.
Second, if I can convince 5 of you to sign up by the end of Sep to sponsor a child I get entered in a drawing for a trip to Peru. So, if you sign up, send me an e-mail with your name and your sponsored childs ID number :) I would also love to hear how it is going as you sponsor your child.
This is such a great opportunity. As much as I would love to fly over to some of these countries and try to help, I can’t figure out a good way now. What my small contribution does every month provides the practical, educated, lasting help that I can’t physically give. It is a blessing to be involved, simple to , and a bargain!
The attack on September 11, 2001 by terrorists was a terrible event. It affected, and still affects millions of lives. I have been watching the past few weeks headlines leading up to the 10 year anniversary to the event and am amazed how fast it can all come back to memory. It sure doesn’t seem like 10 years ago. I haven’t really talked to my kids (7 and 4) about it much and struggle with how and when to teach it. I don’t want to live in fear, but there is clearly enough evidence in the world to suggest that as a feasible response.
I got a book from the library yesterday called “The Day The World Came To Town –9/11 in Gander Newfoundland” by Jim Defede. It was on a display with lots of other 9/11 books that dealt with grief, conspiracy, revenge and strong emotions. I will never read a book like those. I am sure they have great factual knowledge and I don’t doubt conspiracy, but I cannot handle the emotions, the fear, the distrust and the victim mentality that they seem to bring out.
Defede’s book was different. Published 1 year after 9/11 it records, with story telling genius, what the week was like in Gander, Newfoundland. Gander was a town of barely 10,000 people. It had been a big airplane gas stop before the big jets were invented being able to fly much farther.
On 9/11 when American airspace was closed and all planes were forced to land Gander hand to handle diverting air traffic to other parts of Canada and land 38 planes and 6,595 passengers and crew members at their small town. The book was 244 pages of amazing Newfoundland hospitality… though by reading the stories, the word hospitality doesn’t come close. The town literally stopped with people and businesses coming together with time, energy, money, and their belongings. They treated those stranded like long lost relatives and friends, by going way beyond just making sure they were fed and housed… in a way only Newfies could.
The truth is that terrible events have been happening all through history. Events have been caused by war, greed, hate and nature. Unfortunately, they still, and will still happen no matter how much we try and change it.
Tragedy is something we can’t control and if we focus on it, past, present or future, we have lost the battle and become a victim of it. What we can control is us. We can choose who we are and how we chose to react. The villagers of Gander were victims of 9/11 just like the passengers who got stuck there for a week were victims. They had a impossible housing and feeding problem on their hands with no warning. However, from reading the stories, the fact that they were victims never seemed to cross their mind. For them it was a chance, even a privilege, to help all they could with the situation.
What is amazing about 9/11 and other tragedies is that it both reveals and strengthens this kind of people. At 9/11 these people weren’t just in Gander, but were all over the world reaching out and helping in small and large ways. Beyond that these people were the people in the past working with the underground railroad, hiding Jews and many more examples I don’t have the brain power or room to list here. In a world of pain and hate true love and selflessness can be seen.
The verse I kept thinking of was Hebrews 13:2
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
I want to be a person like that. I don’t know when or who will come into my path, but I want to be the person who goes above and beyond to make the difference and help in the situation. I pray I won’t be too busy or two distracted by stuff that seems important at the time to miss the chance to make a difference.
In looking at 9/11 and reading this book I am proud to be American, I am proud to be from Canada and I am proud of my distant connection to the little rock island of Newfoundland. I am excited that through terrible things good can be done and found. It is truly inspiring.
So as you meditate and remember 9/11 this weekend don’t forget to celebrate and be inspired by the amazing moments that came out of the tragedy, and resolve to move forward changed and better from the experience.
On another note, I also gleaned from this book that it doesn’t take much for everybody to be sleeping side by side on cots. The rich and the poor with the important and unknown. All our cultural ladders can easily get knocked down leaving us all in the same spot.