This is nothing more than an appeal, pure and simple. For things that are dear to my heart.
Amazima ministries offers handmade jewelry from Uganda about once a month as you know by now. Normally these necklaces and bracelets are snapped up within a few hours or sometimes days of being posted on the internet. This time they've been available for more than a week. Right now, the ministry is supporting over a 1,000 kids in Uganda -providing health needs, school needs, and food Monday through Friday. I know Katie tries to limit what they do but how do you find a stopping place when so many kids are needy? So the number of kids continues to grow. And my plea is: please consider buying a 20.00 necklace from Amazima ministries. (Amazima.org)
The next is Hosean International Ministries in Haiti. They also work with over a 1,000.00 kids, providing a school, some medical care, and other basic needs. This is a ministry that is partially based in Little Rock and although it is lesser known than Amazima, Caleb and Debbie Lucian give everything to help these children and run the organization with integrity, all for Jesus. Caleb will be speaking at Pulaski Academy on Nov. 15 from 7 to 8:30. Right now, they have sponsors for less than 25% of their children. Phil and I sponsor one child and are thinking about sponsoring another as our Christmas gift to Him this year. And my plea is this: is there anyone out there - just one person or family (we can't match more than one family) - who would consider joining with us to sponsor a Haitian child for the year 2013 - we provide 30.00 a month for one child and you do the same for another? I know that is kind of a whacked out thing to ask but it's where we are right now. (And just to make sure I'm pulling the heart strings tight enough :) - it is my birthday this coming week! Ha!)
The last thing is very close to home, a chance to do hands-on ministry with your own children. As you know if you read these blogs, I spent my adolescence in Shannon Hills. Today a church in that area, Healing Waters, provides a hot meal and boxes of food Sunday afternoon for the residents of that area. It is not a booming area financially and this past Sunday they fed and provided for over a 100 people in about 45 minutes. During the year overall they help 5,000 families. They also have a youth group of about 60 kids that meets on Thursday nights - this is how the ministry started actually - by reaching out to the teens in the area - and they feed them a meal as well as teach them the Bible and give them a place to do skate boarding. Last Sunday, they almost ran out of hot meals to serve and they did run out of food boxes. They have some support from businesses and they also have a grant but they still need help from individuals - both volunteer time as well as money and/or food donations.
Can I guarantee that every person who comes for a hot meal is on the up and up?
No, I can't. I don't know the people who come for help. Some I can look at and tell, yes, they need help. Others I just don't know.
But can I say that I honestly believe God is in this ministry? Yes. I can.
I keep thinking about how none of us is on the up-and-up spiritually when we first come to God. We're all users and posers. I was. And yet God took me in, fed me and clothed me spiritually and never said a word about my past or even about my future sins after I became His child.
What do they need at Healing Waters? They can use funds to buy industrial size cans of green beans, corn, baked beans, ravioli - things that they can serve as hot meals. The grocery right next to Healing Waters helps them with discounts as I understand it. For the hot meals they also need sugar (for tea), noodles, hamburger meat (for sloppy JOe's) - things like that.
For the food boxes, they need kid-friendly things like macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, canned soups, canned spaghetti-o's, canned corn, bread etc. But they also have freezers and can freeze packages of hot dogs, chicken strips and things like that as well to put in each box. And they always need staples such as rice, dry beans, etc. They also need diapers.
So I'm just asking would you consider:
Buying a 20.00 necklace from Amazima?
Or even sponsoring a Haitian child for a year for 30.00 a month through Hosean Ministries? I know that is a big commitment and the economy is uncertain. But for most of us, 30.00 a month won't impoverish us and it will help lift these kids out of poverty. And since this ministry is not so well known, I think they need the support.
And/or would you consider giving even just a 20.00 donation to Healing Waters Food Bank or dropping at least some large cans of vegetables by there, taking your kids and showing them first hand what ministry is like in all it's varied forms?
Everyone starts ramping up on the giving in November because Thanksgiving and Christmas are simply when we do that type of thing.
Shouldn't we be doing it all year long?
And I know there are hundreds of worthy causes out there; I am definitely not trying to take away from any of those.
Just sayin' if God puts any of these that I've mentioned (or all of them) on your heart over the next few weeks or months, would you please follow His prompting? I really think you will be blessed if you do.
Healing Waters Ministry