Sunday, January 27, 2013

So it happens to be Super Bowl Sunday...

Three years ago when I put together the first One day/One lunch, I had no idea that 3 years later it would just happen to land on Super Bowl Sunday. I have had person after person inform me that it's a shame it is on Super Bowl Sunday this year.

As I began to pray and seek God this is what He showed me...

Each year people are willing to spend thousands of dollars on tickets to go the Super Bowl- then hundreds more on hotels around the event. Each 30 second advertisement during the Super Bowl costs as much as 2 million dollars. This year's halftime show is expected to cost 4 million dollars. And that's not even mentioning all the people at home who spend tons of money on food and drinks for their parties.

 To be honest, looking at those dollar signs makes me physically sick.

 How did this happen?

When did we start being cool with spending millions of dollars on a football game, yet  we turn our back on the 160+ million orphans around the world.

When did we start putting more value on a football game than on a persons life?

I think its time that we stop and take a good long look at what we as a nation have come to see as valuable. Stop and look around us.  There are people hurting, children starving, humans being sold into sex trafficking.  All of them are screaming out for help- and yet we cannot hear them because we are too busy screaming for our favorite team. 

So you know what, I'm okay with the 3rd annual One Day/One Lunch landing on Super Bowl Sunday. I'm okay that it's a little more inconvenient and I'm okay with it challenging people just a little bit more... because I have learned that those are the times, if we are really willing, God will teach us the most.

One Day/ One Lunch- can make all the difference in the world to a child in need- even if it happens to be on Super Bowl Sunday.

To give go to:
*indicate for Village of Hope- One Day/One Lunch
Mail checks to:
Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744
*Indicate for VOH One Day/One Lunch

Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Day-One Lunch

 In eighth grade, my life was completely changed when I went to Ethiopia to adopt my sister Havyn. Before that, I knew poverty existed. I had heard about it and seen pictures, I even had four adopted siblings, but once I saw these precious children first hand, I could no longer pretend that poverty didn't exist. As I held their small hungry bodies in my arms and whispered in their ear that Jesus loves them, I knew that there was no way I could leave that place unchanged. I couldn't just go home and forget about them, so I prayed a really dangerous prayer that day in Ethiopia, I prayed that God would use me and that He would break my heart.

 He did just that.

I left there with a piece of my heart missing and I could not get those children off my mind. One of my favorite verses comes from Proverbs 24:12. It tells is, "Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know and hold us responsible to act."  Now that I knew, I could no longer just go on living like I used to. I had to do something about what I had seen.

As as 14 year old, I didn't think I had much to give, but I've learned that God doesn't care about how much you have, instead He cares about your heart. I may not have had much, but I was willing to give  up the little that I did have for His glory, and He used that and multiplied it.

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”- John 6:9

Most of you know the story of how Jesus fed the 5,000. A young boy had some food that he was willing to share. Although it wasn't much, God blessed it and used it to feed so many more people that it was originally planned for. That's what God did with me. As I started my freshman year of high school, I began eating a simple bowl of cheap soup like I had seen the kids in Ethiopia eat. I would pray for the children as I ate it, and I would donate that $2.00 that I would have had to pay for lunch at school. Like the boy in the story, people were doubtful. They would make fun of me as I stood by the microwave every day heating up my small bowl of soup, but there were also those that were interested. They would ask questions, giving me the opportunity to tell them about what the Lord was doing in my life, and some of them even agreed to join me. 

As I realized that there were other people who were willing to help, I couldn't help but think how cool it would be if we could get people from all over the world to join us for just one day, for just one lunch. So, we began spreading the word through blogs, Facebook and newspapers, and we couldn't believe the response. On February 3rd, my 100th day of eating soup, we raised over $6,000 dollars, because a bunch of people were willing to give up their lunch to make a difference. 

Three years later, God continues to answer the prayer I prayed in Ethiopia. He has continued to break me and use me. My family now serves as missionaries in Guatemala at Village of Hope. Daily God continues show me the need and allow me the opportunity to do what I can do with the little I have. So I ask, will you join me in making a difference in the lives of the Guatemalans this February 3rd?


To donate online go to:
*indicate for Village of Hope- One Day/One Lunch

Mail checks to:
Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744
*Indicate for VOH One Day/One Lunch

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Let us not grow weary...

Sometimes we have so much going on around here that I don't even have time to take it all in. We work so hard to get things done and meet all the needs around us, that I just don't have time to process everything that has happened. Most nights I fall into bed completely exhausted, begging God to give me the energy that it takes to keep going.

Because I don't process, I've gotten pretty good at putting up walls. Sometimes I feel like its much easier to not get attached rather than to have your heart broken again and again when you have to say goodbye to another team,

or the man you poured so much into falls back into addiction,

or the children you love so much continue to go to bed hungry and dirty.

 Its hard.

I think that sometimes it gets to be such a heavy burden that just blocking it out or becoming numb to all of the hurt around me doesn't sound like such a bad idea. It seems easier to just close my eyes and pretend bad things don't happen, but I don't think that's what God wants.

Proverbs 24:12 tells us, "Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act."

 God tells us that we can't ignore what we know is true. We can't pretend it doesn't exist, because He is holding us responsible to do something about the need, even when we feel weary and worn.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." -Galatians 6:9

God never meant for this world to be easy. He meant for our hearts to be broken over and over again, just like His is. He doesn't want for us to hide behind walls, but instead tear them down. I think He wants us to give all that we have, so that he can continue to fill us with more of Him. What good is it for Him to fill us, if we are never empty?

Its not an easy thing to do, but most times when we have absolutely nothing left, that is when God is most glorified. God works through our struggles and our brokenness. So I continue to fight for what I know is right. I will keep pouring out the love that comes from Him, clinging to His promises and refusing to give up, because He is worth it.